Learn to paint watercolor: Easter Egg Edition

Posted January 11 2013

You want to learn to paint but you don't know where to start. You've got the tools. You've got the desire. Sometimes starting is the scariest part. So here's my proposal, try something fun, like making Easter Egg cards, and learn some important watercolor skills along the way. Too good to be true? Not at all.

Through this project you will learn: pouring techniques (a la the wonderful Linda Baker), strength of pigment, transparency, and masking skills. Distract yourself with a fun project of making Easter cards and in the process learn skills you can bring to your more serious attempts at watercolor.

Reference Material:

For all things masking and pouring, Linda Baker is a great source. Layers of Design in Watercolor covers all sorts of watercolor textures. No Fear Watercolor is a more basic look at the complex world of watercolor.


- Card stock (I'm using brown for the card and cheap white for my stencil.)

- Watercolor paper (I'm using paper from a 15 year old block of Arches 140 cold press)

- Masking Fluid

- An old cheap brush.

- Red and blue paint. (I used Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Red.)


  1. Draw a page of egg shapes with a pencil. Cut out a few and see which ones fit best on your card stock. When you find one (or more) you like, use it as a stencil and trace a page of paper full of eggs.
  2. Using masking fluid, mask out various shapes on your eggs. Allow to dry.
  3. Watch Linda Baker's pouring technique clip (on our blog) from Layers of Design in Watercolor, (you can learn masking techniques both there and on her DVD, Fearless Watercolor) and pour away. Pouring allows the entire page of eggs to share color and intensity. I know they'll look good together because I created them together. I used two colors and watered them down quite a bit. My goal was soft pastels, not vibrant color. Also, prepare for the messy! Allow to dry.
  4. I did one poured layer and then I removed my masking. I found the whites to be too bright so I painted randomly around the paper. I even added some dots and extra lines. Do this with children. Follow their lead and play. This is what is great about the transparency of watercolor, you can see the texture underneath. Allow to dry.
  5. Cut out eggs, mix and match, and glue down to your card stock.

(Stages of my final card left to right: poured layer, first layer masking removed, final painting touches.)




by Kelly Ann Powers