Last week, I made this kawaii painting but hadn’t gotten around to blogging about it, as it’s been a hectic few days and this piece requires more detail to write about. So what’s been on my mind? It’s been a while since I drew kittens and cats so I thought it would be an idea to do a little sketch of one. Plus it’s been a while since I’ve used acrylic paint and even longer, some Ecoline ink. Let’s see what I can come up with!
Sort of Hello Kitty
My art studio is filled with Hello Kitty’s! As you know, I’m a huge fan of this kawaii feline character. And no wonder why it was the first thing that inspired me. But I wanted to add variations to her. So rather than the ribbon on her left ear, I added a flower in the centre between her little ears. I also made her eyes huge, more anime-style, even Margaret Keane style haha. And of course, I think the proportion of the Hello Kitty is all wrong anyway as it was a rough random sketch. Kitty is carrying with her a small kawaii Teddy Bear!
What a Beautiful Background!
I was advised by my art tutor from my weekly lessons to paint the background first. This way, it blends in better with the subject than the other way around. Paint the background last, then it looks too obvious it was added later and more difficult to paint around the subject, especially when something complex like a bunch of flowers. Makes sense! I brushed on some water area by area and added drops of Ecoline ink colours in light green (#666) and light blue (#580) and scumbled on them with a wet brush, making sure the colours don’t blend too much. Wetting the background, especially the area around the subject and just on the border of its outline, helps prevent the ink (also watercolour paint) from seeping into the subject area. I love how the colour combinations turned out and how beautiful the patterns formed. I must keep this method in mind!
Another thing I haven’t really worked on in a while is collages, particularly with origami paper. I thought it would add a bit of flavour to the piece. How about some Hello Kitty featured origami paper? I got a bunch when I was last in Japan and was waiting for the opportunity to use them. For the Kitty’s shirt, I put a sheet of graphite paper (a bit like carbon copy paper but made of graphite and hence erasable) between the sketching paper and origami and traced the shape. As for the hearts, I used some craft punch. How sweet is that!
Let’s Get Painting!
I began by painting the Kitty’s head in Titanium White. Pure and simple. Originally, I was thinking of making her outfit red and yellow, but when I noticed how “pastel” and light the background turned out, I figured red would be too strong so decided to go for light pink instead. Looks more subtle, doesn’t it? Same with the flower on Kitty’s head and the hearts. The pink used was acrylic paint in Rose Quartz, and the yellow in Lemon Zest, both by Rangers Dylusions. For the Teddy, I used Melted Chocolate also the same brand. The Kitty’s eyes was a challenge. Firstly I outlined them with Molotow’s acrylic markers in brown. Then I mixed some green with brown for the colours of the eyes. Finding brown a bit boring, I was trying to decide whether to make then blue or green, but figured green complements the pink so made it that. Final touches were added like the whites of eyes and Teddy’s collar and heart in acrylic markers. Having nearly forgotten to paint the “cloud”, I coloured that in the end. I didn’t want to make it white because of Kitty being white as well, and hence combined some white titanium paint (thick paint from the tube) with blue acrylic ink (thin liquid) for that swirly effect. It worked rather well, I was pleased to find. And now, a simple but somehow fancy painting of Kitty with Teddy!
Another happy painting! Unfortunately, I don’t get much time these days to sit down and take my time painting due to work, as it’s the busier time of the year. Completion took a few days as I had a few hours of free time a day. But I don’t like to rush either so I don’t mind it takes longer than usual. And painting is supposed to be relaxing! I can’t wait to be able to pick up the pieces again and be able to enjoy more free time again. It’ll come soon!