greeting cards – from sketch to store

Very early in September I started drawing my next range of greeting cards, which would include some Christmas cards and also some drawn of the Supreme Court of Victoria and its architectural features. In hindsight I should have started a lot earlier as I have felt a bit of pressure to get these done to be ready for the Christmas season.

I am going to take you on the journey from an idea sketch to the printed card that can be purchased in stores. I am using my Koala and Gumnut Blossoms as an example.


After deciding to draw Australian animals on Christmas card I had the ‘lightbulb’ moment of including red and green in the gumnut blossoms. The design grew from there, 

I decided on five new cards and had the final drawings completed in watercolour pencil on A4 watercolour paper by the end of September. 

At the same time I reordered some of my previous card designs as stocks were getting low and Christmas is coming up and I have a stall at a big market at Etsy Made Local Melbourne in late November. Before sending my order to the local printing company for my new designs to be scanned and cards printed , I had to decide how many to print of each.  I was very fortunate to have two of local stockists Law Institute of Victoria bookshop and Paperpoint stationery  preorder 10 of some of my cards, including the Christmas koala and possum. I decided on 70 of each . Altogether I ordered 500 cards. 

I dropped my originals off to the printer on 25 September and received the cards on 18 October.  The timeframe was so long because I had received one set of hardcopy proofs to approve but I wanted to change the colour balance on some of them. I was then  sent another set of hardcopy proofs which I approved . Hence the delay. 

In the meantime I ordered 500 envelopes from my usual local stationery store and 500 cello bags to put each card in.

Saturday afternoon on my lounge chair’

Top Row : cello bags, cards, envelopes

Bottom Row: cards in cello bags with envelopes, strips from cello bags .

(hint learned from google searching. Put stickytape sticky side up on put cello strips on this. Otherwise they are full of static and stick to everything and anything . This keeps them in one place. )

They took all afternoon to package. But it was a nice way to occupy a chilly Melbourne Saturday afternoon. 

Today, Sunday, I took some very basic photographs so that I could put my greeting cards for sale on my Etsy online store. This also involves writing descriptions  and choosing keyword tags.  I will need to take  better photographs to showcase the cards. But the aim today was just to get them up online.

Sketching in Sydney

Last week I spent three days in Sydney. Last weeks blog showed my sketches on the way to and from Sydney and a few of the Opera House. This week are the sketches I completed in Sydney.

Saturday.

Sketching with Urban Sketchers Sydney in Surry Hills. An Urban Sketching event had already been organised for the date so I was able to meet with lots of people ,  35 or 40 maybe . I caught up with old friends, met facebook friends and new people. It was a wonderful day and a local example of the connections and friendships of the global urban sketchers group . Read more about Urban Sketchers  here 

thanks to Chantal for the photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


After a full day of sunshine, chatting and sketching I spent the evening relaxing … feet up….

sketching in Sydney

Sketching in Sydney 

A work conference in Sydney this past week provided me the opportunity to stay the weekend and catch up with my Sydney sketching friends . Of course my sketching adventures began on the bus to the airport.

It was empty so I focused on the back of the head of the man in front of me. Then more sketches of planes at the airport and then on the plane . 

 

I have been fortunate to travel often over the years and have been drawing these places and events each time . I am now becoming quite familiar with the proportions and perspectives of seats on planes .

At the airport each airplane is different and I look for the angles and curves of the nose. I always underestimate the size of it. I think they give it great character . The shadows make a huge difference to defining the shape too . And the length of the wings are always bigger than I think and the windows are smaller. I do comparative measuring of sizes of parts of the plane and put some light marks on the page before drawing (usually in a light grey watercolour pencil) .

As soon as work was over on Friday I walked to Circular Quay to sketch the Sydney Opera House . I was not sure if I would get another opportunity . I know I am in Sydney when I have sketched it!

and then there are the Sydney Ferries at Circular Quay…

I completed another six pages of sketches in Sydney, which I will post next week, before saying a final farewell to the Opera House and Sydney .

 

 

Farewell Sydney. See you again soon. 

sketching at the football

Sketching at the football – well, not actually at the football, but in the grounds outside, Yesterday was the AFL (Australian Football League) Grand Final between the Richmond Tigers and Adelaide Crows.

I do not follow the game at all, but it was hard to avoid, especially, since I live a few blocks away from the MGC, where it was being played, and in the suburb next to one of the Grand Final Team (and they won) .

There had been a parade, people queuing for days to get seats etc, and the energy and excitement had been gaining momentum over the week.

