This was a big and intimidating project. And I got a bunch of “in progress”-pictures of it!


The whole thing was based on this tiny painting that I made over a year ago, and thought it was too ugly to ever show anyone. But the idea was nice, and I finally got around to make a bigger and better version.
I made this sketch on the bus, so I used whatever materials I could find in my pen-bag to clarify what was what. A regular pencil to make out the background, an ink-pen to mark out the most important lines, and a red ink-pen to mark out the fairies. Otherwise they would disappear in the mess and I’d forget where I put them.
IMG_20180913_0004Then, traced the sketch onto a watercolour paper and outlined it all with a brown pencil. Here I’ve gotten pretty far in the outlining process, and am so sick of leaves at this point!
TunnelSketchAndOutlineAfter I put on the first layer of paint, it was covered with dots of masking fluid. They are what makes out the light spots.
WP_20180812_005[1]And after that it was just layer after layer of darker green, until I felt ready to peel the masking fluid off, and then just the last details on the fairies, some more brown pencil where I wanted sharper edges, and that’s about it.
It ended up like this:

The best (and worst) thing about making big and complicated pieces like these is that they remind you how much you still have to learn. This one especially reminded me of two things.
1. I could gain from doing a few studies on ground, especially forest floors. This one looks really flat, and when I think about it, I think a lot of my images has the same problem. So, practice drawing the ground.
2. I’m still not over my fear of making dark enough shadows. It is really scary to start putting on dark paint on top of the image I already worked so hard on for so long. It’s so easy to ruin it all, and this fear makes it so that my paintings never really gets dark enough shadows. That’s another thing that should be my subject of practice for a while.That’s all from me. Tomorrow I’m off to a children’s book festival. My first! Very much looking forward to it. We’ll see if maybe a diary spread or two comes out of it.
Happy Monday y’all!


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