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Creating A Watercolor Background Fit For A Mermaid


Create a simple and beautiful watercolor swirl background, perfect for the Essentials by Ellen Inner Mermaid!

Today I’m making a watercolor swirl using Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolor pans—any time I want to watercolor large(er) expanses or make backgrounds, I love using these pans!


  • If you don’t have a paint palette, use an acrylic block or a piece of acetate as a palette for diluting paint.
  • Use a very wet brush for this effect.
  • Hold the brush straight up when making the initial swirl.
  • Afterwards, use the swirl as a guide to widen your paint strokes.
  • Drop in more color as desired.
  • Work on a clipboard or similar so that you can easily lift the piece off your work surface and heat set with your embossing gun, if desired.

Supplies List:

Essentials By Ellen Clear Stamps, Inner Mermaid By Julie Ebersole

Essentials By Ellen Designer Dies, Inner Mermaid By Julie Ebersole

Essentials by Ellen Clear Stamps, Mermaid's Tail by Julie Ebersole

VersaFine Clair Ink Pad, Nocturne

VersaFine Ink Pad, Onyx Black

Kuretake Gansai Tambi, 36 Color Set

Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush, Small Fine Point (23638)

Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush, Large Fine Point (23637)

Canson XL Watercolor Paper Pad 9x12

Ranger Watercolor Paper, 10 pk

Canson Arches French Bound Cold Press Watercolor Paper Pad 9x12

Neenah Cardstock, Neenah Heavyweight, Classic Crest Solar White 110 lb, 25 pk

Essentials by Ellen 40 lb. Vellum, 25 pk

WOW Embossing Powder, Regular - Clear Gloss

Thermoweb Sticky Dot Mini Runner

Hero Arts Embossing Gun (Wagner)

My Sweet Petunia MISTI Laser Etched Stamping Tool (8-1/8 X 10-1/2)

My Sweet Petunia Mini MISTI Laser Etched Stamping Tool (6-1/8 X 7)

Teflon Bone Folder

Tweezers, Stainless Elisa's Backporch Design

Ranger Non-Stick Craft Sheet

Scrapbook Adhesives Thin 3-D Foam Squares, Mix White

Ranger Stickles, Gold

HAI Washi Tape, Gold Foil Spots

Crafter's Companion Gemini Junior