It's always interesting to see how an artist works. I'll post my process from time to time because I don't always work the same way in terms of how detailed my preparation is. For the peacock image I did a detailed line drawing and then I didn't do any color sketches but rather delved straight into the painting from the line drawing. My process always begins with an unrecognizable thumbnail sketch. For Noah's Ark I had a pretty good idea what I wanted to do in my head so I moved into a basic outline sketch to size:
Next I traced it and refined the image (I use "refine" loosely):
I added a background for the sky and water, blocked in the boat, and began to add some details: the cloud swirls in the sky, the decorative waves and the lines and color variations in the wood of the boat.
I continued layering the colors and filling in the details. I used some colored pencil in the peacock. It's a little difficult to see where I used the gold from my scan, but it's strongest in the waves, with touches on the wood to catch the light in person, some of the fur and on Noah's robe.
This image was done for the Children's Illustration Showcase exhibit at Gallery Connect on view through the end of March.