How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

I chose a simple subject with three objects and a dark background. The salt shaker was clear, patterned glass and contained some salt. I purposefully tilted the salt to make the composition more interesting.

To paint clear glass you, like other glass, you need to look for the reflections and refractions that occur in the glass. The reflections in the salt shaker are things like the bright yellow on the lower left of the glass that occur due to the lemon. Refractions happen when something next to the glass or on the interior are bent, curved, or the color is changed due to the glass. In this painting the green of the pear can be seen through the glass, but it is distorted and the color is slightly brighter than the actual pear.

Painting glass is like working a puzzle, you paint or leave white, the small, usually abstract shapes that make up the whole. The metal lid of the salt shaker is another place to look for unusual reflected colors or highlights.

For the colors in a clear glass jar, don’t just use grays, but look for other colors that might be reflected from surrounding objects or lighting. In the salt shaker I added yellow, green and blue to areas of the glass. Some of my grays are purple tinted or blue tinted to give them some variation. The whites of the shaker and salt are the white of the paper. The smaller lines were masked out to save them, then the masked removed and the white cleaned up by matching the paint around the white area . Some of the whites were scrubbed to soften them to give them the look of a reflection.

This Salt Shaker painting is available for sale on DPW. If you would like to bid in the auction, click the link here: My Auction at Daily Paint Works

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

It’s never too early to plan your Christmas Decor and when I saw this gorgeous DIY Watercolor Effect on glass ornaments I started planning my tree right then and there. I had a bunch of clear ornaments leftover from Christmas of last year and I also had all the watercolor inks and the spray canister duster that I use to make my alcohol ink projects on Yupi Paper. So, I had no excuse not to start this fantastic project right away. I laid out newspaper on my craft table, lined up all my supplies and got to work. I removed the top of the ornaments and dropped my colors in one at a time, rolling them around to spread them out, then gently squirting the spray duster inside the ornament to help spread my droplets around.

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

Holding the skinny long nozzle of the dusting can directly inside the ornament, aimed at the last paint droplet I placed inside.

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

I didn’t use the color scheme as in the video, I had a complete vision of my own for this project, I saw the beautiful watercolors and they made me think of Monet’s Water Lilly paintings. So I found a flocked tree in pale moss green and did the ornament colors in several shades of pink and green. For an added zap of drama, I added little crackles of gold sparsely inside the pink and green melange. I used all white lights, for a natural outdoor look and made little shiny satin bows at the end of pipe cleaners and added them to every branch of my pale moss green flocked tree. I placed the tree in the bay window alcove in the back of the house so the family can see it from the back yard. It’s only September but my family is going to be ready for Christmas.

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

We’re in the holiday spirit over here at Paper by JLee so we have a fun, festive watercolor tutorial for you today: painting Christmas tree ornaments! This can be a great piece to use as you decorate your home for the holidays, or as a Christmas card to send to family and friends. Before we start, if you haven’t read it yet, take a look at this post to learn more about the supplies I typically use. Today, you’ll need some watercolor paints, a large watercolor brush (I use a size 24 round), and watercolor paper. In this post I have a step-by-step guide to painting the ornaments as well as a time-lapse video showing the whole process (scroll to the bottom for the video or click here!).

First, take a glass and trace three circles (or as many ornaments that you want to paint) on your watercolor paper.

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

Next, take your brush and load it a good amount of pigment and brush an even wash in the first circle. This creates the base for your first ornament. Then, add as much pigment as you can to your brush and dab the color into place in the lower left-hand area of the ornament. This creates shadow for our round ornament. In the opposite area, use a crumpled-up paper towel to dab away some color and create a highlight effect. The contrast from the highlighted area and dark color creates a round-looking ornament. Don’t worry if the ornament isn’t perfectly round or if the highlight is uneven. That’s the beauty of watercolors, imperfections make each painting more interesting and unique.

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

Repeat the steps above for each ornament. I’ve created three ornaments on my sheet.

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

Allow each ornament to completely dry. Once everything is dry, add a second layer of shadow and highlight as described above. This punches up the color and makes everything as vibrant as possible.

