I did this piece as a student at Hussian back in 1993 for my junior year Children's Book class. Each semester we had to pick an existing children's story and make it into a working dummy and complete the cover and a few of the illustrations. That year I choose the Grimm Brother's The Six Swans. I won't go into too much detail about the story but what you need to know for this illustration is that a girl's older brothers were all turned into swans and in order to turn them back she had to remain in silent seclusion in the hollow of a tree and sew shirts made of star flowers. This is why she has moss growing all over her clothes and her hair is a bit of a nest. Amazingly though, she always manages to have nice gigantic pink eyelashes. I made that last part up.
This piece was done on stretched 2 ply cold press Arches Watercolor paper with gouache, Doc Marten's Dyes and colored pencil.