The Christmas Bear

I have made prints from the illustrations which I did for The Christmas Bear, a children's book first published by Dutton in New York.
The book follows a little polar bear who falls into Father Christmas, or Santa's study, warm and cosy, deep beneath the snow in the far, far north, one night before christmas.
I wanted to create an incredible detailed and intricate experience, with thousands of toys and colours to dive into.
It took such a long time to design, rough out, research and eventually paint! 
I roughed the drawings out in pencil to get the 'architecture' and then transferred these, with a light box, on to hard Schoellershammer paper. I then stretched this onto boards and started painting.
I use Ecoline Inks, which have very rich intense colours, they are easy to mix and paint with and they reproduce really well. I use the best sable watercolour brushes that I can afford.
I started by laying down a background wash all over, to set the overall light in the picture and to pull all the colours together when they are painted on top.
Any light areas, such as the stairwell, calendar, bear, beard etc being left white, or near.
I then painted in all the details, pale colours first.
The artwork was the same size as the finished book, 29 x 26cm.
The borders are marbled with ink on wet paper.
I have scanned in the original artwork at very high resolution, which means the The Christmas Bear Prints are very high quality and available in any size up to very, very big!