Whether you’ve got a special valentine in mind, want to send some love to a friend, or just want to create something pretty for yourself… this DIY watercolour rainbow heart card is the perfect creative project to inspire some hope and joy.
What you will need
– A piece of A5 watercolour paper
– Watercolour paints (and water!)
– A medium paint brush (I used a size 4 round)
– A piece of A6 scrap/plain paper
– A normal pencil
– Low-tac tape (I used some washi tape)
Draw a large heart on your piece of A6 scrap paper and carefully cut it out – keeping the outside edge intact and creating a heart-shaped hole in your paper. The hole is now your template, you can discard the cut-out inner heart.
Tip: I folded my piece of paper in half lengthways, drew one half of the heart, then cut through both sides of the paper at once to create a symmetrical shape.
Place your A5 watercolour paper landscape on your workspace. Align your heart template on the right-hand half of your watercolour paper. Use some low-tac tape to secure it in place around the outer edges.
Tear three pieces of tape a bit longer than the diagonal width of your heart shape, creating rough edges along the length of the tape. Place them diagonally across your heart, creating four sections on your heart.
Tip: you need the strips of tape to be quite thin. I was able to tear one piece of tape into three strips… but it was a bit fiddly!
Prepare all of your watercolour paints – adding enough water to get the right consistency of colour. Test your colours on some scrap paper if you need to check.
As I wanted to paint the heart in a rainbow effect, I knew I was going to use seven colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet (well, actually pink rather than violet… I used artistic license!).
Starting from the top left corner of your heart, paint a stripe of your first colour. If you’re following the rainbow pattern then your first colour, red, should take up about two thirds of the first section of heart; ready for your second colour, orange, to cross over the first piece of diagonal tape and into the second section of heart.
Be careful with your paper template and try not to go underneath the edge if possible, but also don’t be scared to be a little bit rough and imperfect. Leaving some small patches of white paper will add to your heart’s charm.
Then, before the first colour has dried, move quickly onto the next step.
You need your first paint to dry a little before painting your second colour. The easiest method is to simply wait a few seconds/minutes until the paint still looks damp but not soaking wet, then paint a stripe in your second colour. Repeat this with your third colour (waiting for the second colour to dry a little) and so on… until you’ve painted all seven stripes and filled your heart.
A slightly quicker method is to skip your second colour and paint your third colour, leaving a gap where your second stripe will go. Then, once your first and third colour have dried a little (but not completely!), paint your second colour. You then continue working your way down the heart, from top left to bottom right, skipping a colour and painting the next, then filling in the gap. The key is to get your timing right, as a colour won’t blend if it’s too dry but could mix too much and loose distinction if too wet.
Once all of your colours are almost completely dry, carefully peel off the diagonal strips of tape, followed by the outer pieces of tape holding the template in place.
Gently lift off the template and let your heart dry completely.
Fold your piece of watercolour paper in half and… ta-da! Your very own DIY watercolour rainbow heart card, ready to give to a loved one or brighten your own day.
If you like the idea of a DIY watercolour heart card but don’t want to go down the rainbow route, you can use any colours you prefer. The technique tends to work best with a minimum of three colours, but there are no rules. Go with what makes you happy!
Here are a couple of ideas for inspiration…
Enjoyed this little tutorial? Why not try my ‘Simple Flowers’ watercolour kit? With step-by-step tutorial sheets, it will guide you in using three different techniques to paint some gorgeous but simple watercolour flowers.