Usually I start thinking about creating Christmas cards early. With a son living in Switzerland and a daughter in Ontario, I’m buying presents, packing parcels and making trips to the post office well before December. Once those jobs are complete, I settle down to play with the Christmas card ideas I’ve been mulling about.
I started out working way too small and tight and soon found myself frustrated with making tiny little marks on paper and painting them in as if I was filling in a coloring book.
I loosened up soon with the help of my brush pen and sketched some old ornaments.
I don’t often buy Christmas decorations but when I saw the small sculpted rabbit below, I thought it would make a great model for some sketches.
After playing with various ideas, the rabbit seemed to be my favorite subject for a card. I experimented with two pens. The Pentel brush pen is always challenging as the slightest movement of the hand results in blobs and thick unrabbit like lines but if you get it right, the dark, fluid lines are lively and have a great contrast to bright watercolor hues.
Then I tried my new Noodler’s Ahab flex pen. My last one wore out and I’ve been enjoying my replacement. I have more control with it than the Pentel but am still able to get line variations by applying pressure.
A few dabs of grey for the rabbits, Winsor green and Aureolyn yellow for the wreaths and a touch of Quinacridone rose for the berries finished the sketches.
The next step is to figure out which viewpoint of the rabbit I want to use to create a card and whether to add a background or not. Looking at the page again, I might just arrange a herd of bunnies on the card and add a Happy Christmas greeting.