Easy Watercolor Christmas Cards & Gift Tags: Learn to Paint Popular Holiday Elements in Watercolor! | Petals by Priya Watercolor | Skillshare

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Easy Watercolor Christmas Cards & Gift Tags: Learn to Paint Popular Holiday Elements in Watercolor!

teacher avatar Petals by Priya Watercolor, Watercolor Artist & Teacher

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

    • 1.

      Welcome to Class!


    • 2.



    • 3.

      Greenery & Berries


    • 4.

      Mistletoe with Ribbon


    • 5.

      Modern Christmas Trees


    • 6.

      Zig Zag Christmas Trees


    • 7.

      Layered Christmas Trees


    • 8.

      Project One: Gift Tags


    • 9.

      Project Two: Holiday Cards


    • 10.

      Final Video Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Welcome to my new class all about how to paint simple & easy watercolor Christmas cards and gift tags! 

The holiday season is finally here and I’m super excited to share this class with you. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a big fan of handmade cards & crafts. They are such a special gift to give to your family and friends, and also a great way to showcase your beautiful artwork.

Inside this class, we’ll learn how to paint several different holiday-themed elements and apply them to both cards and gift tags.

Specifically, you’ll learn how to paint:

  • Holiday Berries & Greenery including: holly & pine
  • Mistletoe with ribbon
  • 3 Different Styles of Christmas trees
  • We’ll finish with a class project where you’ll create a pair of cards and gift tags to create a beautiful, cohesive-looking gift.

About the Artist

Hello and welcome! My name is Priya and I’m the owner of Petals by Priya Watercolor Designs. I’m an artist, art teacher, surface designer, and paper goods shop owner based in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii. I’m passionate about teaching art in an approachable manner and helping artists at any level feel excited and empowered to create beautiful artwork that embraces their own unique style.

One of my absolute favorite parts about being an artist is connecting with other creatives and sharing our love for art, creativity, and entrepreneurship. Let’s connect!

Next Steps

Please don’t forget to upload your projects to the “Projects & Resources” section here on Skillshare. It’s a great way to receive feedback on your artwork and connect with fellow students and creatives. If you also share your project on social media, please tag me on Instagram @petals.by.priya so I can like and comment on your work and share it with my audience! 

Thanks again for joining this class. I can’t wait to see what you create! Have a question? Feel free to send me an email or DM me on Instagram!

Meet Your Teacher

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Petals by Priya Watercolor

Watercolor Artist & Teacher

Top Teacher

My name is Priya Hazari and I'm a watercolor artist and owner of Petals by Priya Watercolor Designs. I specialize in painting loose watercolor florals and botanicals and am deeply inspired by the vibrant colors and beautiful nature surrounding me in Honolulu, Hawaii!

My journey with watercolors started as a hobby in 2018 and is now my full-time career. Over the years, I've had the pleasure of teaching in-depth painting and creative business classes to 5,000 students online and in person. I've also been able to see my designs come to life on products through licensing projects, and have transformed my artwork into prints and stationery items that are sold in retail stores around the United States. It's been a dream come true!

