Penny Lulich is a member of the Bloomington Watercolor Society, the Northwest Watercolor Society, and Lawrence County Art Association
The first time I painted watercolor Christmas cards I was sitting at a table in the cafe of my local book store. It was a brisk, cold morning in early November in my hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. My daughter was visiting from the Pacific Northwest and while she worked on a blog, I painted. It wasn't long before I had a number of cards out on the table, drying.
My cards started drawing the attention of shoppers who had come into the cafe for a coffee and sweet holiday snack. Unexpectedly, a young man came to my table and asked me how much I charge for a card. I told him twelve dollars. He bought five. Then he stepped away, called his sister, and came back to the table and bought four more, including the one I was working on at the moment. I soon realized making Christmas watercolor cards was not only a lovely distraction from the time commitment of creating larger paintings, but it was also a way to make a little extra cash.
It was a total surprise to me that doing something so fun, quick and easy would be so admired and sought after. I ended up with a number of commissions and I delivered on all of them, on time. People want something special at Christmas time, but honestly, the cards do not even have to be Christmas-y in nature. They can just be snow scenes. They can be mountains and skiiers, trees with branches laden with snow, it really doesn't matter, because it's the essence of winter, and the joys of the season that comes through.
My Card Painting Kit
It doesn't take a lot of pigment to create a card, and you don't need all the colors on the color wheel either. My advice is, keep it simple. A small travel kit will do nicely, along with a couple of your favorite brushes, a water cup, a tube of titanium white gouache (for snow), and your cards. I also like to bring clear card sleeves for packaging cards and envelopes when I've finished painting them. If you don't have the clear sleeves, you can purchase these at most arts and crafts stores. The most important thing is to get going on painting cards. It nearly the season again, it comes fast, and the countdown has begun.
If you love Christmas as I do, or for that matter if you love the beauty of the season, then you'll enjoy making cards, and selling them.
Start Out Small And Then Go Big!
I carry with me an assortment of different size watercolor cards. You can find these through various webistes (check links below), or even in your local arts and crafts stores. I began painting on the smallest card I could find (3x5), and then worked my way up to the larger cards (5x7). I tend to paint out of my head rather then from photos, and because I do this most of my winter cards are Pacific Northwest scenes. After a while the size of the card doesn't matter. It's what you put on the card that makes it stand out. I love the evergreen forests, mountains, streams, and farm homes that dot our landscape. These speak to me of the beauty of winter, and the wonder of Christmas, and if they speak to me of these things then most likely they will speak to those who see them. So don't wait to get started. Order your cards today, and have fun creating your own beautiful cards.
Jerrysartarama is a great site to order from
- Art Supplies and Materials - Jerry's Artarama
Best Art Supplies store up to 85% off. Save on professional artist supplies, materials & fine art framing online since 1968
- Painting, Drawing & Art Supplies - Cheap Joe's Art Stuff
Cheap Joe's Art Stuff offers discount prices on painting, drawing and art supplies. Shop our enormous collection of artist materials online, by phone or by mail for premier customer service, quick delivery, and great savings.
- Art Supplies | BLICK Art Materials
Blick Art Materials offers great discounts on art supplies online. Shop our huge selection of art supplies, crafts, fine art brands, creative projects & more.
Questions & Answers
Question: How did you know how much to charge for your art?
Answer: I really didn't know how much to charge, and I wasn't prepared for selling at that time. My price varies depending on where I am and what the situation is, but I charge anywhere from $8 to $12 a card. For example, if I'm producing ten cards on commission, I'll tend to give a break on the price. I hope that helps, and I hope you'll try it out. Post a picture of your cards; I would love to see them.
Penny Lulich (author) from Indiana on November 02, 2017:
Thank you C.S. Alexis! I see you're from NW Indiana. I have painted a little up near Chicago, and this past summer at the dunes on Lake Michigan. It's all beautiful country. I hope you try painting the cards.
C.S.Alexis from NW Indiana on November 01, 2017:
Love your cards, thanks for sharing.