Paint Christmas Botanicals in Watercolor: Create a Christmas Card | Sharon Margolies | Skillshare

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Paint Christmas Botanicals in Watercolor: Create a Christmas Card

teacher avatar Sharon Margolies, Artist | Watercolor + Lettering

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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

12 Lessons (1h 3m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:38
    • 2. Supplies

      4:16
    • 3. Gathering Inspiration

      1:06
    • 4. Drawing the Poinsettia

      4:44
    • 5. Painting the Poinsettia

      13:40
    • 6. Drawing the Holly Leaves

      3:22
    • 7. Painting the Holly Leaves

      9:07
    • 8. The Pine Bough

      4:09
    • 9. Completing the Card

      8:19
    • 10. Final Thoughts

      0:55
    • 11. Keepsake Ornament

      7:30
    • 12. Gift Tags

      3:32
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About This Class

This class demonstrates a simple approach to painting a Poinsettia, a Holly sprig and a Pine branch in Watercolor. These botanical elements can be used to create a Christmas Greeting Card.

The class is best suited for those with some prior experience in watercolor. 

Students will gain confidence in watercolor after learning how to paint with this simple approach. With just these few simple botanical illustrations students will be able to create a Christmas card along with Christmas ornaments and gift tags.

A detailed supply list will be provided for the required materials. A design template will also be provided in the Resource section of the class.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sharon Margolies