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

Allow this layer to dry completely. Then, use a light gray watercolor and a small round brush to paint a small rectangle at the top of each ornament for the metal cap. After the caps are dry, use a thin black marker (I use Micron size 05) to draw the ridges on each cap. Finish by drawing a line from the metal cap to the top of the sheet to represent the line the ornament is hanging from.

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

Erase the pencil lines and there you have it, your lovely ornaments are complete. Enjoy! Cut these out to decorate your Christmas tree or use them to customize your own holiday stationery. I scanned mine into my computer and created holiday cards. Check them out below and buy some here!

Adventures in Painting, Discover Europe through art. Acrylic, aquarelle/ watercolor, inktense, and pencil. Fine art illustrations, paintings, botanical illustrations and more. To see more of my work check out my Instagram account: www.instagram.com/sarahloeckerart For more glimpses into my daily life check out facebook: www.facebook.com/sarah.locker.370

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How to paint shiny objects in Watercolor

A few years ago I read a tip on how to create different surfaces in aquarelle and it has really helped me. I had originally planned to do a more intensive post on some of the techniques on Thursday but since this Thursday falls on the sixth of December, I have a Nikolo and Krampus post due to come out on that day. So cultural and how-to posts are switched this week.

As Friday’s Vernissage is over I have been delving into Christmas themed painting this week. One of the things I have on my agenda this year are a few glass Christmas ornaments. These have highly reflective surfaces and can be somewhat challenging to paint.

When a surface is painted in a harmonic, even coat with only limited changes in tonal value it appears soft or even velvety,

In order to create the impression of shine, darker highlights can be added.

The darker that shadows, the lighter and brighter the rest of the object will appear. This can be seen in the green ornament at the top of the page. If the object already appears ‘too dark’, higher contrast can create the illusion of lighter highlights. I darkened this entire ornament to try to show how even when you feel like you may have added too much color to your painting it can be salvaged.

Adding a variety of tones creates a more beautiful finished image especially if they are complimentary. A really dark shadow and small detailed lines make the surface waxy or shiny. This trick has come in handy when painting things like tulips which are shinier looking than other flowers.

In order to make the surface reflective splotches of color can be added to suggest items in the room.

I post three times a week; Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. To get posts as soon as they are published click on the subscribe button at the top of the page or Follow by clicking on the follow button.

Simplicity is the name of the game for this watercolor holiday wreath! Despite its beautiful, rich colors and eye-catching shapes, it’s not a difficult piece to make. No — really, I mean it. Even if you’ve never used watercolors before, give this tutorial a try! I know that you’ll surprise yourself with what you can do.

This watercolor holiday wreath tutorial will disprove those who swear that they cannot use watercolors! I’ll walk you through this project step by simple step, and you’ll be delighted at the results. Keep in mind that while I used the wreath for a gift tag, it can be painted on anything! Sketchbooks, envelopes, DIY cards, and place cards can all benefit from this wonderful motif.

1. Prep Your Watercolors and Your Paper

This project doesn’t require fancy watercolors. Really, all you need is a nice, rich red and two tones of green: one dark, and one light. Use a spoon or a syringe to put a couple of drops of water onto these three colors, then let the water work on hydrating the paints as you move on to the next step.

If you’re making a gift tag, as I am, you’ll want to cut out a small piece of watercolor paper. Find a round object (I used an ink bottle), and trace around it with a pencil. The resulting circle roughly predicts the size of your watercolor holiday wreath.

Next, use an eraser to get rid of most of what you just traced. Erase until you can just barely see where your pencil lines were! I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but erasing most of these lines ensures that you won’t be able to see them through the watercolor once you’re finished painting the wreath.

2. Paint the Berries

Few things evoke the holiday season more than vivid red berries, so you want to prominently feature them in your holiday watercolor wreath. If you want to paint a fairly realistic berry, the trick lies in including a light spot. This is one spot on the berry that reflects light so completely that it’s white! To achieve that, you should first use your red watercolor to paint an open circle somewhere on our near the pencil outline that you drew earlier.

