Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas Cards 2015

Here our the Christmas cards I designed for this year. I'd been having such fun with the fadeaway girl theme for Colour Collective that I thought it would be fun to do more detailed ones for the cards - my Colour Collective illustrations are usually pretty quick and rough.

Originally I had planned to have two completely different designs, but in the end I got a bit busy and went the easy route of two different girls but the same overall image. 

Here are some details:

I went with a 1915-era - 100 years ago this year, and a good date for Fadeaway Girls, as Coles Phillips first debuted them in 1908. Plus, of course, they had some very pretty dresses then, which work well with the fadeaway technique. I had a lot of fun coming up with the different outfits and hairstyles!

As usual, we got them printed at Moo. They have such fabulous printing, and I love their printfinity option. 

Moo have just introduced gold embossing on their business cards, so I'm really hoping soon they will have that on offer for greetings cards as well - my mother simply must have sparkly cards, plain printing will not do for her at all... and currently I have to emboss or glitter every one of the 100 cards we get printed each year by hand

 I always design my cards with reference to a simple way that I can add either gold embossing or glitter. It always has to be quite simple, as I have to do them all by hand - but I'd just love to go all-out with lots of gold in a more intricate design that just isn't feasible at the moment. These cards took me 6 hours to emboss - and I cheated on half of them, only embossing the string (not the rings on the lanterns) - they can go to the 'less deserving' (i.e. people less likely to appreciate the hours of my life that went into  these cards) on our Christmas Card list. =P

I had two desks set up while embossing the cards - if you're interested, I used Ranger Perfect Medium pens and fine gold embossing powder. The perfect medium pens, like embossing pens, are tacky - draw where you want the embossing to go, quickly cover with embossing powder, shake off the excess, and then melt it with a heat gun. When we printed our own cards it was glitter or nothing, as the plastic coating on photo printer paper melts under the influence of a heat gun - but Moo's cards hold up wonderfully. 

And here's a progress animation, from my hideous base scrawl to finished card:

And for anyone interested in how I use references, here is the pose reference I took for this illustration:

Photoshop CC2015 on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2. I'm not entirely sure how long they took - as usual with our Christmas cards I start early and do bits piecemeal. I'd put the figure somewhere between 6 and 12 hours for the first one, less for the second, where much was already done. 

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