Did you know that German paper company Hahnemühle Fine Art makes postcards? They do! And they come in beautiful collectors tins. In fact, Hahnemühle’s watercolor postcards come in a few different formats. Originally the postcards were made of rough watercolor paper, recently they added cold pressed to the line. And they are in the process now of adding a smooth surface card from their nostalgie paper. So no matter what type of surface you enjoy making art on – these postcards could be exactly what you need!
See what I mean about the wonderful tins? And the artwork on the tins change periodically – because they are limited edition – which really makes them collectible! Shhh! Don’t tell anyone but I have the tins in four different cover artworks! Each tin comes with 30 postcards, complete with the address field printed on the back. All ready for you to add your artwork to, jot down a note on the backside and send one off to a loved one! Artwork? Yes, the tin makes these cards portable and easy to use on the go! Each card is 230 gsm which makes them heavy enough to handle whatever you throw at them! Paint indoors or outdoors, draw, tangle, glue, collage – whatever kind of art you do is pretty much perfect for these postcards. Want to see what I did with mine?
I colored this card with DaVinci watercolors. It doesn’t take a whole lot of paint for small projects like these approximately 4″ x 6″ postcards. I sprayed the card with water before adding color, not a lot of wet to get started. And I liked the way the colors and water worked on this cold pressed surface!
I am primarily a tangle artist. So I added some tangles to flow with the color washes. Love the way this one turned out! Did I have to tangle the postcards to make them pretty?
Uh, no. Hahaha! Many times I will just add color and call it done! I used DaVinci watercolors again with a lot more water this time. In fact I used a mop brush to completely cover the postcard with water, and added in a total of three colors. Then I sat the card to one side to allow the colors to melt and bloom and make beautiful! And called it done. Yes, I will eventually come back and add some drawing but I don’t need to. I had no buckling, no pilling and the card dried flat.
The DaVinci colors worked great but what about other watercolors? I had recently purchased some handmade watercolors from Pfeiffer Art Supply so I brought those out for this card. I used a water brush to just pick the color up from the pans and brush it down on the paper. Those Pfeiffer pans had some beautiful colors! And though you can not see it well in this photo – the colors are shimmery and sparkle.
I used my TWSBI Eco Fountain Pen to tangle some loosey goosey florals ala Joanne Sharpe on this card. I was surprised at how fast the paper wanted to soak up the ink so I had to work fast and use a light touch. Graphite shading worked very well. This was really the only issue I had with these postcards.
You may have read my recent post about marbled monoprinting. And if you didn’t – you should go check it out here. The two postcards above were both made with my marbling technique on a gelli plate using acrylic paint. I love the texture and the colors and the way the cards worked with the gelli plate. A real win/win all around. In this technique the colors dry almost immediately. The paper had no time to react and dried totally flat.
Do you remember using tissue paper in elementary school? These two postcards were made using tissue paper and water. Basically you cover the card with water, then place pieces of colored tissue paper down in the water and leave them till everything is dry. When you remove the tissue paper beautiful color is left behind. This technique works great on a lesser value paper like Canson or Strathmore Mixed Media paper. Not so well on this nicer, more professional paper. Possibly due to sizing or other chemicals in the postcard itself – but it did work.
If you have followed my site for long you already know I am not afraid to try anything to add color. Hahahahaha! This postcard was colored using regular Sharpie markers. I used them as a watercolor by scribbling on a craft mat, spraying that with water, then laying the postcard down into the color and pressing down. This can be done with pretty much any marker that is not alcohol based. I will definitely come back and draw designs on this postcard!
Zebra Pen recently released their metallic brush pens on their website. As an Artist Ambassador for Zebra I was given a set of these pens to work with and review. Typically these pens are sold for lettering. So what did I do? I used them as a watercolor. Hahahaha! The two postcards above were made with the same watercolor technique that I used with the Sharpies. I scribbled the metallic markers on the craft mat, sprayed water on to the color, and placed the post card down into the color. The first one was lifted and placed back down a couple different times in order to get full coverage. The second one was done in a color block formation and more deliberate. Both cards had a good deal of wet on them and neither had any problem handling it. These are watercolor postcards after all.
Another Zebra Pen product – the Funwari Fude Brush Pen was just released in the United States. Beautiful, vibrant colors! I used two on this project – the pink and blue. The colors blend and blossom so beautifully! They made this postcard gorgeous and I will definitely be drawing on this!
I’ve used a few different media up to this point but I had not used ink pads yet. Ink pads? Yep! You can totally use them as a watercolor. For the three cards above I used several ColorBox Dyestress Ink Pads on my craft mat and basically turned them into watercolor. A fun process. Lots of water and some beautiful color. They all worked well. The difference in color intensity is due to the colors I chose – some being more pastel than others that were brighter and bolder.
Dylusions Ink Sprays. My number one favorite art supply ever. For this card I sprayed the color straight onto my work surface and rubbed the postcard straight into the color. Love, love, love! Probably my favorite one of the whole stack! So of course I had to tangle it!
