Winter and Christmas Bookmarks with Metallic Watercolors | Olha Shtets | Skillshare

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Winter and Christmas 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 (43m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Preparation

    • 4. Bookmark #1. Northern lights

    • 5. Bookmark #2. Mistletoe

    • 6. Bookmark #3. Smells like pine

    • 7. Bookmark #4. Christmas tree

    • 8. Let it snow

    • 9. And... Cut!

    • 10. Ribbons

    • 11. Thank you

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About This Class


In this class, I’ll teach you to draw Winter and Christmas 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 watercolours and black paper. I love their magical and sparkling effect. It’s really easy to draw with metallic watercolours, so don’t worry if you are holding a brush for the first time in your life. Also, you can draw these bookmarks with your children, it would be a fun way to spend time together.

If you don’t have metallic watercolours, it’s okay, just grab whatever materials you already have and draw patterns that I’ll show you in this class.

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

Enjoy creating,


Music by JuliusH from Pixabay.

Music by Owl_Glance from Pixabay.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

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. Introduction: My name is Olha. I’m a Ukrainian Book Blogger. If you watched my previous class, you already know that I adore beautiful handmade bookmarks! And what bookmark can be better if not the one you made yourself? In this class I’ll teach you to draw winter and Christmas themed patterns. and black paper. They give this parkling effect for your bookmarks, exactly what we need this winter. It's really easy to draw with metallic watercolours. So don't worry if you're holding a brush for the first time in your life. Also you can draw this bookmarks with your children, it would be a fun way to spend time together. If you don't have metallic watercolours, it's okay. Just grab whatever materials you already have and draw patterns that I’ll show you in this class. So, are you ready to create some magical bookmarks? Let’s begin! 2. Supplies: For drawing bookmarks in this class you’ll need metallic watercolors, I use the ones from Van Gogh. They have 12 colors in tubes and already contain a palette. Of course, for metallic watercolours you will also need black paper. I use black watercolor paper also from Van Gogh. I have 4 brushers: numbers 0, 2, 6 and 10. By the way, the number 6 came in the box with my metallic watercolours tubes. However, you can use other brushes, just have a smaller and a bigger ones. Of course, you will also need some clean water. It will be good to have some duct tape so you can fix your paper and divide it into four pieces for your future bookmarks. It would be good to have a cardboard, but you can attach your paper with a duct tape to the table as well. And for sure you will need scissors to cut the duct tape and simple pencil. There are some additional supplies that would make your life easier and your bookmarks better. But if you don't have them, it's okay. You can cut your bookmarks with scissors and even without the ribbons I'm sure you bookmarks will look amazing. For cutting bookmarks, I recommend to use a utility knife and a 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 need a hole puncher of 2-3 millimeters in diameter. And some ribbons, of course. 3. Preparation: This is the 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 reference. Then use a 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 will be in the shape of Christmas tree, so leave more space for it. 4. Bookmark #1. Northern lights: Are you ready to draw winter bookmarks? Let us begin with the easiest one. You can find on the Internet photos of real Northern Lights. Maybe they inspire you to draw those lights differently than I do. Or you can just follow my super simple steps. For this bookmark, I use a brush number ten. and Interference colours like blue, green, violet, and yellow. Dip your brush in the water and then in the watercolour. Now just colour the top of your bookmark with Blue, this would be our sky. Then use Violet colour under the blue and a little bit on top of the blue to blend the two colours. Don't forget to wash your brush between changing colours. After Blue and Violet make a Green layer under them. And again on the bookmark you can blend the Green with the Violet, as your Violet probably haven’t dried up yet. You can make the Green layer bigger than others, because it's primary colour for northern lights. And after the green, let's add a little bit of yellow. That's it for the sky. Give the bookmark few minutes to dry. For the hill and the trees I will use white watercolour by Colorex, but you can use Interference White or even Silver from your set. It won’t be as white, but it would be more sparkling on the light, than my white watercolour. Just draw a layer of white on the bottom of the bookmark. Now, let's draw some trees. They are really simple. It's just a vertical line and then a lot of horizontal lines which are longer on the bottom and becoming shorter to the top. Draw trees of different sizes, smaller and larger, ust don’t draw the smallest tree on the bottom of your hill and the largest tree on the top of your hill, because it won’t look great. But anyway, you can't predict nature. So trees really can grow wherever they want, in whatever sizes they want, right? Okay. we have drawn our first bookmark. After we draw all four bookmarks there will be a step called splashes or “let it snow”. In that step you'll make snow splashes on our bookmarks to make them even more beautiful. 