The reason I used an animated GIF for my holiday card this year
is because I thought it might be interesting for people to
see my creative process. For this particular artwork, I spent
weeks trying to come up with an original idea and found nothing
but frustration. I tossed out one idea after another and
nothing ever got recorded onto paper. I was stumped and the
holidays were coming fast.
Finally, while looking through old artwork,
I came upon an illustration I did for my 1998 holiday card
that had a Christmas ball in it. I've been tossing around doing
something with an eye and the roundness of the Christmas ball
gave me the idea to turn the iris of an eye into an ornament. I
can now look for reference. Although I do not draw realistically,
an artist is very limited without reference of what things
actually look like. This is why an artist uses models.
I searched the internet for eyes and Christmas
balls. Settling on an eye with long lashes and a plain Christmas
ball. I sketched the whole eye out with an HB pencil and added
the ornament features last. I like artwork to look like art.
This is why I always let the pencil drawing show through in
my finishes. I applied watercolor on top of that drawing keeping
in mind that I was going to scan it later. I first did that
process during last years' card. The first animated state is
what I scanned.
After scanning, I brought the illustration
into Photoshop and used airbrush color to do the finished art.
I used the eyedropper in Photoshop to pick up the original
colors from the watercolor drawing. At this point I am no longer
looking at the reference and stylizing it using my imagination.
Notice, I even modified my signature to make it look better.
The second animated state shows this finished.
The final state is the New Year's date
(also in Photoshop). I made it transparent so the eye art would
show through it. It was here that I came up with the idea to
do an animated GIF and easily made that in Photoshop.
I hope you enjoy it and have a very Happy