EASY Holiday WATERCOLOR CARDS Painting Tutorial


Hey there, my name is Françoise, welcome
to my channel ! So I’m here today with another watercolor
easy holiday card painting tutorial and I’m going to be guiding you through this beginner
level painting step by step. Let’s get right into it !
I’m working on a 5 x 7 piece of watercolor paper and I’ll be using paintbrushes of different
sizes today. I linked all my supplies in the description below so feel free to check them
out ! The sketch is available for a free download
in the description as well. What I did was to freehand it on a regular piece of paper,
and when I was satisfied, I used transfer paper to get a cleaner and final version of
it and from there I simply transfered it on my watercolor paper.
Some of the pencil lines are a bit strong so I like tu use a kneaded eraser when that
happens to fade those lines and make sure they don’t show through my watercolors.
And before I start to paint I also like to tape my paper down with some masking tape,
to keep it from moving around and also because I like to get those clean and sharp edges
all around. Let’s move onto the painting part now. I decided
to start with the gifts here because they’re on the left and I’m right handed.
Here I am using a paintbrush with a fine tip and I’m also using Winsor and Newton watercolors.
I opted for common colors here like green, purple and orange, but whatever you have will
work. To make these gifts look good, make sure your
brush is not too big. You may also want to avoid each part of the presents to bleed into
each other in order to preserve a good cubic shape. For that, you can either wait for one
area to dry before painting the next, or like me here, you can leave a thin line between
those areas. And finally for these presents to look more
dimensional, don’t forget to make sure you get several values in there, for instance
you can try to get some areas to look darker, some lighter and some in between. All I do
to achieve this is to add water to my brush if I want to lighten up my color or if I want
to make it darker, I just add a bit more paint when the paper is still wet. When I add some
more paint though, I’m always careful not to add too much extra water with it because
chances are the paper is already drying and you may see some blooms forming if you bring
in a very wet brush to a surface that has started to dry. Now I’m going to start painting the gift bag
with a bigger paintbrush since this area is much larger. I’m switching paintbrushes for
convenience only and if you have a limited amount of choice, using what you have will
still work and the same goes with paint colors. For this bag I decided to use three different
but similar shades that I thought would look good together and help me build up contrast.
I used Gold ochre, which looks a lot like a more common shade called Yellow ochre, I
also used burnt sienna, and a shade called indian red that is the darkest of all. To
simplify this, you can work with whatever shade you want and add water to it to get
a lighter value, use it as such for your average value and add a bit of grey or black or brown
to get a darker value. What I did was to use a light wash of my gold
ochre to wet the surface and then I added a bit of the other colors in specific spots
to shape the bag better and create creases in the fabric.
A tip here to create even lighter areas than what you lightest wash allows you to get is
to use a very clean and barely damp brush to soak up some paint. Doing this will create
a highlight.as long you make sure to do it when the paint is still wet.
I’m letting this dry for now and will come back to it later for more definition.
I’m moving on to the Christmas hat now and I’m doing exactly the same I did with the
bag, I’m using three shades of red, a light, an average and a darker one and I start building
up a bit of contrast. I’m going to let this layer dry as well and come back to it later.
Now I want to show you something really cool, I heard of this golden powder you can mix
to watercolors, the link is in the description, and I had to try it for myself. It’s very
volatile and mixes to water really well and at first I didn’t really know how to use it
so I mixed some up to my watercolors and it does add a bit of sparkle to other colors
but it’s very subtle that you wouldn’t see it here on video.
So this time around I decided to use just enough water with it to make it creamy and
it’s completely different. You can clearly see here it’s turning into an opaque golden
paint, it’s very shimmery and it’s perfect to create accents on those gifts. I was really
happy with the experience because it’s really a fast and easy way to create pretty Christmas
accents without having to worry about the paint underneath showing through.
A more economic way to recreate this without buying this product is I think to use a metallic
golden gel pen if you have one. Now I’m working on the bag and hat again,
and this time I’m just using my darkest colors, indian red for the bag and dark red for the
hat. Because the paper was dry, I used a clean damp brush to fade the paint I applied into
the first layer. Now I move on to Santa’s outfit and I’m working
in the same way I did previously. Just always making sure nearby areas are completely dry
so the paint does not start bleeding through these.
I found my reds were dull after drying, so I added a final coat of bright red to brighten
up the whole thing. And that’s the beauty of watercolors is that it’s a transparent
medium and doing so did not fade or cover those shadows and highlights I had created
before, it just helped revive the overall color of my piece.
Because of that, I decided to do the same on the bag, with a light wash of the lightest
and brightest color I had used there, gold ochre.
Time to paint Santa’s face now! To achieve a skin tone there, I mixed blue, yellow and
red, more red than the other two colors actually, and that, you can see as you’re mixing these
three colors and adjust the amount, there’s no exact recipe with so many skin tones out
there ! I added a bit of neutral tint, it’s like a grey or black tone, to the mix, to
make it much darker for the shadows, mouth and eyebrows.
I applied a coat of my base wash on the face and worked my way towards more contrast as
the paint was drying, using less and less water.
When this was dry, I worked on details such as defining the nose, eyes, eyebrows, with
that mix of my base wash and neutral tint. For the white part of the hat, I used a mix
of brown and neutral tint and lots of water, just because whites are never just white,
so I wanted these areas to look a bit more realistic here with color.
I applied some paint in places and quickly faded it into the white of the paper with
added water, quickly because it dries pretty fast !
Then I went for the hair, the same way I did the furry part of the hat, with brown, neutral
tint and lots of water. I decided afterwards it was a good look but it made the beard a
bit too dark and it was hard to differentiate from the hat, so I covered the hair with white
gouache. You can go either way you prefer, I know the
perks of using white gouache is that I was able to create flyaway hair all over Santa’s
coat, and using gouache on top of my previous and darker layer of watercolor paint allowed
me to create a bit more contrast than if I had just used white on top of the white paper.
To finish this piece off I used the splatter technique with my gold paint and that was
a lot of fun ! It really adds to the Christmas atmosphere !
We’re done painting this easy handmade holiday card with our watercolors, and I hope you
enjoyed these tips and learned some new tricks. If you did, please let me know in the comments
below, give this video a thumbs up and share it with your friends. And also, don’t forget
to subscribe and hit the notification bell for more watercolor techniques and ideas.
See you in the next video!

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