I decided to walk down and to the MCG and to experience it and try to capture some that in my sketchbook. There were over 100 000 in the stadium and lots of big screens set up around the outside, with people having picnics, children throwing footballs and a general feeling of something BIG .

I sketched with Lamy Safari ink pen in my Moleskine Watercolour sketchbook and  then changed black and yellow pencils. I could/should have made it lot more colourful and added water to the pencil to reflect the energy. However, I just sketched what I did at the time and then went home just after the two teams ran on, Advance Australia Fair was played and the game began, It was getting cool, raining a little and I did not understand the game.

Below are my four sketches for from the hour I was there…

Christmas is coming

When I am not sketching I am drawing. Over the past nine years that I have been sketching almost daily in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbooks ( I am sketching in my 71st at the moment). More recently I have become involved in other sketching projects that are  not recorded in my sketchbook. They involve drawing on loose sheets of paper. This change in my habits and time spent putting pencil to paper requires an entire blogpost of its own. 

Today’s blog shows what I have been working on over the last month. I plan to have a new range of greeting cards printed in October. There will be five or six. Two are Australian animals which can be given at Christmas, but also used throughout the year. 

 

Taken at angle . This card will be in landscape format . This is what he looks like now. Needs a bit more work

Here is my possum with gumnut leaves and blossoms. He is not finished yet, as I still need to add his little claws, finish the blossoms and add a bit more depth to the leaves. We have a few difference species of possums in Australia. They are not all this cute, and anyone who has one living in their roof will not think possums are cute at all !

These photos were taken with my camera, when I remembered.  Hence, the strange angles and shadows on the paper. I will show you the finished drawing and cards when he returns from the printers. 

And here is how he came into being. Last year I had comments asking for Australian drawings. I have a cute squirrel, and Plum Pudding and Mince Pies, but nothing Australian. I originally planned the two cards as Christmas cards, I wanted something Christmassy in the drawing, but wanted to avoid putting Santa hats on them. I also thought about the red and green Australian flora we have .

 

These two concepts combined to create the idea that I followed through with . 

 

 
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Drawing the little possum with his cute pink nose and big eyes. 

impromptu singing sketching

Some of my sketchbook pages are at planned events and other sketched are taking opportunities when they arise.

On Thursday night I met Judy, Lionel and Angela (non-sketching and sketching friends) for dinner at Chloe’s Bar at Young & Jackson in Melbourne CBD. I arrived early and sketched. 

I knew that we would sketch and was disappointed that the iconic Flinders Street station was covered up with scaffolding. The room was quite busy and I grabbed a table for four in the centre of the room, but that meant that we did not have a view of the Cathedral – oh well , I figured we would sketch the interior, the people the food – there is never ‘nothing to sketch’!

AND then… 

About 20 Men In Suits descended on the room moving tables and chairs so they could sit together. …. www.meninsuits.com.au . Who are they?

In their own words

      ” Blokes who sing like blokes who can sing, together”

      ” We specialise in uninvited appearances in unexpected places at unscheduled times singing         inappropriate songs to unsuspecting audiences.”

AND then they started to sing acapella- and continued for an hour ( or was it more ? ) known and known songs.

Listen to them here   

We did not know how long they would be there. If I had known it was that long I would have taken more time building up the sketch and trying to capture more character of the singers – and they are all such individual characters !!!!

 

An unexpected, thoroughly entertaining evening .

They just kept singing and singing. So we kept sketching !

Lionel, Angela and myself, Photo by Judy

 

Some patrons thought they got great value for money  – singing and sketching as entertainment !

 

Drawing in Dad’s shed

I originally published this blog in January 2014. It is now September 2017 and Fathers Day in Australia. I though that I would share it again. These memories are timeless. 

 

I have a yearly visit home to Toowoomba (in Queensland) from Sydney at Christmas. It is a week or two catching up with friends and family and falling into a familiar routine. This usually includes de-cluttering cupboards and being highly distracted by childhood memories.

It also involves re-exploring my Dad’s workshed in the backyard. It is a step into the past. Dad died in 1987 and although much of the larger machinery and tools are gone, it still has shelves and cupboards of work tools and bit and pieces. Dad was a panel beater by trade and a handyman, inventor the rest of the time . He seemed to have every possible item to fix, nail, screw, clip, polish, cut, drill … The tools are stored in specially labelled  containers and drawers or hanging up above the workbench, on the wall. Most of these items are still there and have not been moved

So much of this is part of my childhood

01Jan12 the Shed
drawn in 2012

This year I decided to draw some more of it. These are all done in watercolour pencil and Lamy Safari Joy ink pen. If a clean out is ever done (hopefully this year) it may not be there next time I visit.

