Illustration by Hanna Karlzon from the beautiful book Magical Dawn.
I had a great time colouring this one! I’ve tried to use opposite colours here to bring out the richness of details. Green and orange, red and purple work well when creating contrast. To colour the beetles I used Derwent Lightfast pencils. They are very pigmented and produce beautiful, deep tonalities. I needed only one other pencil to complete my palette, Polychromos Light Cobalt Turquoise. Little details done with Posca Pens.
When working the background, I prefer soft pastels because they’re quick to apply, blend well and create a delicate, soft texture. To keep their pigment in place, it really needs a fixative. For this page I used a spray fixative. I also used a paper mask to protect the drawings, because fixatives are tricky and sometimes can change the colours. Always test on a separate piece of paper before applying fixative on your artwork.
At first, when I completed the page, I was not sure to add a background or not. I’m glad I’ve decided to create one with soft pastels, I think it makes the colours pop and look more interesting!