Christmas Cards and a Cozy Cottage in the Woods

Cottage style Christmas mantel decor with a green tinsel tree in a white pot, mini lighted paper house , a red & black fabric bird, and a wood snowflake ornament. Rustic country style holiday decorating. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

The magic is in the details! I love how cozy my little cardboard cottage in the ‘woods’ looks at night when I flip the switch on the led tea light inside. Overhead, my collection of Christmas cards is steadily growing. Holiday cheer is in the air!

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Ink Drawing Complete for Culinary Herbs Illustration

Culinary Herbs Ink Drawing and Watercolor Wash by Shalom Schultz Designs

Finished ink drawing and watercolor wash for my Culinary Herbs illustration. The black is separate from the color to make it easier to ‘clean up’ once scanned in and will also allow for printing on other backgrounds. As summer draws to a close I get one step closer to finishing my forever herb garden!

Layers of Color

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And we have color!! Each of the 6 potted herbs in my painting will have a slightly different shade of green to add complexity & interest to the piece. On this sage plant, I’ve created a subtle textured look by loosely adding in extra layers of the same color (one at a time, as each layer dries) over the initial pastel wash. The fine details of the plant will be brought out with an extra fine black ink pen, once all of the painting is complete. Oh and those ‘brown spots’ on the pots will be rubbed off to reveal pure white paper, creating the look of a painted pattern on each terra cotta pot.

Actually, It’s the Opposite Of What It Looks Like

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Prep work for my new painting-masking all the areas that I want to remain white so I can paint directly over them, achieving smoother color. I didn’t have any masking fluid on hand when I did my last painting & having to painstakingly work my brush around all the tiny white details was exhausting. It’s well worth the investment of cash (the fluid is a bit pricey but you don’t need a lot of it) and time, since this ‘extra step’ will actually speed up the process later on. When I’ve finished painting, the dried masking fluid will simply rub off with my finger, revealing the white patterns I drew on all the terra cotta pots (there are 6 in all). I’m so excited to see the final results. Let painting commence!

Starting ‘Seeds’

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First lines of a new drawing. Can you tell I’m itching to start gardening? This time I’m working directly on the watercolor paper – will add color & ink details later. No tracing or transfer paper this time. Getting rid of my ‘crutches’. Very thankful for my 4H pencil which doesn’t leave a line if I need to erase. 🙂