Ive spent the last two days focusing on improving my watercolour skills, before starting the final pieces for 'Gustav the Swedish Mouse' illustration competition. I usually avoid backgrounds because I like to focus upon the character, and feel it distracts from them. My backgrounds usually lack a quality and control, and look poor in comparison (which makes me avoid them even more). Above shows an ideal setting for the Swedish Mouse story, created with watercolours and edited digitally.
I hope to continue practicing these skills, so that I will feel more confident in creating backgrounds.
My inspiration for this comes from Jill Barklem , illustrator of the Brambley Hedge Series of Childrens books.
Here is a headshot of Gustav with a more realistic take on how I usually draw mice.