Stage 1 (above) was the thumbnail sketch. Here you see the main elements--the three cats peering into the hollow tree. This thumbnail was done with tracing paper and a pencil, then marker over top that.
Above, you see a more finished sketch. Here we have all of the characters taking shape. This sketch was created on a large sketchpad with colored pencil, then revised several times with tracing paper.
Above is the value study. This was completed with color pencil on white paper. I had a really tough time with this stage.
Finally, the finished art begins to emerge. Painted on Bristol Board using acrylics. The light still isn't quite right, and the highlights need to be put in on the cats, but I like the way the scene has come together. Also, you can see the color palate I would work with for the entire book. Will this ever be a book? Depends on my ability to pitch it to a publisher. I think I'll have an easier time with it if I already have a few books under my belt.