Christmas Card: Quick Process

So, you guys, I know that it's only just the beginning of October, and that we're not even at Halloween yet, and that it's so irritating when stores start pushing Christmas stuff down our throats in the fall, but I'm here today to show you this year's Christmas card!  It's early in the year for this, I know, but it's the nature of the illustrator's world that Christmas stuff gets drawn in the middle of summer and sometimes it's hard to wait until an appropriate time to share it!  

And you know that I like to give my awesome international customers plenty of time to order holiday stuffs because sometimes international shipping can be S-L-O-W.  

Let's do a bit of a process thing here because it's been AGES since I showed something like this.  First, the rough sketch:

Or I guess I should say sketches, rough sketches.  I wasn't really settled on an idea for Christmas cards this year, so I spent a lot of time doodling Christmas-y things in my sketchbook, including several pages of dogs decked out in Christmas sweaters and hats.  I liked them and since I've been working on my 52 Dogs illustration project this year, why not end the year with a dog Christmas card, right?

So I scanned all of my sketch pages, picked my favorite dog sketches, pasted them together in Photoshop, and then loosely sketched in a background and a few other elements I wanted to include in the card.  

Next, I put down the some flat colors!

I knew that I wanted a retro-inspired palette for this one, so red and aqua were obvious choices.  As I started coloring in each dog, I added in some yellow and some peachy pink as well.  

Laying in the flat colors is my favorite part of the illustration process.  When I started adding details and shading, I get into the I'm-not-sure-I-like-this zone, which is less fun but still necessary.  After a bit of back and forth with myself about colors, how much to simplify, and how many detailed patterns to include, I happily ended up with this:

2015 dog christmas card resized.jpg

It's a bit quirky, colorful, and just plain fun.  I'm expecting these to be delivered from the printers this weekend, so after a bit of photo taking pizzazz, they will be available in my shop by the end of the next week!