Artist | Watercolor + Lettering

Teacher

Hello, I'm Sharon,

I'm a watercolor artist and calligrapher. I have been an artist for most of my life. Originally from Illinois I now live in Cumming, Georgia. Having been raised by parents who were both artists, I was acquainted with many different art mediums at an early age. I studied Graphic Design at Illinois State University, The University of Illinois, and the American Academy of Art in Chicago. However, in 1984 I chose a different career path and two years later earned a certificate in Dental Hygiene from the University of Texas. After several successful years of working in the Field of Dentistry I am now retired and can enjoy more time painting and lettering. With the launch of my first Skillshare class I am now embarking on ways to share with others what I have learned... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: [MUSIC] Hi, everyone. I'm Sharon an artist living in the great Peach State of Georgia. I'm excited to be bringing you my second Skillshare class. This class is similar to my first Skillshare class and that we will be creating a greeting card. But this time we'll be creating a Christmas greeting card just in time for the holidays. If you're a returning student, welcome back. If you're just joining me for the first time, I'm glad to have you here. Welcome. This class is best suited for those that have some prior knowledge of watercolor. However, if you're just starting out in watercolor, I would suggest that you have a look at my first Skillshare class, specifically at those lessons that deal with the fundamentals such as wet and wet, wet and dry, and layering. By the end of this class, you'll gain confidence in watercolor and have fun in the process. Let's see what we'll be creating. In this class you'll be creating three Christmas watercolor botanicals using a very simple outlining approach. This takes the guesswork out of where to put the paint which can be tricky. Keep in mind these illustrations are not meant to be photorealistic but more of a stylized version of the subject. I've broken down this class into three main categories. The point set up, the holly leaves, and the pine branch which are the botanical illustrations that you will be creating. If this time of year gets your creative juices flowing, then this is the class for you. For your class project, you'll be creating a Christmas card out of the three botanical illustrations that I mentioned. The point set up, the holly leaves, and the pine branch. To make it a bit easier I've included a card template in the resource section. I have also provided a couple of bonus videos at the end of the class demonstrating how you can use these illustrations to make an ornament or some gift tags. You could also have your illustration stand-alone to be framed and keep for yourself or to give to someone. Let's get started by gathering our supplies which is what our next lesson involves. See you there. [MUSIC] 2. Supplies: I have provided a detailed list of materials in the resource section. The stationary I use to create the point set of card are these watercolor greeting cards by Master's Touch Fine Art Studio. The cards are five by seven inches. If you are making your own greeting card, I would suggest watercolor paper or this Canson mixed media paper. The seven by 10 size makes it easy to fold in half and then you have your five by seven greeting card. Also, it will be good to have some tracing paper on hand. You'll need a ruler, a pencil. You'll need an eraser and these micron markers by Saqqara. These are 0.05 and they work well with watercolor and that they will not bleed. A couple of metallic gel pens, these are by Pentel. I use the Krazy pop lemon lime slime and a sparkle pop gold. I use mostly Winsor Newton Professional Grade Watercolor Paints. I also like these Holbein Watercolor Paints. Keep in mind that you don't have to use these specific brand watercolor paints. However, I would suggest that you have at least one yellow, a light and a dark green, an orange and a cadmium red and some form of a darker red. This is a rose madder. You could also use a student grade paint. These are Cotman by Winsor Newton. There are several different kinds of watercolor palettes that you can choose. This one is a workhorse artist portable palette. Just make sure the palette has areas for which to mix your paint. These are a couple of ceramic palettes. The brushes I use for this project are this Master's Touch round size eight, this Master's Touch round size two, and this royal and nickels size 20/0 fine line. On the end of this royal and nickel brush is a sharp edge which I'll show you how I use in our painting lesson. You will need a couple of containers for water, one for dirty water, one for clean. These are Faber Castell Clic and Go Water Pots. They have a sculpt edge to rest your brush. Drafting tape, an old towel, and plenty of paper towels. A small spray bottle is good to have on hand so you can spritz your paints to get them activated if they've dried out. In order to trace your design onto your card, you'll need a light box. I am using an AGPtek LED Artcraft Light Pad. If you don't have a light box, a window with sufficient light coming through it should be sufficient. The rubber stamp you choose will depend on the greeting text you want on your card. I'm using greeting peace enjoy stamp made by Penny Black. The ink pad I'm using is by Recollections and the color is cranberry. You can find the specific product name in the detailed supply list provided. A pair of scissors, an exact dough knife, and a thick piece of mat board for which to cut on. The additional materials required to create the ornament and the gift tags is also detailed in the supply list provided. In the next lesson, we will be gathering some resource material. This will help us become familiar with the botanical elements that we will be creating. The point setter, the high leaves, and the pine branch. 