Autumn and Halloween Bookmarks with Metallic Watercolors | Olha Shtets | Skillshare

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Autumn and Halloween Bookmarks with Metallic Watercolors

teacher avatar Olha Shtets, Ukrainian Book Blogger

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Additional Supplies

    • 4. Preparation

    • 5. Bookmark #1. Golden pumpkins

    • 6. Bookmark #2. Golden quote

    • 7. Bookmark #3. Cute ghosts

    • 8. Bookmark #4. Ghost in da house

    • 9. Ready to cut

    • 10. Ribbons

    • 11. Thank you

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About This Class


In this class, I’ll teach you to draw Autumn and Halloween themed patterns, which you can use to create bookmarks. They are super easy to draw, so just follow me step by step and in an hour you’ll have beautiful bookmarks (or postcards, if you want).

I will use metallic watercolors and black paper. I love their magical and sparkling effect. It is also really easy to draw with metallic watercolors, even if you are new to any watercolors. But you are free to use other materials.

As a bonus, we’ll decorate our bookmarks with sparkling ribbons!

Enjoy creating,


Autumn quotes on Goodreads:

Music by:

Meet Your Teacher

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Olha Shtets

Ukrainian Book Blogger


Hi! My name is Olha, and I’m Ukrainian book blogger.

I’m passionate about books, and I love to popularize them in creative ways. So, when four years ago I began to learn drawing and at first didn’t know with whom to share my art, I decided to combine my passion for books and my newly discovered hobby. I continue to experiment and combine photos of books, photos of me, and digital illustration for my book blog on Instagram. You can take a peek and see it for yourself. Soon I’ll make a class about mixed media and how to create compelling visuals for your blog.

