Let’s make Greeting Cards with ease

My Niece gave me a handmade Greeting Card recently. It felt so nice to know that someone thought of me and made me something special. I feel giving someone a handmade Greeting Card adds a personal touch. With the festive season approaching I thought it would be nice to share a simple and easy method to make a handmade Greeting Card using Ink Pens and Watercolours. I have shared two designs but you can always be creative and add your special touch to it. You can do traditional designs or even contemporary illustrations with the same technique.

First let us collect the Art Material that we will need :

1) Pencil and Eraser – I usually use a 2B pencil and a regular eraser

2) Ink Pens of any good brand with Waterproof Inks or Archival Inks – Waterproof will be written on the pens. These are available in different tips ; sizes, colours and brushes. A notable feature of these pens is that once the ink dries, you can easily use watercolour over them. It won’t smudge.

3) Drawing Paper or Card Paper with a minimum thickness of 180 – 200GSM. Basically a paper suitable for Watercolour Paintings. A notable feature here is that the paper absorbs the water and doesn’t peel off with use of water. Ideally 300 GSM is very good for Watercolour but it is too thick to fold for a Greeting Card.

4) Watercolours (Any colour; Tubes or Cakes) and Brushes

5) Compass, Ruler, Protractor and/or other Measuring Tools (Optional)

The process:-

1) Draw your design using the measuring tools in Pencil.

2) Use a pen with a thin tip like ‘005’ or ‘01’ and outline the Art. Do only the main outline. Don’t fill in the details yet. The idea is to block the main markings which will assist when you paint after doing the background. If you are very confident you can directly paint after the background but for most people these markings make it neat and easy.

3) Erase the extra pencil markings.

4) Use watercolours and shade the background with colours of your choice. Kindly avoid gouache paint or thick paint, it will make the steps listed below difficult.

5) Let it Dry completely. I list this as an important step. This is so that your pen tips do not get spoilt with moisture or excess colour that isn’t dried yet. It is the same reason I asked to avoid thick paint.

6) Now paint the details to your Design using the waterproof ink pens. This will be the final look.

Step by Step DIY Greeting Cards

You may use colour pencils, coloured pens and embellishments to add some aesthetic touches to your work. There you go! Last but not the least write your personal message and our beautiful handmade Greeting Card is ready! Wishing everyone a very Arty Weekend!

Pro Tip – You may also combine this with Paper Quilling and Stamping.

What should I draw?

Very often people ask me this question “What should I draw?” Let’s solve this puzzle together today. Art is an expression, so when this question comes to your mind, it means you are thinking of how to express your thoughts. Look around you, look at your world. Your environment including the objects around you, the places you see, the people you meet and the feelings you experience – all of them can be your inspiration. I think God must have been an artist to have created such a beautiful world. Nature inspires me the most. I like drawing birds and flowers a lot.

‘ I recently visited a Park and I was amazed by the show put up by the elephants in the evening. We could play with them and even ride on them. It was a memorable evening. Do you want to capture that memory on paper?’ Just as people express themselves by sharing a talk or an essay, in the same way we artists express ourselves using pencils and paint. So a drawing is essentially what I saw and felt, making it my version of the experience – my essay. Now that I have my muse! Great! That is what I shall draw.

The process is simple. Go with the flow. Keep a diary to note pointers or rough marker sketches when an idea hits you. Over a few days short list and pick the idea you wish to take forward. Convert it to your final work. Not all ideas will get cleared. It is ok to leave a drawing incomplete, come back to it later or not pursue it further at all. It happens all the time. If you feel you don’t have an idea to pursue, it means you need to take a break and unwind. You need collect some new experiences to continue your journey. After the unwinding, when you are back to your desk you will be refreshed and ready to pick up your brushes and complete your Artwork to your satisfaction.

The biggest mistake we can make is to look for inspiration online. It is ok to look for reference on the Internet but don’t look for inspiration. Copying a drawing someone else made will mean the end of your Art Journey. It is like selecting from an already filtered bunch. Most people hit a roadblock doing this as it limits one’s scope to grow as an artist. May be you saw something which the other person did not see. Everyone reads the book but they all understand it differently. We want to see it from your eyes! A good Artist is someone who can express his or her message clearly through the artwork.

What all do people usually draw and paint? Here is a broad spectrum of possible things to draw and paint.

