Mice with Lipstick

I’ve recently begun following Tracy Verdugo’s on-line class Story Painting she had just launched last week. Those who were able to sign up before 48 hours were given a Bonus Class and here I’d like to share my little story!

Childhood Dream

When I was a very little girl I had a dream going through a book featuring little mice on a cruise ship. And they were putting lipstick on! I must have been 4 or 5 but remember it like it was yesterday. In order for me to master the English-language from a young age, my parents got me books and the occasionally accompanied records in English. This includes a series of picture books by Richard Scarry with lots of cute animals. And I really liked the mouse who was known as Squeaky. In one of the chapters of one book were lots of little mice traveling as passengers on a cruise ship. But where does the lipstick come in? It’s most likely something subliminal; watching my mother put make-up on every morning and carefully applying her lipstick! Weird huh. But it’s amazing how far back I remember this dream so vividly. Now was the chance to paint about this! And this below is a close up of that crucial part of the painting I made with Tracy’s class.

Childhood Dream

Start with the Letter S

And what a brilliant idea this is! Tracy suggests that a good start for a painting is to draw a letter of the alphabet on. Then we can work around it. Today we use the letter S. With some Marine Blue acrylic ink and a wet brush that’s what I did and spread the color out. Then added some doodles on with some Antelope Brown. It didn’t seem to matter that the Marine Blue was not yet dry. Interesting to watch the colours swirl together!

Start with the Letter S

The Rainbow and Sea

Using oil pastels, gouache and more Marine Blue, I followed Tracy’s video and created my own sea. Layers and layers were added whilst doodling the fish, seaweed and coral. Then it was turn to paint the rainbow with gouache (lemon yellow, mint green scarlet red) and acrylic ink (Marine Blue and white). My rainbow turned out a bit elongated which was not the intention because I drew my “S” elongated as well to fill up the paper. Not to worry, it could be interpreted as the rainbow that is being gravitated towards Heaven! Now that’s a good story. Finally, the sky was colored using a mixture of white and Mint Green gouache as suggested by Tracy. I was pleasantly surprised to notice how well it worked with Mint Green as I would normally use blue instead.

The Rainbow and Sea

All Aboard!

Once happy with the background, we paint the boat and our little characters. Tracy’s idea was using a cat and an owl in it, but I decided to do my own thing. Instead, two mice and rabbit were drawn in because that childhood dream of mine has such an impact even today. And hence they were drawn in with gel pens. The boat was painted in pink, adding on some fluorescent pink markers on top. Then I embellished the painting further with some pink glitter glue for the boat and white, blue and gold 3D Acrylic Liners by Sennelier for the sea. And now, how mysteriously fairytale-like does it all look!

And what fun this session was! Always a pleasure following classes by wonderful artists like Tracy. Her videos are so easy to follow, and she takes us step by step whilst giving useful advice and suggestions. It’s an ongoing learning experience! And now my quest for painting my childhood dream on paper has begun. As I gain the confidence, I would like to work more on this theme, along with many other childhood memories!

Click here for more on Tracy Verdugo and her wonderful classes!


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