I love pulling out the watercolor paints once in a while to make something pretty and useful. I made some pretty watercolor note cards and they were so simple I wanted to share with you how to paint your own watercolor note cards . This is a great project for a beginner to watercolor painting or if you want to just play around with it and explore your own creativity. A set of handmade thank you cards wrapped in a pretty ribbon also make great gifts!
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To make your watercolor notecards, you’ll need watercolor paints, watercolor paper or pre-made blank notecards ( you can also buy blank watercolor cards but they are a little more expensive), a little water, a watercolor or mixed media brush and paper towel.
I want to start by saying you don’t need fancy watercolor paints for this either. The cheapo set that your kids use is just fine. The colors may not be exactly the same, but the method is. Feel free to play with mixing colors too. Watercolor tubes cost about $6-$10 each depending on the brand. I normally try to buy them on sale. If you want to get a little fancier you can spend about $26 on a KOI watercolor set; These are my favorite to paint with and I love to pack them when I go on trips. I used two colors to create these cards aqua blue and gold. The gold does come in a tube but you can substitute that for another color if you only have the set. You will also get best results with a natural hair brush made for watercolor, but a brush made for mixed media paint will work as well. Just don’t use a brush made for acrylic paint, the fibers are synthetic and it doesn’t pick up the pigment correctly.
Painting with a dry pan of watercolors can be tricky to work with. For best results, drip some water into the pan or spray with water to allow the hard paint to soften for a few minutes before trying to paint with it.
This is why as kids our watercolor paintings always looked a little “watery”. We would mush the dry paint around with a wet brush and just pick up some slightly wet stuff on the the top before the paint was ready.
Load your brush with paint, and keeping it slightly flat, drag it across the length of the surface wiggling it slightly. Let the paint soak into the paper a bit before doing the next step. If you add too much water, you can blot up the excess paint with paper towel.
For the second pass, reload your brush with paint from your palette or paint set and repeat , slightly under where you made your first wavy line. Let dry slightly again.
Do the same thing for the third line.As you can see, I left a slight space of white for some tonal difference.
I then added a stripe of gold paint over the white part and again at the top following the waviness of the line.
For more watercolor painting techniques see how to paint an evergreen tree
While I let that dry, I repeated the painted pattern on the side of the envelope.
I added some lettering in a gold pen for the final touches and it’s finished! Let dry overnight. if the paper puckers a little, you can place a heavy stack of books on the top to flatten it out.
Wouldn’t that be pretty to get these watercolor note cards in the mail? I think it’s still nice to get letters once in a while.
I like the shimmer of the gold with the blue and it’s such a simple pattern to complete to paint your own watercolor cards. Once you have this technique mastered, you can grab some watercolor paper and create a beautiful watercolor original painting with it. This is pattern similar to the agate acrylic painting I did a while ago. You can paint one too! The full instructions are here.