Monday, November 17, 2008

Easy Watercolor Christmas Cards

Question: Hi Susie, I'm a beginning watercolor student and would like to paint my own Christmas cards this year. What suggestions would you have for a beginner who would like to paint something simple but something that expresses the beauty of Christmas?

I think that receiving a hand painted greeting card is so special! I have some Holiday card suggestions on my website that should give you some ideas for painting simple cards. For beginners (and kids) I recommend easy shapes such as those you might find for making cookies. Try painting a wreath or a stocking, a gingerbread man, Christmas tree, star etc each can be as simple or ornate as your imagination allows. Add a border. Dare to dream!

Here is a link to my free Christmas Card Ideas
and here's a link to my Winter Landscape Cards with patterns and instructions
and you can find some additional tips on my watercolor tips pages

Have fun painting your cards! Keep them simple and I know you can do it!

Merry Christmas!

Palette Choices

QUESTION: Please tell me what type of watercolor palette you recommend. I've seen so many like Quiller, Richeson, John Pike??? and I'm confused as to which is the best buy for my money. Thank you kindly. Fran

SUSIE'S REPLY: I personally like a light weight plastic palette with flat wells. It's my choice because I like to work with dry paint vs. wet paint. I find that the slanted wells collect too much water under the paint. My favorite palettes are the 32 well Jones palette or the Richeson palette with 22 wells. Both have lids and an open mixing area without "speed bumps".
The Quiller palette has flat wells and would fit my needs if it had a few more wells. It is arranged to work with the color wheel color theory and is an excellent choice for working with a limited palette of colors.
If you work with moist or freshly squeezed paint you may prefer the slanted wells. The John Pike palette is one of the sturdiest palettes on the market.

When purchasing a palette I look for a palette made from durable plastic and watch out for weakened corners. I have found through the years that the quality of the Jones and Richeson palettes mentioned above are consistantly reliable.

I hope that helps! Happy Painting!