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I’ve really been enjoying painting by my Christmas tree lights in the evenings, so I’m back today to share some of my holiday-inspired watercolor prints!
How I made my Christmas watercolor prints
Time needed: 2 hours.
These watercolor prints were fun to make, so I’ll describe how I made each!
- Start with the lightest layer
Just like with my watercolor gift tags, I put a light color down first and layered it up with darker and darker colors. This was true for each design that I painted.
- Pine wreath
The video above has the pine wreath in the making, so I hope you enjoy watching it step by step! I sketched out the circle with a pencil and made light strokes for the pinecones first. Then, I added layers and layers of pine needles to fill it in. Finally, I made the other half of the wreath look like layers of twisted branches using different layers of brown. For the pinecones, I used a #6 brush. For the pine needles, I used a #2. It becomes a lot simpler when you look at it in terms of simple layers!
- Boho Christmas tree
I made a light sketch of a tree with a pencil. Using a #6 brush, I added light strokes to look kind of like branches layer by layer.
- Trees “in the mist”
I’ve seen countless versions of prints like these, so I won’t pretend that mine is the best or most original idea at all! But to make them, I used a suuuuuper light layer of trees using my #6 brush with pale green. After it dried, I added another layer of darker green trees on top (keeping them offset and changing the size and going darker and darker helps them look like they disappear into the background). I made two versions: one with 2 layers of trees, and one with 3 layers.
- Scan into digital files
I found a really cool app called PhotoScan that allowed me to create a flat image of each painting. It’s kind of cool how it works. You take a picture in the app, then it creates four corners that you line up individually to ensure it gets the details. It is VERY intuitive and worked like a charm!
- Add text
I added some text to each print using Photoshop, then saved them for download! You can get them in the new printables library. I made the wreath into both a print and gift tags.
I’ve been completing these all at night to relax, and made two others that I think I’m going to list in my Etsy shop (they involve wood and dried orange slices). I really don’t have high expectations for any of them (I’m by no means a watercolor pro!), but that’s not really the point with art sometimes, right? Sometimes you just do it for you, and you’re glad when others like them too. Hope you enjoy!
This project is part of a series of DIY gifts, decor, and other fun inspiration that I’m calling my “25 DIYs of Christmas“! Check out the list below to see each post (step by step tutorials, recipes, videos, free patterns, and woodworking plans available for each (where applicable). Lots of these ideas have multiple versions to show you the possibilities of each DIY. Even better, you can subscribe to make sure you don’t miss a single post!