Romantic Watercolor Envelope | Daniela Mellen | Skillshare

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Romantic Watercolor Envelope

teacher avatar Daniela Mellen, Artist & Author

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

17 Lessons (44m)
    • 1. Class Intro

    • 2. Class Supplies

    • 3. Using the Template

    • 4. Envelope Layer 1

    • 5. Envelope Layer 2

    • 6. Adding Shadows

    • 7. Outlining the Envelope

    • 8. The Seal Layer 1

    • 9. The Seal Layer 2

    • 10. Painting the Seal Layer 3

    • 11. Shadowing the Twine

    • 12. Painting the Twine Layer 2

    • 13. Final Details: More Shadows

    • 14. Final Details Layer 2

    • 15. Final Shadow

    • 16. BONUS CLASS Envelope 2

    • 17. Class Wrap Up

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About This Class

Paint a vintage envelope with a brilliantly colored waxed seal, rustic twine, and aged paper in this intermediate watercolor class. Using basic watercolor supplies and a simple line art template, you can create an antique illustration for use in your artwork.

This class shows 12 steps of the process, with each step created into a 2-4 minute class. Each class, in turn, is a layer of the painting which will result in a detailed image.

You’ll create rich and elegant textures using wet-on-wet painting techniques and wet-on-dry techniques.


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Daniela Mellen

Artist & Author


I'm an artist and author living in coastal Florida and surrounded by plants, animals, marine life, and the warm sun - all things that inspire me.

I am drawn to creating things and love to get lost in projects. Each day is a opportunity to learn something new, build on existing skills, and branch out to new ones. I was formally trained as a educator which is my passion and incorporating art into teaching makes my life complete.

I upload art classes every Friday, here on Skillshare. You'll see handmade books, memory keeping, watercolor, acrylic paint, unique art supplies, and photography composition. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to seeing your work.

Check out my blog for additional info on my website or my YouTube Channel for additional c... See full profile

