Christmas Card

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Here is the Christmas card I did for my family this year.  It’s the only new thing I’ve done in a while, and will do for a while until I graduate from Grad. School in May.  I’d love your thoughts on it.  It’s mostly watercolor, with some gouche highlights.  Would this be a portfolio piece in the future, or is it better to stay away from cards and such?

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6 responses »

  1. I am now realizing how much different a piece can look on the web compared to real life. After having seen the original painting I realize all the details the web has missed. I love this piece. I especially love the hair and sense of humor. I long to be able to handle highlights as well as you do. I was looking at the other posts and I had to laugh. My two-year old is never looking where she is supposed to be. So maybe your mistake makes the composition more authentic!

    • A lot of the subtle details are missing, Katie! But when I enlarge it on Facebook or when I open the file, it’s fairly clear, more clear than on here, I think. Or am I imagining it? I’d probably still put the piece in my portfolio, but that one kid (Miss Maeve) not looking at Santa gets under my skin. It’s the kind of thing I can hear an art editor saying “It’s great, now do all over again with the youngest kid looking at Santa.” I understand Karen’s arguement to do it digitally, but I love love love working with traditional materials. I can only paint in the dead of the night (like you), and even though I know I’m going to be exhausted the next day and a monster of a mother, it’s when I’m the happiest–me, the paper, pencil or paintbrush, and quiet. When I have more time to devote to art, I definitely want to explore digital forms–for the conveniences it may offer–but right now I need to tap into the only thing that makes me sane anymore, and that’s the same stuff that made me fall in love with pictures and art as a child–pencils and crayons and paints. It makes me feel like a kid again, not a stressed-out sleep-deprived grown-up. And honestly, I think that helps my art feel fun,
      too.

  2. Thanks John and Karen. Karen, I agree with you about the youngest. I didn’t even realize it until I was completed with the piece, I’d been so worried about shadows, lights and darks. It’s the one thing that really bothers me about the piece–if only the youngest were looking slightly more to the right. I appreciate the comments!

    • That happens all the time. You’re so focused on other things, you miss something else. Then you look at the finished thing awhile later and realize what’s wrong. Then you have to figure out if you can fix it and if it’s worth fixing. Your practical self warring with your perfectionist self. I like working digitally because it means that my perfectionist self can win out more often. 🙂

  3. That’s great! I’d love to get a christmas card like that. The way the girl is grabbing her brothers shirt suggests her freaked-out astonishedness. I think I just made up a word. I really like your characters. I personally think it would be fine as a portfolio piece.

  4. Heh-heh-heh… Super Santa…. 🙂

    I like the little girl grabbing the back of her brother’s shirt. Lots of nice little details with the kids and their toys. And messy hair. Nice.

    The smallest boy doesn’t look like he’s looking at santa. He’s looking in the wrong direction. Perhaps Santa should have been on the left of the window or else the kids and their toys should have been flipped the other way so that the girl was on the right and the littlest boy on the left.

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