children's book Maria's Loose Tooth illustrations by Yong Chen

watercolor painting by Grace Taylor, a proud student of Yong Chen

Watercolor painting by
Grace Taylor

Grace Taylor's watercolor learning experience:
The greeting card was a very different assignment than all of the others. In this one there were a lot more variables. The first step was to think how big am I gong to make this card? That brought into question another thing: Do I want to pay extra postage to make this card bigger? I think it is best to stay within the standard size for shipping reasons.

The next step is to decide whether or not to have a white boarder around the outside. I think it looks very professional to have a boarder, but it also wastes paper. Eventually I decided to do a smaller card with a quarter inch white boarder. I have a block, so it was not necessary to stretch the paper to ensure that when it dries, it doesn’t get bumpy.

Simplicity is very important with greeting cards because they are so small. A detailed picture would be very difficult and not as appreciated on such a small canvas. I decided to paint a crane because those birds remind my mother of her favorite place, the ocean. I used light purples and blues to shadow the bird. These are her favorite colors. After writing a sweet message on the inside and also the back, I was ready to make an envelope. I carefully folded over the sides, making sure that there was one quarter inch on either to ensure the card would be safe. Next I took it to the post office to make sure I had the correct postage and off it went, just in time for Mother’s Day.

View students' online gallery

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