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Abstract Art Cards

An abstract art design for a greeting card

Abstract art cards are gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional greeting cards.

They feature abstract or semi-abstract images - often without sentiments or an inside message.  Great for any occasion!

Creating abstract art gives you freedom to go with your imagination as your creations don't need to represent anything.

It's also a good opportunity to test out new colour combinations and to add textures and patterns. 

So relax! Let go as you intuitively create your cards.

What's the difference?
Mixed Media and Abstract Art

Mixed media is a kind of art that uses a combination of different mediums on one piece.  For example combining painting with collage elements.

It is about how things are made and how different materials can be combined.

Abstract art can be inspired by objects, figures, or landscapes, but it doesn't have to look exactly like them. This means that the artwork can be a mix of different mediums and not represent anything specific.

It's possible for art to be both mixed media and abstract, if it combines different mediums in a non-representational style.

Getting Started....

The good news is you don't need to go to the expense of buying stamps and dies to create your cards.

Find a medium that you feel comfortable working with - there are no right or wrong choices.  Some people feel happy with watercolour or acrylic paints others with coloured pencils or pastels.  The choice is yours!

Don't go out and buy lots of supplies. 

Use what you have even if it's a children's paint set. You don't need fancy brushes as old brushes can provide wonderful texture.

Whatever medium you choose spend some time playing on scrap paper first to experiment with different shapes, textures, patterns and colours.

When you feel confident and relaxed use your best card. For watercolours and acrylic paint you need watercolour or mixed media paper.

Be spontaneous! 

Don't overthink it.  Just let your mind flow and see where your creativity takes you.

Don't stop at one sheet - keep going and have lots of fun!

abstract art card created with watercolour and acrylic paint
abstract art card created with watercolour and acrylic paint

For these cards I used the wet on wet technique (wet paint onto wet paper) to allow the watercolour paints to blend into each other.

I mainly used paints from the Prima Decadent Pies paint set.  These little sets are ideal as you know that all the colours in the set work beautifully together.

Salt was added in places to provide texture. You add the salt when the paint is wet and brush off when dry.

The stripes were created acrylic paint through a stencil and for the dots I used white gouache paint with the scoring tool from my scoring board.


First think about your recipient and the message you want to send. This will influence your choice of colours.

Consider the mood you want for your card. 

Bright, bold colours give off a feeling of confidence and energy. Softer colours are more calming and soothing.

Once you have an idea of the feeling you want to create, it's time to start choosing your colours.

If you're unsure where to begin, use a colour wheel or a colour palette.

Add "Colour Palettes" to the search box on Pinterest it will come up with lots of options.

Design Seeds is a website offering a masses of free colour options.   

More recently Sarah Renae Clark has produced 2 colour boxes containing 500 colour palettes.  It's a bit pricey but it does introduce you to colour options you may not have considered yourself.

You can also look to nature for inspiration, or even to your favourite clothing or home décor for colour ideas.

Pick colours that show off your personal style, so your abstract cards look special and stand out.

abstract art card created with watercolour and acrylic paint
abstract art card created with watercolour and acrylic paint

The colour choices for these cards was chosen from card number 361 from the Color Box 2 from Sarah Renae Clark.

I used watercolours from the Kuretake Gansai Tambi Art Nouveau paint set - the colours are beautiful. 

Grey and white acrylic paint were used through stencils to create patterns and texture.  Finally white pen and black pen marks completed the cards.


Card makers often use simple shapes and geometric patterns to create backgrounds and embellishments.  With abstract cards the shapes and patterns become the main focal point of the card.

Search "Mondrian" for examples of clean, modern abstract designs.  

A Geometric abstract art card created with metallic watercolours

Check out your stash for punches, dies, stencils and stamps for shapes or use items from the recycling.  

Circular, rectangular, and triangular shapes are some of the easiest to work with. Either use a single shape or combine multiple shapes to create interesting patterns.

Even unconventional blobby shapes can be used to create custom designs.


abstract art card created with a stamp set and stencil from Taylored Expressions
abstract art card created with a stamp set and stencil from Taylored Expressions

These two cards were created with a stamp and stencil set from Taylored Expressions.  

The blobby shapes were created by blending distress oxide inks through the stencils.  Muted colours were chosen as they are masculine birthday cards.

The stamps that came with the set could be easily replicated with pen marks.  I added a die cut from Paper Rose to add a bit more interest and texture.

Texture and Patterns

Adding texture and patterns to your abstract art cards creates dimension and interest.

Here are a few tips.....

  • Use layers of different mediums on your cards.  Such as pastel over paint.  
  • Use different tools such as palette knife instead of a paint brush.
  • Add dots, lines, or other marks to create a variety of different textures and patterns. These could be in a matching or contrasting colour with different mediums such as pen or crayons.
  • Experiment with different options such water droplets or drops of Isopropyl Alcohol.   Alcohol inks can also create vibrant and beautiful shapes and texture.
  • Add salt onto wet watercolour paint and allow to dry.  The texture is amazing!  Try table salt and rock salt for different textures.

abstract art card created with watercolour paint and pen

My final card is an abstract landscape created with the Prima Decadent Pies watercolour set.

I used both table salt and rock salt to create the texture on different parts of the card.  

Patterns were added with neurographic elements, dots and lines in gold, white and black pen.

Of all the cards this is my favourite.  It took a long time to create but I was so pleased with the result I doubt I will send this to anyone.

Sentiments for Abstract Art Cards

When I add a sentiment to the outside of an abstract card it's one with a simple design such as a black strip with white embossed lettering.

These can be a simple sentiment from your stash or increasingly I've been using the sentiment packs from Paper Rose, Creative Expressions or Tim Holtz.  These are sold on card ready printed on white and black card.

Just cut out and glue on or add some foam to the back for dimension.

For the inside I use the free Card Messages from Altenew - brilliant for those times when I don't know what to say.  There are messages for every occasion!

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