Holiday Penguin - DIY Greeting Card | Watercolor Painting

In this video, I show you how to create a DIY Greeting Card for Christmas. I'm painting a cute penguin on a blank pre-made card. The card is 3-1/2" by 4-7/8" watercolor stock and it comes with a white envelope.


Strathmore Watercolor Cards (140 lb. cold press 3-1/2" by 4-7/8") Watercolors (St Petersburg Professional) and brushes Plain white paper Drawing Pencil and Pen White Water-based Sharpie Scissors

Draw the Penguin

It's super duper easy to draw a penguin. I sketch two circles (as you can see they are not perfect, but it doesn't matter). I use the eraser to remove too much pencil, and then I outline the penguin. I use simple geometric shapes to help me sketch the head and to see where I want to place the feet. Drawing Tip: Draw anything by breaking up your drawing subject into shapes: rectangles, squares, circles, etc. Also, you probably noticed that I like to do my sketches initially on plain white paper and then transfer the drawing to my watercolor paper. I do that because I get a cleaner drawing that way. I can mess up and practice on paper, erase and redraw without worrying about ruining my precious and expensive watercolor paper. Also, I get fewer pencil traces on watercolor paper, no erase marks, and the painting comes out looking nice crisp and very professional looking.

Paint the Penguin

I'm using a wet-on-wet watercolor technique on the body. I premix the colors to be somewhat between dark blue and gray. Then, I paint the head with very dark grayish blue with wet-on-dry technique. I leave the nose white. Also, I would like to mention that I avoid using black when painting. I think it looks too harsh. I don't think I even have black dye in my palette. Instead, I have a dark grayish blue that I use as black. 

For the red scarf, I mix different red colors and layer them over each other. I want the scarf to have variety and interest as opposed to monotonous one solid red color.

I continue to add details to the painting: eyes, nose, feet. Additionally, I decided to outline the body to create more contrast with the paper. My technique is composed of painting wet-on-dry and then adding water and softening the edges. 

As you can see from the video, I embrace colors fading into each other. It is essential to wait between adding different layers of colors when painting. That way, the paint don't clash with each other. I'm very impatient, so I use a hairdryer to speed up the process of drying. But, when my paints clash and melt into each other, I use a piece of paper towel to wipe the paint off, use a clean wet brush to clean it up, or I let the paint fade into the other color. I like the painterly watercolor effect of watery paints spreading and mixing. Just be careful when paints blend and get muddy. I try to avoid that, but I love the paint movement effect. That's why I enjoy watercolor so much. But you can force the color to stay and not move by drying your paper before adding more layers. 

That's it. Hope you enjoyed my tutorial and let me know if you have any questions. Stay tuned for more holiday-themed videos.
XOXO Dasha

Watch my other Holiday-Inspired Videos:


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