Though there are many aspects to my crea... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Welcome to Class!: Hi everyone, welcome to my new class. This class is going to be all about how to paint simple and easy watercolor Christmas cards and gift tags. If you haven't taken one of my classes before yet, my name is Priya from petals by Creo Watercolor Designs. I'm a watercolor artist and surface designer based in Hawaii. You can find some of my latest artwork on Instagram @petals by Priya or online at my website, petals by priya.com. I don't know about you, but I personally have always been such a big fan of handmade cards and crafts. There's such a unique and special gift to be able to give to your family and friends, and also a great opportunity to be able to showcase your beautiful artwork. Inside this class, we will learn how to paint several different holiday themed elements and motifs and apply them to both the Christmas cards and the gift tags. Specifically, you'll learn how to paint holiday berries and greenery, including Holly and pine, mistletoe with ribbon and three different styles of Christmas trees. We'll finish with the class project where you'll create a pair of cards and gift tags to make a beautiful, cohesive looking gift. Let's go ahead and grab our supplies and jump right in. I'll see you in the first lesson. 2. Supplies : Starting with supplies that we'll be using in this class, I'm going to go over some of the basic ones that I'll be using personally. But I don't want you to stress too much if you don't have those exact same ones. Really all you need is some watercolor paper, your paint brushes, and paints, and you'll be good to go. For paper, I'll be using Legion Stonehenge, 100 percent cotton paper. For brushes, I'll be using round brushes ranging from Size 2-10. I will be doing some light sketching for a couple of the lessons so if you have a pencil handy, that will be helpful as well. For paints, I'm using a variety of brands, but the most important thing for this class is the colors. We'll be using various shades of green for the leaves and Christmas trees. You can choose any shade of red for berries and ribbon on the mistletoe, and any shade of brown for the tree stumps. For the writing portion of the gift tags and cards, you'll also need a sharpie or a felt tip pen. Finally, for the finishing touches on the gift tags, we'll be using a Hole punch in some ribbon to attach the tags for the gift. You definitely don't need to do this part, but it just adds a nice touch in my opinion. You can also swap the ribbon for twine if you want a more rustic look as well. That's it for the supplies for this class. Again, don't worry too much if you don't have those exact ones. Like I said before, paint, brushes, and paper, that's really all you need. I'll see you in the next video lesson and we'll start painting some holiday greenery and berries. 3. Greenery & Berries: We're going to start by learning how to paint a variety of holiday greenery and berries and also go over some of the techniques I like to use to add some depth and interests to your painting. Now I will mention if you struggle at all with painting leaves in watercolor, I do recommend you check out my other class. It's all about how to paint leaves. It goes over in depth the proper techniques, the shapes, the pressure that you put on your brush, color mixing, and all of that good stuff. So I'm not going to reteach all of that in this class, but I will go over all of the basic techniques we need for each of the types of greenery that we'll be painting up next. The first thing we're going to learn how to paint in this class is these beautiful loose style holly leaves. The main distinguishing feature of holly is these sharp pointy edges. So you want to make sure to include those in your sketch. This is what the final piece will look like, except we're going to be doing a double stem here. Now, before we get started, I want to explain a little bit of the process for this. Basically each section of the leaf, so I've split it into six sections here is going to be its own section and we're going to be using what's called the wet on wet technique. So before we actually start painting the leaves, just go ahead and paint a couple of squares, and we'll practice the technique that we're going to be using for the leaf. The wet on wet technique is exactly how it sounds. We're going to put down a base layer of a really light wash of green. I'm just going to loosely fill in the square with light green. Then the main thing is to make sure that this layer is still nice and wet. You don't want it to be too wet to where there's a bunch of cuddling going on, but you want a nice thin layer of water. While that's still wet, I'm going to grab a darker value of that green. I'm just going to load my brush up here and just gently tap in some of that darker green. It doesn't matter where you put it, we're just practicing the technique here. You can drag it along the edges or you can tap it in, and it just creates this nice organic blooms. I'm going to practice that one more time in this box to the right. This is the exact same technique we'll be using for each of the sections here. It might look a little complicated, but once you get the hang of it, it's really fun and easy. Put down that first