Make a Watercolor Postcard . . . Without Watercolors!

How to Make a Watercolor Postcard . . . Without Watercolors! Oh my goodness, I didn't realize you could do this! This method is so simple I taught it to my 5 and 7-year old nieces and they had a hey-day making lovely watercolor-looking pieces. It's so much fun! Also is a great idea for art journaling backgrounds. :) via littlegirldesigns.com

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This watercolor postcard method is so easy you can teach your kids to do it. Which is exactly what I did the last time I was with my nieces. They were drawing away and saw that I was making watercolor backgrounds in my art journal. The fact that I was not using watercolors intrigued them and pretty soon I heard one of them ask Nana where the markers were. :) We happily turned all of our drawings into watercolor-esque landscapes that morning! I’ve also used this method with my toddler, and she LOVES it.

I first discovered this method from Carla Sonheim who shared it in a cute bunny tutorial on her YouTube channel. I’ll share how you can make watercolor postcards, but you can use this technique for art journal backgrounds or larger pieces of art. I wonder what it would do on fabric . . . (Stay tuned, because you know I’m going to check!)

Anyway, what I love about this method is that it is pretty much foolproof, AND most of us have water soluble markers lying around. If you’re not sure what a water soluble marker IS, that means that when water touches it, it kind of melts into a watercolor look. Crayola, Tombow, and many other pens are water soluble. The easiest way to check your pens is to make a mark on paper and then paint a line of water over it. If it’s water soluble, the ink will almost instantly begin to spread.

 

How to Make a Watercolor Postcard

You will need:

One or more watercolor postcards
Water soluble markers (I used Crayola)
Large watercolor brush (I used size 12)
Water

To start, choose colors that are all cool (blue/green) or warm (orange/red.) This will keep your colors from running into each other and making brown mud. For this tutorial, I chose warm vibrant colors.

Draw lines in various thicknesses across the postcard. (p.s. You can make 2-inch swatches in your mixed media sketchbook to see which ones you like best, if you’d like.)

How to Make a Watercolor Postcard . . . Without Watercolors! Oh my goodness, I didn't realize you could do this! This method is so simple I taught it to my 5 and 7-year old nieces and they had a hey-day making lovely watercolor-looking pieces. It's so much fun! Also is a great idea for art journaling backgrounds. :) via littlegirldesigns.com

Dip your brush in water, and paint over the top line. Make sure you get a lot of water on your brush because you want the colors to run and blend beautifully. I tend to paint one line at a time, gently spreading the color to the edges, and then rinsing my brush before I start a new color.

How to Make a Watercolor Postcard . . . Without Watercolors! Oh my goodness, I didn't realize you could do this! This method is so simple I taught it to my 5 and 7-year old nieces and they had a hey-day making lovely watercolor-looking pieces. It's so much fun! Also is a great idea for art journaling backgrounds. :) via littlegirldesigns.com

Here’s what my postcard looked like after I finished adding water to the first red line. You can see how the color is starting to spread downwards.

How to Make a Watercolor Postcard . . . Without Watercolors! Oh my goodness, I didn't realize you could do this! This method is so simple I taught it to my 5 and 7-year old nieces and they had a hey-day making lovely watercolor-looking pieces. It's so much fun! Also is a great idea for art journaling backgrounds. :) via littlegirldesigns.com

I continued to paint each line and let the colors blend. Try to not over blend as you will end up with one big color swatch instead of a gradient. Let the card completely dry.

How to Make a Watercolor Postcard . . . Without Watercolors! Oh my goodness, I didn't realize you could do this! This method is so simple I taught it to my 5 and 7-year old nieces and they had a hey-day making lovely watercolor-looking pieces. It's so much fun! Also is a great idea for art journaling backgrounds. :) via littlegirldesigns.com

At this point, you can add text by using a brush pen or you can draw a simple design on top. For the moment, I’m leaving these as is, but I have a feeling they’ll receive some added decoration soon. :)

Have you ever used water soluble markers to paint?



4 thoughts on “Make a Watercolor Postcard . . . Without Watercolors!

    1. Thanks, Krista! You should try it—it’s rather addicting. :) I’ve also tried this method over dried gesso. Works so beautifully! Hope you have a great weekend. :)

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