Sunday, December 18, 2016

Wee Chickadee, Christmas 2016

I think of all the Christmas cards that I have done since 2011, this one is my favourite. Not just because I really love how my bird turned out, but also because I finally feel like I have locked down a process in creating these cards. From painting to printing, trimming to addressing, these cards are a labour of love that I do all myself, but I truly do enjoy working on them each year.

My little chickadee was hard-won this year. I think I painted this card about six times before I got something I was happy with. I painted it together with a cardinal that I shared on Instagram and I knew it was "The One". It's a little different than my cards from previous years and it's not exactly "Christmas-y" but this version (along with the cardinal) was the most fun to paint. You may notice on the painting at the top that the chickadee is not really centered on the watercolour paper and that is because I painted it without measuring or prepping a piece of paper that would comfortably fit into a frame. I have a really bad habit of doing this, for which I get into trouble all the time, since it means so much of my work needs custom matting to fit into a frame. Oops! Like I said, I painted this so many times that I just gave up measuring. Sometimes you need to skip the math and get right to the art, am I right!!?

Like my 2015 Christmas cards, I also hand-lettered a message to go on the inside. The back has my logo, which I change to match the colours of the card and put the year (mostly so I don't forget when I did it, ha!). I like to look back at my cards from previous years and see the difference in my work. I keep a few cards each year and add them to a small portfolio so I can see how each year changes. In 2015 I started practicing hand-lettering and you can definitely see the difference!

I shared my cardinal and the brush-lettered envelopes on Instagram. It took me two nights of practicing fake addressing to figure out how I wanted to send my cards. I had pages and pages of paper all over the place with writing in Tombow markers, watercolour, Sharpies, everything! until I finally decided on the watercolour brush-lettering.

Thanks to everyone who has "liked" and supported my artwork this year! It's been a slow one, but I feel like my work has been slowly changing as well. You can follow my work on Facebook or Instagram if you are so inclined, the links are on the right-hand sidebar. Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic New Year!

You can see my Christmas cards from previous years here! 2011 and 2012, 2012, 2014 and 2015.

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