Watercolor Birthday Card: Birthday Candles
This watercolor birthday card kit includes two drawing designs in a 5x7 landscape
orientation. The design can be painted in whatever colors or format you choose. Here are some finished examples.
Supplies needed to complete this watercolor birthday card:
- Painters or masking tape
- Strathmore watercolor card, 5x7 size
- Sheet of watercolor paper for testing
- Pencil and kneaded eraser
- Graphite paper or a light table for tracing image
- Watercolor paint or watercolor pencils (colors:
red, orange, yellow, green, cerulean blue and ultramarine blue, plus a dark
gray and black. Metallic colors could be used too.)
- Watercolor brushes: medium round with a point.
- Clean jar of water
- Permanent Sakura Micron or other similar brand
of markers, or a black colored pencil to draw and darken the lettering.
Steps to finish the card:
These are the general
steps to a finished watercolor birthday card. There are more detailed instructions are in the downloadable
the design you like from the downloaded document and print out that page on
your printer, making sure to set the page size to actual size.
the image onto the front of a 5”x7” watercolor card. Use a very light touch,
especially on the candle flames. The idea is to have a drawing to follow but not
to make it so dark that it shows through the transparent watercolor paint.
you plan to paint in a background color, tape the drawn card down to a sturdy
surface to minimize buckling when you paint.
off a penny-sized piece of the kneaded eraser and roll it into a ball so you
can dab and lighten the pencil marks. They may still show through the paint but
not as darkly.
the image in the stages discussed below. Use the finished examples included in
this kit for inspiration or choose your own color palette. Start
with the candle sticks. The colors below
are what I used on the color wheel example included in this kit.
used a Crimson red for candle #1 on the left. Start with a light wash. Paint
candle #2 with a light wash of orange. Paint
candle #3 with a light wash of warm yellow such as Azo yellow. Paint
candle #4 with a light wash of warm green. Paint
candle #5 with a light wash of cerulean blue or turquoise. Paint
candle #6 with a light wash of ultramarine blue.
you are using watercolor pencils, lay down enough pigment on each candle so
that when you go back over with a wet brush, you can spread the color easily.
the card to dry completely. Now go back in and lay over a second wash of color
over the candle sticks (using the same colors as in step 6). Repeat this step again or until you like the
the card to dry. Now start on the flames. Paint in a light yellow wash to the
center of the flame. Let this dry. Then paint a very pale wash of orange over
the tip, and down the sides a bit. While
it is still wet, wash your brush, dab it on a towel, and then pull the orange
color into the yellow.
the card to dry. For the base of the candles, use a light wash of gray, blue or
silver, and a darker gray or black for the wicks.
the card to dry completely. Once it is
dry, use the Micron markers or a black colored pencil to draw in and darken the
lettering. Use the fine 02 marker for
the finer, smaller print, and the 08 marker for the thicker text.
in a background color if you like. (You can also paint the background first if
you are careful to paint around the candles and letters, or you can use masking fluid to protect the
candles and flames from this first wash.
Make sure the card is bone dry before you try to remove the masking
the card to dry completely, then use the kneaded eraser to remove any
the tape around the card. Voilà, you
have a finished watercolor birthday card, ready to send!
Here are two more examples of finished watercolor birthday cards. The candles on the right were painted with metallic watercolor paint. It doesn't show up well in the picture, but they have a nice sheen. Below is a picture of the inexpensive metallic pan paints I used. They can be found at Michael's or Hobby Lobby.
These inexpensive metallic pan paint sets can be found at Michael's or Hobby Lobby.
And If you like the card you create, you can have copies made at Vistaprint! Click the logo below to check out this great company. I buy my business cards and postcards from Vistaprint and the service is great.
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