Have you checked out the new release at MKC Digitals yet? I previously showed a card I made with the new Christmas Coffee image. Today I’m featuring another of the new stamps which is the Foxy Santa image. I again made a one layer card – have you noticed I’ve been doing a lot of those recently?
I began by printing the Foxy Santa image and one of the sentiments from Holiday Sentiments onto a white card base. Printing directly onto the card base means it can be a true one layer card. I then started colouring using my Spectrum Noir Illustrator markers. I initially wasn’t sure what to do with the card so I just began with colouring the fox. I used some brown and orange shades to colour the non-white areas of the fox, using my go-to light direction of having the light coming from the right-hand side. I then used my palest grey, IG2, to add shading to the white areas and I blended it out to white with my colourless blender. I coloured the white of the hat with the same two markers, but added the colour in c-shapes to give texture to them.
I don’t have a good selection of red markers so I decided against doing the hat in the traditional red. I chose to use a soft blue as that’s a nice wintry colour, and has the added bonus of being complementary to orange so it works well with the colour of the fox. I used TBs to colour the hat, and then also used the TB1 to add some shading below the fox.
At this point I set the card aside for a while because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. I considered leaving it as it was, which would have been a very clean and simple card. But I felt like it needed something more. When I returned to the card I decided I would add a background to create a scene. Given the size of the fox I decided that I should have the base of trees in a forest rather than having lots of hills or full trees showing. I felt it would work better for the perspective.
With an idea in mind I did a quick online search for a photograph to use as inspiration, then started to draw in my background. I pulled out a very light creamy colour to sketch in the trees, and used my TB1 again to add the snow. Inspired by the photograph I had found I added the snow such that it was creating mounds more on one side of the trees than the other, as if it had come in very heavily from the left hand side of the tree. When I started drawing everything in I was worried I had messed up, and that I’d have to completely start over, but I decided I would keep going and see how it turned out.
Having sketched in the rough shapes of the trees I started to add colour and dimension to them. I used my favourite browns, which are EBs. I first went in and added the lightest shade EB1 all over the cream area. I used the brush end of the marker and swiped in individual lines going vertically along the area of each tree. Adding the colour in this way helped to quickly and easily add a natural looking texture to the tree. I repeated the process with darker shades of brown each time, using EB2 and EB4. Each time I started on the left hand side of each tree, and worked towards the right-hand side with my lines, but as I moved onto the darker colours I did not bring them all the way across. This meant that the trees would keep their highlight on the right-hand side.
I decided that the trees needed more depth so I bought in my next darkest EB, and indeed the darkest I have, which is EB7. I added this only to the left hand side of each of the trees. The EB7 is quite a bit darker than the EB4, and here again I was worried that I had messed up as it seemed too much of a different. However than I worked back through from my darkest to lightest markers to help blend it back out a bit and it worked!
Having completed the trees I used my TB1 and colourless blender to build up the impression of snow around the trees as well as some soft snowdrifts in the foreground. Using just the TB1 kept the shading very soft and the snow quite bright. It might have been better to go in with the TB2 as well just to increase the contrast, but I think it works well enough as is.
I added a couple of little tree saplings just to add interest to the scene. I used the same browns to add these in, and added a cast shadow with my TB1. I then pulled out my white gel pen to add fallen snow into the forks of the branches to look as if it has caught there. I also added a few white streaks onto the larger trees which could be seen as either highlights or snow caught in the bark.
My final touch was to add just a hint of sparkle to the card. I used my Nuvo Aqua Shimmer pen add added the sparkle onto all the blue areas of the snow. It would perhaps make more sense to add the sparkle to the highlight areas of the snow rather than the shadows, but I didn’t want to have to add it to so much of the scene, so I went with the shadows instead.
I love how easy this sweet fox is to add into a scene, or I guess to have a scene built around him! And this scene was really fun to make two. It’s a bit daunting to add freehand elements into a card especially if, like me, you don’t consider yourself much of an artist. I love to colour but drawing is not my forte. This scene was really fairly simple to create though and looks quite impressive when completed without requiring too much work. It’s good to push your comfort zones a bit sometimes, and I think I should definitely try to do it more often.
Don’t forget to check out the MKC Digitals store to see this and the other new release images. They’re all currently 25% off!
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