About a week ago, I was walking to the tram stop and on my way I came across a dog with a chewing toy in his mouth. Now why I say “a chewing toy in his mouth” rather than just simply “chewing” is because this toy was a rubber doll! Poor doll. It was of course a rubber doll meant for chewing purposes, but I couldn’t help feeling sorry for the doll. I mean, why not chew on a rubber ball or simply a bone for that matter? Which inspired me to paint… how about if the dog were playing with the doll instead? Now how kawaii would that be?
I firstly primed my paper (Canson’s Mixed Media A4 paper, 300 gsm) with white gesso to smooth out the rough texture and also since I was going to paint with acrylic. With my 2B pencil, I then drew the doggy large enough to fill the paper. And added the kawaii dolly as if she were riding the doggy and not being eaten! Looking promising so far.
For colour scheme, I planned to use primary shades of red for the dolly’s dress and blue for the background. It was then decided that for the rest I go for neutral colour. I was in the mood to paint the dog grey. And so I used Dylusions acrylic paint in Slate Grey with a bit of white to tone the darkness down. It was also a good chance for me to work on my light and shade techniques to give doggy some dimension.
I began painting the dolly using markers like acrylic pen and Faber Castell’s Pitt Artists Pen. Unfortunately I got a bit carried away with the hair by making it too big, and it started to look silly. You see, am accustomed to the big hair look on the Little One and exaggerating its volume but realised I’m supposed to be painting a small dolly instead! I initially panicked but tried to compose myself and cover up the error with white gesso. Think of it as using White Out or Tipex! Had to mention this mistake to remind myself (as well as readers) that if such happens, don’t despair. Just breathe deeply, stay calm and carry on. Besides, I so had to share this photo as well. Looks like she’s getting her hair shampooed, too cute!
Color Them Cute
Whilst getting the gesso to dry, I continued painting around it. The background was a good start of course. Having blue in mind, I experimented using different kinds of blue in different acrylic types. I combined Dina Wakley’s paint by Rangers in Ocean with some fluid acrylic in Cobalt Blue and scumbled away for some multi-toned effect. I even added a tad of light blue acrylic ink. The edges around the doggy and dolly were quite a challenge, as I was carefully trying to scumble as close to the outline borders as I could without going over them or leaving a gap. After successfully completed that, I painted in the doggy features. The collar was originally going to be yellow but I discovered that this bright colour would draw too much attention to it and distract the dolly from being the prime focus. I then replaced the yellow with brown and added red hearts to match the dolly’s red dress! Finally I was able to restyle the dolly’s hair with a cute bob with bangs like a little girl. Finishing touches like the dolly’s eyes and shoes were jotted in with Faber Castell markers (India Ink) as I didn’t have any acrylic markers handy. Never mind! The idea is to make the painting cute, right?
Back to Simplicity
It was great going back to painting in mainly acrylic again, as recently I’ve been focused quite a bit on ink and mixed media as well as coloured pencils. Furthermore, it’s also not like me to use primary colours and neutral shades only. Quite a refreshing change, actually. Despite the earlier catastrophe with dolly’s hair, I had a lot of fun painting this. Mistakes are part of learning, and I’m proud of myself for persevering. And it’s always fun of course to create anything kawaii!