Walking The Teddy

Much better mood this weekend! Though exhausted from the roof leakage saga which has since been sorted so far, painting has helped lift up my spirit. The weather has improved as well and forecasted to stay dry for the next few days. Yesterday I decided to paint a more cheerful self. Oh and I also brought one of my Hello Kitty’s to my boyfriend’s place this weekend. She’s dressed as a Hokkaido bear, a sweet memory of out trip there last late Spring. And that inspired me to add a teddy bear in my painting!

This time, I chose to prime the paper with white gesso. I read somewhere (a book by mixed media artist Dana Wakley) that this helps enhance the colours of the inks and paints. The texture of my paper is not smooth anyway (Canson’s 300gsm Mixed Media Paper) so I figured gesso would help even the surface. I used a palette brush for this. Then I proceeded with the pencil sketch.

After that, I traced over the outline with oil pastel. I do notice how even and stronger the pigments come out with the gesso. Now why didn’t I think of coating the paper with it before? I went for oil pastels this time just to experiment. You see, I’ll be filling in the subjects with acrylic paint and the background with watercolour so I wanted to see how effective this oil-basd medium would act as a barrier between both of these water-based paints.

Now to paint away! I used Jane Davenport’s portrait acrylic paints again for the face. The greens were from Dylusions paints (Cut Grass and Mashed Peas) as was the pink dress (Bubblegum Pink). For the teddy bear, I coloured her in with Fabre Castell’s markers because the shape is so tiny. I noticed that with the gesso underneath, the paint comes out less transparent. This is especially true when I was painting in the hair, as the paint even covered up the oil pastels rather than get repelled. Normally, the oil in the pastels resists the water-based paint to create that strandy effect. So I had to add a lighter brown shad. Or perhaps this could have just been the paint. I used the one by Jane Davenport which is rather matt so in future I should remember to dilute it with water or medium.

And now the background and details. I firstly scribbled some white clouds and grey doodles on the ground in oil pastels. For the blue background, I diluted with water a drop of Dr Ph Martin’s Hydrus liquid watercolour. I like using this because it is easy to control the consistency and even when transparent, the colour comes out strong. The idea about using oil pastels as a barrier certainly helped so I’ll be using this method when necessary. I added some leftover scrap origami paper collages and attempted a try with a small Gelli plate printing on the big tree. Stamped on some bubble wrap patterns with Distress Ink and doodled in some circles on the plants for a cactus effect. After doing up the eyes with ink, I dotted in some pearls on the pink dress using Nuvo Drops.

What fun it was to create another kawaii painting! Although we are approaching colder darker days, I still enjoy bright and colourful creations. It cheers me up and it reflects positive thoughts. So I guess you’ll be seeing more of such work for the coming months! I certainly look forward to creating more.

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