layer, load up some darker pigment on your brush, and gently just tap it in. Feel free to keep practicing that technique if you'd like. But once you're ready to start painting the leaf, you're going to start with a nice light sketch of these two leaves. Now, I will include some pictures of mine in the Resources tab. So if you want to just copy mine, you can do that. I like to keep it simple for the purpose of teaching this. So I just did two points on each side of the leaf. You can definitely make it a little more complicated if you'd like, you can draw your own leaves. It's really up to you. I'll just show you a little bit more of my sketch. I have the two leaves, one straight up, it's a little bigger and then a little bit smaller on the right that is turned sideways. Now the important part, as I mentioned before, is, we're going to be painting section by section. This is what it will look like in the end. Make sure when you sketch in the veins, that you leave enough white space. I made mine double wide, two lines per vein. That way you can clearly paint each section and there will still be whitespace in-between. We're going to be using this exact same technique that we just practiced here for each section of the leaf. I'm going to do the first few in real-time here. I'm taking a really light wash of the green, and I'm just going to gently fill in this bottom section. Again, make sure you're leaving that white space for each of the veins. Gently fill it in, make sure there's no pedaling, but you want to make sure you have enough water on there to get these nice little blooms. Once that first layer is down, loading up the darker pigment and gently just tapping in. Feel free to type in the color wherever you like. There's no specific way you need to do it. As you can see in this Example 1, all the sections look a little bit different, I don't think it would look like a real organic leaf if you had every single section the exact same, so feel free to mix it up. Since we are leaving whitespace in between each section, you can go ahead and paint the next one while this one is still wet. Just be careful not to run into each other because then we'll get some bleeding which we don't want. So that white space is really important to keep in-between each section. Again, just filling in with those whitewash, while it's still wet. Just tapping in some darker. If you get any blooms that you really don't like, if you had like too much dark on your brush, then just rinse off your brush and gently tap it on the paper towel and just lift up some of that color. That's the nice thing about watercolor is, you can alter it to make sure you get it how you want. I'll just do one more in real-time here, this top section. Again doing the base layer with this light green, making sure to keep the whitespace in-between each section, and then gently tapping in the dark. Also make sure that your tips are still nice and pointy. You don't want this to be rounded at all because that's really what differentiates the holly leaf is those sharp points. I'm going to speed up the next part of the video, but just make sure you do that exact same thing on the other side. Also make sure you're not just keeping the whitespace in-between these sections on this side, but also down the middle. We want a nice skinny white band down the middle. Once you're happy with how your first leaf looks, we're going to do the exact same process on the second leaf. Again, I'm going to speed this part up, but just go at your own pace, feel free to mix it up. Make sure each section looks a little different, and once you're done, we will be adding in the brown stems and then filling in this white space a little bit. Once you're done with your tea leaves, the next step is to add two brown little stems. I got a smaller-sized round brush and just loaded up some brown. If you don't have a really small round brush, just make sure to use the very, very tip of your other brush so that way we get next thin stems. I'm just going to attach those two here and then the final step. I don't really like to leave just plain white paper here, so I'm just going to get super light wash of green, even lighter than the first layer of your leaves. I'm just going to gently brush in some of that in-between. It still looks nice and white, but it's not just stark paper. I'll do it for the second leaf too. I'm also going to just clean up some of the edges on my second one. I think I just rushed it a little bit too much. Just going to add a little point here and there. There you have it the holiday leaves, I really love the loose organic style of those and I think wet-on-wet painting is just so much fun. I hope you enjoyed that. Next, we're going to learn how to paint pine. They're super easy, super simple, no sketching required. One thing I will note before we start painting them is it will be beneficial to have a really fine tip, small, round brush to achieve these really thin, and wispy strokes. Now, if you don't have a really small round brush, that's fine. Just make sure to use the pointy tip of your brush so that we can still achieve that thin stroke. We'll be starting with the little stems, so I'm getting some brown on my brush, and I'm just going to draw two little stems. One's going to be a little shorter than the other. Once you have