This artistic Valentine’s Day card is perfect for sending to anyone that you love! As a bonus, it will help you to build up your lettering and watercolor skills. This tutorial isn’t difficult to create, and it’s endlessly customizable! You can change the words, the colors, and the shape and size of the card to fit your needs.
1. Draw a Heart
To make this Valentine’s Day card, you’ll want to start by using a pencil to freehand draw a large heart on the front of a blank watercolor card. (You can DIY a watercolor card by folding a 10″x7″ piece of watercolor paper in half.) The heart doesn’t have to be perfect … in fact, imperfections will add to its charm!
2. Add Lettering
At this stage, you’ll want to start filling in your Valentine’s Day card with content. First, moisten your red watercolor paint with some water and wait for a few moments. When the paint is nice and hydrated, you can use it to write with your dip pen as well as a paintbrush! In the example below, I used a mixture of dip pen watercolor calligraphy and paintbrush lettering to write “love” in four different languages (as per this list).
Continue to write different words for “love” in varied font styles. Don’t worry about the words’ positioning; no matter where you put them, the heart will look good!
Finish up by painting red hearts to fill up any large negative spaces. I used a size 3 brush to do this, but any small-sized paintbrush will work! Once you finish painting the hearts, clean your brush and moisten your green watercolor paint.
3. Add Vines and Leaves
Before you can paint leaves on this Valentine’s Day card, you need to make vines to connect them to. To paint vines, dip a small-ish brush into your green watercolor paint. Use the brush to make a curl like the one pictured below.
Continue to create green curls around the card. The curls should weave around the letters and the hearts to fill in space. When your card looks similar to the example below, it’s time to start painting leaves!
To make the leaves, paint small almond shapes that connect to the vines that you drew. The colors of your leaves will vary depending on the concentration of water to paint on the paintbrush. The sightly different shades of green will give the leaves a nice, natural-looking effect!
Make sure that your leaves are fairly dense and that they barely go outside of your pencil outline. Paying heed to both of these things will ensure that the heart is immediately identifiable as such!
4. Erase Pencil Guidelines and Send
Once the watercolor has dried (~5 minutes), you can gently go over the pencil outline with an eraser. Once the pencil outline is gone, the result will be an artistic card that is ready to send to any loved one!
If you have time, you can send the card out in style with a beautifully calligraphed envelope! The brown paper envelope below features a white Flourish Formal name, Sans Serif address, and a stamp collage (stamps purchased from eBay).
I used Flourish Formal style calligraphy to make portions of this card and envelope pair, and I’d like to announce that the new Flourish Formal worksheet set will be released next week (Friday, February 10th)! The style itself is now more polished and neat, and this worksheet is one of the best yet. It features an intuitive, efficient design and a special section containing drills, flourishing practice, and tips for embellishing letters. Note that the new worksheet set will be $10.00. However, if you own the old worksheet ($5.00) at the time that the new worksheet is released, you will be “grandfathered in” to the new version. Just a heads-up!
I hope that you enjoyed today’s short tutorial, and that you had a great first month of 2017! Many thanks for reading TPK — it makes me happy that you’re here, and I appreciate it very much. I would send every person who reads this blog one of these cards if I could!