EBE by Julie Ebersole, Essentials By Ellen, Hello Monday

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.
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