Create: Giant Watercolor Tutorial

by Cate on February 19, 2013

If you couldn’t tell, I like to celebrate my children. Every day, for certain, but especially on their birthdays. I always want them to feel loved.

And so when I was planning all the little things I wanted to do for Madeline’s recent birthday and spied a tutorial for a giant watercolor celebrating her new age, I was all in.

I mean, really. A giant watercolor for my watercolor-loving girl?

It was a no-brainer.

The weekend right before her birthday, I had a quiet house to myself while the kids were with The Ex, and I took full advantage.

A giant piece of hot-pressed watercolor paper from Michael’s.

Watercolor paint.

Water cup.

Paint brush.


I was set.

It took a few sketches to get the number five just right. Just the way I wanted it. I did it free-hand, and I think that’s the easiest way to go about it. Just use the pencil lightly so it can erase easily if you need to edit as you go.

When it came to colors, I wanted to go with her current favorite colors: pink, purple, orange, and light blue. Blending a little bit here and there for some (attempted) smooth transitioning.

As I sat at the dining room table painting, memories of my grandmother were quick to come. She was an artist, of many mediums, for as long as I can remember, but painting with watercolors was, for sure, her jam. And as I blended and dabbed and thinned, I wondered if she was rolling over in her grave. Because if there are any techniques or rules when it comes to watercolor painting, I surely broke them. I just went about creating and doing what I thought felt right.

I couldn’t find anything that was both pretty + functional enough to hang the artwork when I was done (a project for another day, because I’d like to put it in Madeline’s room), so I propped it up on the living room couch so she could see it when she came downstairs on her birthday morning.

“Wow! Who painted THAT?!” she exclaimed as soon as her little feet hit the hardwood floor.

I did. Do you like it?

“It’s awesome! I love it!”

And so that’s what an hour and ten bucks will get you.

A morning of making your littlest happy and another little memory to file away into the corner recesses of your mind.

PS  Tonight I’ll be participating in a Twitter party and talking pet health w/ @SergeantsPet @TAThiessen @theMotherhood, 2/20 at 7p ET. Join us! #SergeantsPet

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joanne February 20, 2013 at 7:17 am

You are such a great mom! What a fun project and with such happy results.
Joanne recently posted..Recipe: Red Lentil Dal with Charred Onions


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