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.
- Blank watercolor card – These are so handy, and you can find lots of other TPK card tutorials that start with these as a base!
- Ziller Soot Black ink – I love this ink because it’s waterproof. It’s fabulous for watercolor projects.
- Finetec Arabic Gold watercolor – I use this watercolor as an ink. It’s gorgeous!
- Watercolors – I love my Greenleaf & Blueberry watercolor set, but you can use whatever set you have at home for this tutorial.
- Washi tape – If you don’t have washi tape, masking tape or gift-wrapping tape should work.
- Straight pen + Nikko G nib – This pair is an illustration staple.
- 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.
3. Draw a Botanical Border
Work your way around the tape square, drawing sprigs with different lengths and random amounts of berries.
Once you’ve finished drawing berries, use your dip pen to draw twigs and leaves around the square.
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.
Then, use a light touch and short, abrupt strokes to draw pine needles on the smaller curved lines.
Continue to draw pine boughs of various lengths to flesh out the 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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!