Watercolor Holiday Cards - Create Joyful Mail Art | Irina Trzaskos | Skillshare

Watercolor Holiday Cards - Create Joyful Mail Art

Irina Trzaskos, Watercolor Artist & Illustrator

Watercolor Holiday Cards - Create Joyful Mail Art

Irina Trzaskos, Watercolor Artist & Illustrator

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8 Lessons (49m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Colors and Supplies

    • 3. Swan Card

    • 4. Gingerbread House - Part 1

    • 5. Gingerbread House - Part 2

    • 6. Noel Card - Part 1

    • 7. Noel Card - Part 2

    • 8. Happy Holidays!

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About This Class


Welcome to the Watercolor Holiday Cards class! In this class we will create a set of joyful holiday cards for your family and friends. 

During the class we will be painting three holiday cards using watercolor and gouache painting techniques. I wanted to keep it easy and fun, that is why in the project of the class you will find the drawing templates for your cards. Feel free to add any changes you like and create something unique and beautiful. 

I wish you a magical and creative Holiday season!

xo Irina.

More Watercolor Winter classes


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Irina Trzaskos

Watercolor Artist & Illustrator

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Check out MY husband's Lifestyle Channel HERE

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Irina Trzaskos, watercolor artist and illustrator. Welcome to my watercolor channel. Here you'll find a big collection of classes for the beginners. In today's class, we will be painting holiday cards. You can send them to your friends, to your family, you can keep them to yourself. It's totally up to you. Also you can apply these illustrations to other holiday designs, over social media, for pattern designs, for gift-wrapping if you want to. I'll make lessons that [inaudible] with your time so you can follow along. If you're new to this channel, press the "Follow" button on top and let's get started. 2. Colors and Supplies: In this class, we'll be using the following supplies to paint our holiday cards. It's a watercolor paper. I made this card templates, for each card I will be opening them and painting on this side. Watercolor paint, paint palette, paper towel, water, a pencil and eraser, and we'll need a medium watercolor brush, this is number four, with a good tip, a small watercolor brush, we'll be using white wash, or you can use white ink, or white gel if you want. For the cards we'll use the following color. I'll mention them in the project and resources of the class too. It's naples yellow, cadmium orange, red och-re for gingerbread house, cadmium red, a classic Christmas card. Magenta, we'll be using a little bit of isle blue. Don't worry if you don't have it, we'll be just as engaged to green. But you can use green just as it is. Then we'll be using a little bit of pins gray, and classic green. These are all the colors we'll be using today. I'll also mention them in the project and the resources of this class. Let's get started. 3. Swan Card : This card is so easy. We're having a template, you'll see a drawing of a swan. Even if it's so easy, it's still so beautiful. Here's our swan. You can draw it all or you can not draw on line from a template, whichever you want. It has a crown. Here we'll have some branches and maybe a moon, stars, so we'll get creative. Swan, I want to be a peach color and it will be only for contour. Let's take some magenta, mix it with cadmium orange, a lot of orange, and dilute it with a lot of water, and just contour our swan. I have a paper towel here because I got too much paint. With a small brush very carefully. I'm just outlining our swan. This is good. Let's let it dry a little bit, and meanwhile, let's take some Naples yellow and very carefully paint on the crown. Nice. While that is drying, let's paint a crescent moon here and also add a couple stars. Why not? It's holiday season and it's good for stars to shine. Some small [inaudible] It already looks magical. Well, you can leave it like this and just give it to someone. It's beautiful. So once this one is dry, let's take some Payne's gray. This is not Payne's gray, this is. Oh, this is azure blue. Let's take some Payne's gray and paint this spot in the eye. Beautiful. Next what we'll do, we'll add a few winter branches. So let's take some green with Naples yellow, mix it with Naples yellow. You can make it darker if you want or you can keep it light [inaudible] until you're good. So it's something that [inaudible] or a Christmas tree branch. Let's try not to overdo it because it's so easy to. So just a little bit of hint that this is a winter card. But of course you can paint such card for any other holidays like birthdays or a Valentine's card, or just a note to a friend. Let's add couple berries in here with the same pink we painted the swan. So this is a very simple swan holiday card. I love it, and I hope you do too. 4. Gingerbread House - Part 1: Let's start our card by drawing from the template. You can find the templates in the project section of the class. draw them very lightly, not like I'm doing it with darker lines. But your pencil lines have to be very light, barely seen. I'm doing it with darker lines so you can see it on camera. This card is a small gingerbread house, but it will have more details, more like architectural house, an actual house. We'll just add a lot of whimsical details and some details around this maybe. You can draw your own house if you want or add some elements, or you can pick any house you like in real life and transform it into a gingerbread house. Here in this window, we'll have a Christmas tree. We have a star on top. Drawing doesn't need to have