We were over in Zeeland last weekend and came across the Delta Works. It is a huge dam system which prevents water from the North Sea from entering and causing floods in times of strong rainstorms . This project came underway following the tragic flood in 1953 which wiped out surrounding villages and claimed hundreds of lives and destroyed homes. When it was over Queen Juliana visited the area to pay her respects and offer sympathy. As added gesture, all the surviving children got a rabbit each! I thought this was so sweet of her and brought tears in my eyes. So I outlined my thoughts on paper and would like to paint about it, keeping it simple.
I firstly added a coat of Gesso on my paper. My thought was to let the colours be bold but stick to simple shapes and shades as much as possible and as animated and “child like” too. Quite a few trials and error before getting it all right in terms of proportion and positioning.
Outlines and Colour
Since the event took place in Holland, of course the Little Girl is to be blond! It’s quite fun to do something different, right? I started by painting in the hair with a variety of media in a variety of yellow till I was happy with the outcome: oil pastel, marker pens and acrylic paint. I made the eyes even bigger and filled them in with Jane Davenport’s alcohol markers and the whites with Uni Posca pen. Much of the small details like the rabbits were coloured in using Faber Castells Pitt Artists pens. Ok so the heads are huge and the eyes even more disproportionately so with no mouth or nose! That’s the whole idea. Makes it all the more cuter and child-like!
And so I continued further with painting. For the main character, I used acrylic paint for the face and red dress. I love the Postbox Red shade by Dylusions paints! And for her little friends, I used markers in view of the small areas in which to colour.
Little Details and Background
I got out my watercolours and went over the areas like the hair to create some transparency. Then with a marker, I added finishing touches like the eyes and little patterns. And now for the background! This time, I decided to do the background last because I was not sure what colours would be go well with the subjects, although I had green in mind. I didn’t want a strong, fancy or vivid shade which would distract the kids from the centrepiece and hence opted for a light sponge of Pan Pastel in green tint! I haven’t used Pan Pastel in a while and thought this would be the time to. And now:
Although a range of media was used for this piece, I kept the style as simple as possible again. But even more so this time. I did enjoy working on this theme actually, since it depicts a real-life event, and the little kids getting a rabbit each after a horrible disaster sticks to my mind. And to add, the compassion expressed by someone as grand as the Queen really touched my heart. I may well do another painting on this theme when I have the chance.