Helium hello

06 June 13

Kris Atomic

I haven't done a process post in yonks, so thought I'd share the steps in making some new postcards for  my shop. I just ran out of the last batch and I'm pretty sick of looking at the same drawings while packing prints, so it was a perfect excuse to make something new.

Kris Atomic

First, little thumbnails to work out the composition.

Kris Atomic

Roughing out the ladies. I do everything on different layers, refining the details and hiding older layers as I go. I find the more precise (not necessarily detailed, but everything the right size and shape) my sketches are, the less time I spend changing things further down the line once colour is on an it's way more cumbersome and annoying.

Kris Atomic

Some colour thumbs to work out the palette. I wanted to limit it to just a handful of colours and it's easier to experiment while everything is still rough. I quite liked the pink/turquoise/peach version but it was too washed out on a larger scale, not enough contrast in values.

(I was listening to the audiobook of The Grapes of Wrath while I was drawing this, so I was tying not to get too bleak here too because damn, Steinbeck.)

Kris Atomic

I went with two versions in the end, the cool blue/red above and the warm pink/yellow/purple at the top of the post. Maybe next time I'll order another colourway and make it a little series!

Kris Atomic


Great colour palettes! These look absolutely lovely!

Adeline replied over 9 years ago.

i need that very top one in my life! totally made my day seeing that.

laura redburn // cardboardcities replied over 9 years ago.


Natalie Hughes replied over 9 years ago.

i love these! x

Laura replied over 9 years ago.

I love loooking at your process sketches and colour combinations. Plus the cards are adorable :) My favourite is the braided girl with the letter E

Alicia replied over 9 years ago.

They are so wonderful! I love the balloon theme, maybe try some other themes too. :)

natasha replied over 9 years ago.

It’s so nice, I like the lady with braid up.

Thanks for this little glimpse into your process! I love the way your lay out your color palettes; I might have to start doing that myself …

Jen K replied over 9 years ago.

Thanks for sharing… Love the palette selection options!! Such pretty ladies :-)

Rebecca replied over 9 years ago.

So lovely :) Any chance you’ll ever run a reprint of the Miu Miu piece? Please say yes!

emma replied over 9 years ago.

thank you! i actually find this insanely helpful!

i’ve been drawing and doodling and futzing with a pen and paper forrrrever, and now i’m slowly (achingly, agonizingly) slowly figuring out photoshop, and seeing bits & pieces of other peoples processes is like huge ‘aha!’ moments for me.

also, these illustrations are sweet!

also, hey, how do you feel about people pinning from your blog? pro/con/neutral?

Eliza replied over 9 years ago.

It’s so fun to get a peek behind the scenes. How did you get the helium balloons to look painter-ly yet realistic? Love it.

Trix replied over 9 years ago.


Jade Sheldon-Burnsed replied over 9 years ago.

These are so beautiful! I love seeing process posts; it’s so interesting to see your different thumbnails (especially for the different colourways!).

Anna replied over 9 years ago.

Just love your illustrations!

Selena replied over 9 years ago.

only just discovered your work, but absolutely love it! this illustration is so fun and lovely!

sally replied over 9 years ago.

omg!! I love these!

tia replied over 9 years ago.

[…] Kris shows us the process of creating this cute postcard. […]

Carousel: Oh, June! | FFBlogs replied over 9 years ago.

I love seeing the process of art creation!

Ana replied over 9 years ago.

Oh wow! Thanks for sharing! Love x

denis replied over 9 years ago.

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Hi, I'm Kris. This is an archive of my blog as it was from 2007 to 2014. It's no longer updated but feel free to browse through the past.


You can find my recent work at krisatomic.com, or drop me an email and say hello. 

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