I'm way behind in posting about the MATS B course I took last month, but better late then never! Each week of this amazing five week course was devoted to a different commercial art market. Week 1 was Paper, and our assignment was to design a winter holiday greeting card.
The first two days of the week are focused on the "mini", which is Lilla Roger's unique method of introducing her students to a particular exploration that is very specific and relates to the assignment. But during this time, we don't know exactly what the assignment is, so we can concentrate on exploring the topic freely and have fun. For this "mini", we studied toy trains. Here are some early sketch studies:
For the holiday card, I had originally had the idea of doing a holiday village and the train traveling through it. I wanted to have a fox conductor and some cute animals in the town waving at it. Since the brief stipulated that the card be portrait in orientation, I liked the way the tracks made an "S" shape in the composition. Here is my rough sketch:
After I laid it out like this, I realized it wouldn't read well small, and it was going to kill me in order to finish it in 2 1/2 days. Since Lilla recommends "not biting off more than you can chew", I decided to scrap this idea and go with a simpler one:
This is my rough thumbnail of a ferret pulling a badger in a train wagon. I sketch my concepts really small and then blow them up in Photoshop. It helps me see the basic shapes and composition.
Here is a more finalized version with more detail:
Then I built the the whole thing in Photoshop using hand painted items, such as the colors and textures and the lettering.
I couldn't decide whether to go with a dark red palette or a neutral one.
The red one feels more festive, but I submitted the neutral one because I noticed a lot of greeting cards tend to be lighter in color. Which do you prefer? I'd love to hear your comments! :) Here is the neutral one again for comparison: