I settled in to working again on Starlight and trying to see it anew. Muttering useful things under my breath about publishers not looking at work properly and waiting 4 months to come back and ask for it all to be changed I pulled out a layout pad, something I have never used before, and tried to work again on making a character for the book. The roughs in posts below show the development.
I emailed the sketches to James and we talked at length and it was like getting the best crit you could ever have, the kind of thing I had hoped art college would be like but never was. He is so excellent a person to work with.
Then it was time to wait again, having emailed the sketches to the publisher. So I started painting a dragon. Tell me a Dragon is about 2 years, maybe 3, behind its delivery date, partly because Snow leopard stepped in and was published before it. Now I have to finish all the art for Dragon by October which means a dragon a week. So I painted dragons and waited to hear and then on return from walking the dogs one morning had a very positive phone message from the publisher saying yes, much better and thank you.
And it is much better, more confident, and I wasn't going to tell them that. So now all I have to do is try and translate the sketches into finished art. And finish the dragon.