5. Bookmark #2. Mistletoe: Who doesn’t love mistletoes, right? Or holly berries? So let’s draw some. I always use a piece of watercolor paper to test for my future drawings to to test colours or to find the best way I would draw something. So if you are not totally confident to draw something on the bookmark yet, grab a piece of watercolour paper to experiment on it. For this bookmark, you'll need interference green. You can use leftovers from the previous bookmark. And you’ll need Interference Red. The one problem with Interference Red is that it’s not actually Red, It's more Rosy, I think, but it still looks good. Though I’d prefer if the berries would have been bright red. First draw round berries with Interference Red. By the way, I use brush number 2. In most cases I draw three berries, but you are free to experiment and draw 2-4-5 or even more berries. For leaves I use Interference Green. it's hard to explain in words how to draw the leaf. It looks like stretched hexagon. The lines look like a half of a circle, So just draw those half circles six times, Or better just watch the video and try to repeat. So there is no rule on how many leaves for the particular amount of berries you should draw. I draw 2-4 leaves for 3 berries. Not always, they are near each other. They can also be opposite. This bookmark is more like a meditation. draw some berriers on the whole bookmark in whatever quantity you want. And after that draw green leaves to match your berries. If you're worried about what you'd get in the end, you can draw berries and leaves with the pencil on your bookmarks and then just paint it over with watercolours. The beauty of the metallic watercolours is that the pencil is not visible under these watercolours. Now we have two bookmarks, and again, we will make snow splashes later. After we draw all bookmarks. 6. Bookmark #3. Smells like pine: The third bookmark would be really christmassy, in the end you will almost smell the pine. So first I recommend to draw branches with your pencil to see the composition of your bookmark before drawing with watercolours. Just try to draw as random as you can. Do not draw branches evenly. Also leave some space between branches because draw needles on them, And if you want, leave a bit of space for simple Christmas decorations. Your branches can have one or two smaller branches themselves. You can draw them horizontally or vertically or any way you like, you can always erase some branches and draw them differently. That’s the beauty of drawing with a pencil first. You can leave it like this, just branches. But better, let's draw Christmas decorations like simple balls which are hanging from the branches. No need to draw Christmas balls on every branch. So okay, we have our pencil drawing, now we can draw with watercolours. I use deep gold for branches and interference green for needles. I draw with the smallest brush I have, it’s number 0. I use it for branches and for needles. Let's begin with drawing gold branches. And yes, you can draw on top of your pencil drawing, it won't be visible. under metallic watercolours. It's better to begin painting from top to down. So you won't accidentally smear watercolours that haven’t dried yet. Don't add too much water in your deep gold. You want your branches nice and bright, and for that your watercolour needs to be thick. Okay, that looks nice. Let’s draw beautiful sparkling needles on our gold branches. So as I told earlier, I use Interference Green for needles. And I use brush number 0 as well. Add more water to the interference green because we will be drawing a lot of needles and it would be hard to work with thick watercolors. If it’s too thick you will be able to draw only 2-3 needles. However, with more water your Interference Green would still be bright and you will be able to draw more needles without dipping your brush in the watercolours. And again, begin drawing needles from the top along the branches. There is no rule how your needles should look like, I draw some of them just as straight lines, some little bit rounded, some longer, some shorter. Don't concentrate too much on the form of your needles, don’t give it too much thought. They don’t need to be perfect, just quickly draw lines on your branches. So now I see a little bit of empty space on the right that I don’t like. I wash out the Green from my brush, dip the brush in Gold and draw one more branch. don’t want the new branch to be parallel with the neighbouring branches, so I draw needles in a different direction. After your branches dry, you can draw Christmas decoration. I use interference blue for the balls. You can use any other colour or even use multiple colours. I didn't want my bookmark to be too bright. and so I’ve chosen blue, because it reminds me of snow. First, paint all Christmas balls that you've already drawn with a pencil. After that you can add more balls, you can even draw them larger or smaller. Now let’s add some ribbons to the balls, because they are hanging down from your branches, I use interference white for the ribbons, but you can use Silver or again any other color you like. Just draw those ribbons on top of your branches. Well, it looks great. Let's draw another one. 7. Bookmark #4. Christmas tree: I