• Classy Black, White, and Gold Botanical Letter Tutorial

    There are plenty of time-intensive tutorials on the TPK blog … this is not one of them. Today’s botanical letter concept is for those days where you want to make something beautiful, but you don’t have a few extra hours to spare! Afraid you won’t be able to make these pretty roses? Don’t worry! A…

    Classy + Simple Botanical Black, White, and Gold Letter Tutorial

    Black, white, and gold is always elegant. That’s why this botanical letter is appropriate for any occasion! In this case, I wanted to make a special card for a friend’s upcoming birthday — admittedly without investing a ton of time. (I’m due to have a baby within the next few days, so time is at a premium right now!) I love that this concept is creative and personalized, with plenty of gold to make it stand out! In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through how to make it.

    1. Gather Your Supplies

    You’ll need a few key supplies to make this project. You can find a list with links below the photo.

    Supplies Needed for Classy Botanical Black, White, and Gold Letter Tutorial

    2. Draw a Letter

    Start by using your yellow colored pencil and a light touch to draw a serif letter onto your paper. You can go about this any way that you want! I typed the letter “M” using the font Sabon LT Pro in my word processing program, and I used that font as a reference to freehand draw my letter.

    The Letter "M" on a watercolor card
    A light touch is key for this step! You’ll need to erase portions of this draft in the next step.

    If you’re not confident about freehand drawing, print out a large serif letter, then use a light box or a bright window to trace over the printout onto your card or paper. Note that most letters aren’t as wide as “M”. If you’re working with one of those letters (think: “A”, “B”, “C” … most letters besides “M” and “W”, really), consider a vertical orientation, rather than a horizontal orientation. I’m using a horizontal orientation today.

    3. Add Roses and Leaves

    Now, put the Small Roses Template on top of a light box, then place the paper with the “M” draft over the template. Use what you see through the “M” paper to draw roses and leaves in pencil throughout different parts of the letter. Try to draw some of the roses directly on top of the letter, and draw some roses or leaves coming out from behind the letter.

    Tracing roses in pencil
    Before you draw roses on top of the letter, use an eraser to get rid of the yellow colored pencil lines (as best you can) where you’ll be drawing a rose.

    The positioning of the roses and the leaves is up to you! It just depends on how much you feel like embellishing the letter.

    Tracing roses in pencil

    For me, six elements did the trick: three roses, one rosebud, and two leaves. All of them were traced from different parts of the template using a variety of different paper rotations.

    Draft of Gold + Rose Card

    4. Add Ink to the Botanical Elements

    Now, use your dip pen and black ink to trace over the botanical elements of the card. Keep the Small Roses Template at hand as a reference so you can draw in contour lines! The small, fine contour lines are important when it comes to giving the roses visual interest (and a lovely vintage look).

    Adding Ink to a Botanical Letter

    Once your ink dries, use a high-quality eraser (I like this one) to get rid of any pencil draft lines around the roses.

    Adding Ink to a Botanical Letter
    Be sure to let your ink dry before erasing pencil guidelines. That way, you’ll avoid smudges.

    5. Add Gold Watercolor to Your Botanical Letter

    Next, moisten a pan of gold watercolor paint with a bit of water. (I find it easiest to do this with a blunt art syringe.)

    Finetec Arabic Gold Watercolor
    0.5 ml of water is often enough to reinvigorate gold watercolor paint.

    Give the water a minute or two to infuse the paint, then use your paintbrush to mix the water and the paint together. Then, start filling in the letter!

    Painting a Botanical Black, White, and Gold Letter
    See why we used yellow colored pencil to make a draft here? Once you apply the gold watercolor, you can’t see any yellow colored pencil draft lines!

    Continue to paint until the entire letter is filled in, and you’re finished!

    Classy Botanical Black, White, and Gold Letter Tutorial
    There’s no need to erase more guidelines at this point. The yellow colored pencil guidelines will have disappeared under the gold watercolor.

    How to Use This Botanical Letter Project Concept

    Part of the beauty of this botanical letter is its versatility. If you need a quick birthday card, for example, you can use this botanical letter concept to make it. The letter could also be:

    • A monogram to display in your home
    • The subject of a sketchbook page
    • Part of an eye-catching mail art envelope

    Classy Botanical Black, White, and Gold Letter Tutorial

    Additional Rosy Inspiration

    If you like the look of the roses used for this tutorial, there are several other TPK blog projects that feature them! I recently used them to make a lovely get well soon card.

    Elegant Floral Get Well Soon Card Tutorial

    They also make a wonderful addition to mail art …

    Where to Buy Envelopes for Calligraphy | The Postman's Knock
    It’s important to use waterproof ink — like Ziller — if you plan to paint over your roses with watercolor.

    And they look lovely on gift tags.

    Easy Vintage Gift Tags Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    If you’re a flower lover like me, I hope that today’s botanical letter project — or one of the projects that I just showed you — resonates with you! If you’ve got some time on your hands, I have a tutorial that shows you how to draw your own vintage-inspired roses. Just some fun creativity-boosting suggestions for this weekend! Have a great one!


    Lindsey's Signature | The Postman's Knock