While the paint outline is still wet, use your paintbrush to draw a “U” shape within top of the circle. The “U” shape should look something like the one pictured below.

Now, fill in the rest of the circle. Congratulations; you’ve just painted a berry!

Continue to paint clusters of berries on different areas of the circle. Make sure you vary the numbers and sizes of berries within each cluster! Once you’re finished, your piece will look something like the photo below.

3. Paint Leaves

Simple dark green leaves add a nice contrast to the berries! To make a leaf, start by using your dark green watercolor to paint a partial almond shape. Make sure you leave one side of the almond shape open, as shown in the photo below.

Next, fill in the left half of the almond shape with paint.

Finish up by filling in the right half. Make sure you leave a white line in the center to evoke a center vein!

Continue to paint dark green leaves in random places around the berry clusters. The leaves should all be different sizes, and their colors will slightly vary due to differing water levels in the paint.

4. Paint Pine Needles

If you ask yourself what differentiates a holiday wreath from other types of wreaths, your answer will probably be “pine needles”. Luckily for us, pine needles are remarkably easy to paint! Start by using the same dark green watercolor that you used in the last step to create a slightly curved “V”.

Next, use a light green tone to paint another “V” on top of the “V” that you just made. The point of this new “V” should connect with the other “V”, and the light green paint will automatically blend with the dark green paint.

Continue alternating colors for the “V”s, stacking them one on top of the other to bridge the gap between berry clusters.

Once you finish, you’ll be impressed with how beautifully blended your pine needles are! And that’s it … that’s how you paint a holiday watercolor wreath.

5. Use the Watercolor Holiday Wreath for a Project

Truthfully, the applications for a project like this have no limit. You can paint a watercolor holiday wreath anywhere, and I hope you use it for a variety of projects from mail art to casual sketching! For the purposes of this blog post, though, I want to show you how easily you can make this wreath into a gift tag. All you need to do is cut around the edges of the wreath, then calligraph a name inside. Whimsical all-lowercase Kaitlin Style calligraphy lends itself well to this implementation!

Punch a hole in the top of the wreath, then run some baker’s twine through it. Voilà! A super-artistic and quick holiday gift tag.

Printable Gift Tag Template

If you like the concept of this holiday watercolor wreath but you don’t have the time to create it, you can print off this free gift tag template. The template includes nine 2.5″ holiday wreaths for you to print, cut out, and write names in. Feel free to print it as many times as you need to in order to embellish your holiday gift presentations!

I hope that this post encourages you to pick up a brush and give this tutorial a go! Even if, and especially if, you feel intimidated by watercolor paints, I think that you’ll find this wreath to be a blissfully simple introduction to painting. Of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to comment! Also, I love seeing your creations on Instagram! If you make something you like using this tutorial, please consider hashtagging #thepostmansknock or tagging @thepostmansknock so I can take a look and gush. 🙂

Thanks very much for reading TPK; I appreciate that you’re here … I know that there are a million other websites you could be on right now, and a thousand other things you could be doing! So: thanks for giving me a little chunk of your time, and have a wonderful, creative day.

Simplicity is the name of the game for this watercolor holiday wreath! Despite its beautiful, rich colors and eye-catching shapes, it’s not a difficult piece to make. No — really, I mean it. Even if you’ve never used watercolors before, give this tutorial a try! I know that you’ll surprise yourself with what you can do.

This watercolor holiday wreath tutorial will disprove those who swear that they cannot use watercolors! I’ll walk you through this project step by simple step, and you’ll be delighted at the results. Keep in mind that while I used the wreath for a gift tag, it can be painted on anything! Sketchbooks, envelopes, DIY cards, and place cards can all benefit from this wonderful motif.

1. Prep Your Watercolors and Your Paper

This project doesn’t require fancy watercolors. Really, all you need is a nice, rich red and two tones of green: one dark, and one light. Use a spoon or a syringe to put a couple of drops of water onto these three colors, then let the water work on hydrating the paints as you move on to the next step.

