The lovely people at Management Today asked me to create an illustration about certain successful independent products doing well in supermarkets. Obviously it's not easy for these small companies, so I decided to show their products literally climbing the shelves.
First I started with a pencil line drawing on some stretched watercolour paper. When there is lots of detail involved sometimes I work up an acrylic underpainting to establish the tonal values and effectively seal the drawing so it doesn't disappear when I apply watercolour. However I did actually shade certain areas in pencil beforehand because the medium offers more control and I can erase my mistakes!
With the acrylic underpainting I concentrated on the background to try and set this back from the characters.
The finished illustration with watercolour and gouache over the acrylic underpainting.