How to Paint Christmas Flowers | Christmas Cards in Watercolor

Hi everyone! In this week’s video I’m painting three flower
Christmas cards using watercolors. I asked you in the YouTube community tab,
art amino and twitter whether you’d prefer to watch them as one video or as three individual
videos and most people said whichever way is fine and I decided to go with one video
this time. Otherwise, I’d just be repeating things in
each video, since the paintings were fairly similar. So, I used this small Daler Rowney postcard
watercolor paper pad, which is almost empty now. I found it at a discount at an art supply
store once. It’s acid free and 300 gsm, which is a pretty
nice thickness, but the finished paintings might still warp a bit. The sheets actually look like postcards on
the back with the address lines and a place for the stamp. I wouldn’t put these in the mail without an
envelope though, but you could put a sticker or something in the place of the stamp. I actually used these as Christmas cards last
year. I made them on December 23rd to be exact,
which some might think was a kind of last minute, and I hand delivered them on Christmas
Eve, so I didn’t have to send them by mail at all. As mentioned in the previous Christmas flower
drawing videos, I got help from the flower painter’s essential handbook by Jill Bays
for these paintings. She talks about both pencil sketching and
watercolor painting flowers in the book. The book and the supplies I used will be listed
below, if you’re interested in any of them. And the links are often Amazon affiliate links,
so if you buy anything on Amazon through them, you’re also supporting this channel at no
extra cost to you and it does help me out. I did quick colored pencil sketches of each
flower off-camera first to practice and figure out the composition before the actual pencil
drawings and watercolor paintings. I sketched out the outlines on the watercolor
paper pad with colored pencils. You could use watercolor pencils, if you want
the sketch to blend into the painting as you add water. But I just did a light sketch with normal
colored pencils with corresponding colors so they won’t show up much under the watercolor
painting. I’m not sure why I chose orange for the hyacinth
leaves instead of green. I wish I’d written notes while I was painting
these, so I’d know what I was thinking. I painted these with the Winsor and Newton
Cotman half pan watercolor set, which has student grade paints. It also comes with palettes stacked up inside
the top, so you don’t need a separate paint palette for mixing paints. I used a bit of wet on wet on the leaves,
adding darker green in the tips and letting it blend in. I left some white highlights while painting
the first layers of the flower bulb and the leaves. And once the layer dried, I’d add another
of either the same shade or something a bit darker to part of the area to create shading
or texture. With the flowers, I made the insides darker,
leaving the edges of the petals light. I tried adding yellow in the middle of the
flowers a bit too early while the blue paint was still wet, so it blended into the blue
more than I intended and I realised it was time to let the painting dry before continuing. I was working on all the three paintings at
the same time, so I could let one layer dry while I was painting one of the others. And I’ll show the clips in chronological order
so we’ll be jumping between the paintings in this video. So, same process for the poinsettia painting. Skething the flower buds and green and red
leaves with soft Faber-Castell colored pencils and then painting the first watercolor layers
with a bit varying of shades for each leaf to not make the painting look too monotone. To make sure the red leaves didn’t blend into
each other, I left a little strip of white paper between them. When I edited the scan of the painting afterwards
for my Redbubble shop, I cut these white strips out with the background making them transparent,
so potentially whatever background color the item has could show through in those areas,
but I did also make a version with a white outline in which case they’ll always be filled
with white regardless of the background color. All of these paintings are in my Redbubble
shop as stickers, greetings cards, prints and home decor items and more, by the way. Link is in the info card or below. I then let the poinsettia dry and started
on the amaryllis. I used a mix of a real flower, the quick first
sketch and the flower painting book as references for each of these paintings. And if you don’t have a live flower, you can
always use photo references that can be either your own photos or ones from free stock photo
sites like Pixabay. Although, I recently heard that free stock
photo sites that claim the photos are free for commercial use with no attribution required
like Pixabay might actually have pictures that are not free and have been uploaded by
someone else than the owner of the image. So, if you want to be sure, do a reverse image
search before using the image and see where it originated and what are the actual terms
of use. After the first layers on the amaryllis, I
went back to the poinsettia and added shading and leaf veins on the red leaves. On the green leaves, I left the lighter wash
in the leaf veins and painted a darker layer between them. I made a lot less leaf veins than an actual
poinsettia has, but I think it looks nice anyway. I finished this one first, since it was my
favorite painting out of these three. In the meanwhile, the hyacinth had dried and
the yellow had spread all over, but that’s fine. I just added a bit more blue on the flowers,
where the yellow had replaced it while adding the darkest shading elsewhere in the flower,
too. In the amaryllis painting, I had previously
painted an even wash on the open flower on the right. Now added a second layer for only some of
the petals. I think I like this painting more at this
point than after what I did next. But while letting it dry, I turned to the
hyacinth, which had dried off enough to add some final details. If you can’t wait for your painting to dry,
you could also use a hairdryer between layers, but I rarely do that. I just tend to work on something else or a
different part of the same painting during the drying time. I inked the little roots of the flower bulb
with a Micron pen, which is waterproof, so you can also paint over it. Beware though, because there are also fake
Micron pens that are not waterproof that might screw up your painting. I’ll link to a web page in the video description
or in the comments that shows you how you can tell from the design of the pen whether
it’s real or fake. I added little, yellow dots of paint in the
middle of the flowers. This time only on the dry flowers to make
sure they won’t spread out again. And then I ruined the amaryllis by adding
too much to the open flower. I still like it, but I think it took a turn
for the worse here. The yellow watercolor anthers weren’t really
showing up on the red flowers and I hadn’t thought of leaving white areas for them, so
I ended up adding a bit of acrylic paint on them. And, unlike the two other paintings, where
I used very little or no inking, I did a non-continuous outline for the whole flower using a micron
pen. If you’d like to see more watercolor painting
tips, there’ll be a playlist on the screen you can click or a link to it below. Thanks for watching! Bye!

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One thought on “How to Paint Christmas Flowers | Christmas Cards in Watercolor

  1. See the pictures on how you can spot fake Micron pens:

    Watercolor tips:

    Christmas flower drawing tutorials:

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