3. Gathering Inspiration: Simply doing a Google search will bring up a wealth of information from which to study. Another great site to visit is Pixabay. Keep in mind in looking at this research material, it is not to copy any particular photograph or artist's illustration, but more a way to familiarize ourselves with the shapes and the colors of the flower and the leaves. A great place to view these botanicals up-close and personal in real life is your local nursery. There's nothing that compares to viewing this subject matter up-close in real life to bring clarity to the colors and the shapes of the flower and the leaves. In the next lesson, we will be drawing and outlining the point setup. 4. Drawing the Poinsettia: To sketch out the simple version of the point setter, I'm starting with the center of the flower, and the circles I've just drawn here are actually the flower parts. Next, making sure I keep in mind that everything is going to come from the center of the flower. I'm starting to make the inner petals but they're actually leaves of the point setter, so starting with that center vine makes it easier because you know the outline of that petal or leaf will actually meet at the end of that center vine so you can keep them at an equal distance, and again, it just makes it a little bit easier. Now I'll be making the outer, a little bit larger, red leaves again, making that one center vine stroke to make it easier. Oops, I forgot this inner red leaf. Let me get that in there. Again, making sure that the outer edges of that leaf come up to meet that center vine, and keeping in mind that everything comes from that middle. Just visually thinking about that as I make the outer edges of these red leaves now. You'll probably see that on some of these red leaves, especially the outer ones, I've added just a little bit of variation to that outline of the leaf. They tend to have a little bit of bumps and curves on some of these petals or leaves. Make five inner and five outer red leaves just to keep it simple. I don't think there's really a correct number. I'm going to speed things up just a bit as I make these background leaves, these are actually the green leaves in the background and how many you choose to make just depends on getting I guess, a pleasing look to the flower. That's what I'm thinking about right now, making these outer green leaves just what, where and how big to make them, to make it a nice shape to the flower. Once I'm happy with the sketch I've made, I take the needed eraser and erase the line so that there's just a ghost image of the outline. I decided that after looking at the sketch, I thought it would look a lot better adding one more leaf, one more background leaf in this area. Cleaned up the sketch a little bit and now I'm adding that extra leaf just to make it a little more pleasing. Using my 0.05-micron permanent marker made by Sakura, I'm going to now outline all the red leaves of this point setter. Speeding things up just a bit here. Again, you'll notice that with the outline of these outer red leaves, I'm varying the outline a bit with a little more bumps and curves to them. Now, I'll trace over the background leaves with my green micron marker. The flower part of this point setter, the circles or the balls that you'll see in the middle tend to be a very bright green with a small red center to them. Now to erase those pencil lines completely. The point setter is now ready to be painted which is what we'll be doing in our next lesson. 5. Painting the Poinsettia: I'm using a cadmium red, rose madder, a Winsor orange, a perylene green, and sap green here. Keep in mind, you don't have to have these particular colors, but at least two reds and two greens, and also an orange. The brush I'm using is a number 8 by Master's Touch. I'll also be using this Royal and Langnickel 20/0. It's a very thin, fine point. It also has this nice sharp edge, this plastic edge that I'll be using. I'll show you that when we start painting. Now we'll be getting some puddles of color ready. What I call puddles, they're just some variation of water down pigment to very saturated pigment and getting most of the colors that I'll be using ready so that I'm not having to go back and do this while I'm trying to paint. I'll be adding a little bit of this rose madder for just some of the petals, and I also want to have some heavily saturated orange and also maybe a little more diluted orange when I start painting. I like to have an old towel that my pots of water will sit on so that it's available to dry my brush off right away and clean it. But also I have that paper towel ready. I'll first be painting all the red leaves of the poinsettia. Starting out with the well diluted light red for these red leaves. I felt I had a little bit too much water on my brush, so I damped a little bit on the paper towel. I'm treating all these red leaves as one object. Be careful not to go over any of the green areas, but not worried about painting one individual red leaf at a time. When I get close to the edge of these red leaves, I'm using the point of my brush so that it doesn't go outside the line. Periodically, I'll have to go back and grab some more pigment, I I to try and keep these red leaves in a wet state. I'm now going back and grabbing some saturated red, mostly pigment, very little bit of water, and using wet on wet technique, I'm going back into these red petals or leaves that are still wet and wanting to get that nice bleed effect. I'm not worried about each individual leaf at this point, just treating it