Watercolor Bleed Technique

by Beth Rush

Learn a watercolor technique for spreading and mixing colors from one image to another.


  • Watercolor paper (Fluid 100 140 lb Cold Press used here)
  • Water-based ink or watercolor medium (Stampin’ Up!® Magenta Madness and Gorgeous Grape ink used here)
  • Paintbrush and water (SU Aqua Painter used here)
  • Pencil or watercolor pencil (SU watercolor pencil in Flirty Flamingo used here)
  • Die cut shapes to trace (SU Be Mine Stitched dies used here)
  • Other supplies as needed to complete the project (SU products used here: Magenta Madness and Basic Black Cardstock, Artistry Blooms Designer Series Paper, Magenta Madness Ribbon, Ridiculously Awesome Stamp Set)


  1. Step 1

    Trace the die cut shapes, not overlapping but touching at the edges.

  2. Step 2

    Fill in the first shape with water only.

  3. Step 3

    Fill in the shape with color.

  4. Step 4

    Fill in the second shape with water only, starting from the side furthest from the first shape. Finish filling in and at the end, tap the edge where the shapes touch with the wet brush so that the ink from the first shape starts to bleed into the second shape.

  5. TIP:
    You can tilt your paper to help the color bleed if you need to.

  6. Step 5

    Fill in the rest of the second shape with the next color, be sure not to touch the bleed area.

  7. Step 6

    Repeat the steps to fill in the remaining shapes.

  8. Step 7

    Variation: instead of multiple shapes, try the technique by creating sections within a single shape.

  9. Step 8

    Use the panels to complete cards or other projects.


Your Turn

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

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Questions and Comments

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

What a fabulous technique, Beth!! So very versatile and could be used with any open shape...I LOVE this! My mind is racing!! LOL --could, also, be used for a whole set of cards to be given as gifts...AWESOME!! TFS
jmhoffmann  |  Wed Feb 3, 2021 at 4:38 AM
Thank you for this! I love the look!
jmazur  |  Wed Feb 3, 2021 at 6:24 AM
What a fun technique--love the results!
gg nurse  |  Wed Feb 3, 2021 at 11:07 AM
What fun!
muscrat  |  Wed Feb 3, 2021 at 1:15 PM
Love this technique. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks forshowing
BarefootING  |  Wed Feb 3, 2021 at 5:06 PM
Thank you! I can’t wait to try it!
smadson  |  Wed Feb 3, 2021 at 8:36 PM
Love this tutorial... what fun I am looking forward to having with this tutorial. Such a great idea !
macard  |  Thu Feb 4, 2021 at 4:13 AM
Great technique! Beautiful cards.
tjdstampsalot  |  Sun Feb 7, 2021 at 6:21 PM
What a wonderful way to use watercolors
Mischelle1  |  Tue Feb 9, 2021 at 11:15 AM

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