So I'd found my inspiration, gazing in wonder at the starry sky and thinking about the generations of stargazers before and after us, watching the same sky, and making up stories and images around the stars. I'd done my research and discovered what the sky actually will look like this New Year's Eve.
It was time to apply my creative licence. I fired up Adobe Illustrator to create a seamless pattern repeat, selecting the constellations that so many people recognise and love, the Big and Little Dipper. The star at the end of the Little Dipper's handle is Polaris, the North Star.
Around these constellations, I gathered other major constellations, visible on the northern night sky at this time of year. Here you'll find Draco, Cassiopeia, Cygnus, Hercules, Perseus, Canis Minor, Orion, Gemini, Boötes, Coma Berenices, Corona Borealis and Lyra. But rearranged, in a pattern repeat.
I experimented with different pattern layouts and settled for a half drop design which gave just the right amount of liveliness to the starry sky. I made sure my sketch would repeat perfectly, before I setting out on my next step, painting the starry sky in watercolours.