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Design Spotlight: Ramelle Richardson

December 3, 2013

Our Design Spotlight falls on Ramelle Richardson – in this special edition, she’s hoping to inspire artists by showing how versatile designs can be. Thanks, Ramelle!


My latest design is the happy result of an experiment.

For the past year, I have been making my own stickers and images in an effort to avoid using clip art, but I needed a stag or a deer to use for a new Christmas card. So I got out my drawing pad and ink pen and I sketched the image of a leaping deer, photographed it, and then after erasing all the white background, I converted the drawing into PNG form. Then the fun began as I played around with ways to digitally enhance my deer.

I had some photos of granite boulders that I had taken on a recent visit to Manito Park in my hometown of Spokane, Washington. There was an interesting, yellow lichen on the granite which inspired me to use gold colors and the natural texture of rock to create my own “cave painting.”

By overlaying the image of my leaping stag onto the granite and adding a yellowish tint, I found that the deer appeared to have a metallic, golden quality to it. Happy with the unexpected result, I then went on to clone my lone stag into two more deer and created a cave painting that also looked like a landscape. The scene needed a moon, so I borrowed a NASA photograph of the Moon and gave that a golden tint, as I did for the deer. Here’s the finished card:

I was so glad that the Reviewers liked my design and I breathed a sigh of relief that they didn’t think it strange to make a “cave painting” for a Christmas card.

So, I decided to use the same three elements (a close-up photo of granite, the sketch of a deer, and a photo of the Moon) to create a second, very different card in blue tones.

The granite that I chose had some light areas at the top, creating the illusion of snow and mountains; it reminded me of an aerial view of a snowy landscape. This became the backdrop for my flying deer. Again, I added the Moon, but much larger this time to give the impression that the reindeer are about to fly across it’s face.

Now I have two new Christmas designs. Although they are different from each other, I have used the same basic elements in both. This has been a fun experiment, and hopefully a rewarding one as the Christmas Season begins. As it says on the cover of my Flying Reindeer card, “Merry Christmas to All!”

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2013 11:37 am

    Ramelle, Love it! Thanks so much for detailing your whole process. Merry Christmas to you as well!

  2. December 3, 2013 3:49 pm

    Merry Christmas Ramelle! Girl, you need to sketch more … WOW … your stag is gorgeous and has it’s own unique flare to the style making it stand out from all the other deer on holiday cards. Bravo! Thank you for sharing your creative process and the beautiful results 🙂

  3. December 3, 2013 4:10 pm

    Gorgeous and unique. Congratulations!

  4. December 3, 2013 10:33 pm

    Thank you for featuring my latest Christmas cards on the Design Spotlight. I appreciate all the kind and encouraging comments. (And Doreen, your “Wow” means a lot to me, coming from a pro like you!)

  5. December 4, 2013 12:50 pm

    The words gorgeous and unique came to mind looking at your cards, and as I read the other comments, I see I am not the only one to describe your artwork in this way.

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