those, we're going to get some lighter green on your brush, again, we're going to do this layered methods that we're going to do a lighter green first and then some darker ones on top. That'll give it some depth, like you can see in this reference one. Now the stroke for this is going to be super thin and wispy. I started at the top, let's do a little stroke there and then just work your way down. There is not too much to it. It's really simple and easy. Don't overthink it and just start adding in some strokes like this. It's not going to look great at first, but we're going to add more and more layers, and then it will look more realistic as we go. Now I'm going to make my way up onto the second stem. Keep the brush nice and loose in your hand. Just work your way up and down. Now you can vary the length and the amount of pressure that you're putting on the brush. You can see some of these are shorter, some are longer, some are really wispy, and some are a little bit thicker. Just make sure to give it a little bit of variation. Once you've got a good first layer, we will load up our brush with some darker green and we'll add on the second layer. Now I've got some darker green on my brush and I'm going to do the exact same thing. Just lay that second layer down. Then finally I'm going to do one last layer of a really dark green. I think this last layer really helps bring it to life. Just make sure you're not overthinking it. Just some nice thin, wispy strokes. There you have it, that's about it. These are really simple to do, so feel free to keep practicing that or we can move on to the next painting. Next up we'll be painting some festive red berries. There's a few different ways that you can paint berries. I'm going to be teaching two of my go-to ways. The first is a little bit quicker, more loose style, and then the second is more realistic looking, still loose and easy, but it does use that same wet-on-wet technique that we learned during the holly lesson. Starting with the first technique is really simple. All you have to do is load up your brush with the red paint. Outline the circle of your berry, it definitely does not have to be a perfect circle. Don't worry too much about that. Then instead of filling in the whole berry with color, we're going to leave a little bit of whites-pace to create a nice little shine or highlight on the berry and then go ahead and fill in the rest. Just like that, it's super quick and easy. I'm going to do one more example right next to it. Loading up my brush with the red, outlining a circle, making sure to leave a little bit of white space for the shine or the highlight, and then filling in the rest. As you can see, super quick and easy. The second method is also nice and easy, but it does look a little more realistic. First, I'm loading up a light value of the red on my brush. To get a lighter value, all you have to do is rinse off a little bit of that pigment, and we're going to outline another berry, and this time go ahead and fill in the whole thing with the color. I'm drawing my circle, filling it in. There's a little bit of pedaling going on there. I'm just soaking up some of that water. Once you have your first layer down, rinse off all the color off your brush. Gently tap it on your paper towel and we're just going to lift some color to create the highlight. Instead of just leaving a whites-pace here and having the paper be the highlight, we're just lifting some of that color off. Lift the nice little highlight, and then while the rest of the berry is still wet, I'm going back in with my darker shade of red and just adding some shadow here. I'm going to tap it in on the bottom and around the top but leaving that nice lifted area to be the highlight. I'm going to do one more layer to make the shadow a little more dramatic. I'm taking a really dark shade of red and just tapping in that shadow. I'm going to do one more example right next to it. Again, taking a really light wash with my red, outlining the circle, filling it in. I'm going to rinse off my brush, tap it on my paper towel, and lift up some color to create the highlight. Then going back in with a darker shade of red and tapping in some of the shadows. Finally, I'll do one last round at an even darker red and create a more dramatic 3D effect. You'll notice it looks even better as it starts to dry. You can see this one here has a nice rounded effect and then that there is the color that we lifted to create the highlight. Just tapping in, finishing off this one, adding in the show, and then letting it dry just like this one. Definitely keep practicing the different methods of painting berries. See what works best for you, what you're most comfortable with, and also try playing around with combinations of berries and leaves. For example, you could try adding a few barriers to the hallway stem that you painted earlier in the class. Now, keep in mind, you definitely do not have to paint these exact types of leaves. These are just some of the most common types of holiday and winter greenery. But really as long as you have green leaves and red berries, It's going to look like a holiday painting to me. Once you're done practicing, I'll see you in the next lesson and we'll paint some mistletoe with ribbon. 