Sketch Diary – The Gift Giver Part 1 – Concepts

It’s that time of year again!  Yes, that glorious time where I rush to finish my yearly Christmas card at the last minute!  Folks seemed to enjoy last year’s sketch diary for Lady Snowflake so I thought I’d document this year’s card in much the same fashion.

It all began with trying to figure out what I wanted to do this year!  Poinsettias?  Candles?  Holly leaves?  There are so many visual motifs to play with for the season!  I put up a poll on DeviantART asking what folks have enjoyed the best and art nouveau ladies won out!  It’s true, I admit my favorite Christmas card is still the 2nd one I ever did, entitled “Holiday Nouveau”.  I wanted to bring some of the warmth and style of this piece into the newest card.  Plus, I had never used big shiny packages and bows in a card before!   There’s nothing like beautifully wrapped presents to bring cheer and excitement to the season.

With art nouveau ladies and shiny packages in mind, thumbnailing began!
 
 
Out of all of these thumbnails, the top two resonated with me the most. They have the most interesting visual flow and dynamic posing.  The top right ended up being the winner for the fact it’s completely different than all of my previous cards, as well as the fact there is more interaction between the figure and the presents, giving it more of an active story in the piece rather than ‘dainty lady posing with packages’.

 

Mizzd-stock‘s beautiful holiday stock also lent a hand in inspiring me for this gal’s attire:
Such beautiful hair and costume! I’m sure to bring in some of
these motifs into the finished piece.

 

Next, I brought the thumbnail into Photoshop and sketched directly on top of it digitally.  It took a good deal of fiddling with window shapes before I arrived at this simple single rounded archway vignette.
 
 
The flow of the piece is doing what I want to it to right now, but the anatomy and awkward angle on the torso were completely baffling me!  So I took a few reference shots of my own to try and get a more solid grip on the anatomy.  I also set up a light on the floor to act as an unearthly glow in the faerie’s skin.
 
Sadly, I am neither thin nor faerie-like, so I’ll need to do some anatomy tweaking while I’m referencing this in my piece later.
 
And that’s it for the conceptualization phase!  Stay tuned! I’ll be blogging my progress throughout the week and hope to have this finished by next weekend. Wish me luck!
 
I’m gonna need it!
 
 

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