Greetings! Welcome to the holiday season. Some of us love this time of year. They celebrate with plenty of hot chocolate, the yearning to build snowmen, decorating the house, listening to festive music and the like. As a former portrait studio manager, this writer used to have mixed feelings about the frenzy of peak season. Holiday cards are still immensely popular even in a time when no one gets much “snail mail” anymore. You may be likely to email a cookie cutter Christmas greeting or mail out a completely handmade Hanukkah card, celebrate Winter Solstice with a fun design or revel in other winter holidays. Perhaps you want to “Festivus with the rest of us”? Anyway, you probably need to start on this process soon. Below you will find a DIY tutorial created by illustrator and designer Von Glitschka in collaboration with Adobe. You can apply these principles of design towards a similar sketch, your own photography or other chosen mediums. Alternatively, you could use these steps to make custom made birthday cards or anything else it inspires in you. Please note, anything written in quotation was directly quoted from Glitschka Studios. Our original source is from PDF tutorial that you can find here. If you want to achieve this look: click here for Android or here for iOS systems.
“Even in a digital age, I like to begin with a pen and paper. This design started off as a rough sketch to work out the main art for our design’s theme.”
“Working from our rough sketch, I inked the final line work with a brush pen to imbue it with nice thick and
thin lines.” The undulating lines help keep your work dynamic.
“Using Adobe Capture CC, I transformed my art from ink on paper to a digital vector image. I also used the slide control to adjust the exposure and add/subtract detail.”
Remove Unwanted Content
“Once I’ve captured my artwork, I quickly removed the unwanted content, including the pen captured in this image, using the select/deselect slider.”
“Using Creative Cloud’s CreativeSync feature, I easily saved my captured assets into Creative Cloud Libraries. From there, I was able to access my vector artwork across Illustrator CC and Photoshop CC within seconds.”
“Since installing Adobe Capture CC, I take pictures of anything and everything for inspiration! I’m particularly fond of these anime manga patches, which I used to develop my color theme. The best part – all of these swatches can be easily saved to CC Libraries and acessed in Illustrator CC, InDesign CC and Photoshop CC.”
Coloring outside the lines
“Once I transferred my artwork from Adobe Capture CC into Illustrator CC, I began to add colors to my penguin. I wanted the color to loosely fit within the lines, so I used the Pen tool and loosely followed the shapes.”
Playing with color scheme
“Seeing the colors captured with Adobe Capture CC helped me adjust my overall color scheme to improve my design.” These holiday colors could have been taken from unexpected places, like the fruit stand at your grocery store.
Adjusting Base Colors
“Instead of black, I shifted the line work to a darker blue. This kind of fluid workflow is facilitated by Adobe Capture CC because it allows me to easily experiment with a wide range of swatches at a moment’s notice and consider color themes I might not have thought of before.”
“Focusing on the background, I used my custom color theme to build out the background image and snow.” Remember, horizon lines don’t have to be boring. Play with perspective until it looks as whimsical as you want it.
“With Adobe Capture CC, you can leverage analog methods and easily integrate them into a digital workflow. For this design, I wanted authentic-looking brush strokes, so I used an actual paint brush and black acrylic paint to create the artwork.”
Compare brush strokes
This step is tactile, fun, and experimental. Decide which texture you like best and incorporate it into your work. These brush strokes are black, but they will eventually be vibrant colors when applied to the greeting card.
“I love making custom brushes with Adobe Capture CC. For this, I captured my hand-painted strokes, then cropped out what I didn’t need.”
Create an asset
“Using the filters, I adjusted and customized my brush stroke to transpose it into an asset.” It may look like a Rorschach ink blot now, but it will add extra detail to create a more 3D look.
Test drive the brush
“Adobe Capture CC allowed me to test drive the brush within the app so I could see how it would look once I accessed it in Photoshop CC or Illustrator CC via CC Libraries.”
“Once I saved my brushes to a CC Library, they automatically appeared in my CC Libraries panel in Illustrator CC.” You never know what other projects may call for these original assets.
“I drew a stroke and applied the new brush design to it. The process doesn’t get any easier, and the results look authentic and add a lot of organic flair to the overall aesthetic.”
“I could have used a font, but almost everything in this design was created by hand, so I decided handletter the type as well.”
Build a type
“I sketched the words on paper, scanned it in and used the Pen tool to complete.” You’ll have to decide on whether to keep the letters rough or to smooth them out and likely play around with opacity, too.
Draft of card
“The final type in place really added a nice level of fun to this design. Looking at my design, I realized I was missing an integral piece – SNOWFLAKES!”
“Instead of cluttering the design with ornate graphics of snowflakes, I decided to use a repeat pattern. I first created a Pattern swatch (shown on left) in black and white, then adjusted the opacity of the various white flakes as they’d appear on the background color. Once I was happy with the snow, I dragged the art into the Swatches panel and began using the pattern.”
“To adjust the pattern tiling, adjust the elements of the pattern, or recolor it, I just double-click on the Pattern swatch to enter Pattern Editing mode in Illustrator CC.”
2nd Draft of card
“My initial color composition was blue, but creativity is all about exploration.” You always need to think about continuous improvement and innovation.
Play with color
“I played around with the color themes to develop three separate color iterations.” This purple one gives you complimentary colors with a surreal background.
Final card design
“I settled on the green color scheme for my final holiday card design. The final card design is fun, as was the process to create it using Adobe Capture CC and Illustrator CC. In total, this project took me about 3 hours.”