Hidden Kittens

So during this COVID-19 crisis with subsequent home quarantine and semi-lockdown here, where are the cats? Where have they disappeared to??? I go out on walks sometimes and don’t see them often as I used to. And none have sneaked in our garden lately. So now I realise. Stray cats are not common in the Netherlands! They are at home with the owners looked after carefully. Only occasionally do I spot one pit-patting along but of course they have an owner and are just going for a short stroll. Still… where have most of them gone?

A Call for Searching

I used an A3 size Mixed Media paper by Canson for this painting, First I scribbled in “Kitty” a number of times with my oil pastels along with little hearts. It’s been a while since I last used Dylusions Ink Sprays and thus thought I’d try them out again. Here I went for all sorts of greens including shimmers. The result is a beautiful jade painting! In order to keep the colours from smudging when adding on top, I applied some fixative spray.

Jaded Background

Drawing on Top

I sketched a number of cats with some light-coloured soft pastels before painting on it. And now I know why I stopped using these spray inks! They come in beautiful colours and give stunning results on paper, but when it comes to mixed media painting they just don’t work. It’s because the inks are water-based and unlike acrylics the colours smudge and move, thereby “contaminating” the colours above and thereby mixing them together. So everything was fine up until the pastel sketches.

Great till the Soft Pastel Drawimgs

Although I had sealed the Dylusions ink layer with strong fixative spray, the layers on top didn’t turn out as expected. I used various pink shades of acrylic markers and ink as contrast but discovered the pinks altered because it blended with the inks of the previous layer. What I discovered later, though, was that you can go over the acrylic again hope the colours would show up better. The white for instance stayed in white because it was on top of another acrylic. Here I even used iridescent pink ink but it turned to a silvery shade which actually doesn’t look too bad though not what I had in mind.

Leave it Alone!

At this point, I decided to stop. Not only did I not want to make the situation worse but I also didn’t want to lose the beautiful colours in the background. I will definitely not touch these messy spray inks again for this sort of mixed media work. When I researched further for other uses for these spray inks, they are better suited for crafts like stamping or card making. So here is my painting for now!

Although the painting didn’t pan out as I had wanted, I’m not crying! I am hoping to try again soon, next time using acrylic or India inks with water spray. Meanwhile, the cats are still looking kawaii, and that’s most important. Let’s make more of them again soon!

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