Did you guys hear about the cat who walked the fashion show catwalk in Marrakesh last weekend? Literally a catwalk! It was the Christian Dior show. Apparently, this also happened at a fashion show in Turkey last year as well. How these cats happen to slither their way through security is a mystery but when there is a will, there is always a way. And how cute is that! Completely oblivious to the surroundings, the haute couture scene doesn’t seem to faze them at all. When I heard about this news on BBC, I definitely had to draw about it! And why not make it all kawaii?
I decided to make it simple. And you will see that the cat is as big as the models are. Of course that’s not realistic but that’s the point. It’s supposed to be symbolic! The cat steals the limelight away from the models and hence becomes “larger than life” while the tall statuesque models shrink in size. Notice the proud indifferent look in them, whilst this cat is having so much fun and being so naughty!
Experimenting with Bristol Paper
It’s my first go at using Bristol Paper (Strathmore’s) and having heard some good reviews about it, I was keen to experiment. Bristol paper is typically smooth, even silky to the touch, and thick because it is composed of several sheets of paper glued and pressed together by machine to form one paper. Due to its smoothness, tooth-marks are not visible when using coloured pencils. I prefer that. And unlike standard watercolour paper, paper won’t buckle up when using water-based media because absorption is so minimal. And of course, markers will not bleed or absorb as much ink.
I put the watercolour to the test using Dr. Ph Martin’s Hydrus Liquid Watercolour. Sure enough, the yellow paint did spread really well and evenly which I was pleased about. And the paper did not warp, although I made a conscious effort not to add too much water. I also used some Gold Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay Ink for the stage entrance. The audience and the outlines of the stage were drawn with Faber Castell’s markers. Very smooth to draw with and no rough edges at all which is what I look for and especially important to small details. So far so good!
The last time I used colour pencils, I used some paper specialised for colour pencil drawing (also Strathmore’s) but I found the toothy surface quite annoying; the bumpy surface shows through and you need to use quite a bit of pencil to smoothen the appearance. It’s also not very good for fine details. Hence another reason to try Bristol Paper. Last weekend, I also went out to buy some odourless white spirit (by Talens) which is the non-smelly substitute for turpentine for blending my coloured pencils. Holbein’s Artists Colored Pencils were again used for this piece.
And now we’re talking! You don’t need to use much colour or even press hard which saves you a lot, particularly as Holbein’s pencils are not cheap. Furthermore, you don’t see any streaks when you colour because the paper is so smooth. This is enhanced further by blending with the white spirit. I used a brush but perhaps in future I should like to use some cotton buds. As this spirit oil-based, I was afraid that it would leave a mark on the paper or the surrounding area of the subjects but the liquid evaporates after a few minutes and leaves no marks. Quite a simple drawing and colouring and thus I accessorized further with Ranger’s Stickles glitter glue and Nuvo Drops for some texture and bling! And now:
This piece was a bit of an experiment to test the Bristol Paper and also to try the odourless solvent, and I must say they worked quite well! I’ll definitely be using the paper again when most suitable. As I find the catwalk theme so funny as well as cute, I am hoping to recreate a painting version of it soon. It would be interesting to compare the mood between the lightness of coloured pencil with the watercolour and the bolder acrylic paint and ink. I’m sure the little cat will not be too shy to steal the show again!