If you’ve a pretty crazy Christmas dinner planned, this one is for you! It’s fast and easy, and has the added bonus of making your dinner look all rustic and fancy at the same time. Without too much prattling though — here’s how to make a winter berries place setting — or twenty!
(Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and purchase something, I make a small commission — but you still pay the same amount! I only put affiliate links on items I use and love.)
To make these winter berries place settings you need:
- Thick watercolour paper (I’m using Strathmore’s 300gsm)
- Watercolours (like the Sakura Koi I use or even an inexpensive Artist Loft set!)
- Size 0 or 2 round brush
- Fine brush pen (like the Tombow Fudenosuke Hard Tip)
1. Create your place setting cards
For ease, I’m going to make rectangular cards slightly taller than an average credit card and 1.5 times as long. With that in mind, carefully rip your watercolour paper into strips that size.
The lines and size will not be perfect! That’s the whole point. We’re going for rough edges here! Don’t be too violent — you don’t want to lose control of how the paper is torn — but don’t be too gentle either, otherwise you might as well use a penknife!
I prefer using cold press watercolour paper because it’s rougher, which adds to the vibe of it all.
2. Letter names
I’m using a Tombow Fudenosuke Hard here because it doesn’t smudge easily — which means I can paint without worrying later! Plus it is relatively inexpensive, so even if the watercolour paper damages it, replacement wouldn’t be terribly painful!
It can be hard to letter on a straight line and centralised your text. This is where a light pad comes in handy. What I like to do is to tape a sheet of grid paper on my light pad. This grid paper will be divided into quarters, which I used as guidelines for my lettering!
3. Paint your berries
To be honest, I’ve no idea what berries are available in winter — I live in Singapore! We don’t get winter! Ever!
But colours go a long way to setting the ‘mood’ so that’s what I’ve done here. I chose blues — blues, not ultramarine! — and used darker greens for the leaves and pine needles.
To paint the berries, you’ve to first draw the outline, a circle. Then you slowly fill it up, leaving a small dot unpainted, which gives it dimension! Paint a cluster of berries on each side of the name you’ve already lettered.
Before that’s dry, add leaves and pine needles. I used holly leaves, because they are distinctly festive. Again, leave some parts of the leave — either the vein or the edge — unpainted, so it looks like light is reflecting off of it.
As a finishing tough, add little specks of holly-red on the edges to finish off the festive look!
If it still feels a bit plain, you could add a watercolour gradient to the bottom edge of the paper — which is what I did here with some Finetec paint (Blue silver, if you’re interested in which colour I used). Alternatively, you could also splatter some silver paint over the whole thing to really add some ‘winter’ to your winter berries place setting!
Will you be making your own winter berries place setting this holiday?
You don’t even have to use them as place settings! This could easily be turned into a gift tag by punching a hole at one end and threading some twine through it. Alternatively, it could also be a card for you to write on the back off.
If you do create something inspired by this tutorial, I’d love to see if you tag me @lyssycreates on Instagram!