Gouache Painted Postcards

A tropical beach scene — signed, sealed, delivered! Paint along with us as we create colorful postcards inspired by a beach vacation! Learn color blocking and other painting techniques to explore the opaque qualities of gouache. Then, send personalized mail to friends and family!


1. Remove paper from watercolor block using palette knife, blade, or butter knife.

2. Measure paper to 5" x 7" using a ruler and a pencil. Trim to size with an X-Acto knife.

3. Tape paper down to work surface to create a ¼" border on all sides.

4. Sketch design on to paper using pencil and eraser.

5. Apply acrylic gouache colors to your palette and use a dropper to add a small amount of water to each color. Mix until paints are workable and “gliding” on the paper without sticking.

6. Color block the beach, water, and sky using a ½" wash brush. Use beige for the beach sand, Light Aqua for the sky, and Cerulean blue for the water. Allow to dry.

7. Mix yellow with blue and white to make a sea foam green color for the water. Refine and add in details using a size 6 round brush.

8. Add highlights in the water using varying shades of blue, combining the colors to create unique mixtures. Allow to dry between layers of detail.

9. Paint the clouds and sail boat. Use light washes of white at first, then build up more layers of white to create texture. Mix a small amount of grey using black and white for shading on the sailboat. Refine your painting with details as needed and allow to dry completely.

10. On the back of the paper, use a ruler to make dotted edge lines, space for a stamp, and an address block using a felt tip pen.