Art Journal: Creating the Storybook Garden in Autumn

The first stage of any artwork I create is to sketch out the shape of the piece in a light 2B artist’s pencil.  This allows me to see how the image flows across the large A3 poster.  My aim is to create pockets of interest throughout the page.

I then put out a request to the online community for suggestions of their favourite autumn sights for me to include.  Below you can see the tiny fly agaric and wheelbarrow full of pumpkins and squash that were sent in as requests.

Gradually, the giant poster starts to fill with outlines and swirls.  I work from home and have five children so sometimes a fairy might decide to take a nap on my pencil case.

The perspective in my work often skews in different directions. The aim is to try and give different vantage points, as if the viewer is taking a walk around the drawing and seeing everything from lots of different angles.

Once the outline is complete, in this case after thirty hours of drawing time, we take a careful scan so that we have a “colouring sheet” copy.

Afterwards, I highlighted just the suggested items and laid out lots of little labels with each person’s name next to their request, as a thank you for taking part.

Then I gradually inked-in the rest of the poster.  In this particular piece there is a lot of sky, weaving pathways and green spaces, so I tested out different tonal graduations to prevent large blocks of the same colour.  This stage takes around twenty five hours.

 After 55 hours … the poster is complete; it is time to scan the finished artwork and start to design the products for the Storybook Garden in Autumn Collection.

If you would like to colour in this giant poster yourself, wherever you are in the world, you can download it from our shop for just ยฃ2.50. I would love to see how it turns out if you do ๐Ÿ™‚ Every sale helps our tiny family business grow x

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37 thoughts on “Art Journal: Creating the Storybook Garden in Autumn

  1. Fine detailed work can be so calming, and I love to do it. I used to sew church altar linens, doing white-on-white embroidery. Colored pencils are fun to use in paper art, such as a Monet coloring book I bought a few years ago.


    1. White on white embroidery is such a skill!

      I use pencil crayons and brush pens, sometimes watercolour. I would love to try one of those watercolour brush pens where it draws up the paint ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Thanks very much! I find them everso calming to do ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™m just finishing off a Halloween one at the moment – which is the most detailed and crazy one Iโ€™ve done to date x Iโ€™m 70 hours in so far ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ™ƒ


  2. Color me impressed! I had no idea you did this sort of thing. You’re very talented, here and in the garden as well. Being an American, I have no idea what size an A3 poster is. Would you translate…into inches, if possible? (Or I can translate into inches online.) Beautiful. I love the tote and cup that appear to have your design on them as well.



    1. Hello! In the US I think the closest size is Tabloid or Ledger? A3 is 11.7 x 16.5 inches – though my picture will also print out at A1 (double A3 size). Thank you for the feedback – weโ€™ll add the measurements to the download description for our USA friends ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ โค๏ธ

      I really appreciate you taking a browse around my little shop! -Beck x


  3. Beck, this is amazing! Thank you for sharing the process with us as well as sharing your talent. And congratulations on the shop! I can’t wait to see the next collection ๐Ÿ˜Š ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿx


    1. Thanks so much Sandra! I appreciate your support so much ๐Ÿฅฐโค๏ธ Iโ€™m hoping to finish Halloween in the next few days …. and then Iโ€™m making some teeny tiny commissions – hand-sewn dolls house books – before I start the huge Santaโ€™s Workshop Christmas Poster ๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป ๐ŸŽ„


    1. Thank you! So sorry for the late reply! There was such a hurry to get everything set up with the little art shop in time for Christmas, but I’m back on track now and hoping to be back blogging and writing too throughout winter. Hope you are keeping safe and well x


  4. This is beautiful. I love how you included the community too. You are so talented. Bet your kids love having a creative parent like you, they can color all the time. I will have to share this with my followers in my monthly updates. Just too pretty not to pass onto others.


    1. Thank you so much SuZan! I’ve been drawing for years but only secretly – my husband put one of my hand-drawn maps online over the summer and that escalated to a little online art shop and commissions. I can’t quite believe it x I hope you are having a lovely start to Advent and are keeping well and safe xxx


  5. Wow ! Thatโ€™s beautiful and Iโ€™ll bet itโ€™s loads of fun! I admire your patience. I wish I could draw- so many cute little things here in Japan. I imagine a beautiful tapestry of Japanese seasons ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! I love taking photos as I go along – I’ve just finished another huge piece, which I’ll pop online soon, of Cambridge in the Spring. It was for a very special family and made up of photos they sent to me – a real labour of love.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I’ve just completed a huge art commission and now I can catch up on your beautiful blog – hope you are having a wonderful start to the winter season and keeping safe and well xxx


      1. You must feel happy to have completed your art commission! How wonderful. I had no idea you were an artist and had an online shop. Wonderful items for gifts and home!!
        I hope you have a good start to December and you are staying healthy and well.


        1. Thank you! Admittedly, I have been drawing all my life and keeping my drawings in my wardrobe ๐Ÿ™‚ My husband put one of my maps on his twitter feed over the summer and everything escalated from there! It has been such joy to start making a little living from something I love so very much x I hope you and your family are all keeping well and enjoying this strange and unusual Christmas season x


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