Remember these Christmas cards from last year? This year Ester the Finnish Lapphund is back, with her sister Korra. The friends I did the cards for last year were very pleased with how the cards turned out, and with how everyone was amazed at their finding cards with a dog that looked exactly like Ester (that's what I like, happy clients!) and asked me to do something similar this year.
Since last Christmas they've acquired Korra, another Finnish Lapphund, so this year the cards naturally had to feature them both. Like all puppies, they can be little terrors, so I wanted the cards to reflect that with playful images, not unrealistic images of beautifully behaved dogs. I came up with some rough concepts, and they picked this one immediately:
None of the other initial concepts really did it for them, so I came up with some more, and they settled on this one as a companion card:
I wanted to use the same style as last year, and Korra has a gorgeous sable coat, which was interesting to ink. I used Manga Studio 5 for the inking, as I like the pen tool in that for this sort of work better than the brushes in Photoshop. Then I moved the cards into Photoshop for colouring, because I like the brushes in Photoshop better for that, and organised the type in Illustrator.
Here are some details of the gorgeous dogs:
There's something very crisp about the linework in Manga Studio that I like for this type of work – I don't want it to look to over-worked, but I don't want it to look too soft, either.
We got the cards printed at Moo.com, and they did a lovely job, as always:
Reference photos were provided, of course, and the images were tweaked after I was done, to make sure that both dogs looked as accurate as possible.
Manga Studio 5, Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, Wacom Intuos 5