Watercolor Greeting Cards | Andrea Merican | Skillshare

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Watercolor Greeting Cards

teacher avatar Andrea Merican, Visual Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Intro to Watercolor Greeting Cards

    • 2. Supply List

    • 3. Color Bar Design

    • 4. Drawing our Card

    • 5. Painting our Card

    • 6. Finishing Touches

    • 7. Adding Pen and Ink

    • 8. Your Signature Style

    • 9. Anniversary Card

    • 10. Thank you

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About This Class


Join watercolor artist Andrea Merican as she teaches you step by step to create your own hand painted watercolor greeting cards. Giving a hand painted card for a birthday, an anniversary, or any occasion will totally wow your friends and family. Watercolor cards are fun and easy to make. The possibilities for your creativity are endless.

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Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Andrea Merican

Visual Artist


Andrea Merican is a true local Arizona artist. Her primary medium is watercolor. She is captivated by color and her works display this affinity. Her paintings reveal this obsession with color and light and show off her love of design.

Born in Phoenix, AZ, she started drawing at a very young age. It was in high school that she discovered her love of painting. She earned a scholarship to art school and after graduation, moved to Denver, CO to attend the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design. She continues to learn, grow, and achieve new skills in her art career.  Andrea and her husband live in the Old Town Scottsdale area. They both love to travel the world and experience other cultures. Andrea gathers inspiration for her artwork with each new journey.

