Watercolour engraving with a knitting needle

Watercolour scratch I

Have you ever tried doing a watercolour engraving? It’s a wet technique where you paint a surface with lots of water (and a watercolour of your choice) and quickly, before it dries draws a sketch or doodle using a sharp object like the end of a knitting needle or paint brush. So what you are doing is making marks into the fibers of the paper. The paint will flow into the lines as the water dries.

This is my first attempts, just something very simple that came into my head. You really have to be quick with your drawing, the water dried faster than I thought it would.

I had never heard of this techniche until I read about it last week on Elin’s blog Huldas byrlda. Elin is a Swedish artist who was participating in my DIY Postcard Swap earlier this year. I actually got one of her beautiful postcards, and would love to one day own something she painted. Her artwork is amazingly beautiful. Since the swap I read her blog with great interest and sometimes a sting of envy.

Anyway, Elin sometimes post a weekly challenge on her blog. It’s something small that she comes up with to challenge herself creatively – and everyone is welcome to join. Last week it was this watercolour etching thing, and this week she is showing her small collections. I don’t have the time to join in as much as I would like to right now, but sometimes I can’t resist at least giving it a try! Do you come up with your own challenges sometime?

Have a look at what Elin did, the first one made me think “what? I thought it would be easy but that is super artistic and I can’t do it” but then she did some simpler ones and I thought “okay, I just need to try it out” and I did. It’s a fun exercise! It’s also fun to make similar marks in acrylic paint. That creates a texture in the paint itself, not the paper.

If you try scratching on wet watercolour painted paper, let me know, I would love to see what you come up with. And don’t forget to join the pincushion giveaway below, I want to know about your summer projects there.

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6 Responses to Watercolour engraving with a knitting needle

  1. Jenny says:

    That’s awesome! I’ve never heard of that technique before.

  2. You are too kind :)

    I like your drawings. Simple but beautiful! I think that is the trick with watercolour engraving. Not to make it too complicated.

  3. Marianne says:

    S fint.
    Mste prova.

  4. Lia says:

    Cool :)
    Thanks for ideas, I’ll try it ! :D

  5. Liberty says:

    these are so beautiful!!

    I haven’t tried it but I want to.
    I wonder… what if the engraving was done before painting?
    I have done that with acrylic paint. Maybe the watercolour paint would still puddle in the engraved lines and become darker there. Then you would not have to rush!
    I love your blog and your sharing. Thank you for making my life more colourful and beautiful and for being you. :-)

  6. pam says:

    You are wonderful! thank you! I have been trying to find a perfect project for my borrowed children! And this IS the perfect project!

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