Monday, December 10, 2012

Silhouette Christmas Cards

And here's our second Christmas card design. 
This was a nice excuse to be a bit nostalgic and return to my Golden Age influences; when I did my honours project on the era I didn't get to do any silhouettes, but I love them. I did have grand plans to do the whole 12 Days of Christmas, but it became clear that I was going to run out of time, so I just finished off the first. I got about halfway through 9 Ladies Dancing as well, so hopefully I'll get time to finish that up in the near future. 

I put the design in a circle, to tie my two very different cards together. And then of course I added glitter:

I originally started without any clear idea of what era I wanted to depict, and did four draft silhouettes before I decided. Here they are, showing the 1780s, the 1800s, the 1830s and the 1920s:

Eventually I decided on the 1780s, as that's around the time The Twelve Days of Christmas was first published in England.

Adobe Photoshop CS6.

Reindeer Christmas Cards

I did two Christmas card designs for our own cards this year. I always like to do two for a bit of variety. 
The first card features an illustration from last Christmas. I cleaned it up a little and put it in a circular frame:

I printed all our cards straight onto white cardstock this year, which saved me a bit of cutting out (I just had to trim each card to a square). I also printed a message inside each card, and my logo on the back. It wasn't quite as simple as all that, however, as I then added lots of glitter, which my mother always likes to have on Christmas cards. These cards had gold glitter around the inside of the frame, and gold and green glittered baubles:

Winsor & Newton watercolours and Adobe Photoshop CS6.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Illustration: Pygmy Possum Christmas Cards

Some friends asked me to design some Christmas cards that were reminiscent of May Gibbs, and featured Australian wildlife. The design they decided on was a western pygmy possum among eucalyptus flowers and leaves:

For those wondering, May Gibbs was an Australian children's author/illustrator in the first half of the 20th century, who wrote and illustrated the classic Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, as well as many other titles. 

I originally came up with three concepts, two featuring western pygmy possums, and one featuring a scarlet robin. 

Once the design had been decided upon, I inked it traditionally using sepia Faber-Castel PITT artist's pens and then added colour in Adobe Photoshop CS6:

We got them printed at Moo, who always do a lovely job. Since they allow multiple designs in one order, I made up a number of colourways, and three were decided upon – red flowers, pink flowers and yellow flowers. Here's a snap of the pink and yellow (with 'Merry Christmas' in 'leaf writing' in the top left). The satin finish of the printed cards works really well with the illustration, I think. =)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Design: More Wagtail Christmas Cards

Here is the card I eventually designed for my Great Aunt. She gave me much more precise instructions, and I was told that there had to be a realistic willy wagtail, a brown frame, some red mistletoe and a papa meilland rose in the background, as she has a lovely painting of one in her room. I've never seen it, as she lives many, many miles away and I haven't visited since she got it, and I'm afraid I cheated a bit, and just altered the colours on a rose I'd already drawn for another illustration. =P She didn't say she liked it, but she didn't say she hated it, and she demanded more, so I suppose it's suitable! ^.^

These cards were handmade, with a printed message inside. I printed the illustrations on photo paper, and used double-sided foam to attach them to the cards, so that they're raised slightly:

Adobe Photoshop CS6 with a Wacom Intuos 3

Design: Wagtail Christmas Cards

I did a lot of Christmas card designs in November, and now that Christmas is nearing, it's time to blog them. 

This first design was originally done for my Great Aunt, who told me 'something Christmassy with a willy wagtail'.... I ran with that. And she hated the result. So I had to do something else for her, this time with more specific instructions, which seemed to work better. =)

Happily for me, my friend Tilly stepped in, declared she loved my poor wagtail cards, and ordered a batch for her own cards. We got them printed at the lovely, in five colour variations:

I did the main design in Adobe Illustrator CS6, and added textures (from Ming-ling) in Adobe Photoshop CS6. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Activity: Jacaranda Seed Christmas Decorations

We've had high winds the last couple of days, which blew down a lot of jacaranda seed pods in our front garden, so here's a method for turning them into Christmas decorations:
Find yourself a nice seed pod, and drill a hole in the top. They're quite slippery little suckers to drill through, so take care! 
Cover your seed pod with silver paint. I'd recommend spray paint, but I didn't have any, so I used silver acrylic, two coats.  
Paint a pattern on both sides with red acrylic.
This is the pattern I used. 
Add details in white acrylic, and thread a red ribbon through the hole you drilled.

You could also make a garland of these, perhaps spelling out 'Merry Christmas' or something. And of course, with other patterns and colour combinations, the possibilities are endless. =)  


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