I always get immersed in my arts and crafts at this time of the year. Whether finishing up a flurry of presents for Christmas or settling in to watch a movie while I crochet, the urge to create and actually finish projects is strong.
Recently, a dear friend turned forty, and I wanted to make something special for her to commemorate the occasion. I remembered a little watercolor craft I had done with my Passport to Adventure home school co-op class in which we made colorful peacocks by coloring coffee filters with washable markers and then painting them with water. I thought the technique could easily be replicated on canvas. Since I was in the midst of planning an Olaf/Frozen themed birthday party for the youngest, I had been busy cutting out a myriad of paper snowflakes. And thus the idea of making watercolor snowflakes on canvas was born. It was simple and took very little time to do. Here’s the how-to to make your very own watercolor snowflakes.
You will need: an artist canvas (or a nice stiff sheet of watercolor paper), a blue washable marker, paper, scissors, a glue stick, a paintbrush, and water. Optional things that I used to finish off my paint were acrylic paints (gray and black) for the lettering, clear glitter glue, and sealer to protect it.
First, you will want to cut out some snowflakes out of your paper. Mine were about three inches in diameter, and I kept them simple since I wasn’t sure how this whole thing was going to work. You can definitely use some more complicated ones if you like. Arrange the snowflakes in a design that looks pleasing to the eye on your canvas. On my rectangular canvas, I had three snowflakes arranged in the top right corner and three in the lower left corner. Glue the snowflakes to the canvas with the glue stick. Now comes the fun part. Using the blue washable marker (it must be washable – no sharpies!), carefully trace the snowflakes onto the canvas, including any small detail parts in the center of the snowflakes. Then scribble all over the rest of the canvas with the blue marker. Do not worry about covering the canvas thoroughly with marker. Next, carefully remove the paper snowflakes from the canvas. You can see in the photo above that I had already removed two of the snowflakes.
Time to paint! With your paint brush and a cup of water, start painting any area that has marker strokes on it. I used a small paintbrush around the perimeter of the snowflakes and for the center details, and a larger one for the rest of the canvas. Replenish your brush with water frequently but do not get it too wet. Otherwise, you will have puddles on the canvas.
When the whole canvas is various shades of blue, set it on a counter top or table to dry completely. When it is dry, you are ready to finish your snowflake painting however you like. I took some clear glitter glue and outlined the snowflakes to make them a little more sparkly. Then I used some acrylic paints to add a favorite quote to the canvas. When the whole canvas was dry to the touch, I sealed it with matte acrylic sealer to protect it.
I think it turned out lovely, and it only took a couple of hours from start to finish. This technique could easily be used with other shapes, too. My oldest will be having an art party in a few weeks, and I think I will try using this marker/watercolor method for the girls to make tie-dye paintings.