3rd thursday idea - Santa's reindeer got the flu!

  • Hi everyone!

    I wanted to share with you my idea for December 3rd Thursday and see if any of you have ideas on how to improve my very, very rough sketch!

    So I did a bunch of thumbnails and I came up with this one :

    Santa thumbnail 2.jpg

    With a lot of imagination, what you can see on this is :

    • In the foreground, the sleigh and the replacement reindeers : cats with wings (and on the right, an elf tying the wing on one of the cats). A am picturing 4 - 5 cats total, doing cats stuff (so looking bored, licking themself, sleeping)
    • In the middle, an elf making the wings for the cats
    • In the background, Mrs Claus taking care of a sick, "in bed" reindeer

    A chose to do a children's book spread on two pages and I want to design it with space for the text and keeping in mind the separation between the two pages.

  • I like the idea of the cats, it's unexpected and I like that you're doing a double page spread. My thought is that it may not need Mrs. Claus in the back, there may be enough visual interest already with all the cats and elves and too many ideas at once could detract from the focus of the piece.

  • @joanie-stone Thanks Joanie! I think you're probably right for the Mrs Claus and the sick Reindeer! I thought that maybe with the 2 pages spread I could add them without "crowding" my illustration too much, but it might steal the focus... I would really like to show the Reindeer though!!! They would be so much fun to draw haha!

    Here are some character sketches for the cats (poor Santa, I am not sure every kid will get its present this year!!!)

    Character sketches.jpg

  • I like your cats. They have personality shown in their shapes and body behavior. I look forward to see what you do with them in your illustration.

  • One idea (and maybe you already thought of this) is to have all the cats engaged in different activities and totally disinterested in, you know, actually doing anything that Santa wants them to do.

    Kinda like cats.

    Maybe he's running around trying to "herd" a couple of them.

  • SVS OG

    Cute cats, this is going to be a really fun piece! I think if you want to keep the focus but still draw a reindeer, maybe there could be one reindeer looking ill and miserable with a thermometer in his mouth, but even more harassed because a cat with wings is climbing on him/swinging from his antlers.... would add to the feeling of chaos.

    I like @mattramsey's description of herding cats, and the overall feel that Santa is going to have a hard time getting those presents delivered!

  • @mattramsey Exactly what I was planning to do!! Good idea for santa! Maybe I can replace Mrs Claus taking care of the Reindeer by Santa...

  • @Dulcie OMG I LOVEEEEEEEE this idea!!! Thank you so much! 🙂 Definitely going to try that!

    I also came up with a little "stanza" for the text derived from the prompt we had to work from :

    "Who knew Santa's reindeers could catch a flu just like you?
    Fortunately there is nothing the elves can't fix!
    With a lot of imagination and a little Christmas magic,
    These stray cats will do the trick!"

    I'm really excited about this project!

  • I love your design of the cats and I'm looking forward to seeing this progressing.

  • So here is my preliminary sketch (still very rough). I feel like the composition could be improved... any clues ? I feel like everything is just scattered around... I tried overlapping shapes, but it's still not feeling "united" enough ? Thanks for helping!

    Santa Sketch.jpg

  • Very nice I like the image you have here. Great start.

  • I changed it a little, got rid of the elf making the wings (I think he wasn't adding anything) and I added a little background. I like it better this way, but it still needs a lot of work...

    Santa Sketch2.jpg

    I also have a question for anyone who can help! What size of image should I work on to be able to print it afterward ? Let say this is a 8 X 20 spread, should I go 8 X 20 at 300 ppi ?


  • Pro SVS OG

    @NoWayMe That cat in the bottom left corner is my absolute fav!! He's awesome!

  • Love the cats! Can't wait to see the final piece.

  • Yes!,Nice! this seems like a fun and original idea, cant wait on the end result?
    good luck! 😉

  • Here is my (almost) final sketch!

    I will need to modify it a little to make more room for the text. I tried to plan space for it, but didn't left enough room so the text is really small!

    Any critique is welcome!

    Santa Sketch final.jpg

  • @NoWayMe Hi Noemie, It looks really beautiful! Like the concept and I am curious for the next fase!

  • SVS OG

    This is adorable!! Why don't you get rid of the door frame and wall line. I think the image will read as well without it, and then you will have more space for your text.

  • I love this so much! All the cat personalities are very fun!

  • they are adorable!

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