How to Make Color Shift Watercolors Tutorial + Giveaway


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How to Make Color Shift Watercolors! Learn how to make your own homemade color shift watercolors. Color shifting watercolors are amazing! They can be pricey and hard to acquire...I know, I've tried!   I decided the best way to get what I wanted was to make it myself. It's hard to find a great tutorial on homemade watercolors, so this tutorial is my gift to you! This tutorial is all the tips and tricks, supplies and process needed for making your own homemade watercolors.  Plus--stick around for a Color Shift Watercolor Giveaway at the end of this post!

How to Make Color Shift Watercolors!

Learn how to make your own homemade color shift watercolors. Color shifting watercolors are amazing! They can be pricey and hard to acquire...I know, I've tried! 

I decided the best way to get what I wanted was to make it myself. It's hard to find a great tutorial on homemade watercolors, so this tutorial is my gift to you! This tutorial is all the tips and tricks, supplies and process needed for making your own homemade watercolors.

I'm selling some on Etsy--I don't have many, so they won't last long!


Plus--stick around for a Color Shift Watercolor Giveaway at the end of this post!

Learn how to make your own homemade color shift watercolors. Color shifting watercolors are amazing!

Okay, let me be honest. 

Homemade watercolor making is a PROCESS. It's not something I want to go into business doing. However, I have a few watercolor tins for sale in my Etsy shop--get them now in time for the holidays. 

I've got enchanting 4 half pan palettes that are the perfect exposure to color shift watercolors if you just want to give them a try. The colors are shimmery and fun to paint or hand letter with. 

I'm selling several color palette tins:

Okay, let me be honest.  Homemade watercolor making is a PROCESS. It's not something I want to go into business doing. However, I have a bunch of watercolor tins for sale in my Etsy shop--get them now in time for the holidays.   I've got enchanting 4 half pan palettes that are the perfect exposure to color shift watercolors if you just want to give them a try. The colors are shimmery and fun to paint or hand letter with.

The color shift paints look different on white versus black paper. The white paper gives a light pastel shimmery effect. It is great for layering on other projects to add the most wonderful glimmer.

On black surfaces, the watercolors shift into the most vivid metallic finish! By shifting the paper in the sunlight, the colors shift and dance. Each color I made is my favorite! I named them all and love painting with them.

The color shift paints look different on white versus black paper. The white paper gives a light pastel shimmery effect. It is great for layering on other projects to add the most wonderful glimmer.  On black surfaces, the watercolors shift into the most vivid metallic finish! By shifting the paper in the sunlight, the colors shift and dance. Each color I made is my favorite! I named them all and love painting with them.

Supplies Needed for Homemade Color Shift Watercolor:

Honey
Water

or

Buy a set of Color Shift Watercolors from me!



Supplies Needed for Homemade Color Shift Watercolor: Gum Arabic Color Shift Pigment Powder Glass Cutting Board Watercolor Half Pans Metal Hinged Tins Adhesive Magnets Glass Muller Palette Knife/Spatula Honey Clove Oil Water

The supplies for making your own homemade watercolors adds up! This is a rabbit hole of options...especially if you swing for the one gallon bucket of Gum Arabic, which is the more cost effective option. 

Maybe you'll want to start your own watercolor making business. I for sure don't, but I like to cover my costs with a few sales.

The supplies for making your own homemade watercolors adds up! This is a rabbit hole of options...especially if you swing for the one gallon bucket of Gum Arabic, which is the more cost effective option.   Maybe you'll want to start your own watercolor making business. I for sure don't, but I like to cover my costs with a few sales.

Step 1: Watercolor Base

Begin by making the watercolor base. Fill a measuring cup with 2 cups of water...not hot, but warm. Gradually stir in 1 cup of Gum Arabic. Whisk it gently to mix in the clumps. Stir until the clumps are all mixed in. (Can strain through a cheesecloth if it's still lumpy, but I had no problem with clumps)

Then add 1/5 cup of honey and stir in until smooth. Add 6 drops of clove oil as a preservative and gives it a great scent!

