Top of the Saturday morning to you all!
I know this documentation kind of spoils the surprise of seeing the properly polished piece, but if, like me, you're teaching yourself how to paint by observing the great masters of contemporary illustration (Rebecca Dautremer, this means you!) you might appreciate the time and love that goes into the painting process. I see every children's book I buy as an investment (in fact, most of them aren't for reading, given I buy a great bulk overseas and my French and Italian is appalling and Spanish virtually non-existent!).
Whenever I am stuck and feel frustrated with my technical progress, I take an hour out to pour over my books; my nose literally millmetres from the pages, scrutinising every detail. Rebecca Dautremer's work is such a wonderful source of visual advice; she knows how to achieve smoothness in her work with patience, and how to cross-hatch to blend her shading for those really deep, atmospheric backgrounds. It is a laborious process; I have to be concentrating every second I'm painting and consequently can't do so for longer than a few hours at a time before I need to get up and do star-jumps (or, most often, have a cup of coffee, a slab of cake and attempt to tame the kitten). It is kind of like being a one-girl circus!
And on that note, I'm off for a spot of painting-taming!