Watercolor Christmas Gnome | Daniela Mellen | Skillshare

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Watercolor Christmas Gnome

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

12 Lessons (34m)
    • 1. Watercolor Christmas Gnome

    • 2. Class Supplies

    • 3. Sketching the Image & Using the Templates

    • 4. Painting the Hat

    • 5. Painting the Body

    • 6. Painting the Nose

    • 7. Painting Layer #2 on the Hat

    • 8. Painting the Beard

    • 9. Painting the Mittens

    • 10. Adding Details

    • 11. Gnome Variations & Class Wrap Up

    • 12. Bonus Class! Watercolor Gnome Using a Marker

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About This Class

Paint a whimsical Christmas gnome using simple techniques and watercolor supplies while focusing on building up layers of pigments. We will practice wet-on-wet technique and wet-on-dry technique, while making little creatures full of character. This class includes a downloadable Supply List and a downloadable Christmas Gnome Template for three separate gnomes, as well as a Bonus Class.

Meet Your Teacher

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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 an opportunity to learn something new, build on existing skills, and branch out to new ones. I was formally trained as an educator which is my passion and incorporating art into teaching makes my life complete.

As of March 2023 I have a catalog of classes 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 Patreon Channel or my YouTube Channel for additional class info... See full profile

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1. Watercolor Christmas Gnome : Hello. I'm Daniella Melon and author and artist here on skill share. Welcome to my class watercolor Christmas gnome. We'll start by sketching her image with pencil until watercolor paper. I've included an easily downloadable template with three images for you selected image that appeals to you and then feel free to modify it further to give an elongated hat, spiral beard or in large nose. All of these modifications add character to an already amusing image. Start adding water color pigment in layers, either traditional Christmas reds and greens or other fun color combinations to bring your gnome toe life for your class project. Create your own watercolor Christmas known. Using the technique shown, take a photo of your work and posted in the project section. Be sure to follow me here on skill share to get notified of future classes and please consider leaving a review. Now let's get started 2. Class Supplies: the supplies that will need for our watercolor Christmas gnome include the template, which you can find in the project section. You can download it and print it onto a standard piece of copy paper, and it has three gnomes that you can trace if you'd like to use those, or you can draw your own gnome and draw your own. No, my have a real little reference sheet here. It's a little page for my sketchbook that I printed out, and it has just a standard gnome and some variations that you might be interested in using . And we'll go over more of this in the using the templates chapter. I have some watercolor brushes, just some number fours and one a pencil and an eraser. I have some £140 watercolor paper that I've cut into five by seven sheets, which I'm gonna use for this. And then I have my water color pigments in the jug of water 3. Sketching the Image & Using the Templates: to use the template, you can just download it and print it out and then put it on your light source. Here. I have a light pad, but you can use a window or a piece of glass with a light bulb underneath. It will work. You put your template down, choose the gnome that you'd like to trace and then put your watercolor paper over it and then with a pencil, just lightly trace over the marks that you'd like to use. So that's how you can trace over your template. You can also cut around it and use it as a stencil, or you can Freehand I want to sketch my gnome. I'll just start with a pencil and make some light marks. I like to start with the nose and the beard and so I'll just make a little oval knows, and then I'll work on the beard. I think in this case I want to add a mustache so I'll make to somewhat symmetrical shapes. And I don't like to use very pointy shapes on my no my like it to be kind of a fund Look, Then I'll make the beard make nice, loose waves and then I'll add the hat. Now the hat gives it a lot of character, and the hat should come down over the eyes, but not too far over the body. So I like to just kind of trace my mark here. That's a Sfar as the hats gotta go down. So make my hat. It's just a simple triangle with a little bit of personality. So little ruffles and the hat, A little wrinkles. You could make the hat have floppy ears if you want to have it go down. But you want the main part of the hat to be covering the eyes, so here would be one that would go down and then I just create the body from that in the body is simple. It's just a triangle I like to around the bottom. You can add feet if you'd like. And so to add feet. I just add ovals that kind of look like the nose, and you could really exaggerate them, making them really large feet, really small feet. Kind of gives it a little personality in the hands for the hands. I just make two ovals around like that. If I want, I can outline it with my marker. And when I do that, I just try and remember which lines I want to keep. So I'll start with the nose, make the mustache and then I'll copy the hat. I won't draw the line over the eyes. That was just a reference for me. And then I'll make the beard again. I have nice, rounded shapes for the beard and I'll start with the body and go down, make nice, large feet here and then I'll just erase these marks. So here I have a noon that I've sketched. 