Phyllis Macaluso’s holly and pine bough calligraphy flourish looks fabulous on anything: gift tags, mail art, or cards. And: bonus, it’s calming and quick to create! This tutorial walks you through how to create a festive bough on whatever your heart desires.
1. Gather Your Supplies
You’ll need a few key items to create this tutorial; they are listed beneath the photo.
- Dark cardstock or envelope (see vendor recommendations here)
- White mechanical pencil + (optional) black eraser
- Your favorite pen + nib combination (Phyllis used a Brause EF66 nib + Pretty in Pink pen)
- Metallic paints (like Finetec Pearl Colors or The Creative Kinds)
- Red watercolor
- Green + red colored pencils
- Phyllis’ free “Festive Bough Calligraphy Flourish” printout
2. Make a Pencil Draft
Now, use Phyllis’ Festive Bough Calligraphy Flourish printout as a reference to draw a holly vine draft on your paper.
3. Add Watercolor
Now, use your dip pen and this technique to trace over your outlines.
Then, use your green colored pencil to fill in almond-shape leaves. For the holly leaves, use a jazzy combination of green colored pencil and Stickles star dust. (You can also fill in the holly leaves with green metallic watercolor.) Finish up by filling in the holly berries with red gouache or a red colored pencil.
Finish up this step by using your pointed pen and gold watercolor plus two or three different shades of green metallic watercolor to draw in pine needles on the boughs. Start with the gold, as shown below.
Then, flesh out the design with green pine boughs. Finish up by adding a few red almond-shaped flourishes and some tails to suggest a bow. You can either use red gouache for this step, which will look more vibrant, or red watercolor.
If you plan to send your lovely bough calligraphy flourishes in the mail, it’s a good idea to protect them with Microglaze or plastic. Phyllis generally slips her creations into a plastic sleeve, then she puts a stamp over the plastic so the post office can cancel the stamp.
Phyllis always creates fearlessly and enthusiastically, and she’d encourage you to experiment with this concept! Try out different colors and different motifs … and maybe even add a little star or two to simulate Christmas lights. Whatever you want to do to make this project your own, Phyllis will be a delighted cheerleader! And she’d *LOVE* to see what you’ve done. Be sure to tag her on Instagram (@fpmmac) if you take on this tutorial. Many thanks to Phyllis for another fantastic tutorial here on the TPK blog! Don’t forget to sign up for TPK’s Week of Christmas for more holiday goodness, The Postman’s Knock style.