If you’re making a gift tag, as I am, you’ll want to cut out a small piece of watercolor paper. Find a round object (I used an ink bottle), and trace around it with a pencil. The resulting circle roughly predicts the size of your watercolor holiday wreath.

Next, use an eraser to get rid of most of what you just traced. Erase until you can just barely see where your pencil lines were! I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but erasing most of these lines ensures that you won’t be able to see them through the watercolor once you’re finished painting the wreath.

2. Paint the Berries

Few things evoke the holiday season more than vivid red berries, so you want to prominently feature them in your holiday watercolor wreath. If you want to paint a fairly realistic berry, the trick lies in including a light spot. This is one spot on the berry that reflects light so completely that it’s white! To achieve that, you should first use your red watercolor to paint an open circle somewhere on our near the pencil outline that you drew earlier.

While the paint outline is still wet, use your paintbrush to draw a “U” shape within top of the circle. The “U” shape should look something like the one pictured below.

Now, fill in the rest of the circle. Congratulations; you’ve just painted a berry!

Continue to paint clusters of berries on different areas of the circle. Make sure you vary the numbers and sizes of berries within each cluster! Once you’re finished, your piece will look something like the photo below.

3. Paint Leaves

Simple dark green leaves add a nice contrast to the berries! To make a leaf, start by using your dark green watercolor to paint a partial almond shape. Make sure you leave one side of the almond shape open, as shown in the photo below.

Next, fill in the left half of the almond shape with paint.

Finish up by filling in the right half. Make sure you leave a white line in the center to evoke a center vein!

Continue to paint dark green leaves in random places around the berry clusters. The leaves should all be different sizes, and their colors will slightly vary due to differing water levels in the paint.

4. Paint Pine Needles

If you ask yourself what differentiates a holiday wreath from other types of wreaths, your answer will probably be “pine needles”. Luckily for us, pine needles are remarkably easy to paint! Start by using the same dark green watercolor that you used in the last step to create a slightly curved “V”.

Next, use a light green tone to paint another “V” on top of the “V” that you just made. The point of this new “V” should connect with the other “V”, and the light green paint will automatically blend with the dark green paint.

Continue alternating colors for the “V”s, stacking them one on top of the other to bridge the gap between berry clusters.

Once you finish, you’ll be impressed with how beautifully blended your pine needles are! And that’s it … that’s how you paint a holiday watercolor wreath.

5. Use the Watercolor Holiday Wreath for a Project

Truthfully, the applications for a project like this have no limit. You can paint a watercolor holiday wreath anywhere, and I hope you use it for a variety of projects from mail art to casual sketching! For the purposes of this blog post, though, I want to show you how easily you can make this wreath into a gift tag. All you need to do is cut around the edges of the wreath, then calligraph a name inside. Whimsical all-lowercase Kaitlin Style calligraphy lends itself well to this implementation!

Punch a hole in the top of the wreath, then run some baker’s twine through it. Voilà! A super-artistic and quick holiday gift tag.

Printable Gift Tag Template

If you like the concept of this holiday watercolor wreath but you don’t have the time to create it, you can print off this free gift tag template. The template includes nine 2.5″ holiday wreaths for you to print, cut out, and write names in. Feel free to print it as many times as you need to in order to embellish your holiday gift presentations!

I hope that this post encourages you to pick up a brush and give this tutorial a go! Even if, and especially if, you feel intimidated by watercolor paints, I think that you’ll find this wreath to be a blissfully simple introduction to painting. Of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to comment! Also, I love seeing your creations on Instagram! If you make something you like using this tutorial, please consider hashtagging #thepostmansknock or tagging @thepostmansknock so I can take a look and gush. 🙂

Thanks very much for reading TPK; I appreciate that you’re here … I know that there are a million other websites you could be on right now, and a thousand other things you could be doing! So: thanks for giving me a little chunk of your time, and have a wonderful, creative day.

