This year has been full of festive scenes, I guess it’s become one of my specialities? I enjoy the challenge of them and they seem to hit the right level of twee/decorative to work well on product packaging, cards and my favourite ceramic tree ornaments. Here’s a new one inspired by the traditional German Christmas market; copied around the world and particularly popular here in the UK. This illustration is based on the Weihnachtsmarkt of Hamburg, held in front of the cities’ Rathaus (City Hall).
I constructed the composition from architectural references of the building and lots of stock photos cataloguing the different cabins and decorated stalls. Jayne and David at Yarty had also sent me some pictures of the city after their visits (They started exporting to Germany recently and Hamburg has been a major hub for them). I hoped that a Christmas scene would add nicely to my collection of European travel illustrations but also have potential as a corporate gift. It could perhaps even work for a Yarty tree ornament, which proved very successful last Winter.
I recorded a time-lapse of the painting stage, but left off the line work. The details proved quite fiddly in places which made it difficult to leave the paper lined up for the camera. But I’m glad I captured the brushwork.
Here’s the original painting all framed up. A 50 x 50cm frame with a nice thick white mount. I like how it gives a real intense hit of colour within that square window.
The acrylic and ink work was also scanned in for cleanup on the computer. The digital tools are the gateway to giving my expressive hand-made pieces a life beyond the original object. After some careful adapting in Photoshop the artwork can then be used at hi-resolution for all sorts of projects… usually beginning with my own stationery and small gifts.
The above image is a cleaned up version of initial painting. It has also been ‘Glazed’, a reflectively new method of preventing artworks being data mined and used without permission. A strange new world. But no matter how technical it gets, I hope some part of the process will always result in paint on my clothes and ink on my fingers!