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Watercolor Drips Technique for Art Journal Backgrounds

Here's another easy peasy technique to use as a background for your art. And the only supply you'll need other than paper, is watercolors. We'll be using gravity to drip the paint across the page. Super fun.


I also experimented doing it two different ways and I'm going to show you how you can do either one.



Watercolor drips for mixed media backgrounds




Supplies again:



In my first example of doing this technique, I did it pretty much how you think I would. You'll see:


I added lots of water to my paint cups...


Watercolor painting for backgrounds




I got my paintbrush super wet with the color. And then I ran my paintbrush over the edge of the watercolor paper so that the paint would drip down one side.

Needless to say, you have to prop up your paper so that gravity pulls the color across the page.


Drips of watercolor


I wanted there to be 2 or 3 drips of the red paint and so I had to refill my paint brush each time.


After red, I moved on to orange. At that point I added the orange while the red was still wet, which made the orange paint follow the established drip path of the red.


That was a little annoying. So I had to be more intentional about where the drips were going and needed to help them out a little bit.


I realized that if I let the paint dry between colors, this problem wouldn't happen. Plus the overlap in color looks cool.


Rainbow watercolor drips

I think this would be a great background for homemade cards. Go here for some good card inspiration.



Because I kept having to add more paint because the drips weren't going where I wanted them to, the edge of the paper got pretty soft and getting the paint off the brush was becoming a little more difficult too.


That's when I had the thought that using an eyedropper to apply the paint might be way easier. So I went and grabbed a plastic one that came with some resin supplies I have.


And this time, I decided to use watercolors that come in tubes so I could get more liquid for the technique.


Watercolor tubes



Using the eye dropper, I squirted some paint at the top of the page of a journal I was using.


Watercolors in an eyedropper



This time I planned to add all four of the colors throughout the whole page.


Eyedropper watercolor drips



While I was making it, I'd add several drops of one color and then add another. And several times I stepped away to let it dry before adding more.


This is how it turned out:


Watercolor dripping art journal background

I thought it would be fun to have the drips go horizontally across the page.


(for another simple watercolor technique, check out Splatter Paint using a Toothbrush)



Several years ago I had started a small art journal with a fun theme. Have you heard of those picture-a-day challenges? They were really popular on Instagram 4 or 5 years ago.

Many websites would host these monthly challenges and provided a word for each day of the month as inspiration for the photo lovers.


I thought it would be fun to make a small journal page instead of take a picture and still use the daily challenge words as part of my art. I could never manage to make a page every day, but when I had time, I'd add to it using whatever the current days challenge was.


My original journal was destroyed in a fire. I used the drips background as the first page of a new one.


Here is a challenge I found online (I don't know if its current. I just grabbed it from google image):




I made my page on November 20. So, I needed to include "words" in my page.


This is what I came up with:


Art journal with watercolor drips background


What do you think?


See all my mixed media background techniques to check out and try!



Get the supplies on Amazon:


Watercolor drips tutorial

Watercolor dripping background technique


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