On Halloween last year, my partner and I bought our very first house together. After receiving so many kind and thoughtful notes from friends and family, it got me thinking that I don't have any cards for congratulating people on their new home. So I set out with this thought in mind to remedy the problem.
Since I've been in the house mostly only in the winter and fall, I was feeling like I wanted to draw something cozy, warm, and burrow like, so I ran through my head a few names for houses, and thought up the word "digs", which is where it all came together. I decided it would be a mole, cozy in it's burrow, with the caption "I love your new digs".
After doing a few loose pencil sketches of the animals I am going to use for a new composition in my sketchbook, I typically create a gesture drawing to get the gist of the drawing out on paper. I try not to over edit this part, and get natural expressions and body language across.
Next, if I like where it's going, I solidify the design by going over it with pen. This helps keep the parts of the gesture that work really well, but also cleans up the bits that don't really make sense, or that are too distracting. Sometimes at this stage I realize that things aren't quite where I want them to be, and I start over. If I'm not happy with the design at this point, there's no fixing it later, so it's best to get it right. Then, when it looks good, I erase the pencil marks and it's ready for a bit of paint!
The painting is always so much fun! Picking warm and cozy colors to compliment the underground space was key for this drawing. I also limited my color palette so that the various components of the image aren't fighting with one another - so for instance if you look closely the mole has undertones of the same purples that are in the shadows of the chair and in the rug on the ground. I also left the books on the shelf all as all one color so that the extra detail didn't draw too much away from the characters in the foreground.
And voila! It's done! All that's left is to add on the words, and it's ready for printing.