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1. Class Intro: I'm Daniella Melon and author and artist here, and skill share in today's class will take a step back in time before cell phones and email correspondence and create a romantic watercolor envelope. Our image looks vintage with age paper, a twine loop and a precious wax seal. This intermediate watercolor project is created in steps to achieve rich, blended colors and multiple textures. Using painting techniques, we'll create watercolor variations in the shiny wax seal with dark shadows and bright highlights. This striking focal point will contrast with the age parchment and the twisted twine string . We'll use basic painting supplies like water color pigments and £140 watercolor paper. I've included a template of a Leinart drawing of an envelope, which you can download and print onto a standard piece of copy paper. Use this as your template to make your pencil sketch. I've also included a bonus class to modify the image to create slight variations in your artwork. For your class project, create your own version of this romantic envelope using the step show, take a photo of your artwork and posted in the project section. Please follow me here on skill share to get notified of future classes and please consider leaving a review. Now let's get started painting 2. Class Supplies: and here the supplies will need for a romantic watercolor and below class. I've included a reference photo where you can download it. It's just a vintage envelope with twine and a seal on aged paper, and this is fun to use for shadows. Totally optional. I have our template here, which you can download and print onto a standard piece of copy paper, and the envelope will be creating in class. Today is this one. It's just a simple four by six rectangle in a one inch round circle for the seal. And in the next chapter, using the template, I'll show you how to modify that and make that a little more realistic. For our bonus class, we have a much smaller one, and in the using the template chapter, I will go over another way to modify that a variation. And this is just three by 4.5 inches with a 3/4 inch circle. I use standard watercolor paper for the winning class. Today I'm using a size six by nine inch, £140 watercolor paper, and for the bonus class, this is a smaller version. It's 4.5 by six inches. You'll need your standard supplies, pencil and eraser. I use a white gel pen for some highlights, which is totally optional. You'll need some watercolor brushes. I just use a size one in a size six today, and then I'm just using a few colors of paints. Not really very many this time, and I'm combining brands. So for my seal on the picture, we're gonna paint today my red seal. I'm going to use a carmine red and Crimson Lake, and the Crimson Lake is a holding, and the Carmine is a coy. And for my browns, I'm gonna use three Brown's um, this is a groom backer academy. It's a sepia. I have a coid van dyke brown and a koi yellow Oakar. And then, for my bonus class, I'm gonna use the deep green and the Prussian blue for my seal. You'll also need a jug of water 3. Using the Template: now to use the template, you can download it and cut it out, and you'll have a four by six envelope for our first envelope. The bonus classes. Just a smaller envelope. Same procedure. I find it easier rather than cutting that out is just to cut out a piece of card stock in the size that I want. In this case, it's a four by six. In that way, I can put it on the paper as I'd like, and just trace it on. So here, I'll put this at a slight angle, maybe a little more towards the center, and then I'll just trace around it, using a very light stroke. I don't want to scar the paper, and then for the flap of the envelope, the fold here, I'm just gonna slide my piece down, maybe 1/3 of the way to make my seal. What I want to do is create smaller image on the inside of perfectly round one and then in organic shape for the outer area of the seal. And 1/4 is the perfect one inch size. I could put my seal anywhere I want if I want to do it. 1/3 of the way or directly in half of the page. Think I'll do it 1/3 of the way over here and I'm just gonna outline that. So I have a nice round circle for the inner part of the seal and then for the outer part of the seal. Just make an organic shape as if it was spattered when I was pushing the seal onto the wax . And now I can add twine if I want, I can make a loop or it can make just pieces. It's all just kind of pencil in a little loop here of twine, and then I'll have the pieces come down and out a little bit and this is a little thick. So I'll go back in with my eraser and I'll take my eraser on all race right in the center here of my seal. And so here's the envelope will use for class. Now, for my bonus class, I'm gonna do a modified version, just a variation. So here I have a small piece of card stock cut to my rectangle, my three by 4.5 inches and I'll set it down. Just have a slight angle and then I'm just gonna very, very lightly trace around where I want my envelope to be. But I'm gonna make this one, as I said a little different. So I really want that the top and the bottom piece to be straight and then on my sides, I want to look like the paper is aged or maybe tattered a little. So all kind of just create unstrapped lines here and then same thing. I'll decide where I want my fold to be. They got put this one far lower, I'll make my straight line and then I'll just modify it slightly, so it kind of looks like a rough edge. Then I'll take my penny, my 3/4 inch circle, and I'll put that somewhere on my template to be right in the center. And for this one, I think I'm gonna do a partial seal so I'll make my circle. But then I'll