Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Cards 2016

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:

A video posted by Alison Mutton (@alene.art) on

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:

Mulled Wine:

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:

A video posted by Alison Mutton (@alene.art) on

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.


  1. Wow, your gilding process is very interesting!! The cards turned out classically elegant and beautiful. I love the warmth and sparkle.

  2. Just amazing. I love your artwork, the gilding flakes makes the card perfect.



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