The first stage of any artwork I create is to sketch out the shape of the piece in a light 2B artist's pencil. This allows me to see how the image flows across the large A3 poster. My aim is to create pockets of interest throughout the page.
I then put out a request to the online community for suggestions of their favourite autumn sights for me to include. Below you can see the tiny fly agaric and wheelbarrow full of pumpkins and squash that were sent in as requests.
Gradually, the giant poster starts to fill with outlines and swirls. I work from home and have five children so sometimes a fairy might decide to take a nap on my pencil case.
The perspective in my work often skews in different directions. The aim is to try and give different vantage points, as if the viewer is taking a walk around the drawing and seeing everything from lots of different angles.
Once the outline is complete, in this case after thirty hours of drawing time, we take a careful scan so that we have a "colouring sheet" copy.
Afterwards, I highlighted just the suggested items and laid out lots of little labels with each person's name next to their request, as a thank you for taking part.
Then I gradually inked-in the rest of the poster. In this particular piece there is a lot of sky, weaving pathways and green spaces, so I tested out different tonal graduations to prevent large blocks of the same colour. This stage takes around twenty five hours.
After 55 hours ... the poster is complete; it is time to scan the finished artwork and start to design the products for the Storybook Garden in Autumn Collection.