Easy Water Drop Collage Papers

Learn which papers and tools work best – and which to avoid.

This tutorial on creating water drop collage papers is a game changer for anyone who loves mixed media art, but wants to keep supplies super simple!

To start, grab some sturdy paper such as yupo, watercolor, or mixed media. Using regular copy or drawing paper won’t work because the water soaks in and for this technique you want to repel the water to some extent. However, I did try this on deli paper and the results were stunning!

One of the essential tools for this is a fine liner bottle. If you don’t have the exact same fine liner as me, I recommend trying a syringe or any fine-tipped applicator. The smaller the tip, the more control you’ll have over your water droplets. You’ll also need some tiny paint brushes and acrylic paints. Start by mixing up your acrylic paints with lots of water as you’ll the paint to be very watered down, almost like a wash. Tape your paper down flat to avoid any buckling, which could water drops to drip off the page. Once it’s secure, use your fine liner to drop water onto the paper. You can even mix a bit of ink with water if you’re feeling experimental. Let those water droplets sit on top of the paper and look like tiny little bubbles!  You can also add a touch each droplet with a bit of paint for some magical affects.

Once the droplets are on the paper, its time to wait, at least overnight as they dry and evaporate, leaving behind these incredible textured spots on the paper.

This technique is a test of patience, and requires some experimentation, but the results can be absolutely stunning if you stick with it!

This water drop demo was inspired by an artist named Alisha, and I strongly recommend following her Instagram @esoterra. I took her example and adapted it into my own style using supplies that are easy to find.


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Supplies Used

Watercolor paper 140 lb 
Mixed media paper 108 lb. 

Yupo paper, transparent  
and opaque these, or these  
Deli paper 

Fine liners filled with water
or these, or these 
Repositionable artist tape 

Small tip paint brushes
Acrylic paint or ink.
Water color paint also works.

*Some links are affiliate links which pay a small commission to support the production of this art demo series, while not costing you anything more.

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All artwork is the sole property of Catherine Rains and is held under copyright, even after purchase.The images, artwork, and contents of this website may not be copied, collected, or used for personal or professional gain without the written permission from Catherine Rains. Images on this website taken by Laura Thompkins or Catherine Rains.