Art Journal: The Creation of Mister Meadowson

Whilst I was working on my winter collection for the little art shop I had a request from a young girl in the United States for a tiny fox with glasses to be included somewhere in one of my illustrations. She wears glasses herself and thought it would be nice to have a character to find that was in glasses too.

The more I thought about a bespectacled fox character, the more he came to life, until I had a very clear image of a woodland librarian in my mind and could not wait to start creating him.

In the various public libraries I have worked in over the years, winter usually involves trying to keep warm with a lot of hot drinks and extra layers of clothing. In some of the older buildings and mobile libraries I used to keep a coat, hat and gloves on – and sometimes even mittens! My fox character would definitely need to have his own cold weather clothes.

Although I always do my initial sketches in my art journal, I am getting more and more used to working on an iPad with an Apple Pencil now. My initial sketch is scanned in as the first layer and then I draw over the top in an electronic version of my Derwent pencil. The undo button proves incredibly useful when I have lots of children around my desk and also allows me to try out different colour schemes.

At first the character still seemed to want a final something to bring him to life. I was much happier once the fox and toy rabbit were aged, as if by years of hugs, with the addition of little curls and wisps of fur.

I often change the background colour if I am trying to find spots I have missed. As I was using an autumn palette a pink tone showed up a handful of missing leaves and little star patterns.

Here he is – complete. Mister Meadowson, Librarian-at-Large.

My husband then used my illustration to create a mug, blanket and other lovely items to sell. I hope, very soon, to create the design on Mister Meadowson’s own tea cup so that we can add a real life version of his mug to the Tiny Potager Shop too.

This is the soft grey blanket that my little friend in the States is getting as her Christmas present from her parents. I could not be more delighted that they love the design.

You can watch the creation of Mister Meadowson from the initial sketch the the finished product below.

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I’ve linked below to where you can buy the items mentioned in my post from Amazon. If you click on the picture and buy the item I will get a small commission to help support my art.

Derwent 34215 Graphic Soft Graphite Drawing Pencils, Set of 12, Professional Quality, Black