What to do while you wait for me to hurry up and make a new Postcard Paint-Along? Try “stealing ideas” from a previous paint-along. Take the steps and techniques, change the colors and subject matter, and make something new! In this paint-along, we’ll use the techniques and steps from the Sunset Variations paint-along to create a completely different scene.

Supplies for postcard paint-alongs:

  • watercolor paper, about 4×6″ (10×15 cm)
    • Size is not terribly important as far as the painting techniques shown; check postal size regulations in your area if you intend to mail it. 
    • I cut up scraps of watercolor paper left over from larger paintings. Brand doesn’t matter. 100% cotton paper is generally easier to work with, but postcards can be a good place to use up cheaper papers, too. Pre-cut watercolor postcards are usually student-grade paper. Use what you have. 
  • painting support—I like to tape the paper down so it doesn’t slide around; I’m using a piece of cardboard, covered with clear packing tape (instructions here); a plastic clipboard or cutting board also works well. Or a scrap piece of plexiglas.
  • watercolor brush—a round brush, size 8-16 recommended; it’s harder with smaller brushes since they don’t carry as much water (The brush I am using is a size 12 Escoda Prado travel brush. Note: Travel brushes are typically considerably more expensive than the same brush in a non-travel version. You might prefer to buy a brush carrier and regular brushes. You can probably find a zippered folding brush carrier that will stand up and serve as a brush holder for $10-20. I like the ones with ventilation holes to help the brushes dry faster.
  • watercolor paints — 
    • Any kind of watercolor paints are fine—it’s a postcard! Even kids’ paints work. They will fade more quickly than regular watercolors, but you can still learn. Don’t get hung up on using the same colors I’m using. I may have mis-indentified the colors in the video, anyway. I refilled my palette with whatever I could find as I traveled. 
    • In this video, I’m using (if I remember correctly!)
      • M. Graham ultramarine blue
      • QoR phthalo turquoise
      • QoR quinacridone gold
      • M. Graham burnt umber