Making Postcards from Scratch – Part 2: Painting a Mixed Media Background

I am painting a colorful Mixed Media Background, join me as we continue with our postcards today. In this part 2 of Making Postcards from Scratch we’re going to create Mixed Media Postcard backgrounds, and I’ll also share some other fun Postcard Ideas to try. Read part one here if you missed it, and join me in making ten awesome postcard to swap out. I would be delighted if you brought out your paint brushes and joined me.

Painting Postcards - part 2 of Making Postcards from Scratch (A tutorial series by Hanna Andersson a.k.a. iHanna) #mailart

The gesso I added in part 1 of Making a postcard from Scratch is now dry, and I’m ready to start painting. I decided to paint my postcards this year, but there are many fun techniques and things you can do on a postcard. I’ve got a lot of suggestions you could try at the end of this post, if acrylics isn’t for your.

Painting Mixed Media Backgrounds

If you are an art journaler or artist, you already have a great sense of what colors you love using, and how. There are a gazillion methods of getting paint onto the page, and I’m a fan of most of them.

I am using basic, cheap acrylic paints here, and just randomly adding colors with a paint brush, to the page. I don’t clean my brush in between colors, so they mix and blend randomly on the paper, a look I love! On top of this you could add found words, write calligraphy, doodle, or add cut out magazine images to your painted background. Or leave it as it is, abstract is lovely too.

The best part of painting or creating art is that there is not right or wrong, just your taste-buds and your intuition. You can do what ever you want, embrace that freedom.

A paper full of yummy paint, my Mixed Media Background for postcards (Photo and artiHanna, Sweden) #mailart

I recently read this great quote on Jane Davie’s blog, and loved it:

Trust your instincts; if a piece feels/looks “right”, don’t question it. If it does not feel right, that is the time to refer to some basic rules and guidelines. Don’t start with the rules; start with your gut feeling, your visual intuition.
Jane Davies

Painting Mixed Media Backgrounds for DIY Postcards (Photo and art by Hanna Andersson a.k.a. iHanna, Sweden) #mailart

[tweet “The best part of painting or creating art is that there is not right or wrong, just your taste-buds”]

My best Mixed Media Background Advice

My best advice for getting started in an awesome way is to pick 2-3 colors that you love, and that goes well together, and work with those. I am falling in love with light green and turquoise right now, they look so yummy together. This combination might be my new color crush (after craving everything orange and magenta pink for a while). I love picking up these two colors on my paint brush and using them at the same time.

I added a couple of colors to my soon-to-be-postcards, using a paint brush. I painted and smeared the paint around, without cleaning my brush in between colors, so that they’d mix together on the page. I am not particularly in love with how it looks when I finished covering all the white, but there are parts I love. And all the colors looks happy to me, something that is important when I paint.

A paper full of paint (Photo and art by Hanna Andersson a.k.a. iHanna, Sweden) #mailart

Anyway, even if you don’t love your first layer, you can continue to paint on top of it when it dries. You can add more paint, you can spray paint through a stencil or splatter paint with a tooth brush for example. Or go in with a paint pen (posca or liqutex are fun to try) and add doodles or pencil or crayon marks. That’s when it starts to come alive and be more personal.

Just to give you a hint on what’s coming, here’s my second go at this particular paper.

Sunshine and acrylic paint for Mixed Media Backgrounds on my messy desk (Photo and art by Hanna Andersson a.k.a. iHanna, Sweden) #mailart

Much richer and so much more interesting already, right? I just added a few paint brush marks and a few scribbles with my favorite crayons (water soluble Caran’dAche). And I’m not finished with any of these DIY Postcards yet. In part 3 I’ll continue to paint some fun figures. To not miss that post, feel free to subscribe to blog posts and/or join the Newsletter.

Some Mixed Media Postcard Ideas

So I’m painting all of mine, but there’s nothing preventing you from exploring your own idea(s), or picking one of these (or all of them):

  • Cut and paste.
  • Word Collage.
  • Mixed media drawing.
  • Watercolors.
  • Alter a commercial postcard.
  • Doodle.
  • Zentangle.
  • Draw.
  • Alter one of your own photos.
  • Poetry.
  • Letter a big message.
  • Use crayons or colored pencils.
  • Or why not try to make a knitted postcards (yes, knitted postcards have been sent in my postcard swap before).
  • Sew a fabric postcard, embroider your message or stitch on paper.
  • Use some of your die cuts, stickers, washi tapes, glitter gems (you know the ones that are like stickers), stamps, or ephemera from your own life.
  • Decorate, decoupage, de-stash, delight!

Painting a Mixed Media Background for my Postcards (Photo and art by Hanna Andersson a.k.a. iHanna, Sweden) #mailart

I’ve got a few more ideas for mixed media postcards, my own visual ideas here (making through the years), and a Pinterest board with a lot of lovely DIY Postcard Inspiration.

Also, you can still sign up & join the fall DIY Postcard Swap, and make your postcards tour the world.

4 Responses

  1. I love the color combo in that last photo! So gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your process and other creative prompts to get out postcard-creating-juices flowing! Can’t wait to see the additions/changes to your cards in your next post, though I think just the first round of acrylic was beautiful, too!

  2. I always enjoy seeing how your mixed media progresses. I think my next quilt is going to have green & turquoise, but probably no pink. :-) I have eight cards done. The last two are hiding somewhere in my box of clippings.
    Do you have a photo of the knitted postcard? How was the stamp put on?

  3. I love how you integrate the bright florescent colors into your work. It truly inspires me. And seeing how the different textures bring things to life in different ways is exciting. I can’t wait to get my paints out later!

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