• Festive Bough Calligraphy Flourish Tutorial by Phyllis Macaluso

    With the “holidaze” in full force, I think we all need a relaxing, easy, and pretty tutorial. Per usual, Phyllis Macaluso has delivered just what the doctor ordered! Today, she’s going to show us how to make a gorgeous holly and pine bough calligraphy flourish to accent holiday paper goods.

    Festive Bough Calligraphy Flourish Tutorial by Phyllis Macaluso

    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.

    Supplies for Holly and Pine Bough Tutorial

    Be sure to download Phyllis’ printout! It includes drawing instructions and inspiration photos, among other things. (While you can print it out, there’s no need to — it’s just as helpful when viewed on your computer screen!)

    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.

    Drawing a holly layout
    Modify the layout of your holly depending on your project. This holly vine layout is excellent for accenting a send to and return address.

    3. Add Watercolor

    Now, use your dip pen and this technique to trace over your outlines.

    Outlining holly in gold
    You can trace over your entire pencil draft — including the connecting lines between holly clusters. (Phyllis traced over the connecting lines after taking this photo.)

    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.

    Making a holly and pine bough flourish
    Filling in the berries with gouache will result in juicy-looking, bright red berries. Berries filled in with a red colored pencil will still look nice, but they won’t be quite as vibrant.

    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.

    Festive Bough Calligraphy Flourish Tutorial by Phyllis Macaluso

    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.

    Festive Bough Calligraphy Flourish Tutorial by Phyllis Macaluso
    Once all the watercolor dries, use your black eraser to get rid of any pencil draft lines.

    4. Enjoy!

    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.

    Festive Bough Calligraphy Flourish Tutorial by Phyllis Macaluso
    I received this fabulous envelope, full of calligraphy flourish splendor, in the mail last year.

    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.

    Happy holidays,

    Lindsey's Signature | The Postman's Knock