4. Mistletoe with Ribbon: In this lesson, we'll be painting a sweet little hanging mistletoe with a red ribbon holding it all together. This is personally one of my favorite holiday motifs to paint, so let's get started. I painted a few practice examples here so we can use these as reference while we paint the mistletoe. To give you a little bit of preview, we'll be sketching out a few stems with the pencil. We'll go over the stems and the leaves in our green watercolor, add some berries in between the leaves, and then finish by adding the red ribbon here at the top. One more note before we get started, you can of course use any shade of green you like. For my example, I wanted to have a little bit more of a natural earthy green, so I just went ahead and added a touch of light brown to the green mixture that I had been using for the previous lessons. As I said, we're going to start with just a light sketch. As you can see on these examples, I have three stems coming out of each ribbon. To start off the sketch, I'm just going to draw this section right here, the straight parts of the stems. I'm going to draw three lines here crisscrossing, overlapping. This point here where they intersect, that's where the middle of the ribbon is going to go. Once you have that, I'm just going to drag down some lines here for the main stems and then a couple of little stems coming off of each one. You want it to be the longest in the middle, and then just lightly sketching out a couple of other stems coming off of each one. Don't worry too much about having the perfect sketch. We're going to be going over it with paint. If you don't like your sketch, that's perfectly fine. Make sure also you leave plenty of room in between where the leaves are going to go, we don't want it to be too cluttered at the end. You can see here in this example I have plenty of whitespace in-between the leaves to add the berries. I'm just going to make a wider one out here. I'm pretty happy with that sketch. Next, we'll load up our brushes with the shade of green that we like and go over the stems and the leaves. I have my green loaded up on my brush, and I'm just going to lightly using the very tip of my brush, trace over the lines that I sketched, starting with the longest middle one and then working my way back up. Make sure not to make these lines too thick. They're just going to be dainty little stems and then we'll be drawing the leaves off of this. Next, we'll be actually adding these cute little leaves on the edges of each of the stems. You'll notice that the mistletoe leaves are not very pointy. They're not perfectly round, but they just have a nice soft tip at the end. Keep that in mind as you add your leaves. Starting with this bottom one here, I'm just going to drag down and drag down right next to it and there it has that nice soft tip. I'm using two brush strokes for each leaf. I'm just going to work my way up the sketch, adding the leaves first at the end of each of the stems that I drew then we'll go back in and add some more throughout. As we learned in the other lessons, feel free to change up the size and the shape of each one, so makes them a little smaller, makes them longer or shorter, just keep it interesting. Once you've added all the leaves to the stems that you initially drew in, make sure there's no other whitespaces or gaps that may need a little more. I see this part of this branch, I'm going to add another one and then maybe some here on the left side. I'm pretty happy with how that looks. Next, we'll add our berries. To add the berries, just go ahead and load up your brush with the shade of red. For this example, I'm just going to be using the quick loose style berry. You want to find the spots in your mistletoe that have a little bit more whitespace. You definitely don't want to end up with a really cluttered illustration so don't try to jam in the barriers where there's already a lot of leaves. Just find those open whitespaces and go ahead and add about 5-7 berries. For the final step of this mistletoe, I'm going to be painting the cute little red ribbon on top. If you don't want to do red ribbon, you could also try some twine or something like that, just make sure to use a natural shade of brown. But for this example, I'll be doing the red ribbon. I'm going to load up some light wash of red, and then right where these stems intersect, that's where I'm going to be painting the ribbon. I'm just going to paint the loop here and then the ribbon coming off. Same thing on the other side. The little loop there on the left and the ribbon coming down. While it's still wet, [NOISE] I'm going to go in and just add a couple shadows here with darker red. There you have it. I love painting these cute little guys. I think this is the design I'm going to use in the class project for the gift tag. I really hope you enjoyed painting that mistletoe. Next up, we're going to learn how to paint our first style of Christmas tree. See you there. 