It's no secret that I love to make hand-made cards for every occasion, and I think Christmas is the perfect holiday to get a little bit sentimental. If hand-made gifts aren’t your thing then a card might do the trick if you want to get more personal. This year I’ve made larger cards to fill with personal messages and warm wishes, as well as smaller cards to put on every individual gift (DIY wrapping paper coming soon). So here’s a few tools and techniques I use to create my DIY Christmas cards:
A few things I like to use:
1. Mini light board (mine is by Artograph LightPad 920). I love this one because it's small, portable and allows me to use reference images and practice my lettering.
2. A standard watercolor palette. I really don't believe in investing in pricey art materials when the affordable option works just as well. I'm pretty sure this palette was made for kids but it's my favorite one to use!
3. Water brushes. These can be found at any art store these days, and come in a variety sizes and shapes. I usually use a number of brushes to create different desired effects.
4. A collection of pens. I can't really recommend anything specific because my collection is all over the place and full of all types of pens. So my only piece of advice is: use your favorite.
5. Paper. Cards feel more important on heavy weight paper, and especially if you're using watercolors you'll need a heavy weight texturized surface to work on. Otherwise, if you're just using pens, I suggest using simple mix media or printmaking paper. Just buy a pad of paper, cut and fold the pages to create different sizes of cards.
A tip for those of you who hate your penmanship (and even for those who do) find a few examples of lettering or designs and practice them a few times before you start. This is where the light boards comes in handy, it makes practicing super easy.
There are many techniques to water brush lettering. You can create lettering with a solid color, or create a monochromatic ombre, even blend to colors together if you'd like. Just start with a light hand and build up the colors till you're happy with the result. There are many videos online that demonstrate how you can do this, and the different techniques you can use. But just remember that watercolor tends to have a mind of it's own, so go with it and have fun with your designs.
For a more controlled process and design you might wanna try using pens. This can be really fun too, by using controlled strokes and lines to create unique and more intricate designs.