Embossing powder will really resist any water-based colour once dry and create a gorgeous calligraphy effect in your projects! Although I have used gold embossing for my ‘Live the life you love’ piece, you could also try a clear embossing powder for a magical reveal afterwards.

You can use any colours you desire for varying styles. I find the stronger and darker the colours, the more effective the result. A coloured medium with an oil base will hold onto the resistant surface of the lettering, so you must ensure you are using a water-based, and quite fluid, paint or ink. I adore that the inks and watercolour paints in the background pool around the resist lettering while they are drying, to really emphasise the edges of each letter.


Brush over the surface of a piece of watercolour paper with an anti-static bag to remove any oils from your fingers or other elements. Embossing powder will stick to anything damp or greasy on your paper. Place your template under the watercolour on a lightboard and trace over the words, using the brush nib of an embossing pen for brush lettering, and the bullet nib for the capitals.


Sprinkle embossing powder over the wet letters, tap off any excess and heat to set. Allow to cool for a few minutes before moving on.


Brush water all over the embossed lettering, not to the edge of the paper. Working quite quickly, dip thin watercolour paint into the wet paper and watch the colours spread.


Keep repeating this with darker and darker shades until you are happy with your piece. For additional shimmer, drop in a small amount of metallic paint too, for a lavish effect.

Write and emboss one word at a time. You do not want your ink into dry on the very porous surface before you get to embossing
If you hold your heat tool in one place for too long, or too close, your paper may warp. If this happens, try flattening it under something heavy before moving on to the painting stage