Handmade Watercolor Cards For Your Punny Valentine

Because who doesn't love a good pun?

watercolor tutorials
mermaid - avocado - tulip - moon

Valentine's Day: you either love it, hate it, or tolerate it. No matter if you go out for dinner, go big on gifts, or treat it like any other day, it's never a bad time to tell someone you love them with a handmade card! Art is a way to say the things you don't always have words for, and what better way to make someone's day than with simple and quick watercolor projects. Check out these 4 mini watercolor tutorials specifically for a slightly silly valentine!

All you really need is watercolors, a brush, watercolor paper (and Bleed Proof White for the final project). Whatever paint brushes you have on hand will work just fine, but if you'd like to add some new supplies to your arsenal, we recommend the Round 2 brush, the Round 6 brush, and watercolor postcards. Find paint options below!

Mermaid Tail

watercolor painting of mermaid tail that says "We mermaid for each other"
1. Draw the Tail
Tails are all about curves! Make the top of your tail thick at the top, getting gradually thinner on the way down. Think of the fins as two leaf shapes that connect. Feel free to use a pencil or graphite paper to sketch the tail shape - just use a light hand to prevent the lines showing under the watercolor!

2. Add Color
Add a light wash of blue + green. You can put water down first and drop in color using the wet on wet technique, OR for less variation, do an even wash.
3. Add Dimension
Drop in straight blue at the base of the tail and fins, again, using the wet on wet technique (while the first layer is still wet).

4. Add Details
Using the wet on dry technique, add lines to the tail using straight blue, then use either a white pen or white acrylic paint to add small dots for highlights.

Try these alternate puns:
  • My heart flips when I sea you
  • Call me on my shellphone
  • Tail me you'll be my valentine


watercolor painting of an avocado cut in half that says "Avo always love you"
1. Draw outline
Start with two oval shapes, outlining a circle on the bottom of one oval and a half circle on the bottom of the second oval. Make two concave lines at the very top to about a quarter of the way down the oval to create the shape of an avocado.

2. Add color
Using the wet on wet technique, add water to edges. While still wet, add light green first and then dark green along the edge. Let dry completely.

3. Paint the seed
Using mixtures of green and brown, fill in the full circle on your first avocado slice. Leave space for a white highlight and make sure the left side is darker to give it dimension. On the second slice, fill in the half circle using light green. This wet on dry technique will allow the color to dry in only the half circle, creating the look of an indent where the seed once was.

Try these alternate puns:
  • You are my better half
  • You guac my world
  • You're everything I avo wanted


watercolor painting of a tulip that says "so happy I picked you"
1. Draw outline
Lightly sketch the stem, then make elongated football shapes for the leaves. The petals are a similar shape, but shorter and wider. Only the top halves show in the back.

2. Paint the petals

Mix yellow, fuchsia, and plenty of water. Paint a light wash over the tulip petals,
one at a time.

3. Paint the stem/leaves
Paint a green base layer. While wet, add dark blue at the bottom and tips of the leaves and a drop of yellow in the center.

4. Petal shading
Add a touch of straight fuchsia to the tip/bottom of the petals and blend out.

Try these alternate puns:
  • Pick me to be yours
  • Let's put our two lips together
  • Our love is in full bloom


watercolor painting of a night sky and moon that says "You are out of this world"
1. Draw a circle
Yep, it's really that simple! Create a loose rectangle shape around the circle to act as the sky.
2. Paint the sky
Paint around circle with water and drop in areas of blue, navy, purple, and pink.
3. Add stars
Add stars using a Bleed Proof White, acrylic paint, a white gel pen, or gouache.
4. Add moon
When dry, create a shadow on the left side of the moon using a light gray wash.

Try these alternate puns:
  • I'm over the moon for you
  • I thank my lucky stars for you
  • You are my moon and stars

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image of four mini watercolor tutorials featuring a mermaid tail, tulip, night sky with moon, and avocado


  • Lael Frenzel

    I especially LOVE these tutorials for their step by step that teaches the drawing aspect of these little pieces… These and the Halloween cat/ghost/and moon projects have been my overall favorites!

  • Missy DeClercq

    Thank you for the simple instructions. When I started the subscription boxes last year my niece was very interested in what I was doing and how it works. This is perfect. We will be having our first art session this weekend. If she allows, I’ll send pictures.

  • Jennifer ROde

    What a sweet Valentines gift you have given us! I hope yours is sweet and full of Love. 😍✌🏼👩🏼‍🎨

  • LauraR

    These were so fun to do! Very cute!!!

  • Jodi

    Great tutorials!! Should be fun to do!!

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