5. Modern Christmas Trees: Switching gears a little bit here, we are going to be learning how to paint a super simple modern-style Christmas tree in this lesson. Here's a little pic at one of my recent holiday designs where I used this exact same technique. I love how it turned out, and I ended up using that design to create holiday cards, tags, and wrapping paper as well. We're going to start with a light sketch of the tree. All it is basically is a triangle for the top part of the tree and then a rectangle, or square for the tree trunk. This is the fun part of these trees as you can really mix and match, switch it up. You can have a really tall, skinny tree with a short and wide trunk, or vice versa. Just play around with it and see what you can create. I'm going to start by just lightly outlining a triangle for the top part of the tree. We'll be filling this in with paint, so don't worry too much if you don't love your sketch. Then we'll be adding a tall and skinny trunk. One thing that I really like to do when I'm painting these is to leave a little bit of white pace in-between the trunk and the tree, just gives it even more of a modern vibe. There's a tall and skinny one, and then right next to it, I'll do a shorter, wider one just for fun. Play around with your different sketches and once you're happy with your sketches, we'll start filling it in with paint. Similarly to the other lessons in this class, we'll be using that same wet-on-wet technique to create a nice blended effect. I'm going to get a really light wash, load up your brush of green, and fill in the whole layer of your first tree. You want to make sure you have enough water on your brush so that your first layer will still be wet when it's time to drop in the second layer. While you're working on that first layer, once you're ready to add the second layer and have that wet-on-wet technique. If any of the first layer has dried, you can just gently wet your brush and then do a thin layer of water on top just to reactivate it. Once that's ready to go, I'm going to grab some darker value of that green onto my brush, and then I'm just going to create a nice blended ombre effect. Choose any corner. I'm going to do this top area and just drop in some of the darker green. Then I'm going to rinse off my brush, dab it on the paper towel and just blend it out. I'm just lightly feathering it out here, and do a little darker. I'm liking how that's looking so far. I like using this technique because it just gives the tree a little bit more interest rather than having one solid triangle of one solid color. Blended effect does cause a little bit more interest. We're going to do the same exact thing with the trunk, but just with brown instead of green. I'm grabbing a light wash of brown, gently filling in the trunk, and then dropping in some darker brown at the bottom. Moving on to the second tree, I'll be doing the same thing, but I just am using a little bit more of a blue shade of green. Again, do a light wash base layer. Make sure you have plenty of water on your brush that doesn't dry out too much. Once you have your base layer down, go ahead and start dropping in the darker layer. You can choose a different corner if you'd like. I'm going to do my bottom left. Then when it's ready to blend, just rinse off your brush, gently dab it on your paper towel, and just feather it out. I'm going to do the same process on the trunk. Light washer brown. Then add in some darker brown there at the bottom. There you have it. We just painted our first modern-style Christmas tree. These ones are just so fun and easy to paint. Definitely keep practicing. Feel free to paint a few more. Change up the size of your tree, change up the colors that you use, and I'll meet you in the next lesson to start working on another style of Christmas tree. 6. Zig Zag Christmas Trees: Moving on to another style of modern Christmas trees. This one is another really simple technique, but it has more of a doodle style feel to it, but I still think you'll enjoy it. One thing I have noticed when painting this exact style of tree, is that it's a bit easier to do with a bigger size round brush. For my demonstration, I'll be using a size 10 round brush. I loaded up my brush really well with lots of water and pigment, this is one thing that's going be really important when we paint this. The whole tree is going to be done in one loose motion. You want to make sure that your brush is really loaded up well so that you don't run out of paint and water as you work your way down. I'll just show you a quick little demonstration of what these trees will look like. There is the top and then we'll be adding a brown little chunky trunk here at the bottom. There's not really a science to it, there's not a super technical technique, just make sure your brushes nice and loaded up, hold it loosely in your hand, and we'll do a sharper, finer tip about the top. Then as you work your way down, make three to four zigzags and just put more pressure on your brush as you go down so it gets fatter and thicker down at the bottom. Let's give it a try. Start at the top with the tip of your brush, do a little zigzag motion and push harder and harder as you work your way down. Let's try that again. Make sure you have lots of pigment and water in your brush, start at the top and loosely work your way down. If you're happy with how it looks just after that one breaststroke, that's totally fine, or if you want to go in and add some blooms using that wet on wet technique, that's totally fine too, it's up to you. Here's what that would look like if you wanted to add some more contrast there, I'm just dropping in some darker color. Finally, we'll add the tree stump. To