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Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

In one of my previous blog posts I'd mentioned that I didn't want to focus on fine art anymore, and that I want to focus more on commercial illustration.

I'd asked myself a lot of "why's" over the whole scenario to try and really get a handle on what I wanted to do with my creative career.

I want my art to be more accessible to the public. I want my art to do more than just hang on walls, I want it to have function and a place in everyday lives, etc.

I also mentioned that I fell in love with this mixed media approach of watercolor and ink and digital lines, which I've since added color pencil to and, omg, I'm just over the moon with it all.

I knew, however, that I really needed to refine this approach before I could actually use it to create professional, freelance illustration work, which is why I decided during the month of December I'd create a series of Christmas trees with different personalities.

I started with a brainstorming session that included a mood board and thinking about all of the more memorable Christmas trees we've had. The Cat Lady and The Mother Flocker were really inspired by the year my mom had a heavily flocked tree and was rehabilitating a baby raccoon. The Flat-sider was inspired by the tree we bought a week before Christmas a couple of years ago that had been laying on it's side so long that we were able to push it right up against the wall. Quite convenient actually.

Then I created The Cat Lady and The Minimalist, which were both really cartoony, which I wasn't too crazy about. I truly confirmed this while creating The Fluffaluphagus and documenting the process.

I softened the outlines and did some digital shading to try to remove some of the cartooniness of the tree. I wasn't 100% happy with the final outcome, more like 88% happy with it, but I did learn more about how I want to use this mixed media approach.

I think in the future the end result will have less of the heavy, digital lines and maybe more analog line work with varying weight or maybe different colored lines. I plan to experiment further with this until I have a look that I like 100%.

I wanted to do more trees, as you can tell by my list, it's quite ambitious, but I ran out of time. I had a lot of other things I was creating in between trees. I think I might continue this series later this year though. We shall see.


I recorded the watercolor/ink/color pencil process and turned it into a timelapse video once the tree was complete.

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