Paint Abstract Watercolor Notecards

painting Jul 13, 2022
How to make an abstract watercolor notecard

If you aren’t comfortable drawing, you can still make something beautiful. Today, I’m going to be showing you how to create abstract watercolor notecards. Best part? There’s no wrong way to do it.

Hi, I’m Chris V., Skillshare and membership teacher from Las Vegas, NV who loves watercolors. Watercolor notecards are one of my favorite projects because they're easy and fun to make. Plus they’re such a lovely way to spruce up a gift or send a note to someone special. The handmade aspect adds loads of charm, and you will be able to impress your friends and family!



  • Watercolor paper notecards (I’m using Strathmore Watercolor Cards size 3 1/2 x 4 7/8 which come with envelopes, in cold press paper because I love that bumpy paper texture) 
  • Watercolor paints and a palette to mix them
  • A color palette. I’m using 5 colors which keeps it simple
  • Watercolor round brush medium-sized. Mine is size 7, but there is really no international standard. The bristles of my brush are about 1 1/8 inches long
  • Rags or paper towels to clean your brush or messes
  • A jar or cup of water to rinse your brush
  • Workbook freebie




Looking for the best artist-grade, cruelty-free paintbrushes? Look no further.



Step 1: Set Up


Place your cards you’ll be painting on a table right in front of you, with your paints, water cup, towels, and brush as your arms reach on either side. If you’re right-handed, place the paints and your brush on your right, otherwise, put them on the left.



Step 2: Choose Your Color Palette 


First, you’ll need to decide what colors you want to use for this project. If you're not sure how to create a good color palette, there are tons of them on Pinterest and Peggy has quite a few as well. I also create them and have a Color Palette Pinterest board loaded with color palettes from all over. Feel free to browse these and choose one. 

I’m using an earthy color palette consisting of light orange, yellow ocher, burnt sienna, grey, and a light blue-grey that I'll show you how to mix. 



Step 3: Make the First Brushstroke


Choose the lightest color in your color palette, and paint a thick, squiggle in the center of each notecard. I’m using my light blue-grey. I’ll try to make the strokes similar, but not identical. They also don’t have to be neat or tidy. Be spontaneous and don’t worry about it looking a certain way. Your brushstrokes will look different than mine, and they’re supposed to. When you’re done, let this layer dry.

NOTE: As I paint, I’ll be leaving an approximate 1/4” space around the edges. I’m not being too precious about it because I love an organic look. If you would like it more neat and tidy, you can place some washi tape or masking tape evenly along the borders to get a really clean look or paint all the way to the edges.



Step 4: Paint the Next Brushstroke


When the first layer dries, choose the next color and paint an uneven bar across the top of each notecard. I’m making my edges rough so you can see the brushstroke marks. I’m using my light watery orange for this one.



Step 5: Paint the Third Color


Using the third color, paint a rough shaped triangle in the lower right corner of each card. Use the same style of the irregular brush stroke we’ve been using. You don’t have to wait for the previous stroke to dry since this stroke won’t be close enough for the colors to run together. I used my yellow-ochre.

NOTE: I’m not covering up any of the previous colors, but painting around them. This will allow your shapes to look organic and not too planned.



Step 6 : Paint the Fourth Color


With the fourth color, paint along the left of the left side of each card. I’m using grey. Let the paint dry.



Step 7: Paint the Fifth Color


I'll fill in the remainder of the spaces with the final color which in my case will be burnt sienna. Let the paint dry.



Step 8: Paint Another Layer 


Now that the entire space is painted on each card, paint another layer of each of these colors to add texture and interest. This second layer will add that extra layer of beautiful watercolor texture to keep the eye moving around the painting. Sometimes, I even paint a third layer if I want more depth, but this is optional. When you’re done painting, let it dry. 

Now stand back and look at what you made! Beautiful right? Now they’re ready to send to someone special. 

When you make these, tag Peggy @thepigeonletters and me @octopusconnection so we can see the coolness you've created!  : )  



Hi I'm Chris, an artist, designer, illustrator, online art instructor, and desert dweller in Las Vegas, NV. Although I studied art and graphic design in school, I am also a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist largely inspired by the desert. Now I'm teaching my own watercolor painting, drawing, fashion illustration, and abstract painting classes on Skillshare, YouTube, in live painting sessions, and in my own membership. Join me in my studio to learn in a no-pressure environment where your uniqueness is your superpower! You can find me in my online home at OctopusConnection.com