“Thanks” to this year’s quarantine, I finally found the time to draw with physical materials like watercolors. Who doubted that I quickly find out how to make from wate... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi, my name is Olha, and I’m Ukrainian book blogger. I adore beautiful handmade bookmarks, which I can use for different books during different seasons. And as it turned out, it's pretty easy to make your own bookmarks. In this class, I'll teach you to draw Autumn and Halloween themed patterns. I will use metallic watercolors and black paper. They give this magical and sparkling effect for your bookmarks, which will be even more beautiful in the evening under your lamplight. Also it’s really easy to draw with metallic watercolors. So even if you don’t have drawing with any watercolors, it’s okay, I’m pretty sure you’ll be comfortable with metallic watercolors. But you are free to use any other materials, like metallic pens, and just draw patterns that I’ll show you in this class. As a bonus, we'll decorate our bookmarks with sparkling ribbons. I’m sure that any bookmark becomes only better with a ribbon. So let’s create some autumn and Halloween themed bookmarks. 2. Supplies: For drawing bookmarks, in this class, you will need metallic watercolors. I use the ones from Van Gogh. They have 12 colors in tubes and already contain palette. Of course, for metallic watercolors, you will also need black paper. I use black watercolor paper, also from Van Gogh. By the way, Van Gogh also has these metallic watercolors in pans. I have four brushes, numbers 0, 2, 6 and 10. By the way, the number six came in the box, with my metallic watercolor tubes. However, you can use other brushes, just have a smaller and a bigger ones. In addition, you will need a white pen to add some details to the bookmarks. I use Sakura Jelly Roll. It would be good to have some duct tape so you can fix your paper and divide it into four pieces for your future bookmarks. Of course, you will need some clean water. I don't know, why I haven't shown this in the first place. Finally, it would be good to have a cardboard, but you can attach your paper with the duct tape to the table as well. And for sure, you need scissors to cut the duct tape, plus paper towels, and a pencil. 3. Additional Supplies: And there are some additional supplies that would make your life easier and your bookmarks better. But if you don't have them, it's ok. You can cut your bookmarks with scissors and even without the ribbon. I'm sure your bookmarks, will look amazing. For cutting bookmarks. I recommend to use a utility knife, metallic ruler, and a self-healing cutting mat. You will need the green side because it's really hard to cut black bookmarks on the black side. For decorating your bookmarks with ribbons you will need a hole puncher 2-3 millimeters in diameter and some ribbons, of course. 4. Preparation: This is a fast and easy step. You need to divide your paper into four pieces. Take a pencil and mark with a pencil how wide you want your bookmarks to be, for example, you can use your favorite bookmark as a reference. And then use the duct tape to separate the working space for the future bookmarks. The first three bookmarks should be of the same size, but the last one, we'll be house-shaped so leave more space for it. 5. Bookmark #1. Golden pumpkins: So are you ready to draw some bookmarks? Let me show you first on the white paper the easiest way to draw a pumpkin. Just draw a circle or oval, then outstretched oval in the middle, and on the sides, draw something like quarters of the moon. Then draw a stalk on the top of your pumpkin, or we can call it the tale of the pumpkin. I don't know how it's actually right to call it, let's just call it the tale. You can draw pumpkins of different shapes. They can be round, they can be stretched. We can also draw different tails. just look at the photos of real pumpkins for inspiration. Let’s draw another one with a pencil and try to color it I recommend to take a piece of black paper for experimenting and checking out how your metallic watercolors look on the paper. Before drawing pumpkins on the actual bookmark, you can draw a few on the experiment paper. So for the pumpkin body, I use Light Gold color and for the tail of the pumpkin, I use Silver. For convenience, I use a brush number 2 because it is neither too big nor too small. You don't need a lot of water, just a little, So your watercolor is not too thick. If you use more water, the watercolors would be less bright. So you can try different amounts of water on your experiment paper. Just remember to leave space between your “quarter moons” to make it more pumpkin shaped and not just a filled circle. Now you're ready to draw a pumpkin pattern on an actual bookmark. Draw pumpkins of different sizes, draw them anywhere you like, draw just half of the pumpkin on the edge, so it would create an illusion that there can be more pumpkins outside your bookmark. I prefer drawing all pumpkin bodies with Light Gold first, and then add the tails of the pumpkins with a Silver color later. So that I don't have to wash my brush too often. Lastly, my favorite part of creating a bookmark is to make some splashes. For this I take a bigger brush, For me it's number ten. Be sure to cover a place for other bookmarks with paper towels in order to protect it from the splashes. You can do the same with the table, laptop or anything you want to protect from the creative process. Dip the brush in the water, mop it in a lot of watercolor. And then hit the brush repeatedly against your finger. Do this several times until you are satisfied with the result. And that's it, congratulations, your bookmark is ready, but do not stop here. Let's draw another one. 6. Bookmark #2. Golden quote: The second bookmark is the easiest to create. So even if you make five of those with different quotes, it still would be an amazing gift for your friends. That is if you ever want to part with these golden bookmarks yourself, one basic thing we need is to draw an autumn leaf. So try it on your experiment piece of paper first, this leaf is similar to an oak leaf, but has round corners. So just like drawing a cloud, Give it time to dry, just a few minutes. And grab a white pen, I use Sakura Jelly Roll. Now draw veins on your leaf. It’s a small detail, but your leaf would look more realistic with veins. Now it is time to draw our bookmark. I use the brush number 10 and and a lot of Light Gold watercolor. Color your bookmark with watercolor, any shape you like, but leave a little space on the top and the bottom. So we can draw leaves there. Now as we've drawn our leaves, you can go get some coffee or tea because your bookmark will need ten minutes to dry. Check if it's dry, before writing a quote, I just found an amazing collection of autumn quotes on Goodreads. I'll leave the link in the description of this class. Choose your quote, write it on the bookmark, and don't forget about the author. And don’t worry, there is no need to now calligraphy, just write as usual, as it's comfortable for you. Also don’t forget to draw the veins on your leaves. And of course we need some golden splashes on this bookmark as well! Wow, we already have two bookmarks! 