When I draw on colored backgrounds I try to work in sections of colors. Follow the color trail, the runs and drips and fill them with patterns. To tangle I used the Technical Drawing Pens from Zebra Pen. They come in a variety of pen tip sizes which is very helpful with the Hahnemühle postcards and the different surfaces they come in. I am very basic. The smoother the surface, the smaller the pen tip I use. The rougher the surface, the bigger the pen tip I use. There you go! Bamm! Pen tips 101 by Alice!
I have searched and searched but can not find a before photo for this one. Sorry. I guess the color was so lovely I couldn’t help myself. I do know this was the very first postcard I tangled. I used the Dylusions ink sprays for this card, too, but this time I sprayed them directly onto a wet post card. Water first, then color, then move it to the side to dry. Love these colors together! Fresh lime and London blue.
This was another Dylusions ink spray piece that I built by spraying the inks directly onto a dry card. Some water was sprayed onto the color and a heat tool was used to make heat rings, runs and drips. Standard procedure for me and it worked great!
Another where I sprayed the Dylusions straight on the work surface, then spritzed with water before placing the postcard face down into the color. Love those splotchy areas! This is one of the few ways I know to achieve those.
The color on this card was made using Sketchbox Signature Color Brush Pens. They came in a subscription box from Sketchbox. I did a trial some time ago and I picked the right time for it! I got 5 or 6 of these brush pens and I used every one of them on this post card! I colored the postcard itself with the brush pens, then went back with a water brush and smoothed edges between colors, and even moved some of the color around. Plenty of brushing and surface work on this card. No pilling and no buckling. Did I love this one? You betcha! It’s bright and beautiful! What’s not to love?
This was the second card I tangled. (And for some reason I have the notation ‘Gotham’ on the back, hahahaha! I must have been watching reruns on Netflix!) I used graphite for shading and an eraser to bring out those highlights.
This tin comes with 30 postcards. I used 29 and apparently I lost one along the way. For color on this card I used Ecoline Brush Pens from Royal Talens. Beautiful bright colors! I colored directly on the card, then used a mop brush to plop a bunch of water on top. Then sat it to the side.
I used my Zebra technical drawing pens and a couple gel pens to tangle. Then I brought in a couple mermaid brush pens from Jane Davenport to add some touches in the centers of the flowers. A little wet on dry technique.
Oh, wow!!! Here is another favorite!!! Ecoline Brush Pens again, scribbled on my craft mat, then spritzed with water. The spritzing is what causes those little specks of color – they literally bounce away from the rest of the color and make awesomeness. These colors are incredible! And a lot of that is due to the quality of the post card. They wouldn’t look this super on lesser paper. I’ve used enough of it to know that.
I like the Ecoline brush pens so much when I heard Ecoline also came in a liquid, I had to buy some to try. You know how it goes. Hahahaha! I used the same color for both the above cards. The first one was full dose color with drips and runs, the second was the leftover residual color. On my craft mat. I just dropped the color on and cleaned it up with the postcards. And let them dry naturally to allow these blooms to happen.
I wanted to try a different technique, so for these two cards I sprayed the paper with water, then added the liquid color. A couple drops here, a couple drops there. Then I used a heat tool to push the color into runs and drips. Then I let them dry. Beautiful color and the technique worked very well! And no problems using a heat tool on these postcards.
I began by spraying the card with water and got it really wet. I scribbled Dylusions Paint Pens onto the craft mat, then while the card was still wet I placed it facedown into the color and let the colors merge and blend. Love the softness on this one! An unusual technique for me – sort of backwards steps – and I didn’t know if it would work or not. But it did!
Recently I learned about Kelly Creates Aqua Brush Pens and had to purchase a few on Amazon! Hahahaha! Let me just say they are wonderful! For this card and the next, I scribbled the color onto the mat and spritzed with water.
I let the colors mix about 15 seconds, then placed the cards facedown into the color and lifted. Allowing the colors to work before placing the cards down allows for more blurred effects while still getting those splotchy bits.
For this last postcard, I painted the color directly onto the card with the Kelly Creates Aqua Brushes then sprayed the card with water. There are places you can still see the light brush marks – like feathering. That is a matter of just knowing how much water to spray and where.
Hard to believe that was 29 of my 30 postcards! I still have a lot of tangling to do! Or more watercolor, or loosey gooseys, or collage, or whatever I decide to do because there are so many, many ways to make art on these cards!
How do I like them? How did they work for me? Fantastically! I used a decent range of products – watercolor, acrylic, Sharpies, inks, brush pens, ink pads, gelli plates, fountain pen, technical drawing pens, graphite, gel pens, tissue paper, lettering pens, liquid watercolors, paint pens and a heat gun. And I may have missed something! Lots of wet media and heat drying. And the paper held up to all of it! No pilling at all no matter what I did to it. No warping. At all. Everything dried flat. And they all look wonderful! I have some of the Nostalgie postcards on order and they should be here any day! Can’t wait to play with those! The tins? I am saving them and stalking the older ones on eBay!
Want to grab some of these watercolor postcards for yourself? There is a link just below. You can’t go wrong with these. Easily portable for art making on the go. Just what you need for summer!