It’s not really called the Day Forest, that is just a nick name I’ve given this two page spread in Johanna Basford’s ‘Enchanted Forest’ to differentiate it from the first forest two page spread which I named the ‘Dawn Forest’.
This is the picture that featured in my recent YouTube video where you get to watch me colour the pink bush and the leafy plant behind it while I answer questions and ramble on. (See previous post.)
I remembered to take a few progress pictures so that you could see a little behind the creative process of colouring it.
When I first looked at this two page panorama in it’s raw inked form it struck me that, although the trees and plants are beautifully detailed, the scene lacked a background to give it some depth. I decided to add one. But I didn’t want anything too fussy as the foreground Johanna has drawn is plenty detailed enough. After mentally juggling around ideas I settled on a simple line of foliage to denote the tops of the trees behind the large trees and some simple mountain peaks behind. I drew these in graphite pencil adjusting them until I was happy and then I went over them with coloured fineliners. (Copic multiliners to be exact.) the sky was also very big and empty so using a light blue pencil I drew in the silhouette of clouds. Then I got a bit bold and decided to add a fox peaking around the base of the tree on the second page. 🙂 I have a feeling these little additions are going to start popping up in future pictures.
I selected my favourite pencils for working in this book: Faber Castell Polychromos and Derwent Artist pencils. started to colour in my usual pattern starting with the left hand side and moving across to the right to avoid smearing the pencils about with the base of my hand. I like to colour in foreground images first as i find that the precolouring acts as a resist for when I’m colouring in the back ground making the picture appear neater and crisper.
Choosing colours in such a large piece is always a challenge. I wanted the scene to be bright as in the middle of a slightly overcast day. I wanted the foliage to be predominantly green with some other colours added as highlights and to stop the picture from becoming monotonous. I LOVE the huge range of great greens in my Derwent Artist set. It has the best greens. 🙂 I moved from one area to the next choosing the colours. If I got stuck on which colours to add I would leave that area and move to another where my vision for the necessary colours was clear. Eventually all the colours suggest themselves based on what is around them.
I colour the sky and background in stages as i move across the picture to stop myself from becoming bored with them. I like to complete one page at a time before I get too much into the second page. As usual that centre margin is a pain to colour. I press down hard on the joint to hold it as flat as possible to colour in it. luckily these books are well made and not in danger of falling apart.
Working from the top left hand corner of the picture, across and down. I have a scrap of paper under my hand to protect the page from smears and oils from my skin which would effect how the pencil acts with the paper. I discovered the card in the tree and decided to colour this gem as an emerald.
Uncounted hours later, and taking about ten days, and my piece is finally done. 🙂 A had a lot of trouble getting the camera to take a good photograph with nice even lighting throughout so I’m afraid this poor picture has been heavily doctored with Photoshop. the tight hand side is still over exposed… the colouring is quite even throughout, but you get the idea.
Close ups of each side. once again the lighting is terrible. I will try to replace these picture with better ones when I can figure out how to in Photoshop. the colour is a little off… it’s much more like the progress shots about but I hope you get the idea.
Overall I am very chuffed with this picture. I love doing these double spreads. I’m already eyeing off the next one with the mushrooms. But I’m trying to do this book mostly in order, so that means jumping back a page to colour the deer and birds that I skipped before heading deeper into the Enchanted Forest.