all the details, just the main ones, so we're not totally disproportioned. If it's a little crooked, it's okay. It will add its charm to our postcard. But most importantly, just have fun and enjoy the process. Again, these lines have to be very, very light so you barely can see them, just for guidance. Not as dark as I am doing now. It looks different from this one. A couple more lines, maybe it will help. There are two windows, one here and one here. Here above the door, we'll have also some decor, but we'll be adding it later with white gouache over the gingerbread color house. We're drawing just the most important details so we don't get lost. Okay. This is enough, and now, we can start painting. For the roof, I want it to be light pink, like frosting on a cookie. Let's take some magenta, add some cadmium orange paint, and dilute this with a lot of water. You can of course use different colors if you want. In watercolor, we start painting with the lighter colors and then we start painting darker colors. I'm using a medium brush, this is number a brush 4, could be number 6, it's a pretty big brush. But it's important it has a very sharp tip which allows me to get into small parts of this painting, like this part. Absorbing the excessive paint here in the corner. Next, let's take some Naples yellow and paint our windows. Dilute it with water. I'm just painting the windows. I guess we could have go around the Christmas tree, but I'm not sure if I want it. Instead, let's put some lights on the Christmas tree with the same yellow. Just little dot [inaudible]. Now, let's paint this window. This will be a very fun and easy card. I'm absorbing the excessive paint from the bottom of the windows. For these windows, I want them to have interesting stained glass. The top will be yellow, but these parts will be azure blue and pink. Also, it remind us of cookie frosting or some candies. We'll add some more interesting details to our card. The same this one. Nice. Let them dry a little bit and meanwhile paint the stairs with pink. The door, I want to be green. Again, it will have some details on the end, but we'll paint them later. I want it to be a deep green, so I want to mix green with some azure blue, classic green with azure blue. It gives this beautiful pan green color. I'm leaving a little bit of space between the stairs and the door just in case the stairs are still wet. This is good. I want this window to be dark and to have a crescent moon in it. So let's take some azure blue with some purple or violet, however you want to call it, and they'll make some darker blue. Let's draw the moon like this and then paint blue around it. If you messed it up, it's okay, you can always paint it over with white ink, white gouache, or white gel pen. Let's get back to our windows over here and paint them in pink. Then we can paint the rest of the house. A little bit of magenta with orange, cadmium orange. I think the card look delicious. These triangles will be also dark blue. For the house itself, I want to use raw sienna, which looks good with Naples yellow we used for the windows. Let's add a little bit of violet too because it's too light. I'm not sure if I like this color. Let's better use our red ochre. Yes, red ochre is prettier. This one is too cold for pastry. Red ocher looks way more delicious than raw sienna. Just very carefully, let's paint all the white spaces between the windows and doors. We should work pretty fast, otherwise we'll have some textures we are not planning on. But of course it's okay if you get some watercolor spots here and there. Now it starts looking like a gingerbread house. I'm trying to work pretty fast. You can work on your own speed. I'll try to work a little faster at this stage so we don't get ugly edges where the watercolor will dry. But even if you get it unperfect, it's totally fine. If you don't have red ochre, just pick any brown you think is the most suitable. If you feel it's not the right shade, try to mix some colors in like orange or Naples yellow or violet. Cadmium orange and violet can also create a beautiful brown. There's more set here, that's okay. Be careful. Don't draw like me. 5. Gingerbread House - Part 2: While our house is drying, let's take some magenta and add some Christmas ornaments. Then let us take some azure blue, and add some more, like this. With green little paint for the rest of the tree with small lines. Just leave the white in between, like it has snow on it or frosting. Let's put a yellow dot in the middle of the star. Later, we'll be adding some white arrays. With Naples yellow, let's add some lines on the roof, another in this way. While our house is drying, we can paint a couple of the branches. Let's make some more green with azure blue. You'll find all these details in the drawing in template, so don't worry. We insert some holiday leaves. We just don't get greeting cards into holidays. Maybe some leaves here to cover my mistake. Now, I want to paint a rectangle on the door so it doesn't look too bare, and another one here. Let's mix some magenta with Naples yellow and add purple. There it is. Now, what we do next, we'll take some white wash. If you have white ink, it'll work too or white gel pen will work too or may not. Usually paint look works better. Then with a small brush, we'll start adding some details. First, what we'll do, we'll cover this tree on white and try to go a little bit over with a thicker line so it looks more like frosting. You can see how much paint I have on my brush, and that's how I want it. Add a couple of stars here. Let's add some arrays on our star, and the star contouring their windows. Here, we'll have a balcony. You can see how instantly with white, it starts looking like a gingerbread house. The windows, the same here. Even if you think