If you’re new to watercolor, this vivid thank you card is the perfect project to teach you about blending! To make it, you’ll start by drawing a series of simple shapes in pencil, fill them in with watercolor, and end with some calligraphy on the bottom. Keep reading for more detailed instructions!
1. Get a Blank Watercolor Card
You’ll want to start with a blank card made out of watercolor paper. You can DIY one by folding a piece of watercolor paper in half, or you can purchase premade cards.
2. Draw Horizontal Guidelines
Use a ruler and a pencil to draw light horizontal guidelines about 5/6 of the way down the card. Make your guidelines in groups of two (a top line and a bottom line), and separate each guideline pair by about 1/8″ (3 mm). My guidelines pairs are, from the top down, 3/4″ apart, 1/2″ apart, 1″ apart, 3/4″ apart, 1/2″ apart, and 1″ apart. Don’t forget to leave space at the bottom of the card, as that’s where you’ll write the greeting!
3. Draw Shapes
Fill in the first guideline pair with a series of shapes. The shapes can follow a consistent pattern — as mine do here — or you can draw them in a random order.
Continue to draw shapes until you have filled in all of the guideline pairs.
4. Add Watercolor
You are going to use a very simple blending technique to add vivid bursts of color to this thank you card. To start, moisten two shades of green (a light and a dark), a light and a dark shade of blue, and a light and a dark shade of brown.
Moisten a size 2 or 3 paintbrush, and use your dark green value to fill in the left side of the shape in the upper left of the card.
While the paint is still wet, fill in the rest of the shape with light green. The two colors should meld together perfectly!
Repeat the blending process to fill in the next two shapes with the blue values and the brown values, respectively.
Continue to fill in the shapes. As you fill them in, try to stay loyal to the color repetition order: green, blue, brown, green, blue, brown, etc.
5. Add Paintbrush Calligraphy
The thing that makes this card a thank you card versus any other kind of card is, of course, its greeting. You can use the blank space at the bottom of the card to write “thanks” (or any other message) in pencil.
Load your paintbrush with watercolor in the same color repetition order that you used for the shapes. Use those colors to go over your pencil draft calligraphy. Make sure you apply a little more pressure on downstrokes so you can achieve some stroke variation!
Once you finish writing, wait for your watercolor to dry. With watercolor, that doesn’t take long — just a couple of minutes! When the watercolor is dry, use an eraser to get rid of all your pencil guidelines.
I love this thank you card because of its deep, rich colors and interesting pattern! The geometric pattern concept, of course, could be applied to several other projects as well. Try making a sketchbook page of shapes, incorporate them into a bullet journal or mail art, or use them to make artwork for your home! Feel free to switch up the shape types and colors to fit your project and preferences.
I hope that you enjoyed this simple thank you card project, and that you have a fantastic and creative weekend! I’ll be spending the weekend working on the TPK Modern Calligraphy eCourse (you can read more about it here), which I’m very excited to release on March 16th. Thanks so much for reading TPK, and let me know if you have any questions about this tutorial!