Paint Your Own Christmas Card – Easy Landscape

Follow along to paint your own Christmas landscape or cards in easy steps. Use four basic colors plus opaque white for a fool proof card. Each card will be a unique work of art that’s all your own.

Downloads for Landscape Christmas Card

Suggested Colors to Paint Your Own Christmas Card

  • Dark Blue – Ultramarine, Phthalo, or Indanthrone Blue
  • Light Blue – Cobalt or Cerulean Blue
  • Red – Quinacridone or bright red
  • Dark Green – Perylene Green or mix [Hookers + red] or [Phthalo + Burnt Sienna] or [Ultramarine + Yellow]
  • Opaque white – Dr. Martin’s Bleed Proof white is recommended
Christmas Landscape tutorial in watercolor reference photo by Deb Watson

This is my original reference photo. I moved the buildings to the right and simplified for a better composition.

Follow Along Steps for Easy Christmas Card

Step 1 – Draw or trace your outline onto your watercolor paper using graphite paper.

Optional – Mask out the moon and top of buildings. Paint them with liquid masking and dry well. (I use Pebeo drawing gum for masking.)

Christmas Landscape Tutorial Painting the Sky Step

Step 2 – Paint the Christmas landscape sky wet on wet.

For best results, use a thick wash of paint and the largest brush you’re comfortable with. Lay the color on and don’t play with it – let the water do the work of spreading and blending.

Wet the sky area behind the big tree, down to the snow line.

Paint the sky with diagonal strokes, using dark and light blue.

Red? Add a little light red to the sky while still wet and let it blend in.

Step 3 – While still wet, add background trees for this landscape.

Watercolor Christmas landscape tutorial step - painting distant trees and scraping

Paint – Mix a little dark green + dark blue and paint the background trees on the right and left of the big pine.

Scratch in bare trees while still wet, using any sharp object like a credit card cut in half, or the end of your paint brush if it has a sharp edge.

Step 4 – Paint far away pine trees – for a nice Christmas card.

Christmas landscape tutorial far away pine trees

Mix mostly dark green with a little blue.

Paint the far away pine trees with a small brush.

Step 5 – Add shading to the foreground snow.

While the top dries, wet the foreground with clean water.

Paint light blue on 2/3 of the bottom foreground.

Step 6 – Paint first wash of blue on the big pine tree.

Christmas landscape tutorial - first wash of light blue on tree

Paint the entire tree, snow and all with a wash of light blue watercolor paint.

Red? Add a light red to a few areas, if desired.

Step 7 – Paint the red buildings for this watercolor landscape.

Red – use straight red paint or you can make a darker red by blending red with dark green.

Step 8 – Paint second wash of color on the big pine tree.

Christmas Landscape tutorial - Second wash of green to pine tree

Paint around the snow areas, painting the rest of the pine tree dark green. Dry.

Step 9 – Add the sparkle to this landscape watercolor with the finishing touches.

Watercolor landscape tutorial step 9 add the sparkle with finishing touches of white

Tree – use opaque white to add white to the outside edges of the snow on the pine tree. Paint it on thick and use a damp brush to soften the inside edge of the white. Add darker green areas to break up some of the dark green. Shade the snow by rewetting the top of the snow and pulling down some of the color.

Cleaning up edges – Use leftover paint to clean up edges on the roofs from the outside in. Or use opaque white to clean up the edges from the inside out.

Add clouds across the moon – use light blue to add a wisp of a cloud across the white moon.

Falling snow – spatter opaque white for falling snow (this can be messy!)

Christmas Landscape tutorial finished watercolor by Deb Watson

Painting is the grandchild of nature - Rembrandt