I watched a lot of cartoons and movies. I draw incessantly and carry a sketchbook everywhere. I work in animation and self-publish my books. There are monsters in the streets, don't wear red. Mad bulls and monsters hate that color. I still watch cartoons.

Monday, December 15, 2014

"Inside Out" themed Pixar Holiday Card: A making of walkthrough

A GRAND ILLUSTRATION JOB! I got the go ahead to design and write the card this year and what an honor it is to get that shot. I did a couple of very rough ideas and in a quick presentation to Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera they picked the one of Joy with holly in her hair. It was the one I wanted to make--whew! I refined the idea only a little further in Photoshop to get the studio buy-off. It is wise to wait until you pass that final hurdle, experience tells me.

Once we got it I had only a week and half to do it in my spare time. That meant two weekends. I have this thing about seeing colors during daytime and I couldn't do the work at the studio. The day job is about meetings, not illustrating. And I'm not set up for it there. I had to do this at home.

I lined up all my intended colors on boards and assigned colors out of the tube or make notes about mixing. I had to know what the colors I picked look like in daylight and not waver as I work with them at night under artificial light. Also with gouache you have to test the colors when it is dry. It gets tricky if you rush this.

Transferred my art onto illustration board using a projector and from thereon it was all about keeping the work area accident free of unintended smudges. There were adjustments as I went like always. Some colors still looked too chalky or not enough vibrancy. Joy's hair came out better than in the comp though the holly needed more of the contrasting gold and ochre to make it pop. Overall it was a blast to make.

Finally it was just about hand lettering. I did my fair share of hand-made fonts and logo's back in the days of camera ready art for print. Didn't know if I still had it. Lucky for me I really enjoy lettering and just enough of the old skills was there to craft the headline.

And there you have it: the 2014 Pixar holiday card! Valerie Hathaway of the Pixar Store tells me they are a best seller! So happy to hear that. I had the original art framed to display along with the printed cards. One has to share the art of the card with the studio, I think. This was the best venue for it.

Inside Out trailer
Photo walkthrough of the making of this card on my Tumblr
Ronnie del Carmen @paperbiscuit Twitter

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