Holly Berries


Follow along with the step-by-step tutorial below. You can also watch the provided video lesson.

Important Note: At the end of the tutorial, you will find the PDF downloads of all the files you'll need to complete the project:

  • Watercolor final reference photo
  • Outline to use for tracing the image
  • Step-by-step Instructions PDF

Step 1 - Gather Your Supplies

Gather your supplies and trace your holly onto your watercolor paper. You can use a window or light box and trace it with a pencil or use graphite paper. You will need a Round Brush Size 6 for this project.

Step 2 - Block in Holly Leaves with Sap Green

We will only be using two colors on this project. Let's start with our Sap Green (light green) and block in all of the holly leaves. Don't worry too much about getting it even. Just get it blocked out and let the water and pigment vary.

Step 3 - Mix a Red (Alizarian Crimson) Color

Once you have all of your leaves and stems blocked in, move on to our second color: Alizarian Crimson (red). 

Step 4 - Highlight Trick on Holly Berries

Now I'm going to show you a cool trick. On your berries, try to leave just a little part white. This will give your berries a nice highlight which will help them look shiny. You can use this trick on lots of other watercolor projects too!

Step 5 - Mix a Deeper Green for the Leaves

Now I am mixing a deeper green by mixing my red and green together. Depending on how much red you mix with your green, this can also make a nice brown. I'm adding more green to this mixture because I want it to be a nice deep green color for my leaves.

Step 6 - Paint the Underside of the Leaves

Now I'm just painting the underside of the leaves with the deep green color. 

Step 7 - Add Dimension and Shadow to the Leaves

Next, I am adding a bit of the darker green to the middle of my leaves and just fanning it out a bit to add some shadow and dimension.

Step 8 - Outline Your Painting

Once my paint has dried, I am outlining everything with my waterproof sharpie. You can choose to do this or not. I like the way it makes the colors pop!

Step 9 - All Done!

And you are finished! Give it to someone who makes you happy or hang it up for some beautiful Christmas decor!

Lily and Thistle-Painting Nature-Holly Painting Tutorial.pdf
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