Making the 2010 Christmas Card

Thumbnails and notes from work on 12/05/2010 at bottom of post

Blog note: I’ve decided to merge the individual “session” posts into one master post to keep things a bit neater/ better contained.


Most people who know me know I like to keep artwork and related creative works super secret until everything is finished, final and as perfect as possible. This year just to try something new I’m going to go against my usual instincts and post thumbnails of this year’s Christmas card as I create it. The thumbnails will intentionally be pretty small to avoid spoiling the (hopefully) special moment people experience when opening the card (or full size image online) for the first time on Christmas. The only downside is of course that you’ll know what the card will generally look like before it’s done. Speaking of which – if any of you would prefer to not see anything until the card is finished I’d recommend not coming to my blog until after Christmas!

Ok so – with that said, here is the first batch of thumbnails!

Work Log: 2010/12/03, 8pm – 11:30pm

Session thoughts:

  • I thought I would hate having to go back to the my ancient Wacom Intuos 2 tablet after having so much fun with the iPhone painting the past few months – but so far it’s not so bad. I also think I’ve actually learned a few things from the iPhone painting that are helping me here too which is cool. Of course, if anyone wants to buy me a Cintiq 21 please don’t hesitate!
  • I think I went through a phase w/cards from the last couple years where I thought I’d try an entirely different painting style – but I chickened out and/or failed miserably so I went back to the old faithful style I’ve used for all previous cards. I may be entering that same pattern this year – but I’m hoping that with my collection of iPhone paintings under my belt I may be able to push through this year and try something different/fresh. We’ll see how I feel after another day or so… too early to know if I’ll chicken out again yet.
  • Note to self: Turn on the #$@! attic heat for next session! My hands and bare feet toes are freezing!

PS: Thanks to everyone who commented/emailed about the sketches – I appreciate the input!


Here are the thumbnails from today’s work on the card – rambling notes below.

Work Log: 2010/12/04, 2-4pm, 8 – 11:30pm

Session Notes:

  • So far I haven’t abandoned the idea of trying a slightly different style this year – I’m still going for it. It’s really not that different than what everyone is used to – it’s mostly a focus on not having hard lines around everything so it looks less like a Sunday comic strip. I’ve been using hard lines less and less over the past couple years but I’ve never done a card that had no hard lines – and that’s really what I’m aiming for this time (more like my iPhone painting style).
  • I waited as long as I could before introducing some shadows but I finally caved and tried some to get a feel for how the lighting will work.
  • I still don’t know what exactly will be on the end of the polar bear’s fishing line… I have a couple ideas/sketches – but haven’t committed yet… anyone have suggestions?
  • I spent a fair amount of time making sure I didn’t make Linc look too big or too small – always tricky.

Ok – Here are some thumbnails and notes from today’s work on the card…

Work Log: 2010/12/05, 2-4pm, 8 – 10pm

Session Notes:

  • Card is coming along quickly – it’s tempting to add some final polish and call it done but I’m going to give it another week or so to make sure no adjustments or additions pop into my head.
  • Finally came up with what to do with the end of the fishing line – won’t be a huge shock to anyone I’m guessing but surprisingly it took me a bit to think of something there.
  • I’m also debating whether or not to put in snowflakes this time. I think part of why people like the 2004 card is because it’s a bit “warmer” (inside a coffee bar) so I’m contemplating leaving out the snowflakes this year. Although – there is actual grass/trees in this year’s card so maybe that’s enough “warmth”?
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2 thoughts on “Making the 2010 Christmas Card

  1. Your “small thumbnails” idea is extremely frustrating for those of us over 50 !! I keep trying to enlarge them so I can SEE details, especially Corgan…….if that’s who that is πŸ™‚ Do like the soft look. Yes, on the snowflakes.

  2. Ha – sorry to frustrate you! The idea is to give you a vague sense of things but not to spoil the ‘Ta Da” moment of opening the card. Maybe I will post a ‘slice’ or two of the full size version so you can see Corgan or something in full detail.. maybe!

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