I have really come to enjoy making artwork for our holiday cards each year. It gives me an excuse (or a reason?) to make new art AT LEAST once a year, and I think that it says something a little bit different than a store bought card might be. I’m also extremely picky and would probably end up spending a fortune to buy cards that I thought were “good enough”.
I have usually ended up creating the card art as colored pencil work, but this year I wanted to make something in watercolor. As I am sometimes inclined to do, I poked around on the internet for inspiration. I was originally looking for something a bit more abstract, but what I created was a little bit more “real” if little bit surreal as well.
When I’m looking across the internet for ideas I certainly don’t just pick someone’s artwork and copy it. I might type “winter trees” into the search engine, or “abstract Christmas cards”, and other odd things like that. Then I usually end up with a somewhat loose idea of what I want to do, in this case trees and snow.
As I mentioned, my original intent was something abstract, and in this case I was thinking green and white, which you can see didn’t really happen. I sketched in the landscape and the pine tree shape with pencil and then applied liquid mask to the trees so they would not pick up any paint while I did the rest of the image. Once I decided it wasn’t going to be THAT abstract after all, I thought I’d go more blue and white instead of green and white, but then once I painted the sky, I thought a smidge of red mixed in on the horizon would create a nice glow, and then I began to add the mix of blue and the resulting purple into the landscape.
Once I pulled the mask off the trees I decided that instead of leaving them a negative space, I’d add some more blue and purple highlights and give them a bit more dimension. A little bit of fine detail was added with aquarelles and here is how an abstract green and white Christmas card design ended up! The imagine was scanned and text added using Photoshop Elements, then printed onto cardstock for folding and mailing!