After I have my idea and have done my research (on plants etc.) for the cartoon, I first start by sketching the idea out in pencil on normal white paper:
Then I carefully ink in the lines, tidying things up as I go along and adding fur to Nim. I use a fine mapping nib for their little faces and a fat, blobby script nib for their bodies and their environment. I use waterproof black indian ink (Windsor and Newton), which does not bleed when adding watercolour.
After the inking, I erase all the pencil lines and colour the whole cartoon with watercolours. I tend to stick to a limited palette, so that the whole series of cartoons hang together. I only use one red, the same red I use to make my pinks, only one green and one blue. I use a few browns though, as they all need a slightly different colour fur.
And at that point I scan the illustration in and put it into photoshop. I have a large selection of scanned in antique papers that I have picked up over the years from antique shops, flea markets, e-bay, etc. I love them. Don't quite know why, but there is something really appealing in those old yellowed papers and the old fashioned script writing. I select the papers that I think will work with the specific cartoon and blend them in photoshop. Often there are at least 3 layers of old papers blended together, using different blending options for each paper, depending on the effect and atmosphere I am after (light, dark, night, happy, sad, etc.)
Then last, but not least, I copy-paste the illustration into the file as the top layer and use a 'linear' blend so that the cartoon shines through bright and clear. To keep Edie's feathers as nice and white as she likes them to be, I add a little bit of white with the paint bucket tool, usually on about 50% opacity. That keeps her happy! All the others, I'm afraid, will have to be happy with the way their fur comes out in the linear blend. But then Edie is our special Diva Duck!
And that, in short, is the process I go through. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to create each cartoon from beginning to end. You can find this cartoon and many others on http://fiercegreymouse.blogspot.co.uk/
To view the sample pictures at full size, just click on them.