Simple Line Drawing Made Into Greeting Card

Using a simple black marker I put together a Christmas scene with the Peanuts character, Charlie Brown & his dog, Snoopy. Then the fun begins with either colored pencils, crayons or magic markers in filling in the color. Add a test message with holiday colors and you’ve got a postcard or Christmas card. Oh and I borrowed the Merry Christmas lettering from another card I’d already completed. I hate to make things more than once. LOL

The out of frame/box technique is a carryover from my photography editing skills. You start the drawing with Charlie Brown because he’s in the foreground. Then you draw Snoopy because he’s going to be hanging over the edge of the roofline of his doghouse. Next you fill in the doghouse, add a string of ornaments and add a cute Christmas tree. The last thing I drew were the frame/box lines, easily drawn in exactly where the lines need to be to make it look like Charlie is out of the frame. It’s a fun trick to make any photo/drawing look more three dimensional, adding depth.

With cartoon line drawings you don’t have to be perfect. Use a pencil if you think you might want to change something until you get your confidence up to where you can just go at it with a black felt tip pen. The Christmas ornament doesn’t have to be a perfect circle and the lines used to draw Snoopy’s doghouse don’t need to be perfectly straight or of uniform thickness. You don’t even need three dimensional shading. Cartoon characters live in a two dimensional plane of existence. If you have a graphics editor for your photos you don’t need a $750 Photoshop CC software package when the $39.95 version of Elements will do the same job. Have fun, be happy!

Charlie & Snoopy

Huge Price Difference

Ok, I give. Why should I pay so much for the same product, same size? I don’t have the answer. By the way these are the legendary sugar free candies that will destroy your insides.

Hairabo Quandry

Adding Textured Color To Cartoons

There’s so much you can create on a blank sheet of paper. If the surface is rough you can add texture to woolen socks in a Snoopy Christmas scene with Woodstock. You can also add a texture to Snoopy’s house. The sky’s the limit. The idea is to instill texture in your original line drawing with paper grain, scan in the image to your computer and then fill in the rest of the flat color using a paint brush in Photoshop.

Snoopy #4

Christmas Fun With Snoopy

Now that I have all these art supplies that include colored markers and pencils I’m in the Christmas mood coloring Snoopy Christmas scenes. What fun!

Snoopy Strip


A few explanations: I accomplished the gradient blue sky not with artistic supplies but with Photoshop magic. I draw the outlines of the cartoon and color them manually. I then scan the artwork as a 6: x 4″ graphic into Photoshop. Next I create a new 6″ x 4″ blank white document and do a gradient fill using a pleasing blue sky color. Finally I select all the artwork from the original drawing, being careful to include the inside enclosed area of the lettering and while holding down my shift key I drag the drawing into the gradient blue sky. It centers it perfectly so Voila, a perfect sky with colored cartoon centered.

The Process
The reverse technique was used with the second colored frame. Dragging the gradient blue area from the bottom to the top I centered the artwork the same way I did that first frame. It saves a ton of time trying to get that gradient blue using water color as a wash.


WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow

Oh my gosh this wasn’t easy. I have so many yellow photos of every conceivable type of plant and flower that I could only put together a collection of a fraction of what I had in my library. I must admit that plant library is growing quite huge over the past few years so maybe it’s time to start weening out a few dozen photos.

Thank you Cee for such a wonderful challenge. ┬áThese challenges make it possible to keep posting when the weather and season don’t allow me to get out and capture fresh photographs. So here’s my collage of yellow.


Putting Your Best Foot Forward

This little toad is one of three at the Oregon Zoo that I love to photograph. They’re Western Toads to be precise and live in a display together in the Pacific Northwest exhibit. There’s just something about their eyes, attitude and gnarly, bumby bodies that makes them “fugly” to me. In the photo I captured below I was amazed to discover their red tipped toes, as seen here with that foot proudly shoved forward as if to say, “see, I’m pretty too”!

Be Afraid

Crosshatching Demonstration

I’ve posted a couple of pieces of artwork where I’ve utilized a system of crosshatching to shade an illustration. It’s a meticulous process that is time consuming but very rewarding in the end. I’ve found a teaching video on YouTube to show you the process I go through. I hope you find this interesting and educational.

The Nose

Close-ups can be so revealing. They grab your attention and get you to fixate on the subject matter longer than you normally would. There’s so much interesting detail there. You can peer into the soul of your subject, even if it’s just your average garden squirrel.

The Nose

Remember The Homeless

I’m one of those sentimental slobs that gets pretty emotional at Christmas. In all honesty I get depressed at times because among all the glitter and glitz the homeless and poor have little to cheer about. We live in one of the most affluent countries on this planet yet the least of us become invisible as we go about our panic rush to buy more stuff to put under the tree.

Stock your local food pantry, help the bell ringers of the Salvation Army and remember the guy on the street corner with the cardboard sign.

Remember The Homeless