With the current mixed-media trend leaning toward acrylic paint and lots of it, the watercolor work of Danielle Donaldson is a breath of fresh air. I worked with watercolors a lot in high school but have hardly touched them since graduation many years ago. I’ve always enjoyed how soft the paints can appear and the ease of working with them. When Danielle emerged within the mixed-media community, I was immediately drawn to her soft, whimsical work. It made me yearn to pull out my watercolors once again. When news came that she’d be releasing a book, I couldn’t get my copy fast enough.
“Creative Girl” is just what I hoped for — a collection of Danielle’s techniques, clearly presented with easy-to-follow instructions. To ease myself back into working with watercolors, I tried out one of her background techniques. I began by loading up my paintbrush with water and watercolors, then loosely painted washes of colors on watercolor paper. The more water you use, the better the colors naturally blend together. If you don’t use enough water, you’ll get streaky layers of color that don’t blend very much. While the paper is nice and wet, sprinkle it with some salt. The salt will create a beautiful effect in the wet areas of the paper. Let dry completely, then brush the salt off.
From my new background paper, I made a couple quick cards. For those, I doodled on top of the painted design with a white pen (another of Danielle’s signature techniques). I then stamped my chosen images onto the paper and attached it to a card with staples. I cut up the rest of my paper into random sizes so I can use it in a later project.