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Solistice thoughts and artwork

Updated on November 10, 2011

Happy Solstice

Design Available on Cafepress. Click on image to see it full size.
Design Available on Cafepress. Click on image to see it full size. | Source

Hughes Design Create

Busy at the studio again today, creating this installation for my Design/Create series Solstice Greetings! Not as edgy or graphic as yesterday's entry, this design celebrates a major Pagan holiday, the winter solstice. Starting with the simple idea of snowflakes and the words "Happy Solstice" I worked with several different design ideas for as many hours trying to get something that would make me proud. It is after all one of the few holidays I really support, though I'm not blessed with a community to celebrate it with every year.

One of my favorite solstice memories is learning the following song in the Heartwood kitchen back in 1996 or so from the beautiful people working there:

Before the Fall the Summer-time,

Before the Summer, Spring;

Before the Spring, the Winter-time,

Before the Winter sing:

Before the Song the Singer,

Before the Singer Air -

Before the Air Creation;

Before Creation, Prayer.

Didn't use this image; though it was the point of inspiration.
Didn't use this image; though it was the point of inspiration. | Source

Challenges in making the graphic design.

Getting the snow in the picture was definitely the hardest part of this design. To do that, I followed the outline in this tutorial; and also in this one. Each of the larger snowflakes you see in the design was made by creating negative space in a 30-60-90 triangle, and then cutting and pasting copies of that triangle next to each other to form a larger image. Then these images (snowflakes) were colorized by using the gradient tool. A very interesting set of maneuvers, for a decent result.

The font was another story. First I choose the font, and over all, I think it would be better if it was a bit wider, say Impact, instead of Desdemona which is the font I used. Though, my main concern there is readability, and after tweaking the font a little, I think it is very readable. Then I took that image (it was the first thing I did, so the rest of the canvas was blank) and ran it through my printer; took the resulting image downstairs and drew in by hand with colored pens the "holiday lights" all around each letter. That was definitely one of the highlights of the project!

Once I completed that, I took the paper upstairs again, and ran it through the scanner and into my computer. Voila! Instant curvy lines and stuff in Photoshop! Very exciting! Well, from there, as I already said, it was a matter of getting the snow to look right. Overall, I'm pleased with the design, and hope that you like it too. It is available as a greeting card; T-shirt and poster design, over at cafepress.


Have you ever been to a Solstice Gathering?

See results

Solstice Wishes

I think the best thing about the Solstice is that it transcends religion, nationality and philosophical viewpoints. After all, the earth is making a turning point and on it's fertility we all depend.

Light is returning,
Even though this is the darkest hour:
No one can hold back the dawn.

Lyric by Charlie Murphy.

Happy Solstice to you!

Winter Solstice is generally either December 21st or 22nd. Follow this link to find out more.


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