• “Winter Abundance” Watercolor Thank You Card Tutorial

    Now that Christmas is over, ’tis the season to be grateful for the gifts that you received! Today, I’ll show you how to make a winter-themed watercolor thank you card. Its hints of gold and seasonal color scheme make it the perfect greeting to send during the colder months!

    "Winter Abundance" Watercolor Thank You Card

    Now that Christmas is over and I’m home with a pile of thoughtful gifts, I’m in need of a thank you card or two. I’m guessing that you’re in a similar situation, so I decided to make a “winter abundance”-themed watercolor thank you card and document the steps! This tutorial is a fun one, and it can be modified to accommodate your personal style and the materials that you have available. Here’s how you make it:

    1. Gather Your Supplies

    As I mentioned, you can modify this supplies list to accommodate what you have on hand. The tools pictured are exactly what I used, and you can find an explanation of each below the photo.

    Supplies for the "Winter Abundance" Watercolor Thank You Card Tutorial

    1. Blank watercolor card – These are so handy, and you can find lots of other TPK card tutorials that start with these as a base!
    2. Ziller Soot Black ink – I love this ink because it’s waterproof. It’s fabulous for watercolor projects.
    3. Finetec Arabic Gold watercolor – I use this watercolor as an ink. It’s gorgeous!
    4. Watercolors – I love my Greenleaf & Blueberry watercolor set, but you can use whatever set you have at home for this tutorial.
    5. Washi tape – If you don’t have washi tape, masking tape or gift-wrapping tape should work.
    6. Straight pen + Nikko G nib – This pair is an illustration staple.
    7. Size 2 (or smaller) paintbrush – You’ll use this to paint with watercolors and to apply gold watercolor to your nib.

    2. Make a Washi Tape Square

    Use your washi tape to make a square in the middle of the blank card. Try to center it the best you can! Note that if you don’t have washi tape, you can just draw a square with a pencil.

    Washi Tape Square
    All of my tape strips are about 3.5″ long.

    3. Draw a Botanical Border

    To make a botanical border, start by using your waterproof ink and your pen + nib to draw little sprigs of berries. These sprigs of berries should start at a tape edge.

    Drawing Berries

    Work your way around the tape square, drawing sprigs with different lengths and random amounts of berries.

    Drawing Berries

    Once you’ve finished drawing berries, use your dip pen to draw twigs and leaves around the square.

    Drawing Twigs and Leaves
    To draw a twig, make a curved line and draw simple leaves that connect to it!

    Finally, you’ll flesh out the border with some pine boughs. To make a pine bough, start by drawing a curved line with several smaller curved lines coming off it, as shown below.

    Making Pine Boughs

    Then, use a light touch and short, abrupt strokes to draw pine needles on the smaller curved lines.

    Making Pine Boughs

    Continue to draw pine boughs of various lengths to flesh out the border.

    Completed Inky Border

    Once you’ve drawn the pine boughs, give your ink a couple of minutes to dry, then move on to the next step!

    4. Add Watercolor to the Thank You Card

    Now, moisten two shades of green in your watercolor palette: one light, and one dark. You’ll paint over each pine bough with the light green first; then, while the paint is still wet, add a bit of dark green. The two tones will blend, giving you realistic-looking variations in color!

    Making a "Winter Abundance" Watercolor Thank You Card
    Try not to add green watercolor to your twigs + leaves or berries!

    Now, use a golden tone to add color to your leaves and twigs. While the golden tone is still wet, dab in some burnt orange or red.

    Adding Orange to the Twigs + Leaves
    Notice that I chose to paint over all of the leaves and twigs with a generous quantity of paint instead of just coloring in the leaves. This leads to a fuller-looking border!

    Finish up this step by filling in your berries with vibrant red paint. Add a dot of Bleed Proof White ink to each berry if you want to give it an eye-catching shine!

    Adding red berries to the watercolor thank you card
    If you don’t have Bleed Proof White ink, you can use white gouache or white acrylic paint to add a highlight to each berry. Alternatively, you can skip adding the highlight.

    5. Give it Some Gold

    Once your paint has had a couple of minutes to dry, remove the washi tape. Then, use a bit of water to moisten your gold watercolor pan.

    "Winter Abundance" Watercolor Thank You Card Tutorial

    Use your paintbrush to apply the watercolor gold to your nib. Then, use your pen and nib to draw a border between the florals and the blank square in the center. Once you’ve done that, draw dashed gold lines (like those seen in the Midcentury Wreath), and add a few random-sized gold dots.

    "Winter Abundance" Watercolor Thank You Card Tutorial
    If you don’t know how to use gold watercolor with your dip pen, check out this tutorial!

    6. Add Lettering to the Thank You Card

    Once your wreath is finished, it’s time to add lettering to the inside of the thank you card! The lettering style that you choose to use is completely up to you. For one version of the card, I decided to do Flytrap Lettering. It ended up being really pretty, but the lettering style takes a long time to write out!

    "Winter Abundance" Watercolor Thank You Card Tutorial
    I used the watercolor calligraphy technique to load red/burgundy watercolor on my nib and write “Thank You”. For “Very Much”, I jut used Ziller ink. This is Flytrap Lettering from the Premium Hand Lettering Worksheet Set. It’s such a cool lettering style, but it takes a while to write out!

    I also made a second version of this watercolor thank you card that uses whimsical calligraphy to get the message across. The calligraphy took a lot less time to write, but I prefer the elegance of the Flytrap Font!

    "Winter Abundance" Watercolor Thank You Card Tutorial
    This calligraphy is a Kaitlin Style hybrid. I filled in the downstrokes with watercolor!

    No matter what lettering style you choose to use, I hope that you enjoy making this thank you card! I think that the washi tape trick is really cool, and it could be used for lots of other projects. Please feel free to tweak the techniques, motifs, and materials shown in this tutorial to reflect your own personal style. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!


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