Around this time every year, I like to think up fresh holiday card concepts. This year’s project is my favorite so far! It involves an ornament cut-out that the recipient can simply push out of the card and incorporate into his or her holiday decor. This project is quick and customizable; you can use this base idea to make so many other neat cards!

If you’re looking for a unique DIY holiday card project, the search is over. This holiday card tutorial will quickly become a favorite because of the delightful cut-out! When your recipient receives the card, he or she can simply remove the ornament from the center and hang it on their tree.

Not only are you sending a holiday card, then, but you’re also sending a unique ornament! In this blog post, you’ll find detailed instructions that will teach you exactly how to create this cool little project. Make yourself some hot cocoa, set aside 30-45 minutes to tune out the world, and you’re all set to go!

1. Draw the Ornament

To begin making this DIY holiday card, you’ll need to cut out a 5″ x 7″ piece of watercolor paper.

Line up your 5″x7″ piece of watercolor paper over the large rectangle surrounding the ornament in the template. If your watercolor paper has a smooth side, the smooth side should be on top (not facing the template). Hold the template and the watercolor paper over a bright window or a light box. You should now be able to see the ornament through the watercolor paper. Use a pencil to trace over the ornament.

2. Cut the Ornament Out

Next, you’ll want to use an X-Acto knife to cut the ornament out along the pencil lines. If you don’t have an X-Acto knife, please treat yourself to one (and don’t forget to order blades, too … they get dull pretty quickly)! I know that the X-Acto knife is not a common household item, but I promise this won’t be the last time that you use it. It’s awesome for precision cutting like this, and I sometimes use it to sharpen pencils and improve frayed brush pens!

Once you’ve cut out the ornament, erase what you can of the pencil lines. You probably won’t be able to get all of them because of the cut, and that’s fine. Just do what you can!

Now, flip the card over. You should be able to see the ornament cut-out from this side as well! If you notice that the X-Acto knife didn’t cut through in some areas, you can gently go over them again from this side of the card. Your goal is to make sure the ornament will be easy for your recipient to remove!

3. Create Calligraphy or Hand-Lettering

For this step, you can customize and be as creative as you want to! The important thing is to make sure that your holiday message stays within the ornament. In the example below, I created diagonal Kaitlin Style calligraphy using the ombré watercolor calligraphy technique. However, I encourage you to use the calligraphy or hand-lettering style and message that appeals to you!

4. Paint Pine Boughs

Even if you are new to watercolors, you can paint the super simple pine boughs on this DIY holiday card. I promise. First, you’ll start by picking out two shades of green to paint with: a light green color, and a dark green color. Choose one of the two shades — it doesn’t matter which — to draw a slightly curved line that extends from inside the ornament to the outside of the card. You’ll want to use a fairly small paintbrush; I’m using a size 1 here.

Next, draw little lines coming off of that original line that you drew. The lines should start out small and get longer as you approach the edge of the paper. Try to alternate using the light green and dark green tones of watercolor in this step!

Finally, make small strokes coming off of every line you just painted. Again, alternate using your light and dark green paints here!

Confused? Don’t worry — I made a video detailing the process as well!:

The end result will look something like this:

5. Add Golden Circles

Adding golden circles makes this DIY holiday card literally shine! I use Finetec gold for this step, but you can use whatever metallic pen/marker/paint that you have on hand. If, however, you are using Finetec gold like I am, you’ll want to begin by moistening it with a few drops of water. Shoot for 1/8 of a teaspoon or so!

Once the water has had a couple of minutes to soak into the paint, use the Finetec to paint a circle outline anywhere on the card.

Fill in the circle with more Finetec.

Continue to use the outline and fill technique to make circles of various sizes until you like the way your card looks. The varied sizes of circles are key here because they give the illusion of some lights twinkling closer to us, and some lights twinkling farther away!

6. Thread Twine Through the Ornament

At this point, your DIY holiday card is nearly finished! The only thing you need to do is punch a hole in the top of your ornament and thread twine through that hole. To make the hole, hold down the bottom of the ornament, gently lift out the top of the ornament, and use a hole punch in the center of the top. If your entire ornament comes out as you’re punching the hole, don’t worry about it … you will be able to press the ornament back in.

