Festive postcard tutorial: Watercolour Layering Techniques | Blog Post by Connie


It’s my favourite time of the year! I just love everything about Christmas! The Christmas tree, ginger bread, presents all wrapped up with massive bows... I mean everything just look extra shiny and special. My local neighbourhood houses are all dressed up with Santa, reindeer and flashing lights. In the spirit of the festive season, I am sharing with you some festive postcards I made from the December box. And I will also show you some techniques I used to build up layers and depth in watercolour illustrations.

For this tutorial and video, I used the Boku-undo watercolour sets, the Mitsubishi Dual colour pencil, the Boku-undo Saishiki-fude brush and the Maruman watercolour postcards from the December box as well as the Boku-undo watercolour set from the previous box. Here are the descriptions of the techniques I used:

1.  Sketch up the basic composition

I used the Mitsubishi Dual colour pencil to draw the outline. The two colours are so helpful with sketching out the overlapping layers, allowing me to distinguish the background and foreground easily.

2. Begin the painting with a wash

To start the painting, I apply a light wash over the entire drawing to give the painting a consistent tone. This provides a good base to build the layers later on. The Boku-undo Saishiki-fude brush holds a heap of water, a great tool for this technique!

3. Negative painting

Negative painting is a great technique to create a sense of depth in the background. I painted the negative space around the trees to create the night sky. I used a pointed fine brush for the details and blend in after with a large brush.

4. Use different tones to add layers

Add more or less water to create different tones of the same colour. I used different tones to paint the overlapping trees in the background. You can be quite free with this part. I painted a few additional trees as I went in the process!

5. Masking fluid

Masking fluid is a gum base fluid that allows you to mask out areas in the painting. I use the Pebeo Drawing gum which is quite a thin solution that will allow fine details. You can apply it with a brush. I recommend using an old brush as the masking fluid could potentially dry out and stay in the bristles. I used a water brush to do the hand lettering on this postcard. And I painted a layer on top. Once it is dried, I rubbed off the masking fluid with my finger. You can see, where the masking fluid has been blocked off and left with the background colour.

6. Adding details and sparkles

Use any metallic or opaque colours to add little details on the illustration. I added a dog in the foreground and some stars in the sky. These small details add accents to the composition and tie everything together. The metallic and pearlescent watercolour from the Boku-undo watercolour sets are excellent for adding this extra layer of glamour on the postcard.

You Tube link:


I hope you enjoy this little tutorial. Have fun painting and making more postcards! Don’t forget to #thestationeryselection to show us your creations.

Thank you for reading and supporting my work this year. I am truly grateful to be part of the Stationery Selection community. I wish you all the best for the festive season and the New Year! See you all in 2019

Connie @pepperconarts


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