"Bedtime Story in the Forest"

by Elena Comte

Nature and my children are my greatest sources of inspiration. I am very much inspired by small details surrounding me, especially by the shapes I see in my daily life but also by colors in general. When I walk in the forest, I have fun imagining myself small enough to see it up close. In a different, more intimate way. I think it’s because growing up, I spent my days in the forest. I observed and analyzed so many little details that surrounded me. I listened to the wind and watched the light. The squishy feeling of the moss under my hands, the green color of the ferns and pines. When I am immersed in nature, I feel greatly inspired to create illustrations. I imagine animals living in cute little houses. In fact, it’s me who wants to escape into these fantastic environments. And my kids always have such interesting and fun ideas. I love asking them questions.

Today I chose to share an illustration I just finished. I love living in the comfort of a warm, nicely lit home, especially when it’s cool outside. Coziness is really comforting for me. And this is what I wanted to illustrate. I set a theme for my painting to guide me: bedtime story. You know, that precious moment when we read a book to our kids to help them fall asleep at night. I wondered which animal I should pick for my composition. And I remembered that lately, I’ve decided to include more and more of my own story/childhood in my illustrations. So I chose squirrels. I miss squirrels. I’m from Quebec, Canada and they are everywhere over there. Here in Amsterdam, I’ve never seen one yet. The squirrel represents my childhood, my home.

I started by exploring my ideas through rough sketches. Then I chose my favorite one. I refined the lines and planned my colors. I completed the final illustration and added some details. I finished it by adding shadow and the light reflections of the moon. I worked entirely in Procreate for this using gouache brushes.

Elena Comte

Illustrator & Designer

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