This year's Christmas card was inspired by a visit to Ann Swan's open studio last month where I enrolled on a botanical illustration course using coloured pencils - so I thought I had better start practising! (www.annswan.co.uk)
Here are the two drawings I finished:
These images were scanned into Photoshop (had to buy a new scanner and printer to be able to get the detail and the colour to match - I spent some time researching Which? and other websites and bought an Epsom XP-800 all in one printer and an Epsom Perfection V730 Photo scanner - and I am very pleased with both).
I used the magic eraser tool to remove the backgrounds, copied the images and used a colour overlay to create the shadow effect and added some scanned in lettering of a traditional version of the Christmas carol The Holly and the Ivy. This was also overlaid with a dark grey colour to make it look more solid. The design went through several permutations before I ended up with this version, although I had a fairly clear idea of what I wanted before I started. The addition of the shadow effect suddenly brought it all together.
The new printer is much faster than my old HP one and I printed these onto 170gsm matt photo paper which really allowed the reds to glow. The printer can print much closer to the edges of the page so no need to trim each one - just fold, fold, fold, fold and cut.....