How do I create my greeting cards with pets?

greeting cards with pets
Irina Petrova
To begin with, I would like to mention that I am crazy about pets! I really am! And this is why the most of the cards in my shop are greeting cards with pets.
A lot of times looking through the images of cats and dogs on Instagram or other social media sources I bump into a lot of really nice pictures of dogs, cats and other wonderful pets and it instantly motivates me to start creating their sketches.
I have to add that nowadays the images which we are taking with our mobile phones are really impressive.
When I see all these images of adorable cats and dogs, I want to draw them straight away. It is almost like a natural attraction 😁 - I believe the word is affinity  (a new word I recently learned).
Many of the photos of dogs and cats were given to me by my friends and with their permission, I am using them for my sketches, which will quite frequently become greeting cards in the future. Sometimes I run a competition where the winner would have a free print of the sketch and also would allow me to use this drawing for greeting cards.
I do my best to try to choose different breeds for the sketches but sometimes I simply cannot resist drawing a second or third Dachshund or Labrador. 
 There are some really popular breeds and no wonder why, they just attract to themselves.
The only problem I have is not enough hours in a day, to draw everything I would love to.
Well… going back to the process of how I create my greeting cards with pets.
First of all, I choose a photo and ask permission (when needed). Then I sketch the dog or cat with my pastel pencils and pastel sticks on professional pastel paper. My sketches are not very detailed; some have a bit more details than others but overall they are pretty much the same.
I am trying to keep my sketch without any background, sometimes I had a bit of shading just to ground it. Well, occasionally I draw the background, it depends really how I feel, but for future use with a greeting card, it is much easier when there is no background.
I don’t usually draw a background because, in my next step, I will need to take a photo of my drawing and edit it in Photoshop.
In Photoshop I would cut off the image so it is left on a transparent background.
And then in the same Photoshop, I would add some creative background to my pet.
My favourite backgrounds are flowers, butterflies and dragonflies, which by the way are created the same way as a dog or cat drawing. Firstly, I sketch additional elements then photograph and edit in Photoshop.
When I add the background to my animals I usually try to achieve a 3D effect by blurring the back and sharpening around the main object.
Sometimes I am adding some words if the greeting cards with pets are for a special occasion.
Then using the greeting card template, I am saving it and it is ready to go to my printing company.
But if my design is new I always order a proof before placing an order, just to make sure that I am happy with the colouring.
It is sometimes quite frustrating when you see one colour on your computer and receive some printed items with colours completely off. That’s why having some proof prior main order is always a good thing!
I am always using premium-quality paper for my cards. It did take me a while to find the right paper as well. Because the type of paper also affects the colour of your print.  
Please click the link to browse through my  'Greeting Cards With Pets'  
Thank You for your time!

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