Sketches And Color Tests

illustration // color test // bymarion

Cynthia’s Christmas in July post inspired me to try and come up with a greeting card design, too. Since summer seems to be over already here in the North of Sweden, this is perfect timing!

illustration // sketch // bymarion

The idea of a waiting line in front of a mailbox came to me randomly in the middle of the night. The next morning, I started with a quick and dirty sketch. I’m still using up the leftover student notebooks I bought to make lab journals when I was a physics postdoc. It’s not particularly good drawing paper, but the lines turn out to be quite handy.

illustration // sketch // bymarion illustration // sketch // bymarion illustration // sketch // bymarion

Then I practiced a little and made cleaner sketches of all the characters. I decided to stick to very simple shapes, so I could just focus on the characters’ attitudes – otherwise it would be too difficult for me to draw without a model.


Finally I was ready to make a clean sketch of my whole layout. That’s the point where I have to force myself to draw ONE line, which I find to be a very good exercise. Before going any further, I scanned my finished sketch. Backup, backup, backup: this is a precious habit that I have kept from working in a lab and processing data!

illustration // color test // bymarion

So, at that point I could just print my sketch and try different things with colors and inking. The inking turned out really ugly, and this color version was too cheesy compared to what I had in mind: it wanted to make my card more modern-looking…

illustration // color test // bymarion

… so I stuck to pencil lines and tried more minimalist coloring…

illustration // color test // bymarion

… and then even more minimalist. This was getting closer to something I liked. My partner suggested trying to give the image a little rougher, sketchy look, and I thought it was a good idea.

illustration // color test // bymarion

So I dropped my beloved watercolors and turned to my (also beloved) color pencils.
Here I am now. What do you think? What should I try next?

other things on my desk


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13 thoughts on “Sketches And Color Tests

  1. Marion, I love what you’re doing. The watercolor one is the one I am drawn to for obvious reasons. Here’s what I suggest you do next: Go to JOVOTO.COM … sign up and enter your card in the UNICEF card design public contest. Let me know if you do it and I will follow you there and also support your efforts! Well done, my friend. So glad to inspire ~

  2. Så söta, men jag skulle ha jättesvårt att bestämma mig hur jag skulle gå vidare i ditt läge. Jag blir alltid rädd att förstöra en bra början.

  3. Très joli. J’aime bien la dernière version, mais aussi la version où les enveloppes sont jaunes, et aussi les expressions des visages dessinés au crayon. Je verrai bien aussi ta carte parmi les cartes de l’Unicef 🙂

  4. Marion, with color pencils or watercolor, it will be fantastic! I would not close the door to any of the two. As a devil’s advocate :-), I would ask you: “What about collage?” Have a wonderful and very creative week! 🙂

    1. Ah, collage – of course 😉
      I didn’t have time to make one in time for the Unicef card contest, but I’ll definitely give it a try now!

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