Here are the Christmas cards I designed for us to send out this year. I always try to do something really fancy for our Christmas cards, and right now I think these are my favourites of all the cards I've done!
All the glittery baubles are made with a glitter texture from (I think, I did these a few months ago) CGTextures.com, but as my mother insists on sparkly cards, the halos were gilded with Cosmic Shimmer Gilding Flakes after they were printed:
Here's a video I posted on Instagram when I did my print test prior to sending the cards off to print, so you can see how shiny they are:
We found the gilding flakes at a craft fair, and decided that we had to have them for the Christmas cards, so I designed our cards specifically around the flakes. We used two colours of flakes:
And Autumn Leaves:
Read on for a video of the gilding application, and progress gifs, thumbnails and more:
If you're interested in how I applied the gilding, here's a video. I first printed the shapes of the halos onto JAC Paper (double-sided adhesive film), which I cut out and stuck onto the cards. Then I just peeled off the top paper layer to expose the adhesive and applied the flakes:
I was heavily inspired by Gustaf Klimt for these cards - the gilding flakes really seem to lend themselves to his sort of artwork. My first step was to do some thumbnails. As you can see, I stuck a few Klimt paintings in there as well, so I could keep on track. I didn't want to follow his wackier stuff, so these are all earlier paintings. I was particularly interested in musical instruments, so after some initial experimentation with vague sketches of angels holding flowers and the like I started working with more purpose on angels with various musical instruments:
I presented these thumbnails to my mother, who is essentially the commissioner in this process, and she chose the lute and the harp.
I took some reference photos, which I'm not going to show you, as I'm in my underwear (It was long-sleeve weather at the time, and I needed to see the arms in my references), so I could get hands and the like right.
Here's a progress gif of the first card:
And one of the second card:
And finally, here are some more photos:
About ten hours each, in Adobe Photoshop CC 2016 on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2.