Festive and Naughty Reindeer

Here are some of the reindeer cards I mentioned in my previous post. I have relied on Posca Paint Pens for these illustrations but I also utilized metallic markers in Prismacolor Premier seventy five set. I wanted to give the impression that the deer enjoyed the festivities themselves, perhaps even taking it a bit too far. I wanted the look to be happy and goofy. I had seen other illustrations of deer with decorations in there antlers and thought that was a fun look so I started there.

Festivities for All!
Bad Reindeer

This eventually lead to the idea of reindeer being naughty with their fun like a cat or dog knocking over the Christmas tree. I was inspired by a meme of a cat owner who had tied down their tree to cement blocks…

I am currently working remotely, so I created a digital image in Adobe Fresco, which I upload to Green Envelope to digitally send to my coworkers. The illustration is my first try at creating something in Fresco. The live brushes are quite a neat experience and help create images that look shockingly like traditional media. However, it did take me a while to figure out the controls.

I like Green Envelope. You can use their designs or your own, customize the envelope, even upload some music to the opening animation! It worked great and for sending something to my sons’ teachers as their school went full remote for the remainder of the year. I was even able to attach a Starbuck gift card!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



Furbaby Holiday Cards

This year for Christmas, I decided to personalize the cards I created for my friends and family with their pets. I spent time scrolling through social media looking for images to model the cards on to create cutiefied version of each pet. In some cases, I had to ask for photos, which probably gave way the theme in advance. The card was a departure from my typical style—especially the cards I have sent in the past, such as my Starry cards and Reindeer cards

These were mixed media cards, but my primary tool was Posca’s fine point paint markers, which I have come to love for their very opaque colors. I especially liked the glitter pant markers for Christmas cards.

I don’t own any pets myself as I am allergic to dogs and cats, but I enjoy seeing other people’s pets. If the recipient did not own a pet, I sent a corgi card inspired by this lawn decoration.

Found at Lowes

I also sent festive reindeer cards which I will post separately.

Merry Christmas!


Cosmos Christmas Cards

This year I made mostly stary Christmas cards. Nebula, galaxies, and the Milkyway are fun and easy to make utilizing wet on wet watercolor techniques. I find them delightful to view.

I am very fond of the work of Carl Sagan a science communicator best known for the Cosmos: A Personal Voyage documentary series of the early ’80s. One of the first to broadcast on PBS. He is often quoted as saying we are the stuff of stars. The idea being we are made of the atoms born out of supernovas. A supernova explosion occurs out of the death and collapse of certain stars. Many of the heavy atoms found throughout the interstellar medium are formed in Supernova. This is where the atoms that build our bodies come from. So we are literally created out of stars. I find this and the idea that even the stars in the sky are born, live, and die humbling and inspiring. More on this concept can be found at CNet’s article: ‘We are made of star stuff’: A quick lesson on how

For two of my cards I utilized:

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”


“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”

I designed the cards to look like a nebula inside of a Christmas tree ornament. Two of which have the famous quote around the outside of the ornament with the complete quote on the inside of the card.

Cosmos Christmas Card
The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff.

Cosmos Christmas card 1
We’re made of star stuff.

I made additional nebula cards in Christmas colors as well. But, without the famous quotes. I am still working on my hand lettering so that is not quite where I would like it to be. But, am happy with the little nebula.


Have a happy holiday season,


Reindeer Christmas Cards

I have been painting a lot of Reindeer lately with the intent of putting them on watercolor paper Christmas cards. About halfway through my 2nd attempt, I realized I don’t really know what a Reindeer looks like or anything about them at all really. All I know is the classic movie Rudolph and Rudolph is not exactly a documentary. I started researching and realized what I was drawing looked more like the whitetail bucks we have here in upstate New York than reindeer.

Reindeer are less delicate in their appearance than whitetails.   The reindeer also have far more impressive horns. But, don’t  tell my father the whitetail enthusiast, I said that! 😉 I don’t think a whitetail could pull a sleigh or hold a rider like nomadic reindeer riders of Outer Mongolia. Their color varies more than I thought as well. All though I feel I did not accurately reflect their coloring. They can have a very light value and that is hard to render on watercolor paper.

Reindeer joy and love Christmas card. The antlers are Kuretake gold watercolor but the scanner did not pick up the sparkle well.

Reindeer and caribou are the same species Rangifer tarandus. This is one of those moments I wish I had paid more attention in college. I did take biology but did not retain much after the final exam.  The difference is that the Caribou of North America have never been domesticated while the Reindeer of Eurasia are.  I list some references below if you are curious.  While researching Reindeer I stumbled across the blog of Cairngorm Reindeer in Scottland. I highly recommend reading the blog lots of interesting information and lovely photos of the animals themselves. The most recent post about the first snow is very endearing and the photos are beautiful.

Cairngorm Reindeer’s site has a really nice Christmas section showing their deer in red harnesses which inspired me to create cards with deer with red harnesses and bells.  Who doesn’t smile at the sight or sound of Christmas bells? I wanted red sparkly harnesses so this lead to the purchases of yet another set of brush markers I bought Spectrum Noir Glitter Brush Pen Winter Warmers set. I may have a brush pen problem at this point. I will do a write-up about them later this week.

Here are a few more of the cards I made last weekend.

Reindeer Christmas Card




PS: Since posting this blog entry I have gotten a couple of messages asking if I was selling my Christmas cards. It was not really my intent to sell these. I really just painted them for my family. However, I didn’t really want to tell people no, because I was very flattered to be asked. Therefore I have posted these to my Rebubble (a print on demand company) profile. I have also enabled prints on my Deviant Art profile they have cards under “Art Gifts”. I really can’t speak to their quality as I have never ordered from them but it is an option if you are interested.







Happy Art Journey,