4. Painting the Hat: two starter painting. I've traced the gnome from right here on my paper, and I haven't done the light pencil sketch. Now what I'll do is I'll select my colors. You can choose any color combinations you'd like. You can do a typical Christmas reds and greens. Or you can add a different color scheme one to match your home or one to match the greeting card you want to say, and you can also make this not a Christmas known by just avoiding any Christmas imagery on your piece. So from here, I'm gonna do blues and greens on this gnome. We'll mix my color first. My number four brush. I'm gonna take some of this Prussian blue. It's a lovely deep blue makes a nice rich color, and the next to it I'll make some cerulean blue just the much later blue, more of a sky blue. So I'm going to start with the hat, rinse off my brush. Now that I see that it's clear with the hat area, I want there to be lots of highlights in the center of the hat, so I'm gonna try and focus, wedding the area on the sides and leaving a little bit in the center, completely dry of the paper. So there I have saturated my paper with my number one brush. I'm gonna go in there with that Prussian blue and I'll start because I'm right handed. I'm going to start in the left hand side, creating that shape. So I'll go around the perimeter. I'm dropping in my pigment and creating the shape of that hat. And this is just the first layer. Good to go right here, up against the beard. And then I'll continue very carefully around the nose and on the other side of the hat. It'll run on the areas of the paper that we went and stay dry and the pick parts of the paper that we left dry. I'm gonna go over the outline warmer time to make sure I have a lot of pigment. And I want the darkest areas at the bottom and the edge got a rinse my brush switch back to my number four brush and go in there with some more of this cerulean blue, right over the areas that we already painted with the Prussian blue. That gives a nice blend of color, if any areas have dried on the Prussian blue. I'm gonna go over them with that cerulean blue just so that when they dry they'll dry as a nice blend instead of harsh lines Gonna go in, rinse my brush And just over the edge here creates softer lines, particularly above that knows, and I'm gonna let this layer completely dry. 5. Painting the Body: our first layer on the hat has dried and now we're to work on the body here. I'm gonna do a nice red, and I'm going to use a crimson lake, which is a dark red right here. I'm gonna start by putting a little water on my palette and mixing that color nice and vibrant. And then I'm gonna go to rinse my brush and wet the area here and where I want a lot of deep color is right underneath the beard to create a little bit of a shadow and then right at the perimeter of the body here. So the area there's not very much of it. But the area in between the perimeter and the beard is what would I want to be my lightest Gonna switch my paper to the side with my number one brush? I'm gonna go in there and I'll start here on this topside now that I've turned my paper around and I'll create the perimeter between the hat and the glove here and I'm just very carefully leave a little white barrier between the hat and the rest of it Here, make my shape of my beard, leaving a little space between the beard and we're in putting my color down. I'll go in there and add a little more pigment. Then I'll dip my brush in the water and just enhanced that line a little bit. This helps the color to bleed. I'm working out just a little area at a time again. I'll get my color in some more and create that nice blend here. I can go back in and drop some more pigment, making the area underneath the beer just a little more darker. And I'll continue this process, creating the perimeter here again, dipping my brush and water and encouraging that color to bleed some more. I'll turn my paper around and continue with the body here. - Once I have the body, all saturated with color, varying amounts of pigment. I can go back in and add Maura's I'd like. So now I'll turn my paper around right side makes a little more that Crimson Lake, and I'll create those areas where I want more shadow. So right underneath the beard, right underneath the hat, right underneath the glove, this makes the area stand out a little more, creates a natural shadow in one layer, and this variation will allow us to create a pattern if we want or just in it, add interest to the I and I'll let this layer completely dry. 6. Painting the Nose: to make the nose. I wanted to be a fleshy color. So with the number four brush, I'll put a little water on my palette, and now I'm gonna mix it. I'm going to use a very light pink. You can even use red and really water it down to get a light pink. Or this is a brilliant pink. And as you can see, it's kind of a bubble gum pink, very pale, and I like that look. Then I'll go in here and I'll mix a little of this orange yellow. I think it's called a deep yellow, the deep yellow with the brilliant pink until I get a fleshy tone that I like. So I want, like a peach tone Mary, have it gonna switch to my smallest brush, my number one brush. Turn my paper on its side, and I want the deepest color to be at the base of the nose, so I'm going to paint 3/4 of that knows with clear water. Then I'll come in and pick up some of this peach color that we made. I'll start at the base underlying the base. Then I'll dip it into water slowly, bring it up until I have a clear brush. It's just damp, and then I'll help that color. Travel up to the top of the nose will be the lightest laptop. Then I'll go back in with that deep color. Just put it down. If you want. You could add a teeny bit of red on your brush just a little bit and dropping into the base . And while it bleeds, it gives a nice little contrast, and we'll let this completely dry. 7. Painting Layer #2 on the Hat: So now I want to add a pattern on the hat and I think I'm gonna add just some large dots, so I'm gonna mix my color here on the side. But it takes more of that Prussian blue, get that nice and vibrant, got a rinse off my brush and then moved to my smaller brush. And with clear water, I'll paint some large polka dots clear. I'll start on