How To Create A Cute Cactus And Watercolor Inspirational Print

design team - maira drawing Aug 13, 2021
How to make a cactus watercolor print

What’s cuter than cactus doodles? Cactus doodle with a watercolor background (This IS the right answer -if you ask me!). In today’s tutorial, I’m going to show you a simple way to create these cute cactus doodles with a watercolor background inspirational print. 

Hi Friend, I’m Maira with Vial Designs, bringing you this tutorial today as part of the Pigeon Letters Design Team. 

Before we dive into this fun cactus and watercolor tutorial, let’s review the tools we’ll need.







Prefer watching with the walkthrough instead?



Step 1: Use Washi Tape Around the Paper and Where You’ll Letter Your Inspirational Quote


Use wash tape or painters tape to tape down your paper. This will help you do margins around the print and also hold it down, which is good because the paper tends to bend when we add the water to the background. 

You’ll also use the wash tape to tape where you’re inspirational quote will be. In this case, I’ll be writing the quote: “Keep going, you’re still growing”. I’ll be breaking down the quote in three different lines. That’s why I’m adding the same amount of lines with wash tape. 



Step 2: Sketch the Cactus Doodles.


Now that we have our washi tape set, let’s sketch the cactus doodles. For reference, I’m drawing the following cactus doodles:

      • Prickly Pear. Page 52 (left side cactus doodle)
      • Crown Cactus. Page 99 (middle cactus doodle)
      • Bunny Ears. Page 98 (right cactus doodle)




Step 3: Trace the Cactus Doodles.



Using your monoline studio pen trace over the cactus doodles. I recommend you use the mainline studio pen 03 for the outside tracing and the 01 for any details. 

I decided to add different details to the cactus pots! Aren’t they cute? You can add any type of doodles inside the pots to make them pop and look unique. 




Step 4: Add watercolor to the background.



Use your Karin Brush pens in the colors of your choosing, to add watercolor to the background of the print. You can also use any other water based markers for the watercolor background. 

To add watercolor to the background of your print without using watercolors, grab the markers and scribble on a glass/porcelain/plastic surface. Then, using a brush, dip it in water. Once the brush is wet grab some of the marker’s color and paint it on the watercolor paper. 

For this print, I’m using the Karin Brush pens Red Lilac 358 and Royal Blue 045. I just really love how these colors go together. 


QUICK TIP: Add more water when you don’t want the color to be too concentrated or vibrant. Likewise, use less water when you want it to be more vibrant. 

Continue repeating this step until you cover the whole background. 

Once you’re satisfied with how your watercolor background looks, remove the washi tape.

IMPORTANT+TIP: make sure the watercolor is completely dry before removing the washi tape of moving to the next step. To make the process faster, you can use a heat gun. 




Step 5: Write the Inspirational Quote



Now is time to letter your inspirational quote inside the space left blank when you removed the washi tape. 

I always like to sketch in pencil before so that I can make sure my quote fits in the space and its centered. 

Once you’re satisfied with the pencil sketch, go ahead and trace over it using a monoline studio pen. I’m using the monoline studio pen 03. 

To letter the quote, I’m doing a technique called Faux Calligraphy. If you’d like to know more about Faux Calligraphy, be sure to check my blog my Faux Calligraphy Printable workbook for beginners, where I give a step by step guide to learn how to do calligraphy using a regular pen! Just like I’m doing here with the inspirational quote. 

****LINK FOR THE FAUX CALLIGRAPHY PRINTABLE WORKBOOK: https://vialdesigns.lpages.co/faux-calligraphy/





And we’re done!

There you have it, a super cute inspirational print with cactus doodles and a watercolor background!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and give it a try. If you do, tag me @vialdesigns and Peggy @thepigeonletters on Instagram. 


Maira is a Colombian artist living in sunny Florida, USA and has been creating art for as long as she can remember! After discovering calligraphy  6 years ago, she hasn't stopped practicing and learning, which has sparked her passion for helping other women become more creative by learning calligraphy through her easy-to-follow step-by-step tutorials. Check out more of Maira's tutorials here!


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