Watercolor Ground: Easter Basket Project


For a fun Spring Project, try using our DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Ground to make a Watercolor Basket painted with our beautiful DANIEL SMITH Watercolors.

By using watercolors on the the Easter Basket project, you are able to get beautiful effects that you just can’t get from other types of paints. Because watercolor is so transparent, it allows the white of the Watercolor Ground to glow through, making the colors brilliant! Also, you are able to use many watercolor painting effects like wet into wet, lifting, glazing and more.

Spring Basket
Our DANIEL SMITH Watercolor Ground can be applied to cardboard, wood, metal, plastic, plaster, glass, fabric and canvas, and allows you to paint on it with your watercolors. It transforms those surfaces into a surface similar to cold press watercolor paper!

DS_springchickenlinkInstructions for Spring Basket Project:
Start with a simple cardboard basket with a handle or another container that you would like to decorate. The container can be metal, wood, plastic, almost anything, because our Watercolor Ground can be applied to almost any surface transforming it into a surface similar to cold press watercolor paper, that you can then paint with watercolors.

  • Apply the Ground with a soft brush at least 24 hours before painting so it can cure.
  • Transfer the image (the line art) onto the basket using transfer paper: Tape copy of line art to the basket with the transfer paper between the two.
  • Trace over the lines from the line art with your pencil to transfer the image onto your basket.
  • Check to make sure image has transferred properly before removing the taped image and transfer paper. Touch up with an eraser any excess marks and remove them.
  • Apply Masking Fluid to the areas you don’t want the watercolor to go when you paint in your background. Use the applicator tip of the Masking Fluid to outline the chick and eggs. For the border, apply the MF with your inexpensive brush by “dabbing” it on the line for the border so that you get the deckled effect. Remember that where ever you apply the Masking Fluid, that area will be blocked (masked) from getting watercolor until you remove it with the Rubber Cement Pickup.
  • Allow Masking Fluid to thoroughly dry before painting.
  • Paint in your background (this is a wash). Wet your brush with clean water and apply it to the background areas. Then drop in your Cobalt Blue for the sky, and paint in those areas, then do the same with the Sap Green. Allow to dry.
  • Remove all the Masking Fluid with the Rubber Cement Pickup.
  • Paint the Chick with a wash of Hansa Yellow Light. Allow to dry.
  • Paint in the cracked egg with Quinacridone Rose. Allow to dry.
  • Paint in the middle egg with Cobalt Blue. Allow to dry.
  • Paint in the feet and beak of the chick with Quinacridone Burnt Orange. Allow to dry.
  • Next apply more Masking Fluid to outline the border by dabbing it in so that you get a nice white deckled border. Add detail to the feet and beak by painting with a drier brush, full strength of the Quin Burnt Orange on the bottom edge of the beak and feet.
  • Add details to the wing and feathers with the New Gamboge Watercolor Sick. In a drawing motion, apply the stick over the lines of the wind, the underside of the chick and some of the feathery areas.
  • Next, wet your brush and go over those marks to blend them in. Allow to dry. If you need more emphasis, take your wet brush and dip in on the New Gamboge Watercolor Stick to pick up color and go over the same areas, then blend in with your brush. To add stripes to the Cobalt Blue egg, use the Quinacridone Violet Watercolor Stick to draw in the lines for the stripe . Dip an edge of the Watercolor Stick into water (that will release the pigment allowing it to apply more heavily (be sure to do a test on a piece of paper). Then draw in the lines. Then take your brush, not too wet, and go over the lines to smooth and blend them.
  • Paint in the chicks eye with Cobalt Blue, brush should not be too wet, and dip it into your Cobalt Blue – full pigment strength – and paint in the eye.
  • Fix any white areas that did not get painted in by just using the very tip of your brush and dabbing in dots of the appropriate watercolor in those areas.
  • Add grass leaves in the same way by using just the tip of your brush, dip it into the Sap Green and make small strokes with your brush tip to simulate grass leaves.
  • Next paint the basket pink with the Quinacridone Rose applied as a wash. Allow to dry.
    Paint in the handle of the basket using Sap Green applied also as a wash. Allow to dry.
  • When the pink wash has very thoroughly dried, remove the Masking Fluid with the Rubber Cement Pickup.
  • Last step is to take the basket outside and spray it with an Archival Aerosol MSA Varnish with UVLS to protect the watercolor paint.