We are currently spending a weekend in our vacation home just a couple of hours drive away. After weeks, if not months, of being couped up in our homes amid the COVID19 crisis, we decided at the last minute to spend a few days away and enjoy the fresh air. Our vacation home is normally for rent and with it comes our own boat parked in front of the house so the tenants can enjoy the view of the unique Dutch scenery of the waterways. Today, we went on a ride on this boat for the first time, driven by my boyfriend. It took some time for him to get used to driving one but he eventually got the knack of it. Naturally I thought it would be a wonderful idea to do a quick painting about it when we got back from the boat trip!
I had this cute idea of boyfriend driving the boat and me just sitting there leaning out with my hands out. We are of course both happy! Although he stuck a Dutch flag on the back of the boat, I replaced that in the drawing with an orange crown on his head, the National colour of the Netherlands or more precisely, Dutch royal family! On the side of the boat is a house and a cow. I saw quite a lot of cows today during the ride and most definitely wanted to include one. Now that was a challenge but I would definitely like to practice more and create my own whimsical cows one day! Although I sometimes prefer using aquarelle coloured pencils, I sketched with graphite pencil this time.
Today my plan was to paint with watercolours. I try and travel light even for car rides. Not only do I carry my iPad with me but I also bring a few items to sketch with and if I have the time, to paint with. I brought with me the usual pencil, eraser, small sketchbook, permanent black inks in different sizes, gel pens in white, aquarelle pencils and water brush pens. This time, I included also my kawaii mini set of Sennelier water colour pans and what wonderful quality they are! Very well pigmented, similar to my set of Winsor & Newton pans.
First I did the background. Before that though I made a swatch of the colours on the palette. I never really did that in the past but artists have always advised to do so, and I see why. Obviously you have a better idea of what the colour looks like on paper, especially when the pink and red looks similar and that you have three different blues and two yellows. This made it easier to paint the background properly and as the colour you had it mind with the mixing. Blue sky, green grass and a turquoise blue/green for the water. I went for the wet on wet approach for the background, ie. Brush the area wet first then add paint.
The Rest of the Painting
The rest was pretty straight forward. When you have a choice of just 16 colours you realise you can work around it and don’t need so many shades. I started with the faces first in yellow ochre then worked on my boyfriend first, then the house, followed by myself and the cow. Then I returned and went through the entire painting randomly to add some colours over them to give more dimension. The boat in particular I thought needed work on; it’s a metallic one so I went for a Payne’s Grey type shade firstly and added surrounded colours as reflection. At this point I wasn’t fussed about perfection. It was just a quick and easy painting on a small sketchbook expressing my mind and send my kawaii thoughts across! So I’m happy with it
And how kawaii indeed is this painting! We look so happy together. And another reason for being so happy is that we get to go outside and breathe the fresh air after months. Although things are far from being back to normal, it is just a great change in environment and getting away from home for now. Tomorrow we are going on the boat again which we very much look forward to. Carefully going back to what we’ve been missing will be a gradual process.