Ever curious how a character in Ojolie ecards comes to life – from storyboard to digital canvas?
A very important step that might not seem immediately obvious is actually developing a palette for the card. This is not something I have always done, but with time I have found that this makes the process of developing a cohesive looking card much easier. Plus its actually quite relaxing and fun, not to mention a great way to remember how you mixed a certain favorite color.
| A bright watercolor palette for Autumn
The characters are developed via a set of quick sketches, which allows you to rework them until they are just right. For this card, somewhat unusual, the characters just seemed to flow pretty clearly onto the paper and Even though I only needed a few birds, I had to paint them in a variety of poses to be able to bring them to life as animations. This was the most difficult part and adding a design and details doesn’t make it any easier … but then the characters insisted this was how it had to be.
|Character Sketches and illustrations of the little birds
For the little owl, layering was as always my friend, starting with the lighter colors and gradually building up the details and dark shades in the feathers. For all our feathered friends, having a clear palette and sticking to a mix of a few complimentary colors really makes it much easier to get a nice pleasant looking character, even when the coloring of the feathers is a figment of your imagination.
|Fluffy little owl
After scanning the paintings and cleaning up the backgrounds on the computer, there are a few other little secrets to bringing them alive, but maybe I will share that another time.
Happy Autumn and Thanksgiving!
It may seem like a long time from sketch to paint, but in between I have been working on a million other things … okay, not a million, but quite a few. It is the irony of my line of work that we have to think in snowflakes in the middle of summer, but planning is everything. I think about Christmas all year long and by Christmas I will be planning spring and summer ecards …
But I finally got around to painting the characters for the Thanksgiving card and I promised to share an update when I did, so you can see the whole process.
|I first paint the leaves and start some slight shading of the squirrel
As you can see, for these I wanted to keep a simple watercolor style, nothing too detailed, to give the card illustration style a relaxed and casual feeling. I therefore limited my usual layering of primary colors to a minimum and instead just worked with colors premixed on the palette. Quite relaxing for a change and fast!
|Working in some shading and details before the final color washes are applied helps make the character pop
|And voila – the first character is done. You will have to wait until the card is released the see the rest 🙂
Since then, they have been scanned, cleaned up (white background removed) and are now ready to be used in animation.
I also painted a LOT of fall leaves and nuts and the centerpiece, an imaginary tree, that sprouts the leaves of a variety of trees. If it sounds a bit strange, you will see that it works quite well visually, making for a nice bouquet of a tree.
|I love Fall – can you tell?
On to key frame sketches for our little squirrel …
Yesterday I started work on developing the characters for this year’s Thanksgiving/Fall production.
The card will have quite a few characters, so this part of the design phase is especially important. Some will be painted in watercolors, and separated into different body parts after scanning them into the computer. This way I can keep the watercolor style but still animate the characters. I have not yet decided whether the squirrel will be hand painted for each frame of animation, or whether I will render it on the computer, since it will need a full range of motions when jumping.
The main character is the woodpecker, so I started when him first. Once his character was in place I build the other characters up around him. I will share more photos as I start painting the various elements of the card …
We have added a new short and simple card that is great for sending a quick message for just about any occasion during Fall/Autumn.
The newest Halloween card will be added to the site shortly and we will of course let you know when it is up.