We spent the weekend before last in a pretty little town in Zeeland province (Southwest part of the Netherlands) called Middelburg. The quaint little hotel was situated a few km away from the town centre so we decided to walk there for some early dinner, following a stream in a park. Along the way, we came across a tiny little houseboat. Almost as small as say a dog house! Nobody or nothing was inhabiting it, and we had no idea why it was sitting there on its own. But it was so cute!! Excuses for the bad iPhone photo but just to give you an idea:
And of course I wanted to draw about it! Perhaps add some variation like cute little animals peeking out of the tiny windows and waving at us. As soon as we got home, I got my thoughts out. How about make this a colour pencil drawing? I would think this media would be best suited for its serene mood but at the same time for some animation. This time, I took my large Strathmore’s Color Pencil paper (163 gsm) out and sketched my thoughts with a 2B mechanical pencil. Still three windows but I also added a door and a window above it. And the kitties, bunnies and teddies. It was certainly a challenge getting the theory of perspective right but I as determined to give it my best shot. Still not perfect but ah well, is life ever perfect? I corrected areas as I went along and as soon as I realised areas needed adjustments.
I decided I wanted to combine coloured pencils with ink markers! What gave me that idea is that they work better on small details like the cute little animals and adding more definition to animated drawings. However, I figured it was better to use markers first and then fill in later with the coloured pencils. One reason is that coloured pencils, unless the water soluble, are composed of wax and hence water resistant so may not take up the ink. Secondly, and speaking from experience, wax may adhere to the nibs of the markers thereby damaging them and one not being able to use them again. This would especially suck if you had good markers like Faber Castell’s Pitt Artist Pens (used in this drawing) which are not at all cheap! These markers were used not only for outlining but also for the small details like the barks of the trees and the roof of the house.
For this piece, I again used Holbein Artists Colored Pencils. I quite like the smooth and “buttery” feel of these pencils, and how vibrant the various colours come out. First I worked on the background by lightly stroking the colours because I wanted the subject of the little boathouse to stand out. The bush and trees in the far background and the flowers forefront I added a bit more colour to give some balance. You see? You can still see the details I drew with the markers underneath. Wanting the cute little animals to stand out more, I changed the colours to pink, blue and yellow. Then tried to add some dimension by shading a bit more. It’s a simple piece this time, but I wanted to keep it that way because the intention was to focus on the kawaii!
It was certainly fun creating this! I prefer not to make a painting by “copying” from a photograph and instead tend to draw live or from my imagination. However, I take this work more as an inspiration from a photo which I myself took and then developing other ideas and adding variations. This is one of things I enjoy about being creative; getting inspired and then letting the imagination flow to something interesting and in this case, cute!