Raining Cats and Dogs

Today was the first rainy day in weeks on end, if not months, as it sure felt so! Like the rest of Europe and parts of Japan and the U.S., we had a pretty long lasting heatwave with temperatures rising to the mid-30s which is highly unusual in Holland. I was getting bit fed up with it to be honest. So you can imagine how I felt this morning when it started raining hard and I was even feeling a bit chilly! I was elated.

Grabbed a piece of thick 300gsm mixed media paper and started scribbling umbrellas and rain with oil pastel. Then I excitedly began adding scrapes of bright coloured paint, drops of ecoline ink, origami paper bits and doodles of raindrops in oil pastel. The result looked rather happy and colourful, nothing like you’d expect from staying in on a wet day. I must’ve really enjoyed watching all the rain in our garden!

To tone down the colours a bit, I brushed on a thin layer of white gesso diluted with a small amount of water. Then I designed my main drawing with brown paint (mixed yellow ochre with ultramarine blue). Me with a cat and a dog on each side as a fun joke that … it’s raining cats and dogs!

As I wanted my subjects to stand out, I used some deli paper and separately drew the cat, the dog and my face. They were each traced from the painting and coloured in with water soluble crayons mixed with slow-drying matte medium.

Whilst waiting for the deli paper collages to dry, I began painting the rest of the drawing. I made the sky all grey by mixing titanium white with a small dollop of black and for added dimension combined that with Rayher’s extreme sheen paint in silver. The clouds I didn’t colour and left as were as the white gesso seemed sufficient. Besides, I liked the multi-colour effect. Instead I spread some modelling paste for some texture. The raindrops I filled in with white mixed with a tiny bit of turquoise blue and combined that with gloss gel. For the grass I combined yellow green with permanent green light, and the puddle was a combination of the remaining white, black and turquoise blue from the palette

Once the deli paper figures were dry, I cut them out and glued them on with matte medium in the appropriate places. I was then in the mood to play around with acrylic mediums: Glass beads mixed with bright blue for the puddle, clear granular gel mixed with permanent green light for the grass and finally coarse moulding paste for my hair. Just to see how they give out some texture. With some felt-tip ink markers and gel pens, I further added some details such as my happy eyes and the cat’s eyes and whiskers too (black gel pen), cat’s collar and dog’s eyes and nose (bronze marker) and details of my raincoat (white ink by Uni posco). And here we are:

What a happy lively painting of the rain! It’s the first time for me to paint a grey background. I think it looks quite cool and even chic especially alongside vivid colours like the green grass and magenta outfit. And experimenting with the various acrylic mediums and gels was a lot of fun. Always nice to discover new things!

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