Quotes with Watercolor

By Kate Riley July 28, 2014

A few days ago was my first visit to a Hobby Lobby here in Las Vegas in search of furniture knobs. I’ve never been to a HL store before, we only have Michaels in my county in California so it was fun to check it out. As I browsed I got the urge to get creative – my daughter loves to paint so we found ourselves in the aisle with all the art supplies…

Watercolor art is de rigueur and admittedly I’m a fan of its use in textiles and prints. I had an idea to create frameable quotes in white lettering with a watercolor brushstroke background so we picked up some brushes, papers, and paints and I experimented with two separate methods.

watercolor diy

At first I wondered if I could achieve the look I was going for with a bleach pen but I never ended up trying it out because I found two alternatives to get the look: liquid frisket and a basic white acrylic paint marker.

white liquid frisket

What is liquid frisket you might ask? I had no idea myself until I read the label, but it’s a peel away masking fluid that retains white areas and prevents paint from adhering to paper. Cool! I thought of my one year old nephew and a favorite book, so I used the frisket to freehand a popular quote from a children’s book.

to the moon with frisket

Once dry I applied a few layers of watercolor brush strokes over the top…

to the moon


to the moon and back watercolor artwork


Liquid frisket peels up off paper like that sticky stuff you find on the back of gift cards…. Make sure to peel it up within an hour or two or it will tend to grab the paper behind it in places, but if you peel it up within 30 minutes of drying it comes off cleanly.

peel liquid frisket


Maybe it’s me but the sensory feeling of peeling off goo to reveal lettering is fun!

name watercolor art

We made this one for my daughter’s friends, it’s a fun way to use casual painted script in combination with watercolor to form a child’s name or a favorite short saying or verse.

I attempted the same with brushstrokes first then a white acrylic marker applied to the top. I was disappointed with the rounded tip, I should have paid more attention, but you can buy Liquitex markers with a script tip for more calligraphic lettering.

white marker


The white marker achieves a similar look as the frisket but with an overlay of paint marker lettering instead of the use of masking fluid. It is easier to control since it’s a pen not a brush so you could use a fancy font you love and paint over it with the marker, in white or black or any color.

to thine own self watercolor art

It’s a art fun project and one that allows for much creativity with the use of color and quotations !  ..



  1. Hey Kate,
    Don’t you love Hobby Lobby? Like you, we only have Michaels in my area so when I was recently on a trip to Baltimore I jumped at the chance to go to HL. I call it Michaels on steroids! I’m off to do some googling of Firsket to see what else I can use that stuff for. Your watercolor project looks like fun. Vikki in VA.

  2. I just wanted to say that if you found any furniture knobs you like at Hobby lobby make sure you wait until they are 50% off, usually happens about every other week.

  3. Wow! How fun and inspirational! And easy enough to do. I think I might even ask my daughter to make such art for her Grandma’s 70 birthday.
    Thank you so much! Haven’t visited you at your blog lately but now I now why I loved visiting daily. :)

  4. They also have fabulous fabric and the cheapest professional framing. i used to think they just carried creepy doll’s eyes and depressor stick for really “crafty” stuuff, but they have everything. Always be sure to download the single item 40? off coupon. You have a really different readership. littlegreen notebook was called out for going there. It would be nice if there were another alternative.
    p.s. very pretty project. Frisket seems easier to use than latex, so I may try it as a resist with my pottery glazing.

  5. These look amazing! And seem so simple to make I think even I will be able to do it :)

  6. Interesting idea for quick “Happy Birthday” type signage, and cool art! I’m curious if frisket can only be used with watercolor. It does seem possible that acrylic latex paint may disallow the peeling-off process.Two watercolor paint posts came into my mail today, yours and Yukp at northfieldgate … maybe an omen to get my unused set out of the bin and enjoy!

  7. When I was growing up we used wax for this kind of art projects – or soap.
    Draw something with a candle, then paint with watercolors – they will not adhere to waxy surface.

  8. Love your blog, but can’t get on board with a trip to Hobby Lobby, in light of the recent Supreme Court decision. Really disappointing.

  9. Agree with Fiona 100%. Sounds like an awesome store, I would love…but not going to sell my soul. Thinking about canceling this blog. Know politics shouldn’t get into arts and crafts, but really HL is throwing us back into the dark ages.

    • I understand your political position Genevieve and Fiona, many people feel the same. I also understand HL’s position under the First Amendment based on religious beliefs. I respect your disagreement and refusal to shop there, that’s your right too.

  10. Kate, your imagination never ceases to amaze me! And then you style it with the perfect vignette :)
    No wonder your blog is #1 !

  11. Oh my gosh I have been wonder how people make these gorgeous watercolor prints! I have GOT to get my hands on some of that stuff!

  12. I love easy, fast AND inexpensive projects. This is wonderful. We don’t have Hobby Lobby in our area ( North Central Minnesota) but I’m sure I can find these materials somewhere :) Totally enjoyed your post!

  13. Love your art but I wouldn’t give that store one cent of my hard earned money! I’m with Fiona and Genevieve!

  14. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I am so far from artistic but I think I could do this and my daughter’s would love this type of art for their rooms!

    • The black one was a print I found at a thrift store for $1 Kara, the thin silver one is from Hobby Lobby, their frames go on sale every other week for 50% off.

  15. I’m so excited to see you do a feature on Watercolor. I am a watercolorist and I have decorated my entire house with watercolor paintings. I did something similar to this for my niece when she was born, creating a silhouette of her face using the masking fluid. I noticed you can also sometimes find the masking fluid at Walmart (Winsor and Newton brand).

    Also, a basic watercolor set (student level) has much more vibrant colors than the craft set. My favorite colors for these kind of paintings are Ultramarine Blue and Opera Rose. Some watercolors are toxic, so look for the AP label on the back of the paint.


  16. The recent ruling that allows the First Amendment to be applied to for-profit corporations will find itself on the wrong side of history. In the meantime, the women who work at Hobby Lobby will take their skills elsewhere and consumers (like me) will vote with their pocketbooks. And internet browsers.

  17. “I also understand HL’s position under the First Amendment based on religious beliefs.”

    I don’t. Will miss your blog a lot.

  18. I love this idea! I wonder if a plain or white crayon (like the kind that comes with Easter egg dye kits) would do the same thing? Better yet, I’ll try it and let you know!

    And for what it’s worth, I didn’t take your helpful craft post to be in any way an endorsement of Hobby Lobby (which I boycott). It is, to me, simply the sharing of a pretty and easy craft and not a request that folks buy their craftsy supplies at any one place over another. I’ll still be happily reading every post, and thanks for having this blog!

  19. Kate, another really great tutorial, thank you. totally support Hobby Lobby AND their stand, and will continue to shop there every chance I get! I appreciate your graceful response to those trying to bully you and agree this is not a political forum, it is you sharing a “find” with us. thank you for your blog.

  20. Long time follower, first time posting. But, I have to sat that I totally agree with Stephanie L. I will continue to be a follower!! Love your blog!!

  21. [[Btw, I’m a Christian that completely disagrees with HL and the SCOTUS decision]

    This seems like a perfect way to get young children involved. Use frisket to paint a saying on it, maybe even one the child chose. Then let them paint all over the paper, encouraging them to cover the entire paper, and let/help them peel the frisket off. Even a two-year-old can end up with a really nice piece.

    I also enjoy the sensation of peeling :-P “Frisket” is on my list of future craft supplies, thanks!

  22. DId you use watercolor paper for this project? And regular water color paint? thanks

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