The pencil drawing of The Days of Creation pre-dates the painted version. There are distinct differences between the painting and the drawing. The latter is a fully realized work in its own right. It is similar to the stained glass in concept and iconography, but is more complex and detailed. We know from a note in his work-record that he began the drawing in 1871. Then, in 1872, Burne-Jones began work on the paintings on linen panels more than twice the size of the pencil drawings.