And now for something completely different.
My 6-year-old son, Devon, just played a wise man in the local community church's Christmas Pageant. He done good. The pastor wrote the pageant, which had the kids dress up as the animals in the stable where Jesus was born, and the story was told from their perspective
As a favor to the church, I offered to illustrate the program cover, and also offer up the cover as full-sized prints, which the church could then sell (as they're trying to raise funds for some needed handicap access renovations).
My first idea of the cover had the animals facing the scene in the middle - but that meant facing away from us, and in my early sketches, all the animals became somewhat unrecognizable. Also, it's quite hard to find reference of a three-quarter back-of-the-head shot of a cow or camel.
So keeping my central image intact, I instead went for Alphonse Mucha/art nouveau inspired border, featuring the animals in a recognizable fashion.
100% drawn in Photoshop, of course, I tried to keep the lines looking very pencil in some places, watercolor in others, indeterminate traditional origin method in others. Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were rendered in the same fashion as my earlier "Apprehension" digipaint test. The animals were a related, but much simpler technique, akin to an ink wash over pencil.
In the end, above the trio, was the opening lines (in English) of O Magum Mysterium (you can Google that), and in the box below, the church name and date.
Anyway, everyone seemed to enjoy it, and the pastor made a point of mentioning I drew the image, as many thought it was a stock program cover.
I really enjoy how this came out, and learned a lot along the way.