just cut out part. As if that wasn't enough wax put on the seal. So race that erase the pencil marks from the center and then just from here, I'll make me a little organic shape around the seal. And there we have our bonus envelope 4. Envelope Layer 1: for my first layer on my envelope. Gonna take Clearwater and just saturate the paper. Mostly all of it. But I'm not trying to get every aspect every inch of it. I want the paper to look aged and old, so there'll be a lot of highlights and a lot of shadows. Some of the shadows will control and some will just let involve. So from here, I'm gonna take my yellow Oakar and makes a very light color. This will just create the warmth of the tone for the envelope. Again, I'm looking for a very light color and I want no harsh edges on the inside of the envelope . The only harsh edge should be the around the outside of the envelope. So I'm going right up to all the elements on the envelope, the seal on the twine, but not over them. - Anywhere there's a harsh edge or just blend it out. So it's nice and smooth. And now when we do the top of the envelope here, the fold, I'm gonna leave a little white area right on the bottom where it meets the second piece of paper so I'll go over with some clear water to make sure it's nice and wet, and I'll drop in my pigment. We'll take my brush. Just blend out those edges and we'll let this layer completely dry. 5. Envelope Layer 2: Now that our first layer has dried, we're gonna go in with a glaze to go over it to make it a little older, a little grungy here. So I'm gonna take some of the van dyke brown and wet it down, make it very loose moving over here to my palette. But I'm gonna add some of that yellow Oakar with a very wet brush. I'll start at the top here, pull the color across, and then just dad, my brush with water. So I get a very soft color going right over the first layer again. No harsh lines go back in a little more of pigments. Drop in some pigment right around the edge and underneath the twine Here, I'll just make sure I have no harsh edges. Littlefoot my paper to the side and work on the bottom piece of this envelope. Got a wet that down. Go pay attention to add a little more pigment to right underneath here underneath the fold of the envelope. So I go in there with a little more of that Van Dyke Brown. We'll take that color remixed with the yellow Oakar one that out nicely and again We'll make sure there's no harsh edges, so I'll just dip my brush in the water and blend out any harsh edges once again because I'm trying to create shadow. Anytime there's an object like the twine or the seal, I'm gonna put a little more pigment there. I might have to go back in after I wet the paper and drop in a little more color, and again, I'll just blend out anything and we'll let this layer completely dry. 6. Adding Shadows: going here on erase any pencil marks around the envelope leaving the pencil marks around the seal in the twine. Now the pencil marks are erased. I'm gonna create just a little bit of shadow for the twine and the seal. So I'm gonna go in here with a fairly light color Gonna take my sepia, mix it with just a little bit of water, have a very fine point on my number one brush, and I'm gonna outline very lightly outlined. Barely touching the paper. The bottom of the seal. Here, we'll rinse my brush, making it to stamp and kind of blend that out slightly adding a little bit water. If it's too dry, I'll go back in. Outline the top of the seal, a little water on my brush. Blend that out to slightly create a little light shadow. Then I'll do the same thing on the twine. Here, create the shape. I'm gonna go right off the page, creating the shape of our twine. Here, go to the top. I don't mind the twine here again. And here's where I could make up any, um, imperfections in the shape or the size. Take a damp brush not too much water, just a teeny bit of pigment. Blend that out that lines are too harsh. I'll go in there with a damp brush and blend them a little more, and we'll let this layer completely dry. 7. Outlining the Envelope: So now I'd like to outline my envelope. So I'm gonna take my number one brush, and I'm gonna use that same color reused toe outline the seal on the twine, just making it a teeny bit darker. The sepia having a very sharp point. Start here on the right hand side and just very lately, outline my envelope tracing the perimeter. If my paint gets too thick, I'll go in there with some Clearwater. Lighten it up. Could take a paper toe. Pick up the pig minute. I want to keep that point nice and sharp, and I'm gonna outlined right underneath the envelope as well. Then I'll go in Atlanta top of the envelope, and we'll let this layer completely dry. 8. The Seal Layer 1: so now to paint our seal. First thing I want to dio is with my brush. I wanna wet 3/4 of it, but leave a spot in the center kind of off center, um, unpainted with dry paper beneath it. So I'm just going into that circle. I'm not touching the area outside the circle, so I'm gonna switch my brush to this smaller brush now. And I'm gonna mix some of this crimson lake with some of this carmine red, The very sharp point on the brush and not a lot of water. A lot of pigment on that brush I'm gonna outline could start the left hand side. And that's where I want my darkest color to be could create the outline. Just gonna be pulling the color in each time and a little more water go around. What I'm trying to do is create less, um, pigment on my brush for the right hand side of the seal. So you the color is noticeably lighter. I'll go in, rinse my brush a little bit, still have some pigment. So now this is one example of how I have a lot more pigment on the left here inside forming a crescent. What I want