Yesterday was my late mother’s birthday. She would be 87 now. Sadly she passed away seven years ago after having succumbed to dementia for five years. I miss her so much! Like any mother-daughter relationships, we had our differences but at the end of the day she meant the world to me. We looked after each other. This year, I decided to paint something cute for her. She always liked kawaii things as well. Every drawing or doodle I made as a child, and even when I became a grown adult, she kept and never threw away, So I’d like to dedicate this painting to my mama!
I made this background a few days before for fun. It started with dotting on some leftover yellow paint on my Strathmore Mixed Media paper from a previous piece. From that, I randomly applied some acrylic ink in a variety of blue shades . Just dotted the inks with the pads of my fingers. Joining the three inks (Fluorescent Blue, Tuquoise and another blue shade) was some fluid acrylic in Cobalt Blue. At the time I was not planning to use it for anything in particular but to just keep it and go back to it when an idea cropped up. My mother’s birthday happened to fall a few days later though which gave me a perfect opportunity! I loved the look of this background and found it perfectly appropriate for the occasion. Looks quite floral and blossomy which mama would love too.
I wanted to draw what I would imagine what mama was like in her younger days. She was elegant, stylish and enjoyed dressing up. And so I had her wearing a bright yellow dress with pearls. Her eyes would be closed to signify peace. I’d like her to feel relaxed. First I painted some flowers with Sennelier’s Abstract Acrylic in Fluo Red. Then came the face using Jane Davenport’s portrait paints. Next step was drawing in the hair and dress with some water-soluble ink blocks by Derwent.
Hair and Dress
I first painted the yellow dress with Dylusions paint in Lemon Zest. And for the hair I thought it would be an idea to blend different colours rather than one straight from the tube. Fluid Acrylics (by Golden) in primary colours of red, blue and yellow were then blended to create this brown shade. To give dimension, I also brushed strokes of each colour individually. What a brilliant idea that was!
I drew the closed eyes with my Molotow acrylic markers. Then with these markers in pink, I doodled in the details in the flowers. The dress was outlined in fluorescent yellow. For the pearls, I dotted in some Nuvo Drops. I wanted to keep this painting simple so resisted adding more. Also I didn’t want to distract us from this beautiful mixed blue background.
I think my mama would love this painting. She always thought my illustration work was kawaii and praised my imagination of cuteness. Another thing is that she prefers simple designs and nothing flashy or busy which is why I kept the painting simple as well and even sticking to primary colours. So Happy Birthday, Mama! Missing you and thinking of you always.