5 Days of Crafting: Watercolor Transfer

5 Days of Crafting: Watercolor Transfer

Welcome to day 2 of 5 Days of Crafting! Today’s post will be about a technique called watercolor transfer. For this project, all you need is: a digital photo, printer, pencil, tape, watercolor paper, watercolor paint, and a very thin paintbrush.

The photo’s subject should have an equal amount of light and shadow on and around the subject. In the the photo I chose, you can clearly see a shadow separating our faces from the background and there are some nice small shadows marking out our cheeks, eyes, etc. (By the way: if you like this photograph, check out the photographer at Foto Lumiere. She’s very talented and did both our engagement and wedding photos!) Watercolor Transfer Base Image

After choosing your photograph, go to PicMonkey and upload the photo to the site. Select the “Effects” option on the lefthand sidebar. Under effects, choose “Posterize.” There are three sliders within the “Posterize” option: Number of Colors, Detail, and Fade. Number of colors should be at 2, detail at 80% and fade at 0. Your photo will look similar to the one below. (There may still be a background, but just ignore that. It was easier with this photograph since the background was white.) Watercolor Transfer | Reflections of HappinessDownload the newly edited photo from PicMonkey and put it into Microsoft Word. You can resize it there to whatever size you’d like. Then print.

When the photo is printed, flip it over and scribble all over the back with your pencil (and I mean ALL OVER, like a toddler with a bunch of crayons). It needs to be really scribbled, or else the transfer won’t be as effective. Then flip your picture back over and line it up with how you’d like the image to be on the watercolor paper. Tape the paper and watercolor paper down to the table so they don’t shift as you work. See the picture above for an example of how I taped it.

With your pencil, firmly trace your image – all the dark portions of your selected subject. In this case, I covered all the black parts of the image with pencil, which helped to transfer  the scribble on the back over to the watercolor paper. Here’s an example of how it looks once I traced the image:Watercolor Transfer with PencilUnfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of how the watercolor paper looked with the pencil transfer before painting… but trust me: there are definite lines showing you where to paint if you scribbled enough on the back of your image. Once you have the markings of where to paint, all you have to do is take your selected watercolor paint and begin to carefully paint within the lines. If you stay in the lines, your watercolor transfer should turn out looking like your photograph above!
Watercolor Transfer | Reflections of Happiness

What do you think of my watercolor transfer?

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