love bookmarks in different shapes. They're so unique and interesting. So in this video, we'll create a bookmark in the shape of a Christmas tree. How cool is that? It’s definitely will be more fun to paint your tree and draw Christmas decorations on it, but first things first, and we must begin with boring stuff. Take a ruler and pencil. You can draw it of the same size as I do. Or you can do it your way. The bottom line of the tree is 8 cm. Mark the middle of this line. So height of the tree is 12 cm. so draw a line of this length from the middle of the bottom line to the top of the bookmark. Now, divide it into three equal parts. On the first mark from bottom line, draw another horizontal line, six centimeters long. and on the second mark draw a horizontal line 4 cm long. Now connect the top of the tree with the shortest horizontal line on the right and on the left, so that you end up with the small triangle. I hope you are not already tired from the centimeters and numbers. Now on the top horizontal line shift one centimeter from the center of the three to both sides, and connect with the ends of your middle horizontal line. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas tree! Similarly, on the middle horizontal line shift 2 cm from the centre to both sides and connect with the ends of your bottom line. You can now erase lines inside of the tree, but even if you don't, they won't be visible under metallic watercolors. To finish the three shape, we need to draw a stem for our tree. 2 cm can be too wide and 1 cm too narrow, So let's stop at 1.5 cm in width and 2 cm in height. Now it's finally time to draw with watercolours. For the Christmas tree I use brush number six and interference green watercolour. And now just fill your tree with Green watercolour. Yes, that's right. You don't need to leave space for Christmas decorations. Luckily for us we’ll be able to draw those on top of the Green watercolour. For the stem I use the same Deep Gold watercolour I used for the previous bookmark. Yeah, literally the same Deep Gold, which has dried out and And so I'm trying to water it back to life. So now we have the Christmas tree, you can leave it as it is or better give it 10-15 minutes to dry so we can draw some Christmas decorations. Grab all the colours you like, because it's time to decorate our three. I'll use light gold to draw a tinsel garland. For decorating I will use brush number 2. To make decorations more visible, don't add too much water to your watercolours. For Christmas balls. I use interference colours violet, blue and red. I use the same brush as before, number 2. And now just draw Christmas balls on the tree, wherever you like with whichever colour you like. It looks so colorful and bright, isn't it? For drawing ribbons I use Silver watercolour. You can also grab Interference White watercolour and add some snow on the garland and Christmas balls. And that’s it, our last bookmark is ready! 8. Let it snow: Winter bookmarks should have snow, right? Especially nowadays when we don't have that much snow. So now it's my favorite part of creating bookmarks. Let's make some snow splashes. For this, I take the white watercolour, but you can also use interference white or silver from your metallic watercolours set, Also I use a brush number 10. This one is my favorite because if you just dipped your brush in watercolour and water, you'll get big splashes. And when there is less water left on your brush, you'll be getting smaller and smaller splashes. By the way, for this step I went on my balcony because I didn't want to put paper towels, all over my working space. So if you have opportunity to go outside, it would be great because you really can't control splashes. But if you don't or it's too cold, or it's raining, or even better snowing, then just remember to cover your table, laptop or anything you want to protect from the creative process. So how to make splashes? Dip the brush in water, mop it in a lot of watercolour, and then hit the brush repeatedly against your finger several times until you are satisfied with the result. That's it. Congrats, your bookmarks are ready. 9. And... Cut! : So are you ready to cut? This is actually my least favourite part. I almost cut off the top of my finger once, so be careful with the utility knife. You can do this step with scissors, but then your bookmarks probably won’t be smooth on the edges. I have a few advices for you. First, pull out just a little of the blade, otherwise you can accidently cut yourself. Second, use the duct tape. The best ones are decorative. they don’t rip off the paper underneath when you remove them. And be sure to check your duct tape on a test 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 out your bookmark in shape of a Christmas tree. But altogether it just the same as with other bookmarks. 10. Ribbons: I'm sure you 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 a possibility for you to make your bookmarks even more creatively looking. You can make a hole with scissors, but I do it with a hole puncher. Final the middle of your bookmark and make a hole around 5-10 millimeters from the top. I use sparkling ribbons that are 3 mm wide. Your art store should have those. I cut off somewhere around 16-20 cm of the ribbon, fold it in half, put the fold through the hole in front of the bookmark and 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 for your own books. Thank you for participating in this class. Enjoy your reading with new bookmarks!