Adventure in Carols
Click to view larger.
Here ya go! This is the cover to this year's ADVENTure in Carols, drawn and illustrated by me. I had a lot of fun working on it. ADVENTure in Carols is a music compliation offered by "King of Jingaling" on his fun and whimsical website, Falalalala.com, a site devoted to the art of collecting forgotten vinyl of Christmas past. The compliation is free and can be downloaded HERE, including artwork and song details.
Do I even have to tell you that that's my daughter, Ava, on the cover, gazing through a magnificent red ornament? There's something about Christmas that brings out the kid in me and I wanted to convey that magical time somehow. I went through several ideas and concepts -- my first one had a hipster Santa hanging out in front of the fireplace after his Big Night, with Rudolph curled up by his feet like a dog. I couldn't get the staging down right so I trashed that idea. I then thought up of a Christmas tree family, but that didn't pan out either. But then, I scribbled down a little doodle at the bottom of a page in my sketchbook and that was all it took:
I liked the simplicity of the idea and that this sort of thing everyone would surely "get" -- as I'm sure we've all experienced the magic of looking at all the sparkly and glittery lights and garlands and tinsel and knick knacks found on the family Christmas tree. I was hoping that my viewers will identify with the girl on the cover here and share with her sense of wonder through a simple, yet RED! glass ornament.
Here are more sketches (again, click on each to view larger):
As you can see, I had the initial concept already down by the time I drew it out in the upper left-hand corner there (click on above image to view larger). I might've strayed a bit here and there, working out different poses of the girl's hand and shoulders, as well as different positions of the ornament in front of her face, but the basic look and composition remained intact for the most part.
Below, you can see that I was trying out different poses for the ornament, even making the ornament the same size as Ava's head, eclipsing it perfectly. I quickly abandoned that idea:
One last set of sketches, this time considering possibly making the kid a boy on the cover. Nope. I liked that it was a girl. You can have more fun with the hair and shirt:
Speaking of shirt, the colorful striped pattern you see for the final design was based off a cool striped pair of pants that Ava had in her drawers. I loved the use of pinks, oranges, magentas and yellows found on that pair of pants -- I just had to use it somehow in this piece. I think it worked out pretty well. I'm happy. Ava loves it. And that's the most important thing.