as one object. Now, I'll switch to a lifting technique where I'm going to be lifting the pigment off in a few places, so cleaning off my brush real good and going back into each petal with the downstroke, lifting that pigment up, dabbing. I dry my brush again, lifting and then dabbing on my paper towel, lifting, dabbing on my paper towel again. After the painting stride a little bit, I want to make these inner petals pop. I'm using just the tip of my brush and some very well saturated red pigment going back into each inner red leaf here, wanting to try and get those to pop out a little bit. You do see some bleeding occurring between the petals. But I'm not too concerned about that. I'm going to be doing a little bit of lifting again. So getting that paper towel, clean part of it, and drawing that off. With these inner leaves, I just want to go in and look, lift a little bit of that pigment out so it gives these petals some dimension. You'll see that I lift towards the lower part of the leaf, but then leave quite a bit of that red pigment at the bottom. While painting these leaves, I'll be working on two of them at a time. We're using mostly sap green with a little bit of this perylene green for some of the darker areas. I'll be using a more diluted and lighter shade of green to begin with. Because I'll be using a wet-on-wet technique on these leaves, it's best to just do about two leaves at a time. That way, they're sure to probably be wet enough to use the wet on wet technique. While the leaves are still wet, I'm using the perylene green and it's more saturated. I'm using the pigment more down towards the bottom of the leaves, but also maybe in just a few other spots. I think I need to go a bit darker here so that these appear in the background. It's nice to have that dark green up against that red too, it really makes that red petal in front pop out. Using the tip here just because going into some tight spots. Again, it's a matter of the right amount of pigment and just being careful to use the tip of this brush. I'm going to speed things up a bit as I do these last couple of leaves. I'll now be concentrating on the petals in the background, the larger petals. I'm going to make them a bit darker and a little bit cooler by using more of the rose madder. I want a wet and wet effect, so I'm wetting these petals first and then I'll go back in with this more intense but cooler red. This will help the petals in the front to stand out more and then also set the larger petals in the back, it'll set them back a bit more. I'll be working with just a couple of petals at a time so that I can be sure the paper will remain somewhat damp so I can continue to use this wet-on-wet technique and continue to get a nice bleed. Making it just a bit darker and wanting it to remain wet so that I can go in with my other brush and use the end of it to create a nice effect. This is the Royal and Langnickel brush that I'm using. I'm going in while it's still wet and just gently creating this line into the paper. If the object you're painting is wet, then doing this will create a dark outline. That's what I'm achieving right here. To ensure that the small petals in front will really pop out, I want to even go a little bit darker. Again, cool colors tend to recede. So even though this is a red color, it being a cool red will set these back a bit. Getting rid of this little bit of red that went outside the petal with a clean damp brush and then going back in with a piece of paper towel. Keeping in mind that cool colors recede and warm colors appear closer to the viewer, I'm going to go in with a little bit of orange over these smaller petals in the front. Trying to get the right consistency of water to pigment. I don't want it really strong and not too thick. I want it diluted. Just very gently going over the dry petal. This is called layering, where one color is put over a dry color. I don't want the colors to mix too much and being careful to just try not to use too many strokes going into the petal so that you get a nice layering effect. I want these petals to have a little bit more dimension. They look relatively flat. Again, I'm using now a warm red and trying to keep it limited to just at the bottom of that petal where it goes into the center of the flower. Smoothing out the color a bit with a clean, damp brush so I don't end up with some blotchy effect here. Now, we'll paint what the actual flower part is, using a little bit of this Winsor yellow to mix with the sap green to make a very bright green. Also, lemon yellow will make a very bright green too when mixed with sap green. Keeping in mind that all the leaves, petals will always come back towards the center of the flower, I want to make sure to get these green leaves attached to the center of the flower. Using the green, I'll visually imagine where that petal or leaf will end up coming down towards the center, so just following the outside line at the top and imagining it going in towards the center of the flower. Using a dark green because these are behind all these other petals. Using a dark green so that it's set back. Now, I'm using the very tip of the brush here to just go back in and outline these circles that represent the actual flower part. That'll make the light green part of these circles pop out more. It's maybe a little difficult on using this brush with the tip, so you can always use the smaller brush if you have difficulty doing this. I'm using my very thin brush, the Royal and Langnickel, and painting some lines into these leaves that will represent the vein of the leaf. To paint the bright red center of these inner flower parts, I'm using cad red, right out of the tube. It's a little tricky, but just dabbing it in there to get a nice blob on the tip of the brush. All it really takes is just a very light touch of the brush to the paper. Because you'll be making a smaller version of this poinsettia on the card, you'll want to practice making a smaller version with your small brush. Next, we'll be making the holly leaves. 