Design trends

3 DIY Holiday Cards by Jess Park

Jess Park used Strathmore Greeting Cards to make 3 different Holiday Cards. Watch her process and follow along to make your own.

CARD 1: WREATH

MATERIALS:

→ Strathmore Watercolor Cards: 140lb (300gsm), cold press surface, 5″x6.875″

→ Watercolor Paint (various shades of green, red, and metallic gold)

→ Princeton Heritage Round Brushes, 2 & 6

PROCESS:

1. Select your watercolor. Jess uses a light and dark blue/green and a warm green for the leaves and stems. She uses red for the berries and gold metallic paint for the lettering and shimmering details.

2. Practice some leaves and berries on a scratch piece of watercolor paper before starting your card piece.

3. With the light blue/green color, space out a ring of leaves. LET IT DRY BETWEEN LAYERS OR COLORS WILL RUN TOGETHER.

4. Create some darker values with the dark blue/green over the initial light leaves you painted. LET IT DRY.

5. Add some clusters of red berries throughout the wreath. Vary the values of the berries to keep the painting from looking flat. LET IT DRY.

6. Add final leaf shapes in the warm green color. You guessed it… LET IT DRY.

7. Add some darker details to your leaves and berries.

8. Use the metallic gold paint to hand letter a phrase in the middle of your leaf. For the modern calligraphy look, add a little pressure to your downstrokes and release pressure on your upstrokes.

9. Finish the card with some small gold details to add a little twinkle.

 

CARD 2: CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

MATERIALS:

→ Strathmore Watercolor Cards: 140lb (300gsm), cold press surface, 5″x6.875″

→ Watercolor Paint

→ Princeton Heritage Round Brushes, 2 & 6

→ Black Marker or Black Permanent Ink Pen

PROCESS:

1. Choose your favorite colors and start by painting a row of bulbs. If you’re having trouble with the shape, think of painting upside-down eggs. Continue painting a couple more rows of bulbs and allow the colors to touch and bleed into one another.

2. LET THE BULBS DRY.

3. Use a permanent black pen or marker to letter a message over the top of the bulbs.

4. Add in some black details to the bulbs themselves.

CARD 3: GINGERBREAD HOUSE

MATERIALS:

→ Strathmore Mixed Media Postcards: 184lb (300gsm), vellum surface, 4″x6″, printed with postcard markings on the back

→ Gouache paint

→ Princeton Heritage Round Brushes, 2, 6

→ Princeton Velvetouch 1/2″ Wash Brush

→ Optional: Low Tack Tape

PROCESS:

1. Tape your paper to a board to hold it in place and create a thin white border

2. Start by painting a background with the wash brush. Leave some white at the bottom to depict fresh snow on the ground.

LET IT DRY (it will be important to let each layer dry before continuing to add paint to your piece).

3. Paint the house base of the house. Add a chimney and allow the paint to dry.

4. Add a door and windows.

5. Now you’re ready to decorate the house with candy and frosting! Add a gumdrop path leading to the front door.

6. When you’ve completed decorating and the paint is dry, use a thin brush to add details in white to make the piece pop.

7. Gently peel the tape off.

 

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