Just this morning, I read a blog post that insists matte black is the “new red and green”. I’m not sure whether that’s true or not, but you can’t deny that matte black and shiny gold have a festive, magical look! In this Christmas card tutorial, we’ll harness that color combination with a simple vine motif.
1. Prepare Your Cardstock
First, cut a piece of black cardstock to 10″ x 7″ (254 mm x 178 mm) then fold it in half. Note that almost any black cardstock will work! As long as it has a smooth surface, it’s perfect for this Christmas card tutorial.
Next, use a white pencil and a ruler to draw two horizontal guidelines 1.25″ (~3 cm) from the top and bottom of the card. Then, draw a vertical guideline in the center of the card.
2. Make a Draft of Your Christmas Card
Now, do your best to draw a slightly narrow circle in the middle of the card. Then, draw an oval inside that circle to make an “O”.
Once you’ve drawn the “O”, draw two rectangles about 0.5″ (13 mm) from the right and left edges of the card. Both of these rectangles should be 1.5″ (38 mm) wide.
At this point, you can use the rectangle that you just drew to make a “J”. The biggest strokes of the “J” should be about 0.5″ (13 mm) wide.
Finish up by drawing a “Y” on right side. Most of the “Y” will be inside your vertical (rectangle) guidelines, but the serifs at the top should extend beyond the guidelines. Once you’ve drawn the “JOY” draft, moisten a pan of Arabic Gold watercolor with a bit of water.
3. Add Gold
Now, use a size 2-ish paintbrush to mix the water into your gold watercolor pan. Then, load the gold onto your favorite nib per the Creating Gold Calligraphy: How to Use the Finetec Palette tutorial. Use the gold to start drawing little flourishes, shapely leaves, and dots within your letter outlines.
Continue to draw leaves, vines, and dots until your “J” outline is full. Pay special attention to filling in the serifs; doing so will make the end result look more professional.
Once you’re finished with the “J”, use the same motif to fill in the “O”.
Then, move on to the “Y”.
4. Erase and Enjoy
After you’ve finished the “Y”, give the gold watercolor a couple of minutes to completely dry. It won’t need very long! You’ll know it’s dry if you angle the card to catch the light and you don’t see any wet spots. Once you’re satisfied that everything is dry, erase your pencil guidelines, preferably with a black eraser.
I hope that you enjoyed this simple Christmas card tutorial. I love its quiet elegance, and I suspect that it will look beautiful as part of your recipients’ holiday displays! I have added this tutorial to the All of TPK’s Christmas Calligraphy Tutorials + Printables list. If you’re looking for additional holiday card/project, be sure to check that out!