6. Drawing the Holly Leaves: There are many different types of holly leaves. These in particular are oval in shape and on the outside edges they have these little spikes that turn up towards the tip of the leaf. I start by drawing three circles that represent the berries of the holly leaf. Then thinking of the center vein of the leaf, I'll use that to start out with and then form the shape of the leaf around that center vein. At this point, I'm not worried about the spikes yet. I'm just getting the general shape of the leaf first. After I'm happy with the shape of the leaf and the way that it is positioned, I'll go ahead and put those spikes along the edge. They vary in just how far apart they are. So it's up to you just how many to include. However, I would be careful not to include too many of these spikes along the edge. I'll be erasing these lines almost completely so that outside line won't be visible, especially when I paint over it. Right now after erasing the lines, but not completely, I'll end up with this ghost image. I'll start out with my micron fine tip marker, the red one, and outline the circles that represent the berries first. To trace the lines of the leaves, you can either use this light green or the dark green marker. These micron markers are good permanent markers because they truly do remain permanent when water is put on top of them. Some permanent markers I have found bleed just a little bit when water is put on top of them. These are good. Making one more set of holly leaves, this will be smaller in scale. We'll add just one more right here. Now we're ready to paint these leaves, they will be quite a bit easier than the point set and go a bit faster. 7. Painting the Holly Leaves: Making sure that all my pencil lines are erased, and this is the Canson XL Mix Media paper. The colors I'll be using are the light green, the sap green, and the perylene green which is the dark green, Winsor yellow, and the lemon yellow. The lemon yellow is nice that it really makes a very, very bright green, almost a neon green when mixed with the sap green. For the berries of the holly leaves, I'll be using this cadmium red. I like to save an old brush to mix my paints. That way I'm not so concerned about damaging the bristles, and that's what I have here, an old brush that I'm mixing the puddles of paint with. I've made the couple of puddles of yellow, and now I'll make a couple puddles of the green, a dark green and a light green. I also want to make a puddle of a very light green, so I'll be mixing the lemon yellow here with the sap green. You can see it does make for a very brilliant green. I'll be using my number 8 brush, but just using the tip of it as I paint inside the leaves and I'm starting out with that brilliant green. Trying to get that correct ratio of pigment to water. I'm going to use this brilliant green on both leaves and given the size of these leaves, they should remain relatively wet so that I will be able to use a wet and wet technique as I go in with a darker green. While the leaves are still wet, I'm using mostly sap green here. You can tell right there I have too much water. So I'm going back in, dabbing my brush, and picking up a little bit of that pigment. But again, this is mostly sap green. I'm adding wet and wet technique here. Lifting a little more pigment off the leaves now. I'll now add the perylene green, the dark green to these leaves. This will create a lot more dimension in how the leaves appear. You can tell by the way the color is bleeding out, the leaves are still slightly wet. So I am using a somewhat wet and wet technique, but the paint is drying a bit on these leaves. Now I'm doing a bit more lifting of the pigment. You'll find that when you paint with watercolor, it's quite a bit of back and forth between adding pigment and then lifting it up a bit, just going back and forth between the two. While those leaves dry, I'll head over to this other group of small leaves that I have. I'm using my number 2, the smaller brush, to paint these leaves. But the technique is the same. Starting out with brilliant green and trying to get that correct ratio of pigment to water. I will be painting all these leaves at the same time. They're quite small and I feel confident they'll retain that wetness to where I can continue to work in a wet and wet technique. Because I knew I was going to be coming in and lifting some of that green up, I wasn't so concerned about exactly where that dark green paint went. It's a matter now of dabbing my brush in and lifting this paint, pushing that green paint to where I want it to be. I'm going to increase the vibrancy of these leaves by going back in with a Winsor yellow. The paint on the leaves has dried, so this is now a layering technique. I want to darken these leaves just a bit at the base and maybe along some of the areas where the vines of the leaves are. Every now and then I'll have to clean up a little bit where the paint has gone outside the edge, and that's what I'm doing here right now. Just with a clean brush and then dabbing on the paper towel, going back in, and lifting that a little bit of paint up. To paint the berries, I'll be starting out with a well diluted cadmium red. Because the berries are ball-like in nature, I'm trying to leave just a small area of white where the light will be hitting it and leaving a highlight on these. Not so easy to do when working the small. Adding now some saturated pigment, the cadmium red, and going