Creating Personalized Holiday Cards

Greeting cards are all about showing someone how special they are to you. What better way to do that than personalizing the card’s message and artwork? 

Prismacolor created the Premier® Botanical Garden Set for occasions just like this one. The color assortment was hand selected to fit the theme and help you create some of your best work. Here are some tips to help get you started:

Choose your subject matter - Flowers are immensely popular for greeting cards, but it might be special to branch out with alternative flowers like Peonies or Dahlias. You can use a photo for reference, but the best source of inspiration is the real thing.

Draw the outline - Use a light touch at first, and outline the basic shapes you see, starting with the inside out. Just keep the details to a minimum until you’ve captured the entire flower: petals, stems, and all.

Choosing colors and shades - Flowers are like human skin in many ways. Although they appear at first to be one color, there are subtle variations, defined by highlights and shadows. Start with the lightest version of the main color, and remember that some highlights have no color whatsoever. Gradually fill in areas using circle and oval movements, to avoid any straight lines. Save the stems and any leaves for last.

Add darker tones - Layer darker tones as you progress. Often these dark tones are what define the petals from one another.

Add finishing touches to the flowers - If you have one, use a colorless blender on the outer edges of each petal. This burnishing gives them a vibrant, luminescent look. Work the stems and leaves the same way. Start with lighter tones and gradually layer in shadows, remembering that even “green” leaves have variations in color. Don’t forget to add details like veins to the leaves.

Want to add hand lettering? See our tutorial for hand lettering here.