This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.
I had some fun this week playing with my watercolors. I put together a little tutorial for some of these cute cards I wanted to share with you.
Psst…think some of these are cute but don’t want to make them yourself? You can purchase a set of 8 of the designs from my Etsy shop.
What you need for this project:
- Watercolors Loew Cornell Watercolor Set – I have this set I got from Amazon, which I love.
- Watercolor paper or cardstock – I just used heavy cardstock for this project, and they turned out fine since there wasn’t a lot of paint on the paper.
- Pen – I used one of my Pigma Micron pens . I bought this whole set on Amazon quite a while ago for doodle and line drawing. If you have a fine tip Sharpie or marker that would work fine as well.
- Optional (but fun!) – For a couple of these cards, I used our Ed Emberely books as inspiration. You can see the ones I recommend below.
I’ve only had these watercolors for a few months, but I’ve had so much fun! Eventually I’m planning on taking the Craftsy watercolor class eventually, but for now I’m just having fun experimenting. I like to think of watercoloring as similar to doodling in some ways. Sometimes I just go through pages where I’m making swirls or silly shapes, and just try things out. And sometimes the shapes come together into actual little things, like these little doodles!
A little cactus pin-cushion:
And when I’m making mini shapes, I love how I don’t have to feel bad about “messing up” (which happens all the time). Here was my first try at a little skein of yarn:
For some of the cards, I “doodled” all the little shapes out on paper first. Then I used Photoshop to pull out the ones I wanted and put them together on a card.
Here’s how I designed some of the little robots:
I used a very fine tip brush because it gave me the most control.
I added a little water to the color I wanted to use. I didn’t add too much because I wanted my colors to be more vibrant and less washed out.
I carefully did an outline of the shape I was making (in this case, a little robot).
Made sure to outline any features I wanted to have – so I left a white space for the eyes. You can see here how I got a little too much water as I was outline. I always keep a blank piece of “test” paper and a paper towel handy to blot up any extra water and test my strokes.
Next I carefully filled in the robot with slightly more watered down paint. If I wanted to add any shading, I’d carefully go over the areas with more paint that I wanted shaded.
Now onto the monsters!
For one of them, I started with a small circle of water.
Then I gently blobbed little bits of color into it. I love how this looks! It reminds me of a petri dish from science or something fun like that 🙂
Next I started filling in with more color and smoothing it out, as well as adding some details like an eye stalk and some tentacles.
I used some darker paint (i.e. less watered down) to add some shading, then smoothed it slowly out with water.
After I finish up, I let them completely dry. Then I go back through and add detail with my Micron pens.
Some of the animals and vehicles I painted were inspired by Ed Emberely books.
Here are the two we enjoy the most:
Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals
Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book: Make a World
I’ve talked before about how much we love Ed Emberely here. Anyone can use his books to doodle, no matter artistic talent. The boys and I love sitting and drawing from his books.
And the fun thing about this project is your little watercolor “doodles” don’t have to be perfect. In fact it adds a little character if things aren’t just right.
And adding little details is so much fun!
Here’s a little one with tools and gadgets:
I think my favorite, though, was the little boy holding the balloon. I was so happy with how the balloon turned out!
I did a very fine outline for the outside edge of the balloon in blue first, then outline where I wanted the little “light” spot to be. Next I watered down the blue a bit, and filled in the whole balloon, skipping the spot. Finally I watered it down even more, and did just a touch of blue over the light spot.
For the spaceship card, I used acrylic paint to do the background. I painted down a nice layer of black. Once it was dry, I dabbed on little stars then painted on a little moon. I went in later in Photoshop and added the watercolor spaceship I had painted earlier on top.
Some people view Photoshop as “cheating” – but I love how it can be used as a tool to enhance what we already love to create!
These were so fun to make, and easy to customize. What kind of watercolor doodles did you come up with?
P.S. Like some of these cute cards but don’t want to make them yourself? You can purchase a set of 8 of the designs from my Etsy shop.