Watercolour art class – Christmas

Sitting down to write this I realised I hadn’t shared the final image of the last painting, my only excuse is that I’ve been so immersed in painting Christmas cards that blogging related stuff has really been pushed to the back of my mind. Yesterday I completed the magic 100! 100 Christmas themed greetings cards plus some non-Christmas ones… photo at the end.

After completion of the ‘Door and Roses’ painting, we began working on a lovely little festive robin sitting on a branch of holly. Again the teacher had created a variety of effects by masking off the image and applying different backgrounds.

First we traced the image onto two sheets of watercolour paper and using masking fluid covered the whole image. On this sheet we applied a wash of two colours – Hooker’s green and a mix of Hooker’s green and ultramarine blue. While this was still wet we sprinkled rock salt over the paper and left it to dry.

The rock salt used has to be flakes, not crystals and not table salt. Table salt is too fine and doesn’t draw the colour off the paper very well, and crystal salt is too large and too solid. Like Goldilocks, we found that baby bear’s salt flakes were just perfect! Once the picture was completely dry simply brush off the salt and gently remove the masking fluid – mine pulled some paper off with it, but hopefully will be ok once the robin is completed. Gives an interesting background to the picture.

On the other sheet, I squeezed in a third robin as these images were to show the progression in painting from base colours to final picture. The sequence of painting for the top image was:

  • breast – the photograph image showed the robin’s red breast was really more orange than red, so the colours used were cadmium yellow, cadmium orange and cadmium red. Yellow bib with orange over the top, side and underneath, then a mix of orange and red at the bottom of the breast area.
  • berries – using dark cadmium red
  • branch – sap green and Hooker’s green

The other two images on this sheet are at the same stage for now.

  • a second layer of colour was added to the breast and to the berries, only colouring about 3/4 of each berry
  • the eye was added using Payne’s grey
  • the feet base color is burnt sienna, and the beak Payne’s grey
  • the feathers used lots of colours – mix of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, Payne’s grey, ultramarine blue, and cadmium orange. The first three used on the head and the right wing, Payne’s grey on the tail, and grey, blue and a little orange on the main body

He already looks pretty amazing, can’t wait to do more next week.


Selection of my hand painted Christmas cards:


6 comments on “Watercolour art class – Christmas”
  1. lorrs33 says:

    They’re amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen says:

      Thank you, I’m so glad I found painting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Can’t wait to see the finished product! The rest looks amazing, I especially like the Door and Roses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen says:

      It’s a lovely image, and I’m excited to see the finished robin too.
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment x

      Liked by 1 person

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