match that loose freestyle of the tree, make sure you don't overthink this stump at all, we're just going to give it a nice little chunky push down on your brush. You want to make sure that this belly of your brush, so the thickest part of your bristles, you're just pushing down and pulling back up. There you have it, I told you that one was going to be a super fun and simple. Definitely keep practicing, play around with different shades of green, and I'll see you in the third and final Christmas tree style in the next video and this is going to be the most realistic style of tree. 7. Layered Christmas Trees: For our third and final style of Christmas tree, we'll be painting a layered tree. Out of the three versions taught in this class, this is the most realistic looking, but it's still very simple and loose. Just to give you a little sneak peek of what these trees will look like, here are some of the practice ones that I did before the class, so we'll be using these as a reference. We won't be sketching out the whole tree, but we will just start with a little sketch just to align basically of the trunk, just to help us keep the tree centered. I'm just going to lightly draw a thin line, and that's what I'll be using to keep the rest of my tree centered. Next up, I want to just work on some practice strokes, so don't do it on top of your line yet, I'm just going to do this off to the side. I loaded up some green, it doesn't matter right now because this is just practice, but basically, how we're going to be putting down these strokes to create this layered effect, is you're just going to hold your brush like this sideways and then just press it down lightly so it creates this nice oval shape. Just go ahead and practice some of those. You can try holding it at different angles, you can make thinner ones by holding it more upright, or you can push down harder and make big fat ones. Just play around with it and see what different motions create different strokes. One more thing to note before we start putting the paint to the paper for the actual tree, is that the very top of the tree will have more dainty thinner marks, and then as you work your way down, they're going to be a bit thicker and fatter. The final thing is that this will be a layered tree, so we're going to start with a lighter shade, a lighter value of the green and do work our way all the way down, and then we'll do a second round with the medium green and then a third round with the darkest green. I have a very light value of green on my brush, starting with just the tip here at the top and just dabbing my brush on the paper. As you can see here, I'm going to do three layers to the tree, and each one goes a little bit further out. Let's do our first one. Start working your way up, keep your strokes nice and loose in your hand, and keep in mind we're going to do two more layers on top of this. The first layer always looks a bit strange, but it will start to fill in as we add our second and third layers. A couple of things also to keep in mind as you're working your way down, is to leave some white space in between. We will be filling a lot of that whitespace up as we add our second and third layers, but also trying to leave some of it white so that our tree doesn't just turn it into one big blob. We always want to avoid making a blob. There is our first layer. Now let's grab a bit darker of a shade of green and we'll do the same exact thing on top of that first layer. It's completely fine if some of your strokes overlap, but as I said before, just make sure it doesn't turn into one big blob. I'm going to do my final layer with a very dark shade of green. All three layers are done, I'm really liking how this is looking. Now we're going to do the finishing touches, which is adding the tree stump. I'm loading up my brush with a little bit of brown. Starting at the bottom, I'm just going to retrace where my pencil trunk was with a thin little stem, and then work your way up just filling in any whitespace where the trunk would be. That's it for the layered Christmas tree. Really, the key here is to not overthink it and to make sure that you always leave enough white space so that your tree doesn't turn into just a blob of paint. Keep playing around with it, keep practicing, and when you're ready, I'll see you in the next video and we'll be able to start Part 1 of our class project, which is the Christmas gift topic. 8. Project One: Gift Tags: Okay, so part 1 of our class project, we will be creating the Christmas gift tag with either the red ribbon or twine attachment. These are really simple and easy to make, but they really add a lot to the overall presentation of the gift. So let's jump right in. I wanted to start this project by just showing you some of the gift tags that I designed as part of my online shop this year. I have this merry and bright with the modern Christmas trees. Tis the season and happy holidays. Those are just some examples to get your creativity flowing. But to start, I have cut my watercolor paper down into the size of a gift tag. I just did two inches by about three-and-a-half. That's a standard business card size. Go ahead and do that first and once your paper is the correct size, I always start with the hole punch. That way, you can know exactly where that's going