How to Paint Watercolor Wreaths

Nothing says "Welcome and Merry Christmas!" than a holiday wreath hanging on a front door. Wreaths exude a sense of joy and a desire for peace, as its circular shape symbolizes unity and never ending love and life. Spring and Summer wreaths represent new life and growth. Autumn wreaths represents change and the circle of life. Christmas wreaths have deep and symbolic religious meaning, but over time, have come to represent the spirit of Christmas and the holidays. For me, leaves represent the tree of life, symbolizing health and growth, the pine needles represent peace (the Tree of Peace), the holly leaves represent hope, and the poinsettia represents good cheer. We will be combining all four elements to create a beautiful Christmas wreath, using watercolor techniques that you can use to make holiday cards and decorate envelopes. 

Topics Covered: 

  • Creating leaves and poinsettia petals
  • Creating pine needles
  • Creating holly leaves
  • Revisiting all four elements 
  • Step by step watercolor wreath

Want to join us for class? It's offered on-demand and available now for all Tier 2 students.  Some classes are also available to Tier 1 students. Click here to see the Tier 1 Class Listing.  

How to Access Your Members-Only Class:

  • Go to
  • Log in to your account
  • Click on Classroom
  • Click on Tier 2 -- Class Archive
  • Click on Holiday Calligraphy Camp

Enroll in Tier 2

Materials Needed:

  • a pencil
  • a compass, protractor, or something round to trace (3" or 3.5")
  • eraser
  • straight pen holder or an oblique pen
  • relatively flexible nib (ex: Leonardt Principal EF nib)
  • palette with at least 2 wells
  • 2 watercolors - green and red/pink/purple (Serpentine Genuine, Rose of Ultramarine)
  • metallic gold watercolor (Coliro Finetec or Dr. Ph. Martin Spectralite)
  • Wedge / Triangle watercolor paintbrush (substitutes: Pointed Cat's Tongue, Angle, Long Pointed Round, Round, Aqua Water Brush Pen)
  • dropper / pipette 
  • large cup of water for rinsing and a small cup of water for palette
  • Pigma Micron Sepia (03 / 05)
  • Strathmore Watercolor Cards & Envelopes (or any watercolor paper)
  • paper towel
  • printed templates (Leaves & Poinsettia Petals, Pine Needles, Holly Leaves, Grid sheet of all four elements)
  • printed class handouts

Homework Challenge

Want to see our students' homework? Search the hashtag #kcawreath on Instagram to see samples from this week's homework. Our students who participate in this challenge get entered into a drawing to win prizes.

 Instructor: Jane Matsumoto


Instagram: @ginkgoarts

Facebook: @ginkgoarts


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