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12 Days of Christmas Cards, Cardinal

2016-12-05

Here's a fun Cardinal Bird Christmas Card for the holidays. The card was painted in one transparent watercolor wash and took only 18 minutes, including drying time, so this is a fun quick card to do. Your drawing doesn't need a lot of detail, as long as it's reasonably accurate, your cardinal will look fantastic!
DIY Christmas Card Cardinal watercolor painting

A quick, fun cardinal Christmas card!





Disclaimer: Jennifer Branch Gallery is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I receive a small rebate for your entire order (starting at 4%) if you choose to purchase through Amazon. Most items can be bought multiple places and I highly recommend local art stores if you have one! Any other recommendation links I receive no compensation for.
These referrals help me support this website, and I thank you for any purchase you make through them. I will never recommend a product I have not used frequently and believe is the best tool for the purpose!

Materials

Cards

Disclaimer: Jennifer Branch Gallery is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Other links I receive nothing on. Most items can be bought multiple places. PaintingWatercolor.com is supported by affiliate and advertising links.

5" x 7" Strathmore Watercolor Cards

Pigment List

All paints I use are M. Graham transparent watercolors, except white gouache. Other brands I recommend are Daniel Smith and Schminke.

  • Nickel Azo Yellow

  • Cadmium Red

  • Maroon Perylene

  • Ultramarine Blue

  • Cobalt Teal

  • Quinacridone Rust





Christmas Card Painting Steps

DIY Christmas Card with red Cardinal bird part 1, watercolor

First watercolor wash of cardinal Christmas card.

Start bright and bold with cadmium red in a strong drybrush. You want a lot of the white paper sparkling through so keep your strokes loose.

How to paint a Christmas Card with red Cardinal bird step 2, watercolor

Still in the same (and only wash, but starting to layer) cardinal Christmas card.

Start layering over the quickly drying wash. These wood pulp cards soak up moisture like a sponge so you don't have too long to wait.

Keep using your saturated dry brush to loosely rough in the bird. You do not want detail at this stage, just big shapes.

Splatter paint!










How to paint a Christmas Card with red Cardinal bird step 3, watercolor

I add a subtle bright green with nickel azo yellow and cobalt teal mixed. I'm letting the bird dry a minute before I finish up details so now is the time to do the leaves.

Naturally, I finish with splatter paint!

Cardinal Christmas Card Painting Tutorial, Step 4

Step 4 of the Cardinal Christmas Card Painting Tutorial

I use a rigger to paint most of the details of the cardinal's mask. I want the little light flecks to show through the mask like glistening feathers.


Cardinal Christmas Card by Jennifer Branch

Final Cardinal Christmas Card!

This quick and easy Cardinal Christmas Card will only take you a few minutes, so try it! Keep your drawing and painting very loose. This cheerful card won't be improved by too much detail.

I love how this little bird turned out, fluffy on a cold winter day.

Merry Christmas and Happy Painting!




Merry Christmas and a Joyful Holiday to All!
Jennifer Branch

12 Days of Christmas Cards

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Paint beautiful Christmas cards for your family and friends! I show you step by step how to paint a beautiful cardinal bird.

About Jennifer Branch


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Disclaimer: Jennifer Branch Gallery is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I receive a small rebate for your entire order (starting at 4%) if you choose to purchase through Amazon. Most items can be bought multiple places and I highly recommend local art stores if you have one! Any other recommendation links I receive no compensation for.
These referrals help me support this website, and I thank you for any purchase you make through them. I will never recommend a product I have not used frequently and believe is the best tool for the purpose!

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