Make Your Own Zodiac Botanical CardJun 28, 2022
Botanical line art is elegant and beautiful, but you can also make it unique by adding a variety of elements to your piece. I love mixing the fluidity of watercolors with the sharpness of fineliners - they make for a great contrast!
Hello! I'm Mara. Today I'll be teaching you how to make a botanical zodiac card. We will be painting our zodiac constellation, in addition to our zodiac flower. I’ll be doing a card based on Sagittarius, as it’s my zodiac sign. You can draw any zodiac constellation that you want. I’ve provided a template for every zodiac sign constellation and flower.
- Watercolour paper (I have used an A5 watercolour pad)
- Watercolour brush (size 12)
- Jar of clean water
- Paper towel
- Any watercolours: I use White Nights’ watercolours (Bright blue 507, Azure Blue 519, Indigo 516, Violet 607 and Payne’s Gray 812).
- Fineliners: one thicker than the other (0.1 and 0.03, for example).
- Pencil: HB or harder
- Plastic eraser
- Compass or any tool to make a circle
- White paint: white gouache, white gel pen or white paint pen
- Kneadable eraser (optional)
- A ruler (optional)
- Light pad, carbon paper, self-copy paper or other transfer paper (optional)
Step 1: Sketch the Circle
Draw a circle centred on the sheet that you are using. You can use a compass or any other tool that helps you to make a perfect circle.
Step 2: Sketch the Flower
The next step is to sketch the flower with a pencil. I recommend you draw it at the border of the circle. You can use the template that I have provided and trace it.
Don't let the inspiration end - grab yourself Peggy Dean's Guide to Nature Drawing & Watercolor to continue experimenting.
Step 3: Ink Your Flower
Once you are happy with your pencil sketch, it is time to ink! I always use a 0.1 fineliner for the outlines of the flower and a 0.03 fineliner for the shading.
When your ink flower is ready, erase the pencil lines so they won’t show underneath. If the circle is too visible, you can use a kneadable eraser to take off a bit of the graphite.
Step 4: Paint the Circle with Watercolors
We will be using the wet-on-wet technique. First, you have to paint the whole circle with clean water. We will be avoiding the flower so it remains in black and white.
Then, we will be adding watercolour over the wet circle.
Go from lighter to a darker colour, letting the colours mix on the paper. It must be quite dark for the white stars to stand out from the background.
You can choose whatever colour you like or you can do quick research on which one is in your zodiac’s power colour. I have used blues and violets because purple is the Sagittarius power colour.
Step 5: Let it Dry
Once you are happy with how your circle galaxy is looking, you will have to wait until it is completely dry. It may take a while because of the wet-on-wet technique.
Step 6: Draw Your Zodiac Constellation
To draw your constellation, you can use a light pad, or tracing paper or you can eyeball it. First, draw the stars.
I have used a white gel pen, but you can use other tools, like a paint pen or white gouache. Once you have all the stars, join them with lines. Use a ruler if you want very straight lines.
Now you have a botanical zodiac card! You can draw one as a gift to someone that you love or just keep it to yourself! Don't forget to sign your art! I hope that you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. Feel free to share it on Instagram and tag me (@_lostinillustration) and Peggy (@thepigeonletters) so we can see your beautiful work!
I’m Mara, a botanical artist based in Barcelona, Spain. My work is based on one of my biggest loves: nature. For the last 4 years, I’ve been obsessed with botanical art. I first started with black and white botanicals, but the combination between fineliners and watercolour is what I enjoy the most. In the past few months, I have been adding other natural elements to my botanical art, such as animals or the stars. I aim to bring to every home a bit of my love for nature.