Wishing you all a Happy New Year!! In Japan, New Years is 1 January. Whilst the Chinese start their New Years according to the lunar calendar, which this year would be 5 February, we follow the solar or Gregorian calendar as in the West. New Years for us is thus 1 January but we also observe the Chinese zodiac! Confusing, huh. So 2019 is officially Year of the Boar. Some say Pig, but both are correct. It keeps alternating between the two probably because they are similar in species. Whatever it should be, I decided to paint a piggy as my New Years painting because I was in the mood for it! So my first piece for 2019, although I actually began a few days before…
2019 Here We Come!
I began my painting by writing “2019” in rows of different colours in oil pastels. I stuck to blue and purple shades and then scribbled in some curvy lines in orange for contrast. At this point, I just kept it simple because I knew I was going to add layers of paint and ink on top, as you will see later…
Layering and Layering
I took random bits and pieces of inks, paints and scrap paper and virtually began going crazy with all the stuff! It was first with the fluid acrylic paints and acrylic ink and spreading it all with my fingers as they are so nice and runny. So cool to see the oil pastels showing through. In addition, I stencilled in some “fireworks” shapes with Distress Ink and Distress Oxide as well as stamping on some smiley faced “sun” and bubble-wrap patterns. And I glued on some bits of origami paper and sheer flower-patterned wrapping paper and continued stamping and stencilling on top. Where the colours were too strong, I brushed on a thin layer of gesso to play down the patchy look. What fun that was! I felt like a child again, and that’s the whole point of my work. Getting in touch with the inner child!
Hello Miss Piggy!
I got inspired by an anime cartoon I found on the internet as it was a simple drawing of a pig. After having designed it with charcoal pencil (easily erased and visible under all the mayhem underneath), I traced the outline with Grey Slate acrylic paint by Dylusions and added the eyes in black. It’s the first time ever for me to draw a pig in my artwork, and I’m pretty pleased how it turned out, although the ears could be a bit shorter. Oh well! At this point, I was tempted to leave the painting as it was because of the pretty background. Then I decided to get a little brave and at least paint over the background area.
Let’s Paint Away!
I firstly began painting the background by scumbling in some paint with white. Bottom third was green grass and the rest blue sky. The blue was a mixture of some shades by Amsterdam Acrylics, and the green in Lime Green and Cut Grass by Dylusions. There I mixed the paints with some Matte Medium to give some transparency which worked really well. I was trying to decide whether I should paint my piggy or not too, but I thought it may look a bit incomplete if I hadn’t. Then I had the idea to paint the body baby pink only and leave the face alone. This way, the pretty bit from the bottom layers of the painting is clearly visible and the cuteness of the piggy’s face is enhanced. How about that! I added a final layer of some bubble wrap patterns on the sky using the leftover white paint. And stamped on some Permanent Green fluid acrylic paint with a kitchen paper. I like how the bottom layers still manage to look visible. Now I’m happy!
It’s been a while since I last did some serious layering up in my paintwork in this style. That is, writing something and then adding paint and inks on top and seeing what I could come up with. I usually use that method in intuitive painting but this time, I thought it might be cool to do that also for something planned. Whilst I was also not afraid to add layers, I knew when to stop because I’m happy how it looks. And I am well pleased. Looking forward to create more sweet and kawaii pieces in 2019 and of course for the years to come!!