How to Paint Watercolor Holly Leaves for Beginners and Kids
With Christmas just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to watercolor paint some Holly leaves! Today in this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to watercolor paint these holly leaves even if you are the newest beginner. This is one of those projects that looks complicated but is actually really fun and easy! You might also enjoy the painting the Free Christmas Advent Calendar.
Watercolor is such a great medium because it’s so versatile and dries quickly making it easy to do during a child’s nap time or whenever you can sneak some time for yourself. This is one of many tutorials/patterns I’ve made to help you feel more comfortable and confident with this awesome medium.
I designed this project with the busy mama/grandma in mind so I hope it will bring you lots of enjoyment and fun. In fact, it’s the perfect project to invite the kids to join you!
Paint Holly Leaves With Me
Notice I said paint and not draw? I’m taking the drawing part out of the equation. Let’s not get caught up on the drawing part yet (unless of course, you want to). Just enjoy the watercolor painting process. You will learn so much as you just experiment without the pressure to draw the perfect picture. One skill at a time, I say. So with that out of the way, let’s get started!
Before we get started, I’d like to invite you to join us at the Lily & Thistle Watercolor School! We have bundled all of our watercolor painting courses designed to help you learn the basics FAST so you can quickly become a more confident artist. You will learn the foundational skills you need and continue to grow as you pick and choose from 100+ projects. We breakdown everything in Watercolor School to make it fun and SIMPLE for anyone (ages 5-95!) Find out more about Watercolor School here or click the photo below.
- Winsor Newton 12 pan watercolor set (or whatever you have on hand)
- Watercolor Brush Set that includes Sizes 2 and 6
- 140lb Watercolor Paper
- Printable Pattern (found in the Watercolor School or Nature’s Art Club)
- Graphite Paper or Window, iPad, Lightboard for tracing
- Pencil (don’t press hard when tracing, just lightly)
- A Kneaded Eraser (perfect way to make your lines faint but not too faint that you can’t see them)
- Sharpie No Bleed Pen (optional for outlining after the painting is complete)
1. Print Out Your Pattern
If you are already a member of the Lily & Thistle Watercolor School, you can access the pattern in the course content for Watercolor School. Want to find out more about being a member? Check out this page for more information to join us!
We offer FREE patterns in our Lily and Thistle Resource Library (get your password below).
FREE WATERCOLOR PATTERNS AND PROJECTS!
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2. Trace Your Pattern
There are so many ways to trace your pattern. You can use graphite paper, a window, an iPad or you can even purchase an inexpensive light board. I did a post all about tracing HERE.
Just remember not to push down too hard when tracing. You want your lines to be visible enough to guide you as you are painting but not so dark that they distract from your watercolor.
3. Paint Your Holly Leaves!
Holly is such a cool plant! Did you know Holly is diecious (Greek for “two households”) which means that each holly plant is either male or female? The female plant produces berries but a male plant is needed nearby to cross-pollinate! As I’ve observed nature on a regular basis, I’ve learned so many cool things and it’s been so fun to share these discoveries with my kids.
Watercolor is so fun and forgiving and gives us a chance to stop, observe, and connect. Just play with the paint! Remember more water equals lighter, pastel-like colors, less water equals darker, more vibrant colors. Have fun and don’t overthink it. For this one, I made you a video. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions! I’m posting to my watercolor painting channel on YouTube so if you’d like to be notified of new videos, you can subscribe HERE.
4. Give to Someone You Love
Now go and give it to someone you love or display on your mantel for Christmas and enjoy what you’ve accomplished. 🙂 I hope this will be a fun little project and provide many happy memories. Please let me know if you have any questions. I am so happy to help.
And remember, your life is your art.
Your friend in Nature