WATERCOLOUR GREETING CARD—PAINT-BLOWING TUTORIAL
Who doesn’t love a creative card? In this tutorial, I make and decorate a greeting card using watered-down acrylic paint, straws, and stencils.
Choose a work area that you don’t mind getting messy, and are comfortable applying tape to. Make sure you’ve gathered all your supplies before you get started.
What you’ll need:
- White cardstock
- *An empty eyedropper (optional)
- Paint palette with deep wells
- Acrylic paints
- Cup of water
- Paper towel
- Fine point black marker
- Stencils of your choice
- Straw/s cut in half
- Scrap paper
- Masking tape or painter’s tape
- Create the body of the card. Fold a sheet of cardstock in half and use a pencil and ruler to make note of where you’d like to trim it. Do you like the rectangle shape, but want a smaller one? Do you prefer a square with four sides of equal length? If you can’t decide, 5×7 inches is a popular size.
- Prepare your work surface. Tape your card to your work surface with the outside covers facing up. This is to prevent paint from leaking over the edges into the inside of the card. Make sure that you apply the tape so that it covers the same width on every side of the card. Preferably, very little is covered—at the end, you want to remove the tape to expose thin, unpainted borders. If you want to contain the design to the front cover of your card, make sure that the back cover is protected with a sheet of paper, perhaps taped down to seal it off.
- Prepare your paints. Pick a few colours that you think would look good together. I went for springtime colours—neon pink, bright blue, and yellow. Dispense a few drops of each colour into separate wells of your paint palette. Now it’s time to water them down. Start small—use a paintbrush (or eyedropper) to dispense a few drops of water into each paint colour and mix them up, rinsing your brush in between each colour. Continue adding water until you’re satisfied with the consistency. A little goes a long way.
- Test your paints and your paint-blowing technique. When you think you like the paint-to-water ratio, transfer a paintbrush-full (or eyedropper-full) of watered-down acrylic paint onto the piece of scrap paper. Position your straw next to the small pool of paint and blow through it to make the paint shoot across the page. This works best if the straw is positioned at about 15 degrees from the paper, so you’re blowing at an angle. It’s also important to start blowing as soon as possible after dispensing the paint onto the sheet. Experiment with the technique and change the paint-to-water ratio if necessary.
- Start paint-blowing on your actual card! Follow the same technique outlined above. Try blowing paint from the borders of your card as well as the middle of it. Once you’re satisfied with the design, let it dry.
- Start stencilling. Decide where you’d like to stencil your designs on the card. Position your first stencil and carefully trace it onto the card using a fine-point black marker or art pen. Take your time with this process, and repeat it with each stencil you choose to use. Alternatively, don’t use stencils and draw your own design instead! Be mindful not to let the card get too “busy”—sometimes, less is more. Especially because you already have the painted design beneath the marker design.
- Write a message inside the card, like “Thank you,” “Happy Birthday,” “Happy Holidays”, or maybe something more personal. Make sure to sign your name!
- Congrats! You’ve created a unique card featuring a paint-blowing design! Give it to your loved one and watch their jaw drop—everyone will want to know how you made it.