around the edges here and trying to make sure that the area around the highlight stays a lighter red so that it has the look of a ball. I'll be going back in and cleaning up these areas that look a bit blotchy, going in with a medium green and just smoothing out the paint here. So I will dab my brush and I'll go back in to smooth that out so I don't end up with other blotchy areas. Painting these berries on the smaller group of leaves. It's a little difficult to try and create a highlight on these, but you do still want them to look spherical. So you want to just go around those edges with some of the darker red. Cleaning up some of these areas where a little bit of paint has gotten over the edge here. These now have dried and I will be increasing the vibrancy of these by going in with the yellow using a layering technique. We'll now move on to drawing and painting the pine branch. 8. The Pine Bough: The pine branches that we paint will act as embellishments for the card. I start by simply drawing lines for the branches. For the pine needles, I'll be using the Sap Green and Perylene Green, and the Royal & Langnickel fine line brush. Still using my Canson XL Mix Media paper, and I am now trying to get the correct consistency of water and paint. Using a gentle sweeping motion, I'm going over the pencil lines. You could also choose, instead, to use your Micron fine tip permanent marker. I'll be painting the pine needles in various shades of green, and I'll start out by using a light green. Use a flicking stroke coming out from the branch and vary the angles at which you create the strokes. Typically, the needles are shorter when they reach the tip of the branch. Using a medium shade of green now and try not to overdo it, I will also keep these needles relatively close to the center. Keeping mind that I want those light green needles to still stand out when I go in with this dark green again, I'm making less strokes and trying to keep towards that center of the branch. For these next group of branches, I'll be using the Micron marker. I'll be painting these couple of branches exactly the same way I painted the first group. Where the marker has left a blunt edge, I'm just smoothing it out with some of the watercolor. Now for the fun part, where we'll create a little bit of sparkle using these metallic gel pens, the Krazy Pop and the Sparkle Pop by Pentel. It's best to test it out on some scrap paper to get a feel for how these flow on the paper. This Krazy Pop metallic gel pen seems to not flow quite as easily as the Sparkle Pop gold. When adding these to your pine branch, you want to make sure not to overdo it. In this case, usually less is better, and vary the sizes of the dots that you put down. Now it's time to put all these elements together to create our Christmas greeting card. 9. Completing the Card: Before starting to put your design on the card, it would be wise to test out the watercolor card paper. On these watercolor greeting cards by Master's Touch, I prefer the little bit more rough side, so that is going to be the outside of my card. You may prefer the smooth side, which when I open this packet, the smooth side was actually the inside of the card. So it's best to sacrifice one of these cards to get a feeling of how the paint goes on each side and that's what I'm doing here. Once you decide what surface you want to paint on, the next step will be to create a frame, one one in from each side. This ensures that the lines will be even once you start to trace on your design to the card. Using a lightbox or your window, you can then use the card template to draw your design onto your card. I'm erasing the corners of the frame here, just so it doesn't interfere when I go to draw the poinsettias onto this card. Now it's just a matter of tracing over the lines of the poinsettias and the other botanical elements. Before painting, we'll want to plan where to put the greeting. You could choose to do the greeting in your own handwriting. Here, I'm looking to see, I may have to add some more elements around the upper left corner if I use the Merry Christmas there. This peace and joy written in my handwriting seems to fit nicely. I've gone ahead and stamped some greetings on the tracing paper to get a feeling of how these look on top of the card. I've decided to use the peace and joy rubber stamp. Once I've decided where I like the rubber stamp to be, I'll make some marks to use as guidelines when I go to actually place with the rubber stamp when it's inked. Before I actually ink the rubber stamp, I want to just go through and see where exactly I'm going to be placing the rubber stamp. After the stamp has been inked, I carefully place it along the guidelines and press firmly. The ink will remain wet for a little bit so be careful not to smudge, and wait and erase the lines when it's dry. Now it's just a matter of going over the light pencil lines with your micron markers, starting out with the flower part of the poinsettia. Now to paint the botanical elements and painting in the same way that you have practiced. I'm going to speed things up a bit here since it's more of the same that we have been practicing. Only painting just about three petals at a time so that they remain wet and I can continue to use a wet and wet technique. If I try to paint anymore, then the paint would probably start to dry. Layering the bright orange on now. Now putting those center little dots of bright red on. Giving it some sparkle now with these metallic gel pens. Remember, to not overdo it. Lastly, we'll be using the red micron marker and the green micron marker to complete the frame around the card. To give it a more finished look, I'm going in and painting just a few extra needles where the lines of the frame end. Just like that, you have your finished Christmas card. 10. Final Thoughts : [MUSIC] Congratulations on finishing the class. I hope you learned a lot from it. I also hope you'll continue to explore this wonderful medium of watercolor. I'd love to hear your suggestions for any future classes. Please leave a comment in the discussion section along with any questions you might have. If you're interested in seeing more of my current work, you can follow me on Instagram. I look forward to seeing you in my next Skillshare class. Bye. [MUSIC]. 