Sugar Plum Sweeties - Free Project by Erika Joanne

Margaret Riley

Sugar Plum Sweeties

By Erika Joanne

“As I was drawing up this pair, the idea came to me to paint this project in a watercolor style. I have always loved the look of watercolor and the use of white in a design. It was a challenge for me to keep it simple as I tend to fuss over a lot of detail. I hope you find this project to be quick, easy, and find joy in painting it for the holidays.”…Erika

Erika enjoys teaching at seminars and various painting conventions around the country. Teaching others to paint and create is a cherished part of her life. Her design work encompasses a wide range of styles and subject matter, from lifelike realism to the whimsical and purely imaginative. Visit her website at to learn more about her painting journey, meet her Certified CETiP Teachers, and sign up for her newsletter.



6” x 6” Ampersand Artist Panel (Primed Canvas Texture) – OR -
6” x 6” 140 lb. Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper (Available from


JoSonja Artist Colors

Carbon Black
Napthol Crimson
Norwegian Orange


Jo Sonja’s Sure Touch Brushes
4010 Select Round Nos. 3 and 5

Miscellaneous Supplies
Basic Painting Supplies
.01 Zig Millennium Black Pen
Grey Graphite Paper & Stylus
Paper Towels

Prismacolor Spray Fixative

Click >>HERE<< to download the pattern.

Helpful Tips

When washing the background colors, be sure to water down the paint to an inky consistency. The colors should be very transparent. Adding water to the paint will enable an easier application of color over the rough surface. It is better to start out very light and build on the color rather than go in too dark in the beginning.

Depending on the area, use one of the two sizes of brushes to add the washes. Choose a different color scheme or follow the colors suggested.


1.  Carefully transfer all the details of the design onto an Artist Panel or piece of watercolor paper.

2.  Use an eraser to lighten and remove some of the graphite lines so there is just a hint of the pattern showing.


1.  Wash the snowman nose with NORWEGIAN ORANGE. Before the paint dries, use a scrunched up paper towel to quickly pat the painted area. This should lighten the color a bit and create a textured look. Let dry and return to deepen the color at the base and tip of the nose. Soften the edges of color with water and a pat with the paper towel.

2. Wash the small bird, scarf, stripes on hat, heart, and ornament with NAPTHOL CRIMSON. Before the paint dries, use scrunched up paper towel to pat each painted area. Return and deepen the color in the darkest places and pat if needed.

3. Wash the black area of the penguin with CARBON BLACK and use a paper towel to pat the color.  Return and deepen the color in the darkest area plus color in the toes. Pat color, if needed.


1. Once the paint is dry, erase any stray graphite lines.

2. Use the BLACK .01 ZIG PEN to line the rest of the detail including adding the eyes.

3. Finish with a few light coats of the PRISMACOLOR SPRAY FIXATIVE to set your work. Enjoy!

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  • Angie on

    Thank you for sharing your project

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