Time Required :
About an hour
Intermediate
Intermediate
You're somewhat experienced with the skills necessary to complete this project, but you haven't mastered all the elements, yet.

watercolor holiday card

​Let’s create a fun and colorful watercolor Holiday card that will bring a smile to anyone’s face! Learn from Shelly Kim how to paint loose roses, florals, leaves and lettering!
Step 1

Start by painting three loose watercolor roses at the upper left-hand corner and then one rose at the bottom right-hand corner of your watercolor cards. To paint a loose watercolor rose, start by painting “c-curve” strokes with mainly pigment on your brush. The middle will be very pigmented.

Step 2

Then rinse your brush in water and begin pulling the pigment from the middle while painting bigger “c-curve” strokes around the mid-point. Repeat this process until the strokes appear softer since less pigment is used and the floral gets bigger. Also, make sure that there is some negative space between the “c-curve” strokes in order to create a rose-like floral.​
TIP: If you notice that your “c-curve” strokes are needing some paint, feel free to drop a little more paint in them to make them more vibrant.​

Step 3

Now, paint a bundle of loose watercolor leaves around the edges to create a fun leaf border. To paint a loose watercolor leaf, paint a light upstroke using the tip of the paintbrush, this will form the stem for the leaves. Then use the belly of the paintbrush to create a half-almond-shaped stroke. Make another half-almond-shaped stroke starting at the bottom of the first almond-shaped stroke. ​​Then extend the tip of the leaf where the two almond-shaped strokes meet and this will help determine the direction of the leaf as well. Using more water and paint, continue to paint the remaining leaves.

Step 4

Pick a side of the stem and start with a light upstroke. Follow the light upstroke with a heavy pressure upstroke under the first light stroke to create an “almond-shaped” leaf. Go over the leaf back and forth to reshape the leaf if needed. Continue this process once one side of the stem is covered in leaves. Next, rotate your art piece and begin painting the remaining leaves on the other side of the stem using the same painting techniques for a leaf. Continue painting multiple leaves along the edges of the card using various shades of the color green until a full border of leaves is created.​
TIP: Don’t worry about lining up the leaves on both sides of the stem, the beauty about leaves is that they are not always symmetrical.​

Step 5

After the leaves are painted, let’s now paint smaller loose florals around the edges to make the border appear fuller and colorful. To paint the smaller florals, paint an upside-down triangle or some paint strokes leaving a little bit of negative space. Paint another paint stroke on the left-hand side of the initial upside-down triangle and then on the right-hand side. Repeat this process and choose various colors when painting the smaller florals on the leaf border.

Step 6

Next, paint stems for the smaller loose florals throughout the leaf border and paint additional stems along the edges to make the border appear fuller.​

Step 7

Lastly, use a pencil to sketch out your lettering on the middle of the card and then go over it using a round paintbrush and watercolor paints.​
TIP: For downstrokes, apply heavy pressure and for upstrokes, apply light pressure. Always remember that you can go back and reshape your strokes with more paint if needed.

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