First off I produced this detailed sketch which I extrapolated from a series of thumbnails. I'd like to show the thumbnails too but I have a habit of using them for scrap and they tend to disappear in the recycling bin well before I remember I'll possibly need them again. The sketch below is the largest drawing I have produced for the series so far and believe me, it had to be. There was a lot of erasing, re-positioning and general jiggery-pokery involved before I had a composition I liked. I always find a table-based scene particularly hard because, well, there's a table in it! They get in the way of the action, are often much wider than you think and not very exciting to draw. To counteract these issues I raised the eye-level to suggest the viewer is stood behind the mouse and hare looking down on the raucous feast (Rockwell never struggled).
After the sketch was completed and approved by my wonderful client, Olivier, I moved into Photoshop to produce a small tonal study. I knew in advance how the scene should work, dark background, light middle ground and a slightly silhouetted foreground badger, but I thought it prudent to develop the study considering the amount of time I would spend painting especially if I were to make mistakes and find myself re-working the final image.
Redwall books by Brian Jacques.
Watercolour & Gouache
50 x 40cm