Sean's darkly beautiful story inspired one of the most loved illustrations of the series so far - and the hardest to bring to life. Our initial discussion brought to mind some interesting ways to play with the subject matter, turning the hanging ropes in the tree into an ivy like weave up the trunk, binding the tree and it's history together. I soon found the perfect tree which already appeared to be turning to look disapprovingly at the viewer and the sketchbook layout went very well.
Bringing all of that to life on the paper was a tough job though - with contrasting textures and a change in tone from top to bottom, a lot had to be part done so I could judge how to make the subtle changes in shading to literally round it out. I'm glad I stuck with it though as it ended up where I wanted it to and the response has been fantastic. It's nice when that happens.
Additional image shows the work in progress and the final image, a sample illustration framed (the little figure in the bottom corner of the frame not included, that's the original Catmonkey who will be continuing his reign of terror from here).
The drawing comes complete with a copy of the story by Sean Walter.
Worked in charcoal and Wolff's carbon pencils on Fabriano Artistico extra white paper. It's framed ready to ship in a smart black frame made using recycled materials and with acrylic safety glazing. Drawn area size 12" wide by 18" high, frame size 16" x 22".