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1. Intro to Watercolor Greeting Cards: Hi there. My name is Andrea American, and I'm a visual artist living in Scottsdale, Arizona. My primary medium is water color, and painting is my passion. Do you still enjoy getting actual greeting cards, birthday cards, anniversary cards? Because I do. And I even love giving them mawr. And nothing makes a person feel truly special than when they receive a hand painted watercolor card from me. Whether it's a birthday and anniversary a wedding, it really is an amazing way to show someone that you love them and you created them a piece of art. So that's what we're going to do today is we are going to learn to make hand painted watercolor greeting cards. The supplies are pretty easy, so you don't need a ton of things to get started, and the process is really fun. You can make anything from a very basic or simple design to as elaborate as you'd like to go. So we're gonna do a couple of projects today in this short class, and I hope that the end that you'll post your projects to the page so that I can see your beautiful work down below Let's get started 2. Supply List: all the supplies that you'll need to create your own hand painted greeting carts. Strathmore watercolor card stock and envelopes, some paper towels, a bucket of water, a spray bottle, all of your watercolor paints and whatever palette you choose. A variety of watercolor brushes, a pencil eraser and some type of ink pen. And if you'd like, there's a few optional items a ruler, some stamps and some ink. This is everything you'll need to get started. 3. Color Bar Design: I'm so excited to teach you how to design your own reading carts. Thes Strathmore Watercolor cards come in a variety of styles. You can paint your image right on the front. When you're done, you'll fold it and you'll write your message inside, and I'll even show you how to do a little design on the back. So let's get started. We're going to start with a really simple color bar design. You can add whatever colors, pains etcetera you want. We're going to start with our wet into wet technique. Just dip your brush into the water and basically create just a bar of water with your paintbrush. Now I'm gonna dip into some Eliza in crimson to start with and just put that onto the edge where I'm starting, basically making just a Grady Int bar of colors. I'm gonna flow from this dark red into some medium red, some oranges and yellow at the end. Next, I'll use some cadmium red. Just add that kind of where I started and flowing more and more to the right kind of use the edge of my brush to guide it and stay within that original wet stripe of color I created. Then I'm gonna do some vermillion and again just continuing on towards the right, having that color change from dark into some lighter shades. And next I'll use some had me and orange Miss, Put that right into there. And lastly, I'll do some cadmium yellow. Just pull this all the way to the right. Just a little more water to hope that flow all the way. Here we go. Now, do something a little fun that I like to do in some of my paintings and cards. Load up a brush with some water and some color, so it's very wet and I'm just going to make some splashes, and all you do is make sure that brushes nice and loaded and then just use your fingers or your hand as a tool to strike against, and it allows you to splash in a somewhat controlled manner. You can get a little crazy with it, but just adds a little bit of fun and whimsy. So now we have our color of our design and our splashes, and I'm just gonna set this aside and let this dry thoroughly before we do anything else to it to finish it off 4. Drawing our Card: great. Let's get started on designing our greeting card. You can select any defining one. It can be simple or bold or colorful or subtle. Anything you feel like doing. I've actually selected a little blue bird as I'm going to be designing a birthday card for my mom and she loves first. So I have my image up on my iPad and I am just viewing that while I sketch out the general shape of this bird, I'm not going to get overly detailed. But I do want the general location of the body is head beak. I all of that just so I can have Ah, road map of where I'm going to be going when I start painting. I'm just working on some of these little details here, getting the general shapes down. It is sitting on a little branch. There's a lot of other details in the photograph that I'm not going to use because I just want a no overall simple designed for this card. You couldn't use your own photographs that you take and work off those for photo reference . I do that a lot, and you can also check out this online resource called unspool ash, and it actually is a site of tons of beautiful photographs that you can work from, and they are royalty free. So you are allowed to work from them in your artwork without any issues of, you know, using somebody's work without their permission. So check out on a splash. It's a really great resource. I'm just making some last minute design decisions where I want this branch to go and then all work on a few more details of feathers and kind of indicate some different color change areas so that I know what I'm doing. When I start painting again, we're not doing a perfect rendering or anything, just more of an outline of the general shape and then just some key indicators. The I obviously is important on then. This bird has some color changes from blacks to blues toe whites, and they just want indicate those. Like I said, I kind of call it my road map. So I know where to go when I'm starting to paint just a few more details here than I think we will be ready to go Perfect. That gives me plenty of information with my drawing, so now we can begin pity 5. Painting our Card: So this pretty little bird is very bright blue, and I'm gonna use a peacock blue to start from these feathers. So just what your brush dip into the paint and just start teaming in whatever area you like . Don't get too wet or heavy handed with this. Thes cards aren't extremely absorbent, so I would say maybe a medium loaded brush. As you can see, I'm kind of just touching some of the pain in these areas. Kind of used this smush ing technique with my paintbrush just to move the pain around, get where I needed to go. And even with this round brush, you've been created kind of a chisel effect to get those lines and curves in the way that you want again. If you're ever having issues, just go maybe a little less water so that you have a little more control over the paint and where it's headed. So just carving in some more feather details of this beautiful blue and moving around, indicating a little bit of the bird's tail that's peeking out behind this branch. Some of these areas air just needing a little more punch of color. So again, just going back into the paint, which is not very wet and just kind of popping some of that color in there. And that should brighten and bold up some of those areas for you. Okay, I'm dipping into a little bit of raw sienna and just indicating this branch that the bird is sitting on can use a yellow okra here. Raw number, whatever colors you like for Brown's. You like to use the flat brush kind of in this chisel effect. I'm almost outlining where the branch is so that I keep my pain in that area. And now I'm dipping into some earned sienna to create some areas of bark for those little dark spots. We just make decisions as we go moving around the image, constantly making new choices. It's Bird has a little bit of yellow in its eyes. I'm just using a little cadmium yellow and very fine brush and miss popping a little dot of yellow in there. Bird feet are always such a challenge there, so odd looking. So I added a little violet into my browns, and I'm just kind of marking these out. Little claws are kind of wrapped around that branch So just trying to indicate that with my fine brush here now I'm using some ultra marine blue and a little bit of that purple dark color to crime. A create a grade and the bird's beak is just kind of a pretty blue gray color. So just indicating