All you can draw

Let’s try and list some specific topics to draw. This should get the ball rolling.

10 Topics to Draw

This is not an exhaustive list. The purpose of this article was to share with you the process so you can do it easily all by yourself. The list is never exhaustive, it keeps changing. So keep your eyes open, look and observe! Anything could be your next inspiration, you never know!

Understanding Colours

How is understanding colours going to help me? It is always helpful to know about the Colour Wheel for any common person as well as a professional. Clicking and posting pictures, decorating your home, choosing what to wear or working on good display and print graphic ; knowing your colour wheel will definitely give you an advantage over the others.

I did this story on Instagram and It was loved so much that my Insta friends wanted me to do another one on similar lines. Information on what is a colour wheel is readily available on the internet so this article is about understanding its relevance or where and how to apply this knowledge. Further instead of looking it up at different places this time you would have the information all on the same page.

Primary Colours : Red, Yellow, Blue are a set of colours that are used to mix and obtain other colours.

Secondary Colours : Orange, Green, Purple or Violet are obtained by mixing two primary colours.

Tertiary Colours : Yellow-Orange, Red-Orange, Blue-Green, Yellow-Green, Red-Violet, Blue-Violet are obtained by mixing primary and secondary colours.

RGB (Red Green Blue) the primary colours of light are used by monitors and screens of gadgets. Take a projector light, cover the screen with a translucent paper of a primary colour and cover it. Now project these coloured lights on to a white wall. You will see a secondary colour when two lights are projected at the same spot. Try it!

CMYK (Cyan Magenta Yellow Black) are primary colours of pigment. These are used in printers. See your print cartridges labelled in these. Now suppose you ask the printer to print a picture with multiple colours, the print machine prints using combination of these primary colours to get more colours.

A combination of RGB creates white while CMYK creates Black. That is why colours differ a little bit when you see them on screen and in print.

A colour box that contains primary colours and neutral colours Black and White is enough to mix and get other colours. Neutral means without any colour : Black, White, Grey. A colour mixed with white is called ‘Tint’, a colour mixed with grey is called ‘Tone’ and a colour mixed with Black is called a ‘Shade’. That is Tint, Tone, Shade of a Colour.

This should help you select colour schemes when painting your next masterpiece. So for summers if your designer says the collection is in Pastels or tints of various colours you will know it right away.

Contrasting colours are colours that are opposite on the colour wheel, that is they cancel each other and result in black or white when mixed. They are the most contrasting colours. So Red-Green, Orange-Blue, Yellow-Violet are contrasting colours. Oops! Did you get a very red pimple or scar on your face? Don’t fret, use a green colour corrector before applying the foundation. This should do the trick!

This was a quick, short tutorial on understanding colours. You must try some practical exercises or games with these concepts and you will never forget this basic understanding of colours.

My first Art

“What is the easiest drawing to begin with? I want my child to learn drawing, where and what should I start with?” This is a question I am asked often. In this article I will share two different drawings that are simple and easy for a child to begin with. These were the first pictures I learnt to draw and colour as well. Yes! I said colour and not paint. That brings me to the selecting the Art material.

Paper: Use large sheets. Drawing a small circle for an adult is often a big circle with the movement of hand for children. They tend to fill up colours better in larger drawings. Further use a sheet of paper that is prone to high erasing. I often used box board (white duplex board) sheets as my drawing paper during my earlier days of learning.

What else do I need? A good pencil and a good eraser. A new pencil that is big is better for grip. If they are still learning to hold a pencil it is all the more important to have a pencil the child would be comfortable using. Use a slightly rounded tip pencil, meaning don’t sharpen it to a very pointed tip. This would ensure the paper doesn’t have dents after erasing the extra lines. Now for the Colours – I recommend using Oil Pastels. I didn’t say crayons nor did I say paint. Oil pastels of any good brand but a large number of colour shade options. The more colourful picture they can make the better. Since they don’t know much about mixing shades, having more shades in the colour box helps the child make a nice attractive drawing. Now that you are ready with the materials let’s decide a topic.

1. Under the Sea

2. My Home

Under the Sea Drawing for Kids
My Home drawing for kids

I have shared a drawing for each topic. You may use it as a reference or idea to begin with. Once the pencil sketch is ready, colour it in your own way. Sounds easy! So let’s begin to draw 😀 Do share your finished Art piece with me, I would be happy to see it.