How To Create a Cute Winter Cactus

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Since it’s holiday time, I decided to post my winter, Christmas-y, cactus drawings. 

I made the first two a few years ago. I turned them into t-shirts for my boys. They wore them on Christmas Eve and I just thought they were the cutest. Stuff that you make with your own hands, especially for your kids, really does give you that warm and fuzzy feeling. 


He was showing off his extra, extra cuteness that day.
There was no way he was going to be "cute."

The last one I made today, so I could show the process. I’m going to give a quick rundown on here, but for a more in-depth tutorial, please click the video.

It’s really not difficult, and there is a lot of room to play around without worrying to much about aiming for perfection.

Clearly, mine are very far away from perfection…

What you will need:

Watercolor paper (the cheap stuff is fine).

A black waterproof pen

Alcohol ink markers, and a Colorless Blender

Pencil and eraser


Here are the products that I either used, or were the closest to what I used. 

Disclosure Statement: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Certain products or services, and links to the products or services are affiliate links. I may earn a commission for any purchases that you make. This will not incur additional cost to you, but greatly helps to support this blog. 

Step 1. 

Sketch your rough shape on the Watercolor paper. All three of the cacti  shapes are pretty easy. The Christmas lights are probably the easiest of the decorations. When you are done, photograph it or scan it. That way you can always print or trace it if something goes wrong, or if you want to try different color styles.

Step 2. 

Draw over your sketch with a waterproof pen, and erase your pencil marks. I used a Pigma Micron, with a 02 tip. If you don’t have a pen that is waterproof you can always do this step last. I like to outline my drawing first because it makes it easier for me to color it in later, but don’t let not having a waterproof pen stop you from creating. There’s always a way. 

Step 3. 

Time to add in some color. If you are layering colors, go with the lightest first and then blend the darker one into it. The reason I like to use Watercolor paper with markers is because of the way that it soaks into the paper and blends. 


Here is the color chart that I put together before deciding what markers to use. I used all Copics. The colors I picked were BG10, BG11, BG53, C2, BV23, BV25, T3, and W2.

Step 4.

Use the Colorless Blender. Go over all the colors lightly. You can go back if you aren’t happy with it, but the blender will remove pigment the more times you go over it. However, you can use this to your advantage. If you want to lighten the color go over it several times. If you want to create a kind of washed out look then dot the blender into the paper. 

One of my favorite things that the blender will do is help you to correct mistakes. If you go outside the lines, you can gently dab the blender over the marker, and it will usually remove it. 


Here is what my drawing looked like after using the Colorless Blender.

Also, don’t be afraid to use other media with this. I used gel style pens for two of the cacti spines.

That’s all I can think of as far as tips or guidance.

Don’t forget to snap a pic or scan your finished product. I would genuinely love to see it.

Tag me on Instagram with #artgamy or #wintercactus!

Happy Holidays!

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