Christmas Robins

A few days ago I got terribly inspired by a video I saw on the Art Tutor Facebook page (this one: Make Your Own Watercolor Christmas Cards – 2014) and I decided to take on the challenge of painting robins myself! I used some reference photos I found on Pinterest (here: and drew a couple of quick sketches of the birds. Then, I traced them using vellum, exactly as shown in the Art Tutor video, covered the back with a soft pencil, and traced them down to watercolor paper (140lbs Bockingford NOT). Here are the paintings, followed by the sketches:


Watercolor Christmas Cards 2014 - Robin 1

Watercolor Christmas Cards 2014 - Robin 2

Bird sketches: Robins


I didn’t use the last sketch yet, nor the other reference image I have (which is quite inspiring, I have to say). So I believe I’ll come up with something else very soon. As for the palette, I used a mix of Rose Madder and Lemon Yellow for the orange of the breast, then Ultramarine plus Burnt Sienna for the various gray/blue/brown colors, varying proportions to get the different tones. For the black, once more the same two colors but with as little water as I could.

It was definitely funny, have a go yourself! Feel free to use my sketches as references for your own cards! And thanks again to Siân Dudley for the inspiring video!


Feelin’ like Christmas!

Will you send out Christmas Cards this year?

Well if so, and you love watercolors, why not taking this chance to practice the medium? I made a couple of simple ones to try painting some believable snow. I laid down a pale wash of cobalt blue + permanent rose (just a touch) on pre-wet paper (preserving some of the white flecks by spattering some masking fluid), trying to form the snow’s shadow; then, added the fir trees’ greenery with cobalt + quinacridone gold + a touch of viridian here and there. I’m pretty satisfied with the result:
Watercolor Christmas Card Watercolor Christmas Card