Category Archives: Australia

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.

Pacific Black Duck – Australia


Fitzroy Gardens , Melbourne

I am fortunate that the first part of my walk to work in Melbourne city is through the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens, with its traditional English plantings and ponds. I have discovered here are a few families of birds that live there : two Australian wood duck families, one with ducklings that are just past their fluffy stage,  peewees (mudlark), a kookaburra and magpies, crows and my favourite duck…


the Pacific Black Duck.
 
I liked the descriptions online that call it a sociable and a dabbling duck.  
 
The Pacific Black Duck is found in all but the most arid regions of Australia. Outside Australia, its range extends throughout the Pacific region. The Pacific Black Duck is one of the most versatile of the Australian ducks. It frequents all types of water, from isolated forest pools to tidal mudflats. The Pacific Black Duck is closely related to the Mallard (Source  http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Anas-superciliosa)


 

 

 

I know where to find them by the pond and how close I can get to them on land before they dive into the water. The more I draw them the more familiar I become with the shape of their body and head – the curves and subtleties that give them their form and character.

 
I also know immediately which colour of watercolour pencils (Walnut Brown. Burnt Umber and Ivory mixed with a little Yellow) to use to draw them. I can pick the colours out of my pencil wrap and start straight away !
 
 
 
It has a dark body, and a paler head with a dark crown and facial stripes. There is an iridescent green patch on the wing. This is when the Derwent Inktense Teal Green comes out of the box !