Thoughts on Thursday – Converting Your Painting to a Greetings Card

In this weeks thoughts on Thursday I will talk about what to do with your paintings once they are finished.  For the Christmas Robin we did last term we specifically painted it with a Christmas Card in mind.  I had many queries on how I would go about this, so this blog is all about how to turn your painting into a greetings card.

Step 1 – Take a Good Quality Photo

Robin in Acrylic
Robin in Acrylic by Debbie Chatfield


Mobile phones are nowadays very good at taking photographs, alternatively you can use any good camera.   Tips for taking a good photograph:

  • Choose Good Natural Lighting – Daylight is the Best Light
  • Avoid Glare – A bright day but without glaring sunshine which would create reflections or shadow.
  • Line up Your Painting – I sometimes lie a painting flat – the camera must be at the same angle as the painting.
  • Check your picture – if necessary take it again.
  • Ensure you have everything you want in the picture – you can crop if necessary but you can’t add what you don’t have.

Thank you to Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK, the original photographer of the Robin in the snow photographs we used for the class paintings (Uploaded by Magnus Manske) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

Step 2 – Decide Your Vehicle for Printing Your Card

  1. Are you going to print out your picture and then attach to a card?  This is easy in the first instance but time consuming if you have a lot of cards.
  2. You can design a card in Word and print it yourself.
  3. Will you take to your local printers.? If you do they like a pdf version which you can convert from a Word or Publisher document.
  4. You can design cards online by uploading your photograph – I use Vistaprint but there are many others.

I have at times used all four of these methods.  As well as painted individual cards for people, you can buy watercolour pre-folded cards on which to paint directly but this is not what we are covering here.

I will briefly cover producing your own Word document that will fold into a card, you can then take this to the printers in the right format.

I will also show you how to upload into Vistaprint, I like this method for producing my Christmas cards as you can use templates and it is relatively straightforward (if a little fiddly!).

Step 3 – Producing a File Containing Your Painting

Word Method

You can do this in various ways, via use of columns or aligning your photograph.  I will attach a copy of a couple of prepared cards here and then all you need to do is move your photograph into the areas and update the text – so you can use them as a template.  

Be careful – it is all about orientation, think which way up your photo will be once the fold is done and follow the example – let me know if this helps.

Card Landscape Poppies 

Card Portrait Green Jug

I’m hoping it gives you a starting point, these cards I have left blank inside.  If anyone wants further information we can do it in a future blog.


Vistaprint Method

Choose a Template from the Folded Cards (Christmas Card Section)

Try to choose a template that suits the orientation and style of your painting, it will then give you the option to edit… upload your photograph and drag it into the area for images, resize it by grabbing the blue dots, you can also crop by double clicking.

Personalise your message using the tools provided.

Then preview the card, they will send you a proof if requested so you can see how it fits together.

Add to your basket, they will give you a lot of options for extras which you don’t have to select, they will provide you with good quality envelopes for nothing… then select the number of cards you want and order… 

Hope this has helped, if you have any further questions, ask below in the comments.

In our next finishing blog we will discuss how we attached the mountainscape on velvet to a canvas frame.



Thoughts on Thursday – Using Your Paintings as a Greetings Card

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