If you go to my Etsy Store you will see some downloadable prints. I have been printing these things out for years–they make great gifts for Welcomes, Farewells, Volunteer Appreciation, etc… I use my own inkjet printer, and regular old watercolor paper from the art store to give the prints a fancier look.
Recently I did an order for some folks up in Alaska, though, and I wasn’t happy with the look. The watercolor paper seemed to have less texture or something, and the prints looked…well, they looked too “printed.” And I wanted them to look a little more artsy, a little more customized, and a little more special.
So here is what I did! And you can do it too–it is such an easy little trick, and it makes a world of difference.
Now remember, I am using regular watercolor paper here. I have seen watercolor paper specifically designed for printing, but that’s not what I use. Also–INKJET printer! I have not tried this with a laser printer, so I have no idea if that will work the same.
You will need a teeny tiny paintbrush and a little bowl of water. And keep a paper towel handy.
So here is the print that I did not quite like.
Teeniest amount of water possible on the tip of the brush!
Paint the colors with the water one color at a time, and wipe the brush with the paper towel between colors. I like to let the colors bleed over into each other a little–I think it gives it a more “authentically painted” look, but if your brush is tiny enough you can really minimize the bleed if you want to.
Ta Da! Finished product, and it really looks hand painted! But it’s so much easier!
One more example..
Before and After…. I might have used a little too much water on the swords, but I still think it looks pretty good! If you use too much water, you can carefully blot the design with a paper towel, but you might lose some of the ink. The point, though, is for it to NOT look perfect. The “Before” version looks too perfect, right?
I have tried this on notecards, too, with pretty awesome results, and I plan to do some more experimenting. You should definitely try this on your own project and let me know how it works!!