The way that I work developed throughout my studies at university but it has continued to change slightly over the years and I now have a process that I feel works best for me.
I start with a very rough drawing, usually based on ideas from my sketchbook. This helps me to work out composition and scale.
I work on a drawing, refining it until I have something I am happy with. Because my work is based on shape, colour and pattern it is important that this final drawing is right so that all the pieces fit together properly at the end.
I then trace the drawing and transfer the areas that I want to be painted onto stretched paper.
Once the painting is finished I start adding details and patterns using coloured pencils.
After this is done I cut out paper shapes from my stash of pre-painted papers for the final details. I then add extra details to these pieces using coloured pencils before gluing them in place
The final touch is to add the eyes.
When I was at university I used to cut out ALL of the pieces. This took such an awfully long time and some illustrations would have hundreds of pieces to cut out, add details to and stick down. Pieces inevitably went missing and things would often go awry if I didn't glue things on in the right order.
Over the years I have refined my process, I began painting more of the larger shapes and it felt more like creating an illustration rather than putting together a puzzle.