Tulip Garden

This morning we drove to Lisse especially to check out the tulip fields. It’s the area in the Netherlands where tulips are grown and acres of tulip fields spread afar. When we arrived in the area, we were disappointed to discover they were virtually gone! Too late. But we did manage to drive by some very beautiful fields on our way to Friesland on Good Friday so not all was lost. Funnily enough, I made a coloured pencil drawing about all the pretty tulips a few days ago. I was hoping to share it after our trip today, but since I’m still keen to show it, I may as well do so. Now it will be about wishing these tulips were still around!

The Cute Story

Little One is babysitting a baby cousin visiting from Japan. Her parents are touring the art galleries in Amsterdam and asked Little One to be a good girl and take baby Yui-chan to the park. She was of course happy to oblige because she’s so sweet! So off they go to a park nearby, and what a beautiful scene! All the pretty tulips in various bright colours. Yui-chan babbles excitedly whilst clutching her teddy bear. And they both wander around enjoying the pretty flowers in full bloom. And now you know why we’re sad to see the tulips go…

Experiment with Blending

So after designing with 2B pencil the outline of my cute story, I got out my coloured pencils and coloured away. The pencils used are Holbein Artists Colored Pencils which come in a wide range of shades, including lots of pastel and even neon colours. They are quite soft and buttery and give out a rather thick appearance with vivid tones. I blended the colours of the tulips using the Derwent Blender, a colourless “pencil” used as the name suggests for blending. Great for small objects but how about larger areas? I initially started with turpentine but it smelled so much and my boyfriend began complaining. Then I tried rubbing alcohol. Both didn’t blend as much as I was hoping. Then I found a small plastic bottle of Holbein Meltz in my drawers. It’s water-based but somehow still dissolves the wax in the coloured pencils, and while it certainly helped with the blending, I found it doesn’t spread the colours out.

The Whole Kawaii Picture

I continued colouring and blending. With the wide range of colours to choose from, I was happy with the way it was all looking. Especially with the tulips. The background has a subtle transparent appearance which is fine for this piece. For this, I used Strathmore’s 400 Coloured Pencil Paper (163 gsm) in big size 27.9 x 35.6 cm. It’s quite an experience working on a larger area, but I found that the paper still showed teeth after colouring. I would be curious to try my coloured pencils on a much smoother surface. But not to worry for now. What’s important is how both Little One and baby cousin Yui-chan look so kawaii. And quite chic in their almost-matching violet frocks!

I had a lot of fun with my coloured pencils for this piece, being able to experiment with blending and getting all excited with all the shades available. Despite the limitations I had experienced with the blending and the surface of the paper, I must say the piece turned out quite well and the colours, especially for the tulips, do pop out. Sad to see the tulips fade away, but there’s next year. Till then. And Little One will definitely be back!

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