11. Keepsake Ornament: There are several things you can create with these few floral elements. One of them is this keepsake ornament that I made with paper mache ornaments purchased from Hobby Lobby. Keep in mind you can find all the materials for this ornament in the detailed supply list provided in the resource section. First, I'm using a piece of tracing paper and tracing this large poinsettia onto it. I'll be using this tracing paper as a type of carbon paper to transfer the image onto the ornament. Simply turn over the tracing paper and using a number 2 pencil, I'm covering all those lines. This will then act as a carbon piece of paper lining up the center and then figuring out the best position for my point setup. After taping the tracing paper to the ornament in the position I like, I simply trace over the lines now. You can see that some of the pencil lines are a little difficult to see. So I'll be going over the lines again with my pencil now. The pencil lines are now more distinct, but to make sure that they don't show through the paint, I'm going to just dab very gently with the kneaded eraser. Using my number 2 round brush, I'll now paint the poinsettia. I found that the paper buckle just slightly, but after it dried, it seemed to flatten out. Just be cautious not to use a large amount of water on this ornament because the paper will probably not be able to handle it. I know I want something around the outer edge of this ornament. What I plan to do is make a sketch, a roadmap to plan out what I want to put there and that way, when I go to put it on the ornament, there won't be so much erasing. The planning will all be done. I'm choosing to go with a very simple design using some of the pine branches with the few of the berries. I'll be putting the berries in at the 12 o'clock position, the 3, 6, and 9 o'clock position with the pine branches in between. I'm using a metallic gel pens, but did find them difficult to flow on this type of paper. You may want to instead use your Micron fine-point markers. I am using cadmium red to go over these berries, and now I'm also using the cadmium red simply just brushing the edge of this ornament to give it a finished look. On the other side of this ornament, I'm choosing to put a greeting. You can simply use a rubber stamp. I'll be writing out the greeting in my own handwriting to make it a bit more personal. Here I've sketched out how I want it to look. I've used some tracing paper to line up exactly where I want the text to appear. I've cut a slit to leave a mark where the letter M will appear and the letter C will appear. Making my marks on the ornament. Making sure I make the mark close enough so that I know where to put the letter M and the letter C. Again, just to remind you, these metallic gel pens are just a bit difficult to get to work on this paper. I'm just now adding a few accents around the greeting, being careful again not to overdo it. Once again be brushing the edge of the ornament with this cadmium red, just using the belly of my brush and gently going along the edge. Painting the entire edge of the ornament now with the cadmium red. Here is the front and the back finished. Because it is water color, it is subject to getting wet, maybe being damaged. To keep it a true keepsake ornament, I am going to use these self-adhesive laminating sheets to cover the surface and protect it. I've found that the easiest way to remove the excess adhesive paper was doing just a small section at a time, cutting really close to the edge and ripping. Cutting very close to the edge a little bit and then ripping off the excess. This seemed to work well. Firmly pressing the adhesive paper down, making sure that there are no bubbles. 12. Gift Tags: Creating gift tags is another fun way to use the flora elements you've learned to illustrate. One tag is cut out of watercolor paper. The other is a brown gift tag ornament purchased at Hobby Lobby. You can find the additional materials needed for these tags in the supply list. Sketch the simple design onto the tag and then gently dab with the kneaded eraser. This white gouache always looks nice on this brown paper. I've decided to move the words to and from down just a bit from the design. Simply adding some red circles now with my red micron fine point marker varying in size, it will accent these white pine branches nicely and also a little bit of that gold. Checking out which washi tape looks nice with this design. You could also simply go around the border with your fine tip micron marker. Using my exacto blade on top of my mat board for cutting, just cutting away the edges of this washi tape. I cut out this tag from a piece of watercolor paper. Using the same approach for painting these holly leaves as you learned in designing the Christmas card. Layering this yellow over the dried holly leaves really does increase its vibrancy. Going over the veins and the outline of these holly leaves gives it a nice finished look. Using again some washi tape, but here just at the bottom of the tag. There are numerous ways to use these three flora elements you've learned to paint. I hope you experiment and come up with some designs on your own, but above all else, I hope you just have fun.