I started with a very rough sketch in photoshop (normally I sketch in pencil first, but this time it just seemed easier to delete and edit as I didn't know really what I wanted). After an hour or so of sketching and deleting, I had arrived at the sketch below.
I knew by looking at the sketch that I would run into problems when it came to coloring the girl at the table, as my lines are very rough and I hadn't drawn the hands clearly. A clear pencil drawing really makes the difference at the photoshop stage, so I took a pencil and paper and re-drew the daydreaming lady.
Her hair changes in this sketch, which wasn't planned, I just drew it as a preliminary squiggle and hesitated before rubbing it out when I saw that it looked ok. That's what's I find is much fun about drawing pictures, the element of mystery about it. I can have a vague idea of what I want but I'm always surprised buy something that happens along the way. They are not all good surprises though.
Here I've started to colour the background and I've added a paper texture, which I find really adds some nice contrast to the image, and a hint of orangey/brown over the picture helps the different colours to work together.
I tend to try and keep my colour palette small, as it's so difficult to work with more than two or three basic colours. I generally choose one warm and one cool colour and then work with variations on those.
This is the illustration almost finished. I left it like this overnight and then came back to work on it the next morning. I felt that the bookcase wasn't working where it touches the ground, so I deleted a bit of that. I also added a tiger's tail to get a bit of orange into the bottom left, balancing the orange of the girls hair and helping to draw the eye into the foliage.