DIY watercolour heart

I’ve come over all romantic this week. Perhaps because the week began in Paris, city of lovers, where I had my long-awaited weekend away (more on that later), but probably because tomorrow is our wedding anniversary, and I’m inevitably feeling reflective about the last five amazing, exhilarating years.  To celebrate, we’ll be slinking off to local country-house hotel in the middle of the afternoon  ….to eat lots of cake.

A decadent Afternoon Tea beckons, and whilst it may sound somewhat less glamorous than a passionate mini-break à deux it requires no babysitters or complicated logistics, and very little schedule-juggling & budget. A couple of hours to relax, reconnect and just be, aided by a glass of champagne and enough calories to slow down Usain Bolt. I can’t wait.

DIY watercolour moonMy anniversary card to Mr B will be homemade – of course- and I’ve been dabbling with my watercolour paintbox, creating the images above and below and mostly just playing with colours and shapes, adding text to those I like…

home is where the heart is

In each case I’ve painted a simple shape in a single colour with a loaded, wet paintbrush, so that the paint pools into interesting patterns as it dries.  For those inspired to give it a go, there’s more detail below.

You are my sunshine

I used the same technique to make fun menus when we had friends over for dinner last weekend, painting watery stripes of colour in complementary shades, which blended at the edges as they settled and dried…

painted menus

I decorated the table with garden flowers in a similar palette, and sprayed this log white as a centrepiece.  Tiny tea-light candles in little porcelain cups completed the picture…

Paint palette tablescape

If you love the watercolour effect but would rather cheat than labour away at your own (and I applaud you for this; hurrah for short-cuts..), you can find PDF downloads of my images and the painted menu backdrop at the bottom.  If you’re feeling artistic, whip out your paintbox and read on…

make me smile

Take a large sheet of watercolour paper (300gsm ideally), and a couple of brushes and water pots.  Choose your colours and daub on shapes and patterns.  Don’t over-work them; leave them when they’re still very wet and force yourself to lie on the couch with a cup of tea and a good book for a bit (the artist’s life is legendarily tough).  You’ll end up with something like this;

watercolour DIY cards

Scan or photograph each picture and upload to your PC.  I used Powerpoint to produce my final images because it’s the most basic and universally-used application.  Import your image in, resizing it as you want;

importing photos into ppt

If you have Powerpoint V14 or above, you can use the ‘remove background’ tool to isolate your image, making it even more versatile – but it’s not critical.

remove background function in ppt

Then simply add a text box and play with words and fonts.  I used brainflower for the heart image below;

adding text in ppt

Admire your finished image and force everyone in the house to come and have a look.  Decide how you will use it; print a poster, a T-shirt transfer, email it to the friends whose birthdays you have forgotten or to lovers whose passions you wish to reignite; the artistic possibilities are endless!



For the blank menu printable below, download this file:

Watercolour menu printable

Watercolour menu printable

For the images I’ve used in this post, download the file below which looks like this:

Watercolour images printable

Watercolour images printable

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