Gardening Smock

Little One loves hanging around the garden. Recently she decided to try some gardening and is donning on her kawai smock to play with the plants and all the pretty flowers. The smock is green and pink with patterns of leaves, flowers and her favourite vegetable, tomatoes. And of course I had to paint about it! Here I followed another course by Juliette Crane and went for Project One of “Happy Painting Mini Course”.

Mixed Media Background

Although I did have a bit of an idea what to draw, we went straight into the background without any pencil sketch. The focus of the project was “creating our mixed media girl with big eyes,” and what could be more appropriate here! We start by randomly painting in our blocks of colours or scribbling doodles using water soluble oil pastels, soft pastel, paint oil sticks (I don’t have any so used oil pastels) layer after layer. As you see, no paint or inks are being used yet. The point is to play around and experiment with the various mediums. We also incorporate some collages, and here I used some paper napkins and in one place, a cookie wrapper. Crucial is to leave the place blank where Little One was to be painted.

No-paint Background

And There She Is!

I then made a rough sketch of Little One using aquarelle pencil. The face was firstly painted using a combination of Titanium White and Antelope Brown ink, followed by the hair in the same brown. The eyes were then drawn and coloured in with aquarelle pencil and Neocolor II water-soluble crayon. With some fluorescent pink ink, I dotted in the rosy cheeks and pouty lips, something I never do for my faces. Always the first time for trying something, and I think it went rather well! I continued to spread some of the pink around the painting, including where her smock is. Already, Little One is looking so sweet!

Drawing Little One

Creating Negative Space

I was not sure what colour to use for the negative space “background”. Many of my paintings have green or blue background to correspond with grass or sky, respectively. Yellow was considered but since the painting already has warm tones, I thought something contrasting that would be an idea. Purple or Indigo would be too dark but how about magenta? First I painted in the area with Golden Fluid Acrylic in magenta, then I dry-brushed some areas over it with some white paint because the magenta was darker than I was hoping. At first I was not happy with the colour; it’s neither magenta nor purple but more a plum or burgundy shade, not a colour I use. Rather than paint over it with something I am accustomed to, though, I left it as it was to see if it would grow on me. And here it is!

Gardening Smock

Eventually the magenta began growing on me. Good thing I didn’t try and change the colour! Once again, following Juliette’s tutorial gave me another chance to go beyond my comfort zone. You also see this when I also added some rosy cheeks and a pouty mouth as Juliette does. Glad I was willing to give that a shot too! And now, Little One is looking kawaii in another dimension. And I love her smock!

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