Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Watercolor postcards - Due May 12th

Next in our series of “Technique” swaps....
Use watercolor paints to create a postcard.   

Hopefully most of you already have a set of watercolors kicking around somewhere.  These don’t need to be “artist grade” paints.  One of those rows of kids’ watercolors is fine .  The point of this series of swaps is to expand our repertoires, challenge our assumptions, broaden our horizons, and maybe pick up a few new skills along the way.  (It’s not about spending money and accumulating new stuff.)

You may incorporate a bit of one other media into your card (such as pen, ink, pencil) but keep the focus of your work on watercolor technique.

Don’t feel like you need to paint something representational.  Abstract is fine.  Or create a collage using a variety of watercolor painted papers.

Any type of watercolor media is acceptable:  liquid, pan or tube watercolors, or watercolor pencils or crayons.  If you have more than one type of watercolor media you could try combining them.

As for your substrate – it’s up to you.  Obviously watercolor paper is probably the easiest thing to work with since it’s designed for this media.  Absorbent surfaces take watercolors much better than smooth papers like cardstock.  But you can experiment.  Use what you have and see how it reacts.  Perhaps you’ll love the effect you get on a non-traditional surface.  (Or how about using the humble paper towel?  I bet you could create a lovely layered collage of painted paper towels.)

Experiment.  Have fun with it.  If anyone has any favorite on-line watercolor tutorials leave the link in the comments, or send me an email.

Swap details:
  • You may submit as many as  four cards  (you will get back the same number you send)
  • if you're sending me more than one, please make sure you insert waxed paper or parchment in between the cards so they don't get stuck together in the envelope
  • write “MMSA watercolors” on the back of your card to remind your recipient why they are receiving this wonderful work of art in the mail
  • write your return address on the back of the postcard (in case of postal delivery problems) and your email address so the recipient can thank you. 

  • Add a note for your partner.  You could share something about yourself, or describe how you made your postcard, or share a favorite quote or joke.
  • include a mailing label with your name and address for each card you create
    (I will attach them to the cards I mail back to you)
  • Please attach the proper postage to your postcard (see below for postal guidelines).  If you don’t have any stamps and it’s difficult for you to get some, go ahead and send me money instead.  You can stick cash in the envelope, or send it to me via paypal (iamrushmore@gmail.com)

  • international swappers are welcome - the postage cost is $1.15 per card (paypal account is iamrushmore@gmail.com)

Postage and Card Size
You are welcome to make any size postcard you want, but please pay attention to the following postal guidelines
  • In order to use the postcard rate ($.34) your card cannot be bigger than 4.25 x 6 inches, and it must be thin and flexible.  A 4x6 card that is thick, lumpy or doesn't bend, needs more postage

  • If your card is a rectangle bigger than a postcard, but still flat and flexible, a regular "forever" ($.49 ) stamp is what you need.
  • If your card is an unusual shape (square, round) or is flexible but has some lumpy embellishments it will probably cost you the "non machinable" rate of $.70

  • If your card doesn't bend at all, the post office considers it a package and you should go get it weighed to figure out the proper postage.
You can find all the postal specifications (and a handy postage calculator) here:  http://postcalc.usps.gov/

Mail your cards no later than May 12th. (I don’t need to receive them by the 12th, they need to be postmarked by the 12th.)

Karen Isaacson
PO Box 532
Shrewsbury, MA 01545
United States


Anonymous said...

Hi Karen, I realized that heavy watercolor paper (like 300#) isn't flexible so postage is probably more. Do you know how much? I already sent some off to you with just postcard postage and want to make up the difference. Thanks so much for all you do to keep this going! Jan from WA

Karen Isaacson said...

Hi Jan, my guess is that your paper is fine. I'll take a look at it when it arrives and if it's a problem I'll let you know!

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