watercolor gradient technique

Watercolor Gradient (EASY) Step-by-Step Tutorial

In this beginner watercolor painting tutorial, we are going to do watercolor gradient. It is a super easy watercolor technique for watercolor cards, wedding invitations, postcards, etc. Many thanks to Cécile for this step-by-step tutorial!


Watercolor Supplies Used in this Tutorial

Of course, it doesn’t mean you have to use exactly the same supplies 🙂


Step 1: Use watercolor brush pens to add colors on a plastic sleeve

The first thing I do is scribble on the outside of a plastic sleeve with different colors using watercolor brush pens. I use watercolor brush pens, but you can use any kind of felt-tip pen. I cover the area with three colors – yellow, green, and pink.

Watercolor Gradient Tutorial, Step 1: Use watercolor brush pens to add colors on a plastic sleeve

Set your plastic sleeve to the side and lay your paper in front of you.

You must use watercolor paper otherwise the corners of your paper will dog-ear and curl. Don’t worry, a normal watercolor brush will do just fine, but for this example, we are using a tank brush.

Step 2: Wet the paper

I start by brushing water on my paper in the area where I want to make my watercolor gradient. Be careful not to put too much water or the colors will bleed and mix too much.

Watercolor Gradient Tutorial, Step 2: Wet the paper

Once you brush water onto the paper, don’t wait for it to dry. Take your plastic sleeve and align it with the wet area of your paper. 

Step 3: Spread the activated pigment

Then, spread the colors with your finger by gently pressing on and rubbing the plastic sleeve against the paper. Don’t press too hard or the paint will spread too much.

Watercolor Gradient Tutorial, Step 3: Spread the activated pigment

Step 4: Add finishing touches

Then, remove the plastic sleeve in one go, and without further ado, take a brush to adjust the colors in certain areas. That’s it, you just have to wait for it to dry.

Note: When you’re done with your plastic sleeve, just remember to wipe it off and use it again later.

Watercolor Gradient Tutorial, Step 4: Add finishing touches

Step 5: Add a message

Then, when it’s completely dry, you can write over it with a black watercolor brush pen. Wait until the watercolor is dry or it will bleed into your gradient.

Watercolor Gradient Tutorial, Step 5: Add a message

Here are some other examples I’ve done:

Watercolor Gradient Tutorial Exemples

About the Author: Watercolor Classes

Hello, and welcome to our site. We've been passionate about watercolor for years and have learned a lot along the way. We hope our tutorials and tips will help you out on your watercolor journey. Let's make art together!

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