7. Bookmark #3. Cute ghosts: The third bookmark has an easy spooky pattern, but first you will need to prepare it with a pencil. Let me show you on the white paper, how to draw a simple ghost. Always draw a bigger eyes. So it would be easier for you in the future to paint with watercolor around them. The good thing about metallic watercolors and black paper is that the pencil drawings are almost invisible. They are just for you, so you can see where to color in. After you paint over it, The pencil drawings won't be visible. If you have experience with, let's say a classic watercolors on white paper, you know that pencil drawings are always visible under your watercolor, and you can't erase them after you paint it over them. This is annoying because I like to have pencil drafts to back me up. And with metallic watercolors, you can do this pencil drafts and be calm that they won't be visible for others. Now is the time to draw a la lot of spooky or mainly cute ghosts on the bookmark. Just sketch with your pencil ghosts of different sizes. And do not forget about their eyes! For the coloring, I use brush number 0 because it's easier to draw around eyes. I use the Silver color, but actually after a bit of thinking, maybe Interference White would be better. Though they are really similar. Just test on your experimental piece of paper which color you like the best. But again, in this class, I used Silver color. Be careful with coloring around the eyes, because I myself had a few accidents and made eyes really small and differently shaped. But it can also be fun because if one eye is round and the other is oval it looks like the ghost is frowning. So don't beat yourself up if you make a mistake because it can be for the better. If you still have some empty spaces between your ghosts I propose to fill some of them with the word "BOO". After you colored all your ghosts, it's time to give them cute faces. I really love how blush cheeks look on ghosts, so I take Interference Red color and paint with it below the ghost’s eyes. Yes, that’s right, You can draw on the painted areas just on top of the Silver, but be sure it’s already dry. You can also draw some darker details with Graphite color. It’s not as dark as your paper, but you still can draw mouths or eye shadow or whatever you like to see on your ghost. With Interference Red you can also draw tongues to make your ghost playful. Then as always, grab a bigger brush and make some splashes with Silver or Interference White watercolor. 8. Bookmark #4. Ghost in da house: We already have three nice bookmarks which are easy to make and which will create this nice autumn and Halloween mood for your reading times. But how about creating a bookmark of an interesting format? Let's make a bookmark in the shape of a house. You can again draw a pencil draft on the actual bookmark then just cover it with watercolors. You can draw the same house I did. Or you can find inspiration in other spooky or haunted houses. Just don't forget to add some Halloween must decorations like a ghost or a pumpkin, pumpkin or a spider’s web or a spooky lantern etc. Is your sketch ready? If so, let’s color it! Before we used only Gold and Silver colors and they looked pretty ordinary on the palette. But when you use interference colors, they look differently on the palette than on the black paper. If you try to paint with interference blue on white paper, it will come out is just a strange creamy color as it is on the palette. But on the black paper, it is sparkling blue! And it is the same with other Interference colors. If you don't have interference, watercolors, just use any other colors you like and have. I used Interference Blue for the house, Interference Red for the roof, Copper for the door and wooden windows, Light Gold for illuminated windows and Interference White for the ghost. Also, I used a white pen for drawing the spider's web and some bricks. And yes, it’s a shame, but We won't do any splashes for this bookmark. However, if you want, I can't stop you. 9. Ready to cut: So, are you ready to cut? This is actually my least favorite part. I almost cut off the top of my finger once, So be careful with the utility knife. You can do this with scissors but then your bookmarks probably won't be smooth on the edges. I have a few advises for you. First, pull out just a little of the blade, otherwise, you can accidentally cut yourself. Second, use duct tape, the best ones and decorative, they don’t rip off the paper underneath when you remove them. But be sure to check your duct tape on an experiment piece of watercolor paper beforehand, so as to be confident that your bookmarks won't suffer. You need the duct tape to prevent the bookmarks from wobbling when you cut them out. Or you can ask someone to help you to hold the watercolor paper or the ruler. The hardest part is to cut house-shaped bookmark, but altogether it’s just the same as with other bookmarks. 10. Ribbons: I'm sure your bookmarks already look wonderful, but I'm a fan of ribbons, so I'll show you how to add some ribbons to the bookmarks. It's the possibility for you to make your bookmarks even more creatively looking. I use sparkling ribbons that 3 mm wide. Your art store should have those. You can make a hole with scissors, but I do it with a hole puncher. Find the middle of your bookmark and make a hole around 5-10 millimeters from the top. I cut off somewhere around 16-20 centimeters of the ribbon. fold it in a half, put both ends of the ribbon through the hole in back of the bookmark and then I make a knot. That’s it! Now we have our beautiful bookmarks decorated with cool ribbons. 11. Thank you: I hope you are happy with your bookmarks. Now you have nice presents for your friends or your own books. Thank you for participating in this class. Enjoy your reading with new bookmarks!