'Alone Together', a 24 page color sketchbook of pieces like this will debut in April of 2022.
To the left you can see one of those pieces finished and colored ready for a page in that sketchbook––and in this blogpost I'll break down the process to get there.
The mouse originally had a crossbow, but it looked too much like he was threatening the birds, so I decided he could be feeding them instead. Perhaps he uses the bones and animal pieces for raw materials useful to the mice, but then casts the waste out for other critters to eat,
I inked the piece with a printout of the above layout taped to the back of a sheet of Strathmore 300 series bristol. On my Huion lightpad I can see through the bristol down to the pencils and use them as a guide while I ink.
I used Copic Multiliner SP pens (the 0.7 & 0.3 nibs) to ink this as I streamed on Twitch, answering fans questions as I worked.
When the inks were finished, I started the color flatting (the first step of digital coloring where you establish all the color spaces with flat color). The palate was meant to play mostly fall yellow-oranges off of steely blue greys.
Normally this is also the step where I'd add all my color holds (areas where I want the ink lines to be a color other than black) but this is a rare piece for me these days where I didn't have any.
Below you can see the final colors all rendered withe the Dodge and Burn tools and ready for inclusion in the sketchbook I'll release this year.