She-Tribe with Mama

It’s Mother’s Day today! Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, mums and mamas out there! I want to share a painting I made in dedication to my late mother based on a tutorial I followed with Tracy Verdugo “Stories of a She-Tribe”. It was my second attempt at this tutorial as you see from my earlier work, She Tribe Creatures. As for this new one, what better team of “she-tribes” can you get than mother and daughter together!

The Background

With my acrylic ink in Antelope Brown, I scribbled in my message to my mother and a few hearts around it in Paynes Grey. The colours were then spread out with a wet brush. This time, I made the message large enough to fill the paper and made bigger blobs with the wet brush. Once dry, I glued on some collages of scrap deli paper and paper napkins as per the tutorial.

The Background

Creating Negative Space

Now comes the fun but challenging part. I knew what I wanted out of the painting which I had already sketched in a little book. But how to implement it? Rather than get hung up about what shapes are possible with the patterns I made on the background, I just went ahead and drew what I wanted. As usual, I made a digital drawing from a photograph of the background. The idea was then “transferred” onto the paper and after trying out the negative space “background” in white, I switched to light pink. It was the colour I had in mind in the beginning and glad it worked here too!

Creating Negative Space

Almost There!

First I worked on the hair with some brown aquarelle pencil before going over it with the Antelope Brown (and later the Payne’s Grey) ink directly from the dropper and spreading and scratching the surface with a satay stick. I then saw our eyes pop out of the patterns seen from the background, ie from the paper napkins. So instead of the usual smiling eyes, I let the patterns take its course and thus the eyes look more pensive, if not a bit somber. I also didn’t like one of the collage prints on my mother’s dress so glued a prettier pattern on top, a scrap of origami paper. This time, I decided not to embellish the painting with glitter or bling and kept it simple. Just like my mama would like…

I’m well pleased with this painting now. I have to admit that although it was a bit easier than the last time, I faced other challenges like deciding if I should alter the eyes as per the underlying patterns because they would change the mood. Now I’m glad I did actually, as the eyes are more intense. I also had to build on the hair but was afraid to over do it. All in all, everything fell into place. Now if only mama were still here to admire it! I know she would. She always kept all my drawings and artwork from my childhood. I do miss her terribly. Happy Mother’s Day, Mama!!

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