I had one of those meh days last week when I felt nothing was going right for me. Of course, we all go through that, but I couldn’t help thinking I was the only one, repeatedly asking myself “why me?” And my adult-self telling me, “Snap out of it, ok?!” So I decided to do something about it like draw of course. Drawing is sure an effective form of therapy. Some artists release or vent how they feel be it anger, grief or sadness, It then reflects on the expressions of the subject or even on the dark or cold shades of colours. I, on the other hand, prefer to draw something happy and/or cute with bright vivid colours to cheer myself up. Of course, we all have different ways to deal with our moods.
Colour Me Beautiful
I wanted to try my new pad of Marker paper by Canson. At 70 gsm, it is thinner than most papers I use but I figured I could make a cut out from it and glue it on a painted background. I used my favourite artists markers, Faber Castell Pitt Artists Pens, and I really liked the feel and texture of the paper. This time, I just wanted to scribble away so nothing elaborate. Having a pink background in mind, I thought it would be an idea to make the outfit green but a bit on the Teal side. Perhaps wearing a cute outfit like a jumpsuit in a pyjama sort of way. Cuddly and lazy. You can never go wrong with polka dotted patterns so I went for that. To soften the drawing a bit, I combined it with some coloured pencils as well. My recommended pencils are Staedler Ergosoft and Holbein Artist’s Colored Pencils.
Pretty in Pink
Leaving the Little One aside for a moment, I went on to work on the background on my Mixed Media paper pad (Strathmore). And again! I had a go with gelli printing again, using a square plate. This time, I used Fuschia Pink Staz-on Ink and a stencil with some odd “cell” shapes. Unfortunately again, it didn’t come out as I wanted, and the colour was a bit too intense for my liking. I gave it another shot in another area without adding more ink by overlapping it with the existing print, and it turned out rather well! Then I had this idea of wiping the stencil with a wet-wipe on top and on the sides of the printed patterns. And now we’re talking! I proceeded in stamping on some bubble-wrap patterns around the area using orange and pink Distress Ink. For parts that were too dark, I spread some baby pink acrylic ink and dotted on some white gesso.
Cut and Paste
I decided to let the background dry and because it was also getting dark, I preferred to cut out the Little One the next day under better light. So the next day, I touched up a bit more and carefully cut out the image with a razor. Once I was happy with the placement, I glued her on with Matte Medium. The only issue I had, unfortunately, was that I had previously dotted some gesso on the background which made the paper a bit bumpy, slightly affecting the surface of the cut out. I know for the next time! After some fine-tuning of the background like adding some yellow and light pink and further tidying up the Little One by tracing over outlines and using more coloured pencils, I was good to go! And look how kawaii is this…
I must say that once I started this piece, my mood got tons better. It may look quite simple compared to my usual stuff, but just drawing and colouring the Little One kept my mind off my woes. In addition, the build up to producing this pretty background gave me a great sense of satisfaction. And the pure innocence of this kawaii piece brings out my inner child and makes me happy again. I should call this session Kawaii Therapy!