Step 1: Watercolor Base Begin by making the watercolor base. Fill a measuring cup with 2 cups of water...not hot, but warm. Gradually stir in 1 cup of Gum Arabic. Whisk it gently to mix in the clumps. Stir until the clumps are all mixed in. (Can strain through a cheesecloth if it's still lumpy, but I had no problem with clumps)  Then add 1/5 cup of honey and stir in until smooth. Add 6 drops of clove oil as a preservative and gives it a great scent!

Now the watercolor base is made. You can store it in the fridge up to 2 weeks, if you don't use it all in one sitting.

Now the watercolor base is made. You can store it in the fridge up to 2 weeks, if you don't use it all in one sitting.

Step 2: Watercolor Mixing

Now set up your workstation. You will want a big glass cutting board. I'm only doing a tablespoon of pigment at a time so the glass cutting boards listing in the supplies list are what I use. If you are going to mass produce them, you'll want much more space.

Step 2: Watercolor Mixing Now set up your workstation. You will want a big glass cutting board. I'm only doing a tablespoon of pigment at a time so the glass cutting boards listing in the supplies list are what I use. If you are going to mass produce them, you'll want much more space.

Scoop 1 tablespoon of pigment powder on the cutting board. See how it's purple with undertones of gold? It's the color shift magic!

This quantity filled up 4 half pans for the first mixing.

Scoop 1 tablespoon of pigment powder on the cutting board. See how it's purple with undertones of gold? It's the color shift magic!  This quantity filled up 4 half pans for the first mixing.

Then pour one tablespoon of watercolor base on the pigment, like gravy on mashed potatoes.

Then pour one tablespoon of watercolor base on the pigment, like gravy on mashed potatoes.

Then use the palette knife/spatula tool to gently mix the pigment with the base. You will see there are little powder chunks in the mixture. I used this palette spatula from the dollar store and it snapped in half. You'll want a metal one for this amount of mixing.

Once mixed in, you likely need to add a little more watercolor base. The consistency should be like warm honey, thick but pourable.

Then use the palette knife/spatula tool to gently mix the pigment with the base. You will see there are little powder chunks in the mixture. I used this palette spatula from the dollar store and it snapped in half. You'll want a metal one for this amount of mixing.  Once mixed in, you likely need to add a little more watercolor base. The consistency should be like warm honey, thick but pourable.

This is where you will need the muller. I am using a flat bottom shot glass...so check out the local thrift store for the perfect small glass that will work just as well. 

Press the muller on the watercolor mixture and blend it around. The glass on glass will make the powder burst into the base and not have any clumps when painting.

This is where you will need the muller. I am using a flat bottom shot glass...so check out the local thrift store for the perfect small glass that will work just as well.   Press the muller on the watercolor mixture and blend it around. The glass on glass will make the powder burst into the base and not have any clumps when painting.

Now use the spatula to scoop up the mixed watercolor and pour it into the plastic pans. Then set them aside for a couple weeks to dry. 

Now use the spatula to scoop up the mixed watercolor and pour it into the plastic pans. Then set them aside for a couple weeks to dry.

As they dry, the water evaporates, leaving a condensed piece of watercolor. But at this point, it only fills up about half of the container. Here's where the long process comes in.

Now repeat the mixing and filling and setting aside. The filling process will most likely take 3-4 fills to keep a good height on the pans. Mine are not perfect...there are air bubbles here and there. 

As they dry, the water evaporates, leaving a condensed piece of watercolor. But at this point, it only fills up about half of the container. Here's where the long process comes in.  Now repeat the mixing and filling and setting aside. The filling process will most likely take 3-4 fills to keep a good height on the pans. Mine are not perfect...there are air bubbles here and there.

After the watercolor is dry, they are ready to add a drop or 2 of water and begin painting, lettering, calligraphy, watercolor art or just accenting.

After the watercolor is dry, they are ready to add a drop or 2 of water and begin painting, lettering, calligraphy, watercolor art or just accenting.

I love the shimmer of the metallic shift! Which color combo do you like best?