to be and then design around that. I made the mistake in the past of designing the whole card, and then I have to either make the hole punch over some artwork or try to squeeze it in somewhere. It's always best to just start with the hole punch. Just like that. Now, you can definitely choose to do either a horizontal tag or a vertical tag. These are some examples of the horizontal ones. This is the vertical one that I did. As I said before, I'm going to be painting the mistletoe that we learned earlier in the class. I'm going to have the hole at the top and then paint my mistletoe here, and then have the to and from down here at the bottom. That's one thing you also want to keep in mind is where you're going to write to and from. You can do a few things. You can either paint the whole front side of the design and then have the names on the back. Or you can do like these and have your design and the to and from all integrated on the same side. I'm going to go ahead and just sketch out where I'm going to do to and from. I'm going to do that right here at the bottom. That way I have plenty of room to paint. I like where that is now, so I'm going to just trace over it with my fine tip Sharpie. Next up will be time to actually start painting the mistletoe. But again, feel free to paint whatever motif you want from the class. So you can do some of the trees that we learned, you can do some mistletoe like I'm doing, or the pine branches and or holly and berries. It's really up to you. Use whatever you liked best. Once I'm ready to go, I'm going to start by just lightly sketching it out where I want the mistletoe to be hanging from, and then I'll start painting. I'll speed this part up while you work on whichever motif it is that you're working on and then once you're done, we'll be adding the final touches which will be the red ribbon or the twine. Once you're done painting your motif, it'll be time to add the ribbon or the twine. For my example, I'll be using ribbon. I cut this down to probably about eight inches, and I'm going to just fold it in half. I'm going to pinch the folded end, feed it through the top of the hole punch, pull it through just a little bit. Then I'm feeding through the two loose ends and then pulling on the top gently. And there you have it. There's the beautiful gift tag. Great job creating your Christmas gift tag. These, like I said, are so fun and easy to make. Now I will mention, if you do want to make quantities of them or get them professionally printed, or start selling gift tags on your own, I would recommend checking out my other class. It's all about how to digitize your artwork. So it takes you step-by-step how to scan and edit your artwork in Photoshop so that you can reproduce your paintings for not only gift tags but cards and prints and really anything you'd like. Definitely feel free to check out that class as well and otherwise, I'll see you in the next lesson for part 2 of the class project, which is the Christmas cards. 9. Project Two: Holiday Cards: For the second and final part of our class project, we will be creating our Christmas cards. Before we get started, I just want to quickly remind you to please feel free to share your work. Share the result of your final project, I'd love to see it and if you do also upload it to Instagram, please be sure to tag me @petals.by.priya, and I will re-post your work on my stories as well. You'll want to start by first trimming down your watercolor paper to whatever size card you'd like. I've estimated mine to be about 5.5 by 8.5 inches so that when it's folded, it's pretty much a standard A2 size card. Now, watercolor paper is very thick, so it could sometimes be a little hard to fold so I've used a scoring board for mine. If you're having trouble folding it, you can also just make a one-sided card if you'd like. Now, the next step really just depends on what elements you've decided to incorporate into your card. For mine, I think I've decided to write merry and bright in the middle, and then I'm going to surround it with some of the zigzag style Christmas trees that we learned earlier. I'm going to speed this next part of the video up while I work on that, and I'll give you some time to work on whichever elements you've decided on. As I said before, feel free to keep making as many handmade cards as you'd like or if you do want to get a big batch of cards printed or you want to start selling your own cards, just a reminder to check out my other class, it'll walk you step-by-step through the process of turning your painting into a digital piece of work so that you can put them on things like holiday cards and get them printed. Definitely check that out if that's something that interests you, otherwise, I'll see you in the next video to go over some final thoughts about the class and off it up so see you soon. 10. Final Video Final Thoughts: Congratulations. You made it to the end of the class. Thank you so much for joining me. I truly hope you enjoy learning how to paint all of these beautiful holiday elements and turn them into gift tags and holiday cards. I'm super excited to see all of your wonderful creations, so please be sure to share your projects. Tag me on Instagram at petals by Priya. Thank you so much for joining me. Happy holidays and happy painting from me to you.