that no, I'm gonna create a black most watercolorist don't have a black in their palate. If you do purchase black, it tends to be extremely dull, lifeless, straight out of the tube. So what I like to make is ultra marine blue, a Windsor violet and up burnt sienna. And just mix these up until you get a really nice ratio and they create a really vibrant and dynamic black. So this bird has some black on its wing and on its head. So I just created my own black as you saw, and I'm just using my fine brush and really just feathering it in in the in the direction and the shape of this wing that I'm trying to create no work on its face, which is a little bit trickier because I need to stay around that I around the beak and to not hit that pretty blue cap on the top of his head. So that's why I love this really small brush. You can just move around things pretty carefully and again you'll see. I'm just using really fine strokes for this, finally starting to come to life again. If you're finding that any areas are just not really getting a stark as you like, feel free to let them dry a bit and then just add another layer on top. The beauty of watercolor is multiple layers, really kind of shine through and create depth and vibrancy in your painting. So always feel free to let things dry, have patients come back to them and add more layers. It will always pay off. All right, we're just adding a few little more details here, and then I'm gonna let these layers dry, will come back to it and work on some finishing details next 6. Finishing Touches: Now that we have our bird design laid out and painted, it's time to add a few finishing touches right now at this stage, I feel like the birds kind of floating there in the middle of the page, and it needs just some angering. So I'm gonna use this raw sienna and extend this branch that the bird is sitting on and a little bit of burnt see enough for, like, a darker bark color. Just a few touches here and there. I'm not overly painting. This can use the water here to just kind of bleed some of that pain in. I'm just making decision those They go here deciding what it needs. I feel like we need a little little bit of leafy green going on here was gonna add some sap green and a touch of that blue from our bird. I'm just creating a really abstract leaf shape here in the right corner. I don't want to sit here and draw and make an exact rendering of a leaf. I just want something loose and fun and abstract. Just toe. Add that presence of a tree of some foliage so we know what's going on and we'll throw a little bit of yellow in there, too. Let's load up the brush and do just a few splashes again. Just keep it fun and light. Really easy going. Now that I've created that in the right corner area, I feel like we have an imbalance. So I'm gonna add some more abstract leaf shapes up on the left again. Just smush ing the loaded paintbrush down kind of create eating, unnatural leaf type of shape, splashing some yellow into their We're not drawing a perfect leaf, just adding that little bit of splash, a little bit of color just to indicate that were in nature. Now let's let it thoroughly dry before we move to the next stage. 7. Adding Pen and Ink: Okay, Now that our card is totally try, we're gonna add a little pen in ink to just finish it up and make it a little more polished . I'm using a black Sharpie with a fine point. You can really use any black ink pen that you like. Some will bleed, some will be more permanent. So definitely experiment on a scrap piece of paper and see what techniques you like. Sometimes I like a bit of a bleed here in there, and sometimes I don't want that effect. So we're just gonna take our pan and go around our image. I'm just seeing which areas we want to refine. So I've added a little bit to the eye and to the beak, a little bit to the black feathers on the head. And now I'm just going around and seeing where I want to add a few more details to just refine the overall look on the feathers on the body on the feet here, just constantly moving around. Seeing where I feel like a detail is needed a little bit on the tail. To sharpen that up, you can choose to totally outline your image. You can choose to not do this at all. It really is just a personal preference. And if you like that, look then by all means go around and added, Add some details here, in there, wherever you like. There we go. I feel like this is done. 8. Your Signature Style: Now it's time to add your signature style to your greeting card. I made this one to be a birthday card, so I'm just gonna write the words Happy birthday with my black Sharpie pen. If you're nervous about writing words, you can always write them and pencil first and then go over the top of them later. The fun part about these is we can add any writing or anywhere we want because it's our card. Okay, let's work on the back. I like to add my signature logo to the back in the middle. A M is how I sign all of my original artwork. So people know me by this logo and then I do like to write a little copyright and a year in the left corner. And this is totally optional, but really fun. If you go to your local craft store, you pick up some stamping ink and any number of stamps that you want to kind of finish this off. So this is my favorite one. It looks like a bar code, and it says made for you because your priceless And now I'm just gonna finish up my logo a little bit I like Teoh bleed the sides of it. So the A m on the bar around it kind of looks like a stamp in itself. So I'm just adding a little bit of water color to it to finish that off the way I like it. Just a minor detail. You can use stamps on the back. You couldn't use writing. You can use paint. You could do whatever you like, but here we go. We have our birthday card just gonna gently fold. That might want to make sure that everything on the back is dry before you do. Now we have our finished card ready to write our message on the inside and a really nice Polish design on the back. 9. Anniversary Card: Okay, Back to our color bar design we created earlier. This is dry now, and I've decided to turn it into an anniversary card. So I'm gonna add a little heart detail into my color bar. Just dipping a very fine paintbrush into on Eliza Rin Crimson Watercolor. And I'm just drawing a little heart in here with my paintbrush kiss for a fun little detail . So I'll let that dry and try and keep my hand out of it while I write the words. But I used my black Sharpie fine point pen again. I'm just choosing a place where I want to write the words Happy anniversary again. Feel free to lightly right out your words in pencil First, if you're more comfortable with that, and then you can carefully trace over the top of the pencil with your ink pen, and I'm just choosing this spot to write Happy Anniversary. You can feel free to use a ruler if you need to, but the fun of these cards is just their handmade, and they're free handed most of the time, and there's just a lot of love and life to them. OK, now we'll finish up the back just like we did with our birthday card. Adding my A M logo to the middle and my little copy right to the left bottom there. And I'll use my stamp again to finish off my little priceless barcode on the right When will set those aside. And then I will finish off my A M logo again, with a little bit of water. I just like to add these few little details to my signature. Okay, I'm gonna add just a little bit more paint to this heart just to make it a little bolder and stand out. And then this card is finished. There we have it are two beautiful hand painted greeting cards. 10. Thank you: Thank you so much for taking my hand painted watercolor card class today. I hope you made a fun breeding card for someone special and had a lot of fun doing it. I know they're gonna love it when you give it to them. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. I'm always happy to help or guide in any way that I can and please follow me on Instagram and Facebook. Andriy American art. My website is Andrea american dot com and I hope to see you in my next skill share class. Thanks. Have a great rest of your day.