A Christmas Carol | Skillshare Projects

Shielaugh Divelbiss

Art Director & Illustrator



A Christmas Carol

07/15/15: I don't get to work on stuff for myself much, so I completely forgot I started this class over a year and a half ago now, oops, but I'm getting ready to do some other classes and thought I'd finish this one up too, and new portfolio pieces are always good.

So with such distance, I decided to keep the little black letter feel, and take into consideration comments about the flourishes, and keeping the letter more vertical.

So here's a new sketch, I'm trying to keep with the victorian feel and include some elements from the story in the flourishes.




11/9/13: A bit more playing based on suggestions (thank you everyone), and goodbye to the bow, I think I like it bowless better.  I extended the chain a bit so it doesn't stop so apbrutely as before and changed some connection points and weights subtly. I'm thinking of moving to illustrator now, any other suggestions first?


or maybe different bones similar skin?



11/8/13: On to sketching this morning, based on some suggestions I recieved and some rethinking of ideas. The little stars near the bottom would be snowflakes eventually. Since I mentioned how I'd like to show Scrooges transformation from winter to spring, but still keep it all in the Christmas theme. I added a little chain detail too since in the story everyone forges their chain by there actions, too much?  I don't know if I'm in love with the bow detail either yet, but I was going with chains hard, bows soft transformation idea.




I did some doodling for some ideas, the first 2 were blah, but the 3rd seemed to be going somewhere.  I picked a line from Stave 1 and 5  regarding mention of the heart and showed a transformation. At first Scrooge is all bury them with a stake of holly through their heart, then after some defrosting with the help of the spirits he is someone who keeps christmas in their heart year round. Holly, transformation, growing, hearts, crazy flowery victorian letter... maybe it's too crazy, maybe it's not crazy enough? Maybe the cut-outs on the letter should be hearts too?



11/7/13: I am in love with all things Christmas. I chose, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, which was my first adult book read way back in 4th grade.  I then went on to write a paper comparing it to Hamlet in high school, and illustrated characters from the story as part of my thesis in grad school. So I'm just a little in love with the story, and love how Charles Dickens can write a sentence that takes up half a page, use fragments and obscure words even for his time. I had a whole argument in high school that if Dickens could write like that then so could I, but I didn't win, oh well.


Wacky History that I feel like sharing:

  • It's pretty cool that it is a self-published book, Dickens was mad about how his last book was publicized so paid Chapman and Hall to publish it so that he could keep all the proceeds, but due to printing problems he only made £137 on the first printing.
  • The first edition of 6,000 copies sold out in 5 days. And by the following spring had already  been printed 7 more times, the book has never been out of print.
  • The story is credited with restoring Chirstmas as a holiday of joy and merriment in a sober and somber time in England and America. (It always makes me cheerier)
  • Viewed as an indictment of 19th century indutrial capitalism.
  • In 19th century England the Chistmas tree has just been populized by Queen Victoria's German husband.
  • The tradition of Christmas Cards started the same year that A Christmas Carol was first published.

The story and my focus:

Everyone has probably seen or read a version of the A Christmas Carol, so already know what happens. The things I want to focus on are:

  • Early Victorianism
  • embracing the Christmas Spirit
  • tranformation: Scrooge starts as the embodiment of winter followed by his rewenal (winter to spring)
  • rediscovering the innocence, goodwill, love and joy of childhood
  • hearts (hearts are mentioned a few times throughout the book)

I'm not sure how a letter will covey all of that just yet, but I'll figure it out. I'll be doing D for Dickens.


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