In this post, you’ll learn how to paint your own abstract watercolor just like the painting I used to design my Tie Dye Courthouse quilt.
Now, quilters I know this isn’t quilting related per se. But if we are going to be quilting in color then exploring other media is essential to discovering our practice. Watercolor is an essential in my practice as a colorful quilter. So I’m sharing a little sample of my practice and technique with you.
Above is my “Tie Dye Courthouse” quilt, which I designed using an abstract watercolor painting combined with the classic quilt pattern, the courthouse block.
And this hexagon shaped watercolor helped me decide on color placement for this hexagon quilt.
My abstract watercolor practice helps me plan out and design the colors for my quilts. And really it’s just plain fun!
What Materials do I love?
- Watercolors (I cannot say enough about how much I love using the Arteza Real Brush Pens. Here’s my affiliate link.)
- Water Brush Pen, or Water and Paint Brushes (Again, I’m a fan of using the Arteza Water Brush Pens. Here’s my affiliate link.)
- Bristol or Watercolor Paper (I’m using Bristol Paper. Here’s my affiliate link.)
- Washi Tape
- Paper towel
Tip: Cut down the paper to the shape or size you want. I cut my 11” x 14” paper down to 11” x 11” square. Squares are cute.
Here’s the general procedure for the watercolor I demo in the YouTube video.
1. Choose your color palette. Choose one of my favorites from my Pinterest page if you’re stuck.
2. Using the washi tape, tape your frame. It makes for a nice finish and can protect your table.
3. Plan out your design. If you want to make your abstract watercolor just like mine your shape will be a diagonal shape with areas of negative space. Here you need to make two decisions. 1) What diagonal direction are you going? 2) Where is your negative white space going to be.
Tip: Go with the flow and let paint happen.
4. Lay down strips of color.
Design Tips: 1) vary up the widths of the stripes. 2) Vary the direction of the stripes. Instead of making all the strips straight, maybe make a few colors lean a bit in one direction. 3) Sneak in bits of unexpected color from the other strips.
5. Use water to blend the strips of color together.
6. When finished go back through to blend more with water or add more pigment to areas that are too pale for your taste.
What’s your Practice?
Watercolor painting is such an important part of my practice in creating colorful quilts. Not only is it fun but it helps me to be more creative and playful as I quilt in color.
If you want to quilt in color, I encourage you to get outside the fabric box and explore other art media. From your explorations you’ll be able to bring in the colors you love in a way that’s unique to your artistic practice.
Looking for More?
Ready to quilt in color? Check out this page.
In my Abstract Watercolor Quilts workshop, I show you exactly how I use the watercolors to turn them into quilt designs.
Obsessed with color and quilting? I encourage you to join the Playful Color Quilt Guild. We are your people!