Ruth Sanderson's work is really inspiring! http://www.goldenwoodstudio.com/
She has been illustrating books for over 30 years and she developed respectable technique. Check step-by-step demonstration of her work: http://www.goldenwoodstudio.com/index.php?page=artist-at-work (also check the time it took her to do some of these illustrations! - more then month for one high quality piece).
Found via lines and colors: http://www.linesandcolors.com/2010/02/19/ruth-sanderson/