The Thistle Queen started out with inspiration from nature. Cotey and I frequently take short hikes around our home and this day we wandered around Willow Lake in Prescott, AZ. I found a blooming thistle. What initially attracted me was the bees buzzing around it, but I was unable to capture them clearly with my camera phone. What I did capture, was a beautiful blooming thistle.
A few days later I sketched out the Queen in my sketchbook.
It took me a month or so to come back to the Thistle Queen. I wasn't ready to take her to color right away. A lot of times, I like to let things sit and sink in before I begin with the next step.
Once I adjusted the image to fit the size of paper I wanted to use, I then transferred the image with transfer paper. Then I blocked in the colors using my watercolor paints.
Next step, I start to add pencil on top of the watercolor. Using it as my darkest dark, use it to define the lines; also using a light gradient to enhance form.
I alternated between pencil and watercolor till I get the desired effect. Once I feel its where I want it to be, I add metallic paint and its finished!