 
 
 
I stood in front of a wall and started drawing the tools and containers. I decided to add the colour to the (old Dixibelle margarine containers circa 1970).
 

 

 

 
 
I then drew the wall above the main workbench, over two pages. I was not sure where/if to add colour to the page. I do not need any of them in my life in Sydney, but wanted a memory. That gave me the idea to draw some of the tools on the page. I chose a few and bought them up to the house and drew they over two days.

 

This is what I did New Years Eve !  (wire strippers and washers)

 

a G-Clamp and pop rivets
 
 
This is what our dining table looked like New Years Eve – a drawing in progress 
 
 
 I have no idea what many of these objects are and the labels are a mystery. It was the job of my brother & I (and Mum to ) to sort through and to separate buckets of nuts and bolts ! I did not inherit my Dad’s mechanical and technical nature, although he also had a creative side (woodturning and pottery). This is not the first year I have drawn tools from the shed. Previous Christmas visits have also provided opportunities. I think I am done now.
 
 

05Dec10 Drawing from the shed 1 of 4050110 20f 4 shed drawing 050110 3 of 4 shed drawing 31Dec10 spirit level from the shed pt 1 31Dec10 spirit level from the shed pt 2 1 and 2 Jan11 drill attachments from the shed pt 2 1 and 2 jan11 drill attachments from the shed pt 1

CRAFT Victoria HATCH markets

 

I wrote about my previous CRAFT Victoria HATCH markets in May this year.

Craft Hatch program supports emerging makers and who have never had their own market stall before. The program includes mentoring and professional development guidance, and is a perfect way to get a face-to-face experience.Once again it lived up to all of that . 

It was held at the same venue as last time, in inner city Melbourne, which was good for consistency for me. 

Here is an overview of my day. It is mainly photographs and few words and sketches this week. I did not have time and forgot to take photos during the day or of my own stall. This blog post and my memories are my record of the event.

Saturday morning

All packed up and waiting for my taxi to arrive. I have figured out how to carry this on my own, However, it is too awkward for public transport .

everyone setting up at the  venue

These photos were taken from my table looking at the room as the other stallholders set up

My own space.. starting to set up. Set up began at 8am.

The Markets were open to the public from 10- 4 and then we packed down. There was a constant flow of visitors through the day .

There was a guitar player/singer for a few hours and he was set up just around the corner behind me. The subtle background music was lovely and created a warmth through the room . 

 

Some of my cards and my full up banner, I am SO pleased that I invested in this banner, I very proud of it and it does define my stall. 

sketches of the day 

I was able to do a few quick sketches during the day. There was a very quiet time after lunch.

 


I made some sales and had some wonderful conversations with customers. I also learnt a lot from other stall holders. There a was a wonderful vibe to the day . 

 

sketching musicians

This week I had two opportunities to sketch musicians.  

You would think that musicians would be easy to draw as they don’t move much.

But, I find that they are difficult as it is hard to capture the flow of movement of the body with the instrument . When an instrument is being played the upper body (if it is a stringed instrument) they do move a lot !

Of course, like anything, this would become more comfortable for me if I practiced drawing musicians more often. There are enough buskers around Melbourne, so I have no excuse not to. 

I feel as though I need to choose between featuring the musician or the instrument, the individuals or the group. Sometimes the instruments will be the only colour as the musicians will be in black. 

 The quick sketch of the jazz band (above) was done at the end of the evening, most people had left the event, and the band, The Tom Barton Group  was on  their last two songs. This is why the singer and last musicians are not completed.  I did not have my sketchbook and pencils with me, but there was a pencil on the table and some programs that were blank on the back. I could not help myself but to start sketching. 

Once a month the Supreme Court Library hosts free Lyrical Lunchtimes, with the Bottled Snail company playing instruments  or in this case singing. Bottled Snail (named after a famous legal case) performers all work in the legal profession in Melbourne and also have amazing musical talents.

I don’t normally sketch at these concerts, as I am at work. But today I was able to stand back and listen and sketch. The first sketch was of the choir (above) was sketched on their last song . I knew I had to be quick and not mess around with too many colours. Today I felt like using watercolour pencil and not ink.  I could have added water after I finished, but decided I like the mark of the pencil here. 

The last performer played the piano (beautifully) . I started by sketching his head and body stance, as I was not sure how long he would keep his head down. I could have featured the piano with its wonderful warm wooden colours. However I wanted to set the context by sketching the background – the portraits and bust of the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of Victoria . 

Books, music and sketching – perfect !