One of my favorite Christmas traditions is watching Balanchine’s rendition of The Nutcracker. . . well, you know, from my DVD player at home (I’ll see it in person someday). When our Illustration professor told the class we could choose whatever subject we wanted for our final, I immediately knew I was going to illustrate characters from The Nutcracker. I wanted to capture the whimsical feeling of Christmas while also considering the graceful ballet. I hand drew and watercolored two spot illustrations, one full-page illustration, and a cover. My first versions were hand-drawn and finished with watercolor. I was proud of my work.

A year later, given time, experience, and a new Wacom tablet, I decided to revisit my illustrations and give them the finishing touch I wasn’t able to before. I imported them into Photoshop and began the digital process. Clara and the Nutcracker was my starting point. I had to get the main characters right because they would set the tone for the other characters. I am so pleased with the result! I haven’t yet finished digitalizing the entire series, but I plan to complete them soon as well as add some more characters and settings into the mix.

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