The Snowflake Lady – Part 1 – Brainstorming

Lately I’ve been working hard to beat my own procrastination for this year’s Christmas card for my family, friends, and fans. Seems I always get them out late because I always bite off more than I can chew! This year is no different with an image I’m temporarily calling ‘the Snowflake Lady’ (because, well, she’s surrounded by snowflakes and has a very snowy theme? Original, I am not.)

Brainstorming for her began with pondering on just what in particular about the last Christmas cards people liked the most.  Holiday Nouveau (my 2nd Christmas image) has been pegged as the crowd favorite, even after several years of images.  The contrast of crisp lines to soft watercolor and her Mucha-inspired pose, which leaves little white space for us to lag on, stood out to me as things which made her more successful than the others.

And so, a sketch was born!  I wanted to escape the usual green and red themes,but keep the soft stained glass look of past designs that made them so popular.  Snowflake lady emerged from the desire to conjure the delight of silver ribbons, deep wintry nights, and quiet snowfalls.  She would be more elegant than warm, an embodiment of snowy silence and the introspection of the season. (Notice her long sleeves and boot gear! I wanted a winter lady who actually looked like she was dressed halfway appropriate for the weather)

Preliminary thumbnail with fashion sketches.

Nothing says holidays like fur trim, silver ribbons, heavy velvet, and snowflake tiaras! The full thumbnail came first so I could figure out the movement of her overall pose. The fashion sketches came next to help clarify the details of her outfit from the fuzzy mess of the thumbnail. All done on a single page of my travel 6×9 in. sketchbook in ballpoint pen with no erasing.  Working in pen keeps me from adding too much detail and taking too much time on what is meant to be a very rough idea splurge.

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