to do is add even more color. So I'm gonna take some of that Crimson Lake and then I'm gonna take some of that Van Dyke brown and mix that together to get a deeper color. I'll drop in some spots of that. And if paper has Dr Pain is drying the paper, I'll just add it with my brush again. Maintaining that sharp crimson area on the kind of a crescent shape, then with what's left of my brush, will just outline, really emphasizing that beautiful round shape. Then I'll go in with a wet brush. Make sure blends. I'll take a little bit of this sepia straight sepia on my brush and drop in a few spots over here to really emphasize the darkness. I'll go back in with some Crimson Lake on my brush when those colors out, and we'll let this layer completely dry. 9. The Seal Layer 2: So the first layer in our seal has dried nicely. And I really, really like that. That darkness that's on the left hand side. We're gonna recreate that in the exterior of the seal. Here. What we're to do is leave a band of white around the perimeter, which is gonna be the highlight, and then we'll make the darkest color right on the edge, particularly on the left hand side. So with my smallest brush, my number one brush, I'm gonna outline just the perimeter, clear water. And then I'm gonna take some of that Crimson Lake that we already used that has a little bit of the sepia mixed in with it. And on the left hand side here, I'm gonna barely touch my brush to the paper and just create that shape that we want. That's the exterior of the seal. So I'm gonna go in there. Well, Dad, my brush on my palette and a little bit of water to that area that I dabbed that will create a much lighter color on my brush. And I'll continue the shape around this side, clean my brush off, and I'm just gonna blend the color out slightly all the way around, still leaving a little bit of dry area closest to the seal that I'm gonna come back in with that color that we lightened up a little and still creating that light area around the perimeter. I'll go in, start to color it, fill it in when I have a fairly even layer all the way around. Just take a little bit of water on my brush, make sure it's blended, and here I have the beginnings of the exterior of the seal. 10. Painting the Seal Layer 3: So now I want to go in there with a really rich pigment again using that Crimson lake and some of that sepia. So we have a nice dark color, had a little more crimson Lake If I think it's too brown on the left hand side. Here, let's get outline dab off my brush. I had a little more Crimson Lake to the part we just stabbed. But I'm gonna pull that color Another layer out. Very light brush. I'm gonna continue to outline. I want that line to be thinner as we get closer to the right hand side of the seal. Dad, some water off the brush. So I have much lighter pigment and a very sharp point, and I'll continue all the way around. Then I'll rinse off my brush, blend out that edge on the right hand side here, the light hand light area that I want on the seal. We'll come back in and blend the edge out slightly on the really dark color. I'll go back in and add even more dark color. So now that we have approximately half of the seal with the very rich color, I'll take a little bit of water on my brush and start to blend that out. So there's a light radiant from the darkest to the latest area. No prints off my brush. Just like that, I see some areas that I want to add more darkness to. I'll go with the damp brush, that dark pigment just drop some color in, blended out, and I'll let this layer completely dry. 11. Shadowing the Twine: now to make the twine around here. What I want to do is mix a light color. So I'm gonna take some of that van Dyke brown and just mix it with some water. Take a very sharp point of my brush and I'm going to paint the darkest color on the left hand side of each piece of twine. Here, we'll come back in rinsing my brush and just blend that color. They'll be some areas of light, and that's OK. I'll do the same thing on this side. Go back blended out. Then I'll take some just a little bit very tiny amount on my brush pigment rich pigment. And I just drag it right from the top of the seal. Switch to my smaller brush. Since I'm working on the top, the wet, my brush blend that shadow out just a little bit and I want to pull it down here again. I don't want any harsh edges, so I'll just keep blending until it blends out. I'm gonna foot my piece over the same thing, but this time I'm gonna just wet my brush. Clearwater create where I want my trying to go makes my light color and drop that in. And then I'll go back with a fairly dry brush and some pigment, and I'll just drop it in closest to the seal. Once again, I'll go back down here, rinse my brush off so it's damp. Blend that out in the same thing down here. Help that blend. Still maintaining a nice, rich, shadowy color. Well, let this layer dry and we'll come back and work on the twine. 