Dappled Watercolor Background

by Beth Rush

Use a wet-into-wet technique to create a textured background.


  • Watercolor paper
  • Water-based ink or other watercolor medium (Stampin' up!® Night of Navy, Daffodil Delight, and Basic Black inks used here)
  • Glitter brush marker pen (ZIG Wink of Stella Glitter Brush Marker Pen 999 Clear used here)
  • Aqua Painter
  • Masking tape
  • Clip board or flat surface
  • Other supplies as needed to complete the project (Stampin’ Up! products used here: Sunshine and Rainbows stamp set, Night of Navy, Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Emerald Envy, Pacific Point, Rich Razzleberry and Shimmery White Cardstock)


  1. Step 1

    Tape watercolor paper onto a flat work surface such as a clipboard or placemat using painter's tape or washi tape.

  2. Step 2

    Wet paper thoroughly with water.

  3. Step 3

    Apply the darkest ink color to the entire background.

  4. Step 4

    Load up a wet brush with an accent color, picking up a lot of ink.

  5. Step 5

    Flick ink onto the paper by flicking against the cap of the Aqua Painter, or another object such as a pencil tip or toothpick.

    Additional colors can be added for even more interest.

  6. Step 6

    Flick Wink of Stella or other glitter ink onto the paper just like in Step Five.

  7. Step 7

    Allow the panel to dry and remove the tape.

  8. Step 8

    Embellish the background as desired.

  9. Step 9

    Complete the project.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Dappled Watercolor Background. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

How did you get ink on the lid?
Susan Brandli  |  Wed Feb 28, 2018 at 7:20 AM
Fun technique!
muscrat  |  Wed Feb 28, 2018 at 7:47 AM
This creation is so beautiful...love it smile
Meraj Zaidi  |  Wed Feb 28, 2018 at 8:03 AM
Love this fun card!!
Thank you!
Patty McIntosh  |  Wed Feb 28, 2018 at 8:45 AM
This card is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely technique. I can't wait to try it for myself. I have the Rainbows bundle ordered and am just waiting to receive it.
Shelly Bunn  |  Wed Feb 28, 2018 at 10:16 AM
Beautiful background technique - I'll be trying it for sure!
Susan Bridgman  |  Wed Feb 28, 2018 at 10:50 AM
I love this technique !!! thank you so much !
livelylisa  |  Wed Feb 28, 2018 at 12:26 PM
I can't wait to try this technique. It is pretty cool. Super sweet card! The rainbow builder die set is fun, too!
Julie Sweet  |  Thu Mar 1, 2018 at 5:37 AM
Thank you, Beth, for sharing this beautiful card! I can't wait to try it. Congrats for getting to show your fabulous work on Splitcoaststampers! smile
Nanci Wilson  |  Fri Mar 2, 2018 at 7:28 PM
Great tutorial and the sky background looks fantastic!
claudia zimmerman  |  Sat Mar 3, 2018 at 10:56 AM
Please tell me how you get the ink on the lid? Do you use a re-inker? Love the look, lovely idea.
Susan Brandli  |  Sat Mar 3, 2018 at 11:12 AM
Beth is having trouble responding so she asked if someOne would let you know that To get the ink on the lid you just need to squeeze the ink pad when it is closed. You can also put some of the reinker on the lid too.
Susan  |  Sun Mar 4, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Thanks so much. I appreciate the answer.
Susan Brandli  |  Mon Mar 5, 2018 at 6:19 AM
Love this fresh approach to the wet on wet technique! I'm happy to see this with the SU ink, I have all of these products. Can't wait to try!!!
SageBrush  |  Mon Mar 12, 2018 at 3:41 PM
Thank you for such a lovely card and video! Your tutorial and card design/layout are brilliant - sweet rainbow, sky and clouds!
Rosy Newlun  |  Sat Mar 17, 2018 at 12:05 AM
Stunning sky backgrounds! I love the Wink of Stella as well as the contrasting colors you used. I imagine the sparkle is everywhere! Thank you for your tutorial and your video!
Rosy Newlun  |  Sat Apr 14, 2018 at 11:33 PM
Awesome card, thanks for sharing this technique.
Suzann Poufcas  |  Wed May 2, 2018 at 9:08 AM
Beth, I just came across your wonderful tutorial on the dappled watercolor background. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have been struggling with creating a watercolor background of any kind, and this looks so easy and SO beautiful. I'm heading down to my stamp room now. Can't wait to get started. (Did I say Thank You?)
Doodledop  |  Sat Apr 13, 2019 at 6:24 AM

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