I started drawing the sketches for the book in early Spring 2020 which involved a good few hours of creative preparation. This first completed sketch and painting took seven hours.
After first designing the Druid's amulet, I started to physically create what I visualised after I read the words in the book. The story is set during the month of May so I researched that the Dog Star/Sirius sets South West in the sky in May, 'Dog Days of Summer'. Our faithful dog friends are believed to originate from Sirius. In the story the Druid emerges from an opening in the trees, perhaps a portal. You, the viewer observe in the north, seated at the element of the earth.
'Everyone was watching the Druid Master'.
'His long silver beard caught a glint of the star’s magic light and his deep blue eyes followed the fireflies dancing around his head'.
He wears a jewel on his third eye suggesting wisdom and purity of sight. He holds the Oak staff which details the Druid Ogham symbol for oak with some native lichen and moss to represent the importance of ancient woodland. On the left from where the Druid emerges is a Silver Birch, also known as the Lady of the Woods, can you see her face? As a pioneer tree, she is a tree that symbolises new beginnings, so it is quite fitting that this is where the story begins. Her bracket fungus is Birch Polypore, popular for bushcraft for fire-lighting skills, and even as using as a plaster when fresh as the fungus has antiseptic properties and when peeled it will stick to your skin.
Can you see a mouse, woodpecker family, an owl and a cheeky elf?
The Druid then goes on to perform a ceremony to pick and use the sacred herb, Vervain, which commonly grows along pathways, gifting it to the children to help them on their quest in search of the Elves' cure.