I named them all personally, because that's something I like doing!
Starting on the top row from left to right:
Ocean, Ice Crystal, Hibiscus, Caribbean, Orchid, Pearl, Coral, Lucky Dragon, Rose, Mermaid, Lilac, Pegasus, Gold, Pewter, Sea Witch, Copper, Pearl and Orchid...yes, there ended up being more orchid and pearl than other colors.
I did 6 more colors too, and you'll see them here and there in the ones I am selling.

I love the shimmer of the metallic shift! Which color combo do you like best?  I named them all personally, because that's something I like doing! Starting on the top row from left to right: Ocean, Ice Crystal, Hibiscus, Caribbean, Orchid, Pearl, Coral, Lucky Dragon, Rose, Mermaid, Lilac, Pegasus, Gold, Pewter, Sea Witch, Copper, Pearl and Orchid...yes, there ended up being more orchid and pearl than other colors. I did 6 more colors too, and you'll see them here and there in the ones I am selling.

And here's how the 21 colors look on black and white paper together. My favorite color is Caribbean for sure!
Several of the colors have a fabulous gold shift!

And here's how the 21 colors look on black and white paper together. My favorite color is Caribbean for sure! Several of the colors have a fabulous gold shift!

Step 3: Packaging

After the paints dry they are ready for a strip of adhesive magnet placed on the base of the pan. This will keep them in the tin without shifting around.

Wrap the watercolor pans in wrapping paper if desired.

Step 3: Packaging After the paints dry they are ready for a strip of adhesive magnet placed on the base of the pan. This will keep them in the tin without shifting around.  Wrap the watercolor pans in wrapping paper if desired.

Now they are ready to gift, sell or just enjoy!

There's a huge amount of accomplishment being able to make my own watercolors. It was a lot of time, patience waiting, and start up expense...but it was fun. Do you think you'll try to make your own watercolors?


Now they are ready to gift, sell or just enjoy!  There's a huge amount of accomplishment being able to make my own watercolors. It was a lot of time, patience waiting, and start up expense...but it was fun. Do you think you'll try to make your own watercolors?

I love the difference between using white or black paper! The pigments just shine on black paper. 

I love the difference between using white or black paper! The pigments just shine on black paper.

Here's a cheat sheet for the watercolor base recipe:

Begin by making the watercolor base. Fill a measuring cup with 2 cups of water...not hot, but warm. Gradually stir in 1 cup of Gum Arabic. Whisk it gently to mix in the clumps. Stir until the clumps are all mixed in. (Can strain through a cheesecloth if it's still lumpy, but I had no problem with clumps)  Then add 1/5 cup of honey and stir in until smooth. Add 6 drops of clove oil as a preservative and gives it a great scent!

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How to Make Color Shift Watercolors! Learn how to make your own homemade color shift watercolors. Color shifting watercolors are amazing! They can be pricey and hard to acquire...I know, I've tried!   I decided the best way to get what I wanted was to make it myself. It's hard to find a great tutorial on homemade watercolors, so this tutorial is my gift to you! This tutorial is all the tips and tricks, supplies and process needed for making your own homemade watercolors.

And now for a Watercolor tin giveaway!

This looks like a slightly interesting combo at first glance...but see the colors painted on black and white paper. There's a copper metallic, pearl that's perfect for snowy shimmer, gold shift and blue.

And now for a Watercolor tin giveaway! This looks like a slightly interesting combo at first glance...but see the colors painted on black and white paper. There's a copper metallic, pearl that's perfect for snowy shimmer, gold shift and blue.

Enter the giveaway to win a set of Bliss Watercolors!  ($24.99 value)

This set contains:

Orchid (Purple to Gold shift)
Hibiscus (Blue to Violet shift)
Pearl Metallic
Copper Metallic

Enter the giveaway to win a set of Bliss Watercolors!  This set contains: Orchid (Purple to Gold shift) Hibiscus (Blue to Violet shift) Pearl Metallic Copper Metallic

Enter to win here:


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postscript

Comments

  1. These are amazing! I think my favorites are pearl and hibiscus. I hope I win some for my sister in law who is a great artist.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is hard for me to pick a favorite between the orchid and hibiscus. I do think the orchid has slight lead though.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is soooooo awesome!! I had no idea this was something you could make at home. :) My favorite is Pegasus--both the color and the name!

    ReplyDelete

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