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.
- Blank watercolor card (if you’re making a card; otherwise, a sketchbook page or watercolor paper will work)
- Small Roses Template – printed on any paper
- Gold watercolor
- Sumi ink – or another jet black ink
- Straight pen fitted with a Nikko G nib
- Size 3(-ish) paintbrush
- Yellow colored pencil
- Light box – not strictly necessary, but it will make life easier
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.
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.
The positioning of the roses and the leaves is up to you! It just depends on how much you feel like embellishing the letter.
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.
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).
Once your ink dries, use a high-quality eraser (I like this one) to get rid of any pencil draft lines around the roses.
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.)
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!
Continue to paint until the entire letter is filled in, and you’re finished!
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
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.
They also make a wonderful addition to mail art …
And they look lovely on gift tags.
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!