this is so much, it's not. I can add some dots. Let us contour the roof and add some dots around here. Now, I can move in the lower part. Here, I want to add another arch right here. Some architectural details around the door, some beautiful decor, and of course, thicken lines, the same thing around these windows. Just have fun and add as many details as you want, and show the stairs. Now, I want to add some more arches, and swirls, and lines just for fun. The smudge needs a little berry, I'll try to fix it in a second. This is our gingerbread house. I feel like we need a dotted line here, maybe one here too, and here. I think this is enough. Now, let me fix this berry. We can paint up on set a flower and take some Naples Yellow from the middle. [inaudible] few more petals. It's far from perfect, but it's okay. This is a simple holiday card with gingerbread house. 6. Noel Card - Part 1: This holiday card is similar to some cards we did for Valentine's Day in other classes, and we'll start again with drawing of template. It says, Noel. Let's adjust letters with some swirls here and there to add some magic to our illustration. Once again, don't make the lines as dark as I do. You'll find the templates in the project section of the course. Feel free to use them. The template is in my way. I'll provide you with templates because I'm teaching you to paint and not to draw. But there are some awesome drawing classes there, if you want to learn how to draw. But I think it's important to know how to paint and express yourself. After we draw the letters, the idea is to have this with the greenery and berries in the background and over them, we'll have this beautiful decorative Noel word for a holiday. So what we'll start with, we'll draw the letters and now we'll paint the branches which are in the background, and then, after they dry on the top, we'll paint the letters. Let's start with some green, mix it with some Naples yellow and dilute it with a lot of water. So you don't want the branches in the background to be too dark. You want them to be light and beautiful, and it doesn't have to be anything too complicated. It could be very elegant and iconic. So we have here a fern tree branch pretty much filling the half of the page. Next, let's take a colder shade. Let's take some shade of blue and then, add a little bit of green to it. Nice. Then dilute it with a lot of water, and next, let's add some different kinds of branches, at least long leaves, maybe some eucalyptus, whichever you feel like. Now, let's mix some magenta with melon orange and create this beautiful peach color. Add some branches in this color too. I think it's a very nice color for that, and some berries. At this moment, we are not looking at the letters, we are just working with the branches. Nice. Now, it's very important to let it dry, and while it dries, let's add some lights. Just away from some Naples yellow, so yellow dots here and there. While it dries, you can jump and paint a different holiday card if you want to. Be patient and come back only when it's totally dry. We see in there, enough lights. Let's come back after it's totally dry. 7. Noel Card - Part 2: After first layer is totally dry, we can start painting the letters. For the letters I want to use green, and for O I think I want to use red. For green, I'll mix green and camassia blue for this pine green beautiful color. Now let's start just painting the letter, very easy with pretty dark color. All of the other branches were already painted and dry. I think we should paint N and L in green and O and E in red to highlight this classic Christmas combination of red and green. Let's try to do that and hopefully it'll look good. Let's take currant red. This is currant red. Let's take currant red like this, and to balance it with green next to it, we'll add a drop of green in red. As a result we get a beautiful deep red which works well with a green next to it. At the end we'll be able to multitask to all letters. Don't get worry at this stage they'll look beautiful. Let add some more red, so it's not so safe rule. It's a nice one you can see the branches throw the letters, but I want the red to be a little thicker. Like this. Now E. This brush is pretty big, so once they are not perfectly straight and it's okay. I will be again with the green, and some azure blue in it. See the paint is a little bit running into the branch, we'll fix it with white gouache when we'll be adding the details. This is good, and now let's start for details. Just let the letters dry if they are dry. It looks like N is dying off, so let's start with the ones which are dry. I'm using white gouache and a small brush. First what we can do we can fix the lines if we need to. If we don't we won't. This is better, and now we can add some more beautiful lines inside. Something like this. Maybe some dots, doted line, and it already looking more festive. Good, I want it such near like this. The same thing with O, we need to fix some more lines we can do it with white now. Also if you have some metallic paint like gold or silver, you can add some detail to this too, and E. L is still pretty red, lets add a little bit in here, and that fix it. Fix this line too. I'd suggest to wait until the letters are dry so that they don't run like the tip here for me. But other than that, I think it came out good and we have nice Noel Christmas card. 8. Happy Holidays!: Thank you for joining me in this class. I hope you had a chance to paint along, and if you enjoyed this class, please leave a review and upload your project to the project section of the class. If you're sharing your project on Instagram, please tag me so that I can see your beautiful artwork. I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season! I'll see you in the next class. Bye.