Next, thread a piece of twine or ribbon through the hole you just made. The piece of twine should be about 7″ long, and you should leave it untied, just like this:

To finish up, write a message on the back of your card. You might include instructions on how to remove the ornament: “Press gently along the edges of the ornament to remove it. It should come right out! Then, tie the twine and hang it on your tree.” Once you have written your greeting, you can put the card in an envelope and send it off!

Card Reception

When your recipient gets your card, he or she will be able to simply pop the ornament out!

It’s a creative and delightful addition to any tree!

Of course, if you want to, you can customize this DIY holiday card tutorial in any way that you see fit! Draw your own ornament shape, use a different design motif, or maybe create a folded card versus a flat card. Don’t be afraid to get creative here … it’s always fun to put your own spin on an idea!

I hope that you enjoyed today’s fun little tutorial, and that your Thanksgiving weekend isn’t too hectic! If you have any questions — or idea suggestions — about how to create this card, please contribute in the comments. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you, even if I can’t respond right away! As always, thanks very much for reading TPK, and enjoy the rest of your day!

Introduction: DIY Alcohol Ink Ornaments

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

A FiberArtsy.com tutorial

Hey, I’m back with another fun craft project using alcohol inks … DIY Alcohol Ink Ornaments! I’m sort of obsessed with alcohol inks, truly. You can create such gorgeous, painterly effects with them. Almost like watercolor paints but better, brighter. And Christmas is right around the corner.

My kids and I used to decorate glass globe ornaments by pouring different color paints inside and letting them swirl and marble. Those are still some of my favorite Christmas tree ornaments. So, I decided to try painting them with alcohol inks. The first one I did was pretty but the colors didn’t stand out on the clear glass. After some pondering, I decided to try painting a white background first. But, instead of painting the outside of the globe, I poured the white inside the globe and now the colors pop!

Step 1: Supplies:

– Clear glass ornaments

– Alcohol Inks (I used Adirondack brand)

– White Acrylic Paint

– Craft paint brushes

– Clear Acrylic Spray Sealer

– Small disposable container (opening must be smaller than the globe)

Step 2: Prep the Ornament:

First, remove the hanger from a glass ornament and set aside. Now, open the bottle of white acrylic paint and squeeze a small amount into the globe. Turn the globe to distribute the paint. Add more paint as needed. You want the entire inside of the ornament to be covered with white paint.

Once the ornament is all white, you need to remove the excess paint. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to turn the globe upside down on an old container s.a. a tomato paste can or similar. The extra paint will drip out into the can.

Step 3: Paint the Ornament:

First, cover your work surface. Then, pour some rubbing alcohol in the disposable cup. Since these inks dry quickly go ahead and open all alcohol ink bottles.

Dip a paint brush in the rubbing alcohol and wipe on part of the ornament. Now, pick up one of the bottles of alcohol ink and drip a small amount onto the rubbing alcohol. Slowly turn your ornament and watch the ink flow. You can also blow on the ink to make it move. Give it a minute or two before adding more ink. These inks are hard to control but there’s really no wrong way here.

Step 4: Finish the Ornament:

Carefully re-insert the hanger. Thread a paint brush (or similar) through the hook and hang your ornament to dry.

Add a couple coats of clear spray sealer and you’re done!

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16 Comments

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

These are gorgeous !! I think I’ve ruined mine 😭 unbeknown to me, the white paint after 2 days still hadn’t dried. I took them out the containers I was holding them upside down in, laid them on their side and after a few hours the paint had moved!! They are so patchy. I’ve had to add more white paint 😬 And have still not got to the fun alcohol ink part!

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

I’ve just discovered alcohol inks and having fun! These are lovely. What sealer do you use? I’ve read that some smudge the ink or discolour?

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

OMGosh, these are gorgeous. How far will the ink go? How many bulbs will they cover?

How to paint a holiday watercolor of a glass ornament

Reply 3 years ago

More than you probably want to make lol! Seriously, these inks go a long way.