Fairie ThemeI was obviously inspired by faeries this year. The connection stemmed from the foundation of many religious celebrations at year's end: the Winter Solstice. Since the longest night of the year marks the Solstice, it seemed appropriate the have the moon take center stage. The first concept was to have an evergreen forest decorated with lights. These lights were to be revealed as faeries migrating from the moon, resting on branches. Originally they would be carrying lanterns.
The ProcessI confess, I started this in September since my Oct. & Nov. schedules were packed. I was motivated to finish early Nov. to ensure I could get the hardcopies printed in time for an early Dec. publishing. This process seems to only get more complex each year...ugh. Anyway, here is how the card was produced:
Tweaking the Faerie(s)
Winning the Argument
3D?There is a lot of detail in there, so let's zoom in. Some people see a 3D effect now: if you first focus on resolve the black silhouette of the trees, then she should appear to float in your peripheral vision (at least on computer screens). Tell me if this works for you (might be easier to see in the final version at top of this blog).
Font and GraphicsHeidi helped me with finding a good font. She found a great one that was easy to read and amplified the moon shape with wondrous circles in the "G","g", and "S".
Print Prep: RGB to CMYK conversion
Black (K): Converting in Photoshop appears easy (most try the IMAGE>MODE options), but this doesn't work well (EDIT>CONVERT TO PROFILE allows for more control). Generally, the RGB colors are converted to CMY_ alright, but the K channel is neglected. Blacks turn to grays, and the general intensity of the image becomes muted. To correct this, a program like Illustrator or InDesign is needed (geared toward making actual prints). I used illustrator to EXPORT my file into a new *.PSD after I had changed the PREFERENCES>APPEARANCE OF BLACK to export RICH BLACK.
(CMY): Then back in Photoshop, to tweak the colors I applied a few ADJUSTMENT layers, I reversibly tweaked the colors "by eye" until they approximated the RGB look.