The Nutcracker

December 20th, 2009

I drew this for a Christmas wallpaper for the NEET blog (which you can nab for yourself if you follow that link). Any excuse to draw a bit of The Nutcracker, it’s my favourite ballet and my parents and I usually see it at Christmas. This year we saw Les Patineurs / Tales of Beatrix Potter though, which was totally amazing (It snowed on stage! All the little mice! Massive dolls house! How do they see through the animal heads!) but I did miss all that Tchaikovsky.


The Sugar Plum Fairy


The Mouse King


Clara


Nutcracker


And here are the original sketches. I sketched with a red mechanical pencil, inked with a Pentel pocket brush pen, scanned them in and got rid of all the red lines and background, then coloured in and added last little details in Photoshop.


I also did a little rough colour plan this time, which I don’t usually do due to laziness and impatience, because I wanted the four characters to work together nicely.

The inspiration:


(josefskrhola)


(josefskrhola)


(josefskrhola)


(Besimo)


(Haags Uitburo)


(Julian Broad and Rachel Papo)

32 Comments

  1. Sandra says:

    It’s great seeing you work routine. and I love the wallpaper.

    reply

  2. Kim says:

    Nice to see your sketches, I always like seeing people’s work in progress.

    reply

  3. Eline says:

    This whole post is so so perfect!

    reply

  4. Krissy says:

    Oh my! These are delightful! Going to see the Nutcracker ballet is one my favourite holiday traditions. :)

    reply

  5. Amanda says:

    I am so glad you’ve posted some new drawings! These are beautiful and I was missing seeing your talent!

    reply

  6. Flora says:

    the final image look great, and so do the sketches :))
    x

    reply

  7. V. says:

    Love the wallpaper, but the link doesn’t work :<

    reply

    kris atomic says,

    December 20th, 2009 @ 7:26 pm

    which one, they all work for me!? the NEET blog has weird formatting for my browser though, not sure if that’s a problem for everyone or not. :( it’s there, you just have to scroll to bottom right corner.
    let me know if it still doesn’t work! x

    reply

  8. Angie says:

    These are fantastic! If you don’t mind me asking, how do you colour them in Photoshop? Do you use a Wacom? I have tried colouring illustrations with a mouse and it just doesn’t seem to work for me!

    reply

    kris atomic says,

    December 21st, 2009 @ 2:12 am

    Thank you!
    I don’t mind at all :) I do use a Wacom tablet, I found using a mouse totally impossible and love the tablet so I would recommend it highly!
    Once I’ve scanned a drawing in, I basically do curves on it to get the blacks black and the whites white, then take out the red lines via the saturation thingy. Then I select the white areas and delete them, so it’s just the black lines on top of transparent background. I colour in under that, separating things out over layers so it’s easy to change colours later.
    I think there are tons of different ways of doing digital colouring (probably much quicker and easier ones!) but that’s what works for me! x

    reply

    Angie says,

    December 21st, 2009 @ 6:24 am

    Thanks so much for your reply, that was really helpful! I think I’ll definitely look at investing in a Wacom tablet in the future, it sounds a lot easier. Keep up the great work, can’t wait to see more stuff in the future. :)

    reply

  9. Cait says:

    These are wonderful! I’m downloading it right now.

    I went to see The Nutcracker this weekend, it was set in the 1920’s which I’m still not sure about. I think I’d rather have seen a traditional version. You’re illustrations have made me feel so much better about it!

    Merry Christmas x

    reply

  10. Anna says:

    This is really great. Do you use a tablet? If so, what kind?

    reply

  11. Ann says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your process! I love learning about others’ work processes – and the wallpaper is beeeautiful!

    reply

  12. sofia says:

    I’m speachless. AMAZING!

    reply

  13. ana patricia says:

    i absolutely love the nutcracker! and is so inspiring to see your process and the images that inspired you

    reply

  14. Akay says:

    These drawing are beautiful,. I always get excited when you post something new :) x

    reply

  15. Javier says:

    That’s funny, I have just arrive from seeing “The Nutcracker”, and it was wonderful, it was the best christmas present ever!

    reply

  16. Lauren says:

    lovely photos as always! i love the nutcracker :)

    reply

  17. alla says:

    The drawings are infintely adorable.

    reply

  18. Andrina says:

    Hello, what a wonderful post! I have to ask, where is your annual christmas day post!? I really look forward to that every year!! :-)

    reply

    kris atomic says,

    January 7th, 2010 @ 12:59 am

    it’s up now ;)

    reply

  19. Matilda says:

    Love the colours!!

    reply

  20. the nutcracker was a massive childhood obsession of mine, these illustrations capture it beautifully!

    reply

  21. Goldy says:

    I was in the Louisville Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker for 5 years, so as a true Nutcracker fanatic, I can honestly say your illustrations are perfect :)

    (and as for seeing out of the animal heads, you don’t. You basically run around with a grid in front of your eyes and bump into stuff a lot)

    reply

  22. Thanks for the insight to the way you work, very interesting!
    Love your illustrations!

    reply

  23. laura says:

    these drawings are sooo amazing. thanks for sharing, and the process too. my daughter didn’t seem to love the nutcracker too much (too girly for her) but she completely adored the mouse king so that image is just perfection.

    laura

    reply

  24. Bee says:

    les patineurs wow, would love to see that, but I don’t think it is in the repertoire of any companies over here. i remember the characters in one of my favourite childhood books (saddler’s wells series if anyone else remembers those) went to see it, and the whole thing seemed so romantic and beautiful.

    reply

  25. Michelle says:

    Like everyone else, I really enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at your illustration. Fascinating!

    reply

  26. […] can I say? Britain’s talents obviously extend beyond tea drinking and cricket. Kris’ Nutcracker illustrations were inspired by family trips to the theatre each year. There’s something quite magical about […]

  27. […] The nutcracker images from Krisatomic. I’m not usually into holiday-themed craft, but using these as embroidery patterns would be pretty adorable. […]

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