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15 Minute Watercolor Cards

A fun way to build your watercolor skills is to create simple cards. They are simple projects, great for beginners, and gives you something that you can actually use. I always cut proper watercolor paper to size and then attach them to blank cards, never painting directly on card stock. They are quick to make and you can use them for any occasion!

Follow along with me in the video:

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I start by mixing up my paints and choosing my color palette. I wanted to mix a dark blue to paint these pots with a ceramic look. Thinking about your color palette beforehand sets you up well, putting you that much further forward when you start to paint. I also have some natural greens, and yellow and pink for my flowers.

The fun thing about painting the porcelain is that it is all organic leaf shapes, perfect if you are just starting out. I use the delicate tip of the brush for the stems and branches, and run the belly of the brush across the page to create a natural leaf shape. Nothing is too straight, and we end up with a perfectly imperfect look.

With our cute porcelain vase done, I'm adding pink flowers for the first card. Using the same motion as the leaves, I run the belly of the brush across the page, painting one petal at a time. It is an easy and fun way to approach these very loose and free flowers. With a dark green I'm using the tip of my brush to add the stems, slightly thickening them at the top near the flower blossoms.

Once the stems are in place, I will add some leaf shapes as well. Remember not to overthink it, just use one or two brushstrokes and call it a leaf. Natural leaves are imperfect and don't match. Adding more around the edges will also create a border of dark green for the flowers.

I finished up the pink flowers with messy little lines of dark brown for the stamens. It really helps the flowers come to life. After it dries I add some darker green to the leaves, and a message in pen. I also went around the vase, although that is optional.

While one card dries you can get started on another. I used the same blue to create another porcelain vase, a little more squat with some very oval leaf shapes with one brushstroke each. Instead of more flowers, I thought it would be fun to paint some lemons. Again, I started with the lemons and added leaves afterwards. They are all different, very perfectly imperfect, using loose brushstrokes to get the lemon shape.

I added some darker yellow right away to get that wet into wet effect for some highlights. I used a very dark green this time which I love in combination with lighter colors. The formula here is the same, lots of stems and then larger leaf shapes by running the body of the brush across the page and calling it a leaf. The more imperfect they are, the more natural and organic they look, and you get that loose, playful watercolor look. Bordering the yellow with the dark green creates a nice burst of color on the card. Once dry, I built up the color on the lemons with some messy dark yellow.

I write my messages in pencil first to be sure I have the right spacing and then go over with a black pen or marker. If you don't need a card right now, just leave it blank and add the message when you have an occasion. I like the whimsical touch that writing on an angle gives, making it a part of the illustration.

All that is left is to glue them onto the cards! They are ready to send to a friend or keep in a drawer until you actually need a card. I hope you enjoy this playful project and have lots of fun creating different cards!

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