Christmas in May

Wreaths have been hugely popular in illustration of late. Pinterest is awash with them, whether it's chalkboard-style, whimsical doodles or full-on florals à la the wonderful Rifle Paper Co. With this in mind, I wanted to create some wreaths of a different nature, so this week I've been sketching out a new collection of Christmas greeting cards.

Influenced by The Twelve Days of Christmas and a little bit of old-fashioned botanical illustration, here's my take on the trend: pared-back pencil designs with traditional subject matter and papery backgrounds. Here are my first few work-in-progress shots of the collection:

I'm glued to my Wacom Intuos Pro, so I decided not to pick up a 'real' pencil, but instead use a digital pencil from Alex Dukal's 'Pencils Garden' kit. My favourite of these brushes was the Artisan Pencil which handles beautifully and achieves some great realistic effects. 

I'm still playing around with the Pencils Garden set, but so far I'm impressed! I plan to throw in a few pops of bright watercolour before I wrap up.