My NYC Rockefeller Tree Christmas Card

It’s not too early to think about the holidays – I’m already working on three clients’ holiday cards for their businesses

Because of this, I’ve recently added a Christmas card to my listings on Etsy – one I drew last year for my family, in the classic New Yorker black & white style, not long after my first cartoon appeared in the New Yorker. If you’ve ever seen this iconic tree you never forget its overwhelming presence!

I drew this cartoon in black prisma pencil and painted it in ink washes. (Closeups of the art are on my Etsy page) It shows the legendary tree at Rockefeller Center, which about 100 million people visit each year, teeming with lights but with one small dark area; a small child looking up comments, “They missed a spot.”

Inside the card is the message “May your Christmas be filled with Peace and Joy and a thousand twinkling lights!”

Single cards are available on my Etsy shop HERE and boxes of 8 cards are available on my website store HERE.If you’d like more than 8 cards, or would like to use this card for your company holiday card, email me and we’ll work out the details. And if you live near me in the Central Bucks area and want to avoid postage charges, simply email me what you’d like to order and you can pay when you pick up the cards from me.

New Christmas Card Illustration

donchez_achilles_holidaycard_photoI’ve illustrated dozens of greeting cards, some very specific for businesses and some more generic for broad audiences. The card I just completed rather combines the two, and gives a special nod to my hometown of Doylestown, PA.

My friend Lynne Anne Donchez has owned and operated L.A.D. Hairdressing for many years in the heart of Doylestown. She is a well-recognized person about town because she actively participates in any number of community events – one of those being the Arrival of Santa Claus to Doylestown, where Santa is driven on a fire truck to his ‘house’ in the middle of town on the day after Thanksgiving. She told me months ago that she’s heard that many little children ask why Santa does not come to own with his reindeer¬† – so she wrote a delightful short story explaining that little mystery. And she asked, would I illustrate it?

oatmealglitter_card_sketch2While illustrating a whole story takes a good bit of time, I did think of a variation of that idea, which would be doable: how about making it into a Christmas card with one illustration on the front? If the card is well received, next year I could illustrate a few more scenes.  Eventually we could make a whole book! Lynne Anne loved that idea.

There is a classic scene of Santa’s aerial arrival in her book, which I really liked – it takes place on the campus of Delaware Valley University, a well-known local school that specializes in agriculture and animal sciences. I went over there and photographed a part of the campus near the equine center. I sketched the reindeer swirling in for their landing, with students watching nearby.

donchez_reindeer_colorsketchI did a very quick color sketch with colored pencils on top of a scan of the pencil sketch.  I knew I wanted a night sky and the reflective blue that snow has on a bright evening. I wanted that explosion of snow as the lead reindeer touches down to be a focal point of the illustration.

I drew the illustration in ink on illustration board and painted it with acrylic paint washes. I’ve designed the card so that Lynne Anne’s story is printed on the inside of the card, and continued on the back. And we secured permission from Delaware Valley University to mention the school in the story, so we are ready to market the cards. They will be sold both in LAD & Co. and here on my website. The cost is $4.00 per card with envelope. Click here to see ordering information for this card.

donchez_reindeer_wp