12. Painting the Twine Layer 2: to add our details to the time the twin has really wrapped, um, thread here. And so what I want to do is create a hint of shape of the wrapping. So I'm gonna go in here with my sepia and mix that with a little bit of the van Dyke Brown and I want a very sharp point and not a lot of wetness, but a lot of pigment on my brush. So dry off my brush a little, create that nice sharp point. And so I'm going to start here, and I'm gonna create a very gradual s shape, barely touching the paper. Try and space it fairly evenly. And I'm going from one into the other with the center kind of bellowing out to give it the Sylhet cylinder shape. Same thing over here and with a very light brush, I'm gonna just outline the left hand side over here. If I think there's a there's a little too much space, I'll go back in. I'm gonna flip it over, work on the top piece again. I'm gonna add a little pigment to my brush I'm gonna outline and we have our twine We'll let this dry will come back and add the final details to our envelope 13. Final Details: More Shadows: to add more shadow or envelope, but I want to do is take my small brush And here I have some sepia and some van dyke brown go to create a sharp point. And I'm using a little bit more water on the brush than I used for the twine because I'm working on a bigger area here and I'm going to take my brush and I'm gonna just make a line right over here. Underneath the flap you set my brush down and with my larger brush my number six brush all wet it and take a little bit of this yellow Oakar and I'm just gonna blend that out. I'll go back in my darker pigment and some spots of that go back in, pick up more of my brush, pull a color down, take my larger brush, blend that out. Could go back in with a little more water on the brush. So the only harsh edges right up top here. Then I'll rinse off my brush and just make sure there's no harsh edge. Gonna mix more sepia with a van dyke brown. It's a very dark color, so I'm gonna WTO water that down, create a nice sharp point and I'm gonna outline side of the envelope again. I'll come back in my yellow Oakar water down and I'll drop that over here. Blend that out again. The only harsh line will be on the outer edge. Turn my paper. What? My brush blended out again. I'll take my smaller brush and I'll continue this for the bottom half of the envelope. Put this over. See any spots here that dried a little lighter than I'd like. I'll go in with the darker color. Just add more of an outline to the same thing on the side. Here, the twine. Blend that out. Well, let this layer dry. We'll come back and work on the top of the envelope. 14. Final Details Layer 2: So now for the top of the envelope, I want to make sure I have my pigments ready. I have a water down yellow Oakar, and then I have a sepia and a van dyke brown mixed together with a lot of pigment on a sharp point of my brush. Starting on the right hand side here and get outline. And I want to keep the lightest part right over here by the bottom half of the envelope. So I take my brush. This has the yellow Oakar watered down. I just outline a little, make a nice blend more pigment on my brush, and I'm gonna go back and just outline the bottom of the envelope here, create more of a shadow and just blend that out slightly and give a little shadow. Well, let this layer dry will add one final shadow. 15. Final Shadow: to make our final shadow. I'm gonna mix some of the sepia on the side here with a little bit of the Crimson Lake trying to get a muddy color Here, let a little van dyke brown to that and a little bit of blue, Prussian blue and a little more water that I want a very light pigment And I'm just gonna start in the left hand on the right hand side, I'm gonna just draw a line underneath the entire in blue with a damp brush. I'll go in there and believe that out a little bit. Foot my paper over to the same thing on the side Here, damp brush. Blend out any harsh lines the sharper point on. Go up on the top, do the same thing and blend that out. I want more of a color on the left hand side over here than on the right. So it takes a pigment on the right hand side, blend that out and then just had one more splotch on the right hand side and then, with a damp brush well, just blown that out. Any harsh lines, I'll add some water and there we have our watercolor romantic envelope 16. BONUS CLASS Envelope 2: for the bonus envelope is the same procedure we used for the first envelope. There's no twine, and there's just a partial amount here of the seal, so show we'll start with the seal this time. And because it's a smaller envelope, I'm gonna use a smaller brush. I have my number one brush and again I'm gonna outline in a crescent shape with clear water the center of the seal leaving the right hand side, a dry spot for this seal. I'm gonna use some of start green a deep grain here, putting it on my brush. Let's create that outline. I'll go in there, rinse off my brush and blend that out. Then again, with the same color in a very sharp point of my brush, I'm gonna start working on the outside of the seal. I want my darker color to be on the left hand side. So I'm gonna outline that keeping that in mind got a rinse off my brush, keeping it very damp. And with a sharp point, I'm gonna blend out the color on the inside of the seal. Could take a little Prussian blue and mix it with some of the green that will just make a darker green can add more pigment if it's too much for turquoise, and it would have dropped some of that color on the top left hand side of the interior of the seal, we'll go around, drop it, turn my paper, and then with a sharp point, I'll do the same thing on the top side of the seal. Rinse off my brush, have a damp brush and go out and blend it. Now for the remainder of the envelope. I'm gonna fast forward through it so you can see it's gonna be the same procedure. But here we have a little bit of a ragged edge instead of a straight edge on our first envelope. 17. Class Wrap Up: So here we have our completed pieces. We have our reference images and then we have our completed paintings. What we did is we worked on creating shadow highlights and texture for both our pieces. The bonus class has a fun little envelope, and then our main piece has the twine, the seal and the envelope. I hope youll try your hand at creating a romantic watercolor envelope and post your work in the project section. Sure to follow me here on skill share to get notified of future classes and please consider leaving a review.