The Hounds of the Morrigan," by Pat O'Shea. It's also a way to add some much needed black and white examples to my portfolio.
This image is an illustration based on this passage from the book: "The fox coughed delicately and was, to all appearances - instantly very deeply absorbed in studying a splendid green beetle with polished wing-cases and remarkable antennae, who was taking a casual ramble up a wheat stalk." This is a scene that follows the introduction of Cooroo, the fox that befriends the two children of the story, Pidge and Brigit. The fox has been conversing with the children when he is distracted by the beetle. It's just a short paragraph, the beetle doesn't feature in the story, but by including a description of the fox's interest in it, the author gave me a clear sense of the fox's similarity to a dog. My dog is always being distracted by the smallest little things, so I thought this short scene was a beautiful way for the author to tell us something about the fox's personality.
Since I tend to work in spurts and stops, between interruptions and distractions, it's kind of hard to tell how long I worked on this piece, but I estimate it was probably between 20 and 30 hours. The fox's fur was the most time consuming part of the illustration and also the most intimidating, but I'm quite happy with the way it turned out.