the side here. This will be halfway up. Will be my 1st 1 Not gonna paint a full circle. Could have been going off the hat, but I painted it with clear water. And now I'll just go over the perimeter that I painted with that deep color that we mixed. Not painting the entire polka dot Just the perimeter and letting it bleed. Did the same thing with my polka dot I'm gonna move toe over here, paint my Clearwater, and this is a little smaller than a dime. I'll go in my deep blue. Just paint the perimeter again. Continue doing this all over the hat. Clear water for the shape and then I drop in the rich pigment for the perimeter. I can go back if I see there are some circles, some of the polka dots here that I may that were a little small and just in large that perimeter, what makes it effective is not having very many full polka dots just where the fabric folds or goes behind where the eye sees. And that makes it very realistic looking over here and just sharpen these edges a little. Come over here. I'll do one over here and all of this layer completely dry. 8. Painting the Beard: now work on the beard. I'd like to have a highlight color. It can be a gray or blue or any cool color. I'm gonna do a very bluish purple with emphasis on the purple Onley Because I have the blue hat and I don't want to do too much blue So I'll take my water on my palette Take some purple Just mix it in until I get a nice rich purple And I'm gonna really fade this down But I like to start out with a rich color And then move it around Play with it So there I have a purple And now I want to make it very cool So at some Prussian blue to that and I'll keep moving it And see Here it is It's starting to turn the color I want It's a little too blue So I'll go in there with a little more purple That's it. I'll just add a little bit of blue There we go. Nice, cool color And now I'm gonna fade it very pale I just wanted to be a shadow so I mixed some water in, put some water on my brush and I'm just gonna go mimicking the perimeter, but not up against the perimeter of the beard, but just maybe a millimeter or two from the beard. Get a switch to my lightest to my smallest brush. My number one. Get a nice amount of my brush that I can control. I don't want it to drip around and very carefully and gently. I'm gonna paint in that dry area. Little strokes of that cool color remade. Try not to touch the red of the body. The color will bleed a little. It's OK. It's just not the look I'm going for. When I did the perimeter of all the beard, I'll go in and give my brush a good rinse, and they just add a little color here to bleed it out somewhat. This will bleed it into the area that we already wet of the beard. I'm not looking to color in the area purple. I'm just looking into Give it a little shade little shadow. I'll go in dropping a little more color in certain areas because it's a very rounded shape for the beard, and again I'll go in with my brush and just move that pigment around the thicker in some areas as a border and thinner and others. And I really like the way that looks over here. While it's wet, it looks like my form, a harsh line. So just bleed it out with a little clear water. And now I'm just gonna line underneath the hat, so I'll take my brush pickup pigment very carefully. Create the line in between over here on this side as well, and then very gently underneath the nose, leaving a little space between the nose and the pigment on putting down. I'll go in with a damp brush and bleed that color out somewhat, and then I just want to make sure there are no harsh edges. So here we have a nice outlined beard. I like the way that looks. It's not stark white, but it is a definitely a white beard and the little hints of purple. Just give it a little coolness. Take a pair paper towel just to make sure the edges on the center of the beard up until the pigment we put down. It's fairly dry on the paper. I don't want it to be completely dry, but I do not want to be wet, put in a little bit of color on my brush, water it down, so it's very light and I'm just gonna imitate the line in the shape of the beard and they'll go in with some wet water and just blend that out. Gives a little area a little more color. We'll go back in and I had a little more color. There is. Well, come in. Just blend it out. It's just a little bit of pigment I could do that over here is well and they blended out. Nothing harsh, just a hint of color. And if I find it's too late, when it dries a little, I'll just go in and add a little more. Again. I still wanted to be a white beard with just a little highlight of color, and when I'm happy with the way that is, I'll just let this completely dry. 9. Painting the Mittens: to make the mittens. I want them to be a nice shade of green. So I'm gonna go in there with a little water on my brush and just mix a little of this deep green. The paper is still dry on my mittens, and I'm gonna go around with the part of the mitten where all the fingers go, not the thumb, create my perimeter, rinse my brush somewhat, but have a little pigment on it, and then go in there and lighten it up. And I'll do the same thing again on the other side. I paint the perimeter of the mitten, and then I'll just blend the color out to fill it in. I'm gonna leave my pigment on my palate because I'm gonna go in there and fill in those thumbs. After this layer is completely dried, we'll go in there and fill in the thumbs at a little shadow and outline the hat 10. Adding Details: for final details will start at the top and work our way down with my number one brush. I'm gonna go in there with some Prussian blue, makes a little Prussian blue here with a very sharp point of my brush foot my piece over. And I'm gonna outline the hat with a very thin line. So I'm just gonna do the perimeter right now, creating very thin line, emphasizing with shape of a hat and all the little wrinkles then will come here at the base of the hat, right by the fold. Flip it over, and then I'm gonna line the perimeter of the hat where it meets the face, the beard and