Enchanted Forest: Stages in Colouring the Day Forest. :)

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.


A little fox sneaks into Johanna’s forest.

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.


It was getting late in the evening when I reached this stage, so the lighting for photography wasn’t that great.

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.


The bright pink bushes were added to balance out the bright greens that were dominating the top of the picture. i brought some of those greens down to colour the two leaves in the middle bottom of the first page to help bring it all together.

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.


Side 1. For some reason it’s come out reddish towards the left hand.


Side 2. I’m really pleased how my little fox turned out. I wanted him to look like a natural part of the picture and not stand out as an addition.

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.


  1. Melvina Grose

    BEAUTIFUL! Since watching your YouTube video I have been anxiously waiting to see the finished product. It’s gorgeous! I love it.

  2. Jennifer Noelle


    Your work is so inspiring!!! I love your creative use of colors. I have learned so much from reading your blog and watching all your youtube videos. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with the world 🙂 I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.

  3. Robin Reed

    I watched your video first not even realizing you had finished. What a surprise to go to the next post and see such a beautiful piece. I love your color choices. So bright and beautiful. Everything just flows together. The additions were so creative and added so much demention. The little fox of course is my favorite. I wish I had your artist talent. Thank you so much for sharing. I can’t wait for your next video. ❤️

  4. Trish

    I really appreciate your taking the time to post your progress. You give me great color ideas – have a problem sometimes with that – and hopefully aspire to get to a better level in my coloring. Love your videos as well! Thanks so much for sharing

  5. Sabrina

    Wonderful work!

  6. RandellynB

    Stunning work! I’m a new subbie on YT and have really enjoyed your videos so far. Thank you for sharing your process and the reviews.

  7. Ana

    Wonderful! I like your work very much. I’m learning a lot with people like you who have talent and are happy to share with others. Thank you for your generosity! (Sorry for my english, I’m portuguese ?)

  8. Ana

    I forgot to ask you, can I pin it in Pinterest?

    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Hi Ana, certainly. You can add my work to your Pinterest site. Just link it back to my blog in the comments section. Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you’re enjoying my work.

  9. Astrid S

    Don’t worry too much about the lighting, it still looks fabulous!! I love the bushes and munains behind, saw that drawn in on your youtube video, but now i see the clouds too, makes it even more realistic, love it!!

  10. Lucy Banta

    Beautiful work! You inspire me to try color. Where did you say that pencil case is from? Thanks!

  11. Kate

    I love how your colouring turned out – the Fox you drew is definitely my favourite part of the picture. It looks like the Fox was there all along!

  12. Macarena

    Hi peta i love your Work! I have learn a lot from your videos you really inspire me. Can you make a video about how to do differents backgrounds like bubbles or sunlight coming in through water? Sorry for my english im from uruguay and i speak spanish!

    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Hi Macarena. I’ll look into it. In the meantime there are some good videos on YouTube by other artists demonstrating how to colour bubbles and water droplets. Check out how they use the colours and apply it to pencils. 🙂

  13. Dena Cottrell

    I love your finished piece. You definitely have an eye for color. Simply lovely! I can’t wait to see more fronoubb

  14. Alison M

    Hi Peta, , just discovered your videos via the Michael O Mara website, and have really enjoyed watching them. Thank you, am sure I will return often. It’s lovely to watch the techniques in real time and to see the finished effects emerging. Really inspiring ?

  15. AnnW

    Once again thank you for your inspiration! You do beautiful work, I love the little fox I wish I could dra as well!

  16. Veronica

    O, golly, your work is absolutely stunning!!!
    (And I love your Aussie accent…..hehe)
    You are a master and a superb inspiration to me.
    Please don’t stop doing realtime videos, I love how the magic unfolds!
    Warm regards

  17. Martyna

    Dear Peta. Your work is inspiration for me you’ve got huge talent, i wonder if i can make something similar to your work if thats fine with you and i also would like to share it on facebook. Greetings from Poland Martyna G.

  18. Barbara Hahn

    Your work is stunning. Your talent with color is amazing. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to your videos.

  19. Stacy Roberds

    Hi Peta!
    I’m so inspired by your work. Thank you very much for the generous real time tutorials! My girlfriends and I each bought the Enchanted Forest so we could follow along with your 5 part Duck Pond. In the meantime, when we are working on our individual projects, I’ve started the two page spread you call the Day Forest. By following your other videos I think I have managed to figure out which colors to use. However when it comes to the bark of these trees, I’m a little stumped. No pun intended! They are all various shades of brown. Could you give me a little guidance for the first tree on the left? Which pencils did you use for the bark? I have finished the leaves and the ribbon and am pleased with the result but have since stalled out. Thank you again for helping those of us who are desperate to make a mark on the page but very intimidated by the very prospect!

    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Wow, I’m pretty honoured that you’ve chosen my Duck pond tutorial for a group project. That is very cool. 🙂
      To answer your question… I’ve got the book open in front of me with my swatch chart… les’see… i used ‘brown ochre’ from my Polychromos range with ‘van dyke brown’ for shading from my Derwent Artist pencils.The right hand edge of the trunk was highlighted with ‘light yellow glaze’ from my polychromos prior to the browns being added.

      1. Stacy Roberds

        Thank you very much for responding!!! You really present the nicest coloring tutorials online! The camera angles are very good. I appreciate that you take the time to show which pencil you are using. And of course, your results are so beautiful! And we Americans can listen to your lovely accent all day!

  20. Chrissy

    I absolutely adore your tutorials and share them on my Facebook page quite often. Your coloring is beautiful of course but the way you present a stress free way to color is what I really enjoy.

  21. Lori Anne

    Peta, as usual your ideas and completed projects are phenomenal! This picture is absolutely beautiful and very inspiring. I love how you consider the time lapse in this picture ~ just simply amazing. And listening to your discussion regarding what you are doing and why provides so much inspiration! Your works – either completed or during the process, is so calming that it actually positively introduces newbies to this coloring craze, providing them with the confidence they need in order to tackle their projects! Thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge with all of us. It is deeply appreciated and cherished. Your voice during instruction is very soothing and more than inspiring!! It’s because of your reviews of the different products available, and your introduction to these products and the different coloring books available, especially the imported ones like Rhapsody in the Forest, among other coloring books, is what lead me to purchase these gorgeous nooks, is undeniable. I cherish every second with these products. If I’m not working on something, I’m staring at them!! LOL

    These are lovely books and art supplies and I thank you for sharing your knowledge with us !!

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