Watercolor greeting + surprise

This little note I've made holds a surprise. It's both a greeting and a gift because the inside holds a watercolor palette.

The watercolor palette is made using Peerless Watercolors. My favorite supply store, Arch introduced me to this tool. They're highly concentrated colors that sit dry on sheets of paper. A wet paintbrush easily picks up the color. (A little goes a long way.) The history of this product goes back over 100 years. They were originally designed for photo retouching and colorizing black and white photography. The little booklet comes with original instructions for that purpose (along with 15 colors).

Some of the colors have a fractal pattern similar to frozen ice on a lake.

Some of the colors have a fractal pattern similar to frozen ice on a lake.

There is also an expansion pack of watercolors available. Using all the colors at my disposal I cut little swatches to make a full portable watercolor palette for crafting on-the-go. Below the swatches there is crystal clear cellophane tape that can act as a mixing palette. This on-the-go palette idea came from my friend Caryn at Arch when she showed me this product.

Of course my next logical step was to create greetings for this easily giftable art supply. To go with the watercolor theme I wanted a watercolor look to my calligraphy. Using paint similar to gouache I used two primary colors and let them mix to purple in my pen nib. I applied the color using eyedroppers. If you were to use the peerless watercolors for your calligraphy ink you'd get much lighter letterforms so the gouache allows for a more substantial ink.

The peerless watercolors are so concentrated a little swatch goes a long way. I still have so much left for personal use and making more palettes.

Most of the colors in the palette look very different once exposed to water.

Most of the colors in the palette look very different once exposed to water.

This was my paint setup for writing the calligraphed greeting.

This was my paint setup for writing the calligraphed greeting.

I made a handful of these for gifting and for mailing to you! To get one of these greetings in the mail make sure you're signed up to play The Mail Game. This will be the handmade goody I send to the winners of my next mailing (in March 2015).


Project Resources
If you're not in San Francisco to head to Arch I've got you covered with these online resources.

— Peerless Watercolors (set of 15)
Peerless Watercolors (expansion set)
Watercolor brush with water reservoir (handy for using with the portable palette).
Bristol paper (for making the card)
Double stick tape (to adhere the color swatches)
Crystal clear tape (for creating a mixing palette)
Gouache (for the calligraphy. I don't have an online resource for the exact paints I've used so I'm including a link for a different set that I've used).