the nose. It's easier if I make small strokes instead of one continuous stroke in the Melbourne set off. Gonna go in there with a little bit of orange on my brush. Not very much if I pull it down and can barely leave a little orange. I want just enough here at a little water. I'm just gonna underline underneath. That knows very small strokes just like that. Gonna go in there with this crimson lake and again. We're just echoing the colors. We already used. I'm gonna create just a little outline around the perimeter of the body. I could go underneath the beard if I want, but I'm pretty happy with the way the shadow from the beard has, um, formed here. If I wanted, I could just go in and tidy up some areas that I see. And here's where If I wanted to put some pattern on the body, I could do that as well. I'm gonna leave the pattern alone. I like the contrast between the pattern on the hat and the more or less the solid color on the body. So now I'm gonna take my deep green that I have in my palette, reactivate it with a little water and a little more pigment, and I'm gonna outline the thumb, gonna leave a little space between the thumb and the rest of the mitten, and then I'll outline the mitten and I'll do the symbol sides because it's admitting I'm gonna go in there with a little more pigment, little more water. I was gonna create little wavy lines so they look like they're knitted. And then I'm just gonna create a little shadow. So with my brush. Just gonna go underneath my piece here, leaving a little space between the body and underneath it, keeping my shape very pleasant and rounded. Take a little bit of this gray, mix it with the water, and then I'm gonna mix it with a little Prussian blue just so that the color has a little pop to it Could put it on the edge of my brother. The tip of my brush. I'll drop it in, go back and forth a few times to create that very pleasing shape underneath the body and around the edges. And then I'll go in wedding, my brush ones pulling the color away and then wedding the brush again and really pulling the color away So it fades. So there we have our watercolor Christmas gnome. The next chapter. I'll show you some variations. I'll show you how I did paint the demonstration. I did where we outlined it with a marker. We'll get some different fun effects 11. Gnome Variations & Class Wrap Up: So here we have our template and are completed Known. The gnome is done in blue and red has little green mittens, so it does have some Christmas colors effect, but it's more like a winter known. We have a hat with multiple layers, the Grady int, and then we have a very detailed beard that's shaded with purple just to give the effect. So it looks like a white furry geared. But just using purple instead of gray or standard blue. I want to show you some variations as well, again using the template. And here we have the screen one done from this 1st 1 again, using just greens and using the same technique for the beard. I did each section of this beard following the same method for this one, so each one is shite shaded individually, and it gives a very vibrant look for this gnome here, which was done on five by seven, just like the others. But because of the emphasis on the hat to make that really look whimsical, we made that had as long as the body and the head. It's a really interesting effect, very amusing and humorous, and we use colors that aren't traditionally associated with Christmas. Again, we used a pattern, and I echoed it here but on a diagonal for the body. The last technique I wanted to show you or variation was the one that we did in class, where we sketched our image. Freehand outlined it with marker and then filled it in with colors and patterns. So here I've used multiple patterns of stripes and multiple polka dots. This one, I stuck to a very traditionally Christmas color scheme and gave a very bright result. I used blue for the beard here because I didn't use blue in my creation, I hope youll try your hand at one of these Christmas gnomes and post your work in the project section. Be sure to follow me here on skill share to get notified of future classes. And please consider leaving your review. Thanks for watching you 12. Bonus Class! Watercolor Gnome Using a Marker: for a bonus class. I wanted to include an additional watercolor gnome. And instead of using water color pigments will use water color markers. Actually, we're just gonna use one, although you can modify it with multiple colors, but we're gonna use black where we normally outline it if we choose to outline it with a permanent marker so that it doesn't run when we put water on it. In this case, we're going to use a water color marker that will run. So it's not permanent. It's just water soluble, and this is black, but you can use a variation of colors or any color. I just like the effect that this gives. So this is a Tom biomarker, and what I'm gonna do is just create a light outline of my piece here, just like I normally would with a permanent marker. But I'm gonna do it here with this watercolor marker, create the outline. So I have the body, the moustache and a beard. And, of course, the little nose. I can erase these pencil my lines here just so they don't show, and then I'm gonna take my brush, rinse it. And now I'm just gonna help this to bleed a little bit, and this will create a painterly image using the same template that we used. Depending on how much water you use, you can get a different effect. You could fill in the area. You could make a nice blend, and it creates a different look. It reacts the same as watercolor in that it moves around with water, so that creates that painterly image. And then you can use different colors to achieve your effect. I just wanted to create, like, a basic outline, so I just used that black and then from American. Stop up some of this color just to create a little shadow underneath. I think it's a different effect, and it's very effective on a card again. You could use multiple colors as well of your marker. You don't have to stick to just black