We’re presently enjoying the Indian Summer in the Netherlands. Despite being mid-September, it’s been over 20°C or what I call “T-shirt weather” but from later this year will come the typical Dutch autumn with all the rain. Soon leaves will then start falling and everything becomes all yellow, orange and red, how pretty! And this is is the time when Little One enjoys preparing for it. There she is imagining what it’s like being surrounded by the burst of these stunning colors!
I was inspired to paint this about Little One whilst following a class by German artist Andrea Gomoll. In one of her tutorials she introduces a watercolor portrait painting called Color Burst Autumn Girl. What made this appealing was that it has a mixed media twist as we see later on. Now first a pencil sketch on Cansons Watercolor A3-size 300 gsm Paper.
The Color Burst
For the first time in ages I went for Ecoline Inks as suggested by Andrea. They are watercolor inks that come in small bottles with droppers, similar to Dr. Ph Martin’s Hydrus but more transparent with strong vivid colors. I resisted using them for some time because they are not as colorfast as the Hydrus. And what a mess it was trying to apply the colors, but I loved how the colors of red, yellow and orange swirled in together whilst wet. I even used some water spray to create some drips. For the face and hair, I used Kuretake Gansai Tanbi watercolor pans.
To be honest I struggled a bit with the background. I was not happy about it as it looked too bushy. And adding some gold Ecoline in the corners didn’t help. So what’s the magic solution when things don’t pan out as you had hoped? White gesso! I began tapping some on with a sheet of kitchen paper. Now we’re talking! You can still underneath it which was fine by me as it gives a faded effect in the corners. Plus it gives an interesting texture too. Once happy, I took Andrea’s suggestion and added splashes of dark red ink by gently tapping with a paintbrush. Eyes were then filled in with Gansai Tanbi watercolor but first lined with dark brown aquarelle pencil.
Making It All Prettier
Andrea embellished her painting with stencils, stamps and modeling paste but I preferred to go simple this time. Perhaps I was too exhausted after all the “stress” earlier on getting the background right haha. Flowers, hearts and squiggles were doodled on in random places with gold glitter glue and white gel pen and Molotow acrylic markers. I lined the eyes further with brown watercolor brush pen (Kuretake) and once dry dotted on some gold glitter glue. And finally a couple of gold sequins. Can you spot them? And now I am very happy with this!
Despite how worried I was making a mess with the inks, I somehow knew it would work out in the end. It just took some patience and perseverance didn’t it? Another challenge was that I hardly use orange or even reds so another leap over my comfort zone. Oh and portraits are something I never really have done properly. That’s what I love about following classes. And now, Little One looks ever so kawaii and adorable surrounding herself with stunning bursts of Autumn colors!
For more on Andrea Gomoll please click here!