Accountability: using Lee White’s 6-step process to create a Christmas card



  • For a long while, I’ve wanted to paint a Christmas card for my customers, with a Santa’s workshop theme featuring the Bichon breed (fluffy white lap dog). I put it off because I am not good at backgrounds or perspective.

    My website shopping cart provider of 19 years stopped service without warning, so I figure since I can’t do holiday sales this year, I’ll take this opportunity to use @Lee-White’s 6-step process (https://youtu.be/h6u_g0RPiCA) to “Make Art That You Love”. Hopefully I will come up with a card I’ll be proud to offer next Christmas 🤞🏻

    Step 1 is Research and Development. I found 63 treatments of Santa’s Workshop as references and have identified something useful in each one. I may be spending too much time on this step, avoiding starting Step 2 (50 Thumbnail Sketches)😱

    I have ideas for little vignettes within the composition (a bichon sewing together a plush kitty jabs the needle toward the kitty’s heart, a bichon slacker is sleeping in the dog bed he’s supposed to be stuffing, another is taking 2 treats out of a stocking with one paw as he puts in 1 treat with the other paw, there’s a bichon clumsily wrapping, another carries wrapped gifts to santa’s bag, one bichon painting a toy while another chucks a ball into the paint, the head bichon supervisor elf holds a clipboard or is looking frantically at his watch).

    Questions:

    1. Bichons are goofing off (typical of their personality)—can they deliver for Santa with time running out? Is that an ok “story”?
    2. If that is the story, is the focal point the bichon supervisor looking at watch?
    3. Is this enough R&D to move to Step 2 Thumbnails?


  • I found I switch between the steps a bit, so I’d do the research and development then knock out some thumbnails for a while. If I need to do a bit more research and development, then I’d switch back to research until necessary.



  • @BichonBistro I know how you feel. Research and development can be a lot fun, and there are endless resourses out there on internet. What has helped me is to have a time limit. For example, I would tell myself to spend 2 days on step one. When the time is up, I would do an evaluation to check if I have enough material to move forward.
    The goal is to move forward, but if I feel like I do not have enough material, then I will set a new time limit.

    I think you are the best judge to know if you have enough to move from step 1 to step 2. You can also just move forward to see if the rough sketches are working for you. If you feel it is not right, you can always step back to do some more research.



  • @BichonBistro I would dive into the thumbnails now to see if any of them spark your interest. Then you can research more for particulars and specific references if you need to. Stop procrastinating! 🙂 you got this! I love the idea of a Santa bichon workshop. I think some working while others wreak havoc will be easier to draw ans read than one doing both. I can picture one eating treats off the assembly line while the other packs stockings.



  • It sounds like a fun card and I can't wait to see more progress! I might add Lee's process into my slowvember piece.........



  • @chrisaakins busted! Ok, today’s the day I start thumbnailing 😩😬



  • @peteolczyk @xin-li good point—I can always go back to step 1 if I find I haven’t done enough R&D—I’m just procrastinating because step 2 is intimidating 🙄Thanks!



  • @Coley I am loving his youtube videos—organized systems approaches are so appealing! Let us know how it works for you on your project 👍🏻


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Glad to see the system is helping and you guys are running with it! Let me know if you have any questions along the way. : )



  • @BichonBistro I might do a wip post..........



  • @BichonBistro no one needs to see step two though, it’s just for you. You can make as many mistakes as you like.



  • That's lucky! I just thought of a christmas card right today! I think I'll join in after inktober. Despite a Halloween card should be first ... Well, I guess I've missed the right time for that this year 😉

    When I read what you're planning, I first question myself how all that will fit on a single card. I mean, you're not doing a poster, but something that has to work in a small format. If it is stressing you out, why not start with some thumbnails with either of the bichons, not more? A postcard has to eye-catch, and you should be able to get the point rapidly.



  • @BichonBistro you can start with 1 thumbnail. Once you done one, then tell yourself to do just one more :-). Thinking that you need to do 50 is a bit intimidating. But one is easy, right😉 Have fun.

    I recently sent off some rough sketches(step 3) to a client. I am still amazed and suprised by a visual editor can read my rough sketches (they are maybe just a slightly better drawned thumbnails with value applied), and choose one idea among a bunch of scribble lines. I would never have the courage to send stuff like that to clients before Lee's teaching. But this way of working saves so much time, and made communication so clear and fast. Really love this process.



  • @Coley yes, please do!



  • @BichonBistro how's your wipping going ? 😃



  • @Meta you are right, it would be challenging to fit it all on a 5x7 card and maintain a focal point, but I do want to try more than just a vignette, which is my comfort zone and what I usually end up doing. I am thinking of Will Terry’s 50 things assignment. I am hoping the thumbnail stage will clarify what is feasible.

    Thumbnails postponed again by commitments out of town 😝...now aiming for Sunday start on thumbnails!



  • @BichonBistro Okay, then go for it! I like to see your results!



  • @xin-li said in Accountability: using Lee White’s 6-step process to create a Christmas card:

    @BichonBistro you can start with 1 thumbnail. Once you done one, then tell yourself to do just one more :-). Thinking that you need to do 50 is a bit intimidating. But one is easy, right😉 Have fun.

    I recently sent off some rough sketches(step 3) to a client. I am still amazed and suprised by a visual editor can read my rough sketches (they are maybe just a slightly better drawned thumbnails with value applied), and choose one idea among a bunch of scribble lines. I would never have the courage to send stuff like that to clients before Lee's teaching. But this way of working saves so much time, and made communication so clear and fast. Really love this process.

    Good point! Get started with 1, then 1 more, then 1 more...

    How great that your step 3 sketches were effective in communicating with your client so you can devote more time to final images without misunderstandings.

    I have enjoyed your inktober dailies so much—just beautiful!



  • @Meta me too 😱😉



  • @Coley stalled! Committed to one week of inktober, then had to go out of town...starting thumbnails sunday!


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