Doggy Walking in Autumn

It’s become cold suddenly after a warm spell in October. And I wanted to turn it positive by painting something kawaii. After a phase of kitties, bunnies and bears, I thought I’d put them to rest in the warm. It’s been a while since I drew doggies. Poor thing, they’ve been cast aside! So today a painting of one being walked by Little One, my alter-ego reflecting the inner child.

This time, I thought I’d go for watercolour. I was inspired by an article I recently came across in which an artist combined watercolour with gouache and coloured pencil. Now what a brilliant mixed media idea! It has been a while since I’ve done proper watercolouring, that is with a set of brushes and a pan of colours, using proper paper and actually making the effort to stretch them too. Furthermore, even a longer while since using gouache. During the summer I bought a box of quality ones by Holbein, and now is the chance to use them again. And who would’ve thought of involving coloured pencil? And why not? So first a pencil sketch.

Isn’t it cute? I coloured in the background using Gansai Tanbi watercolour pans which are traditional Japanese. They are mainly made of natural ingredients and give out vivid shades. This time, I wanted to try out the salt sprinkling on the paint as well. You sprinkle some coarse salt whilst paint is still wet, let it dry completely and then gently brush the salt away. Result is this interesting bubbly effect as the salt absorbs the water.

See the effect? I think it’s amazing! As for the rest of the painting, I continued with the Gansai Tanbi paint except for the face and doggie in which case I used Jane Davenport’s mini watercolour sets. Then some gouache for the strands of hair and parts of the yellow parts of the clothing.

I continued using gouache to create patterns on top of the watercolour like the lines of the hat and polka dots on the lil jacket. Finally, I used coloured pencils to tidy up the lines and add some shading where necessary just like the artist in the article had done. You can use graphite pencils for enhancing outlines and adding shadows too, bit I like this idea of using coloured pencils for those purposes. Another idea is to use coloured pencils for strands of hair and drawing in the lines of eyes and lashes. I used the Ergosoft set by Staedler. The colours of the eyes were done with gouache for enhancement. For fun and effect, I dotted some bright yellow gouache on the sun. Now:

I had a lot of fun with this experiment! For the reasons mentioned above, the thought of enhancing a watercolour painting using gouache and coloured pencils is clever. Something I’d definitely work with again. As for the doggy, she seems happy to come back and be able to go out to enjoy the fresh air. Little One is happy too!

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