trying on watercolor techniques on postcard sized paper

Fun techniques you can try to make watercolor and mixed media postcards

by Sandrine Pelissier on June 24, 2014

in Drawing, Step by step demonstrations, Watercolor painting basics

When you want to learn new techniques, it can be a good idea to try them on postcard sized watercolor paper.

It is quickly painted and makes a nice gift.

Here are a few techniques you can try to make watercolor and mixed media postcards.

Salt textures


Paint a wash on the paper and sprinkle salt when the wash is still wet but just before the point where it will start loosing its shine.


Once the wash had time to dry, brush off the salt, you should see the flower like texture made by the salt.


Draw with black markers, add designs on top of the background.


Start with a simple design and slowly add more to it.


Leave a bit of the background without marks.


Paint a darker wash in the same tones on the background and on some places of the design if you want to.

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The finished postcard.

Sponge textures


Using a natural sponge dipped in a watercolor wash, paint textures in the background.


Using a regular marker or an acrylic marker like here, start adding textures to the background.


Keep building up on your design to add complexityIMG_7797


The finished postcard.

Wax resist


Drawing with wax crayons is a simple way to add resist ( areas that won’t be painted) on a card.


Here I am using a white wax crayon on white paper so it is easier to see when the paper is hold flat against the light of a window.


Once you are done with the design you can start painting a watercolor wash on top.


The paint won’t go on the paper in the places where you did use the wax, although tiny drops can still dry on the wax.

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The finish postcard, I like the tile-like appearance.

Wrap paper


Wrap paper will make the paint form geometric textures, this technique works on regular watercolor paper as well as on yupo paper. Here on regular paper, I am painting an irregular wash mixing tones of blue and yellow.


While the wash is still wet, place some wrap paper on top. It will stick to the paper in some places and make folds in other places.


Once the wash has dried, take off the plastic wash and start adding designs with a marker.


Here again, once you ar done drawing you can add more contrast by painting the background a bit darker.

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The finished postcard.


You can proceed the same way on yupo paper. Start by painting a wash with a few colors mixing wet into wet.


Plastic wrap will also adhere to yupo in some places, forming geometric textures.

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Remove the plastic wrap once the wash has dried, which will take longer on yupo paper because the paper is waterproof.

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Then start adding designs with a marker, you can use tissue paper under your hand not to disrupt the watercolor background.

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Here I did draw Flower overlapping each other.

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The finished design.


Feel free to share picture of your postcards in the comments!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Louisa Zendt June 28, 2014 at 3:01 am

Fantastic summer activity for rainy days! Paint one day, write letters the next day…Thank you for the great ideas.


Sandrine Pelissier June 28, 2014 at 8:37 am

Thanks Louisa :)


Marilyn Miller June 26, 2014 at 7:41 am

Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial!!!!


Therese Gena June 26, 2014 at 7:18 am

Just love making zendangles doodles and mixed media so thankful for your generous information! I f you have a moment please check out some of my artwork on FB. Thanks,


Sandrine Pelissier June 26, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I will, Thanks Therese :) Nice tree!


Susan Parrot June 26, 2014 at 6:27 am

bon ca y est t’AS piqué ma curiosité


Sandrine Pelissier June 26, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Bien :)


Susan Rorick Donze June 25, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Really lovely little paintings and fun techniques. Thanks for sharing!


Sandrine Pelissier June 25, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Thanks Susan :)


Donna Reid June 25, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Love this step by step on the cards….Thanks for sharing this Sandrine.


Sandrine Pelissier June 28, 2014 at 8:39 am

Thanks Donna, I am glad you liked it:)


Norma Keeley June 24, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Great idea!


Sandrine Pelissier June 25, 2014 at 8:18 am

Thanks Norma :)


Dorothy Yuki June 24, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Great idea for a craft workshop.


Sandrine Pelissier June 28, 2014 at 8:39 am

Thanks Dorothy!


Kathy Dunback June 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm

You always seem to know what to add AND when to stop! I greatly admire that delicate process.


Sandrine Pelissier June 24, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Thank Kathy !


Sandrine Pelissier June 24, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Thanks Kathy :), for the postcards I had an idea for each design of what I wanted it to look but not a precise composition and all, the patterns kind of grew organically.


Kathy Dunback June 24, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Your designs are flawless. Do you plan ahead or just create the wonderful balance?


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