My latest piece is finally finished! I added the powdered charcoal in the background at the very end after all the detail of the tree was completed (so as not to smudge it with my hands during the lengthy rendering process). It transformed instantly from a light, pretty, romantic image into a moody, post-apocalyptic, eerie scene (which was what I wanted). My vision was to create a scene where the man and woman in the tree were desperately clinging together as if they had just witnessed the mass destruction of their kind and were the last to survive. I wanted to make a strong statement about the impact that forest clearing and bushfires are having on our natural environment. 13 million hectares are being actively destroyed annually around the world, the biggest driver (70%) is clearing for livestock. Of what is left, every year, the quality (biodiversity etc) is declining due to climate change and old growth forests being replaced with plantations.
Here is the finished drawing in the process of being scanned. I do this in multiple scans that are later stitched together in Photoshop to create a high resolution digital file for printing. I have an in-depth post about how I do this here: A Scan of Epic Proportions