Little Empress

Little One owns a kimono her mama gave to her for her birthday. How sweet is that! It is very elaborate and features a little embroidered bunny too. And today she decided to try it on and wants to show you! Together with this kimono is another beautiful head-dress to match as well. And I of course got inspired to paint her while she posed, all while repeating the first lesson of Juliette Crane’s Serendipity I classes!

The Background

I decided to repeat the lesson because I wasn’t sure if I had followed it properly. Although I was happy with the result, it turned out differently to what I was hoping. Never mind, why not repeat it? Practice is a good thing. This time, I decided to prime my paper with some white gesso. Paper used was A3 sized Mixed Media sheet by Cansons, firstly taped down with some masking tape to prevent it from getting warped. Once the gesso was dry, I glued some collage from colored wrapping tissue and scrap bits of collage paper I had created from leftover paints (left side).

The spaces in between were filled in with acrylic paint and ink in Teal and fluorescent orange and red. Once dry I randomly doodled on some flowers, leaves and dots with Molotow acrylic markers. A little space was deliberately left out of the doodles as the face of Little One will be painted on.

The Empress Emerges!

As per Juliette’s lesson, the face was added in by making a round-shaped collage along with a dark-colored tissue. That way, you can easily position the face and hair and work from there. Juliette used some music sheet, while I went for some Japanese language newspaper coupled in with some black wrapping tissue.

Once the face collages were glued on and dried, I set about filling in the face with some yellow ochre mixed with white, keeping it reasonably transparent so the Japanese writing shows through. The hair was a bit of a happy accident as I mistakenly used Sap Green which luckily turned out to give a warm sheet to the shade when combined with Payne’s Grey. I used the same blend to the eyes. Following that, I began outlining the head-dress and outfit with some dark Stabillo charcoal pencil. Now Little One is starting look like a cute little Empress!

Working on the Background

A bit of negative space art here as we use the collaged bits as the kimono patterns, all colorful and vivid. In my last painting for this lesson, I went a bit heavy handed with the background which came out opaque and thereby concealed the pretty patterns below. This time, I decided to focus on keeping it transparent so the layer below is still visible. Water-soluble sticks and pastels such as Caran d’Ache Neocolor II and Derwent’s Inktense Blocks definitely come in handy here. Just scribble a bit of the colour where desired and spread with a damp brush. Patches of different colors were used here such as blue and green. Now we’re talking!

Making Her Even Prettier

You know that every mixed media painting I create is not complete without adding some bling! It’s so much fun to play around with glitter glue and sequins, not to mention textured enhancements like Sennelier’s 3D Liners and Nuvo Drops. And to fill in some gaps and pull the painting together, some craft-punched origami paper flower shapes were glued on. So here I added a few enhancements around the painting. Can you find them? And here is our Little Empress!

I am glad I was able to repeat this lesson as I felt I needed more practice. Following Juliette Crane’s classes is so much fun and inspiring so I didn’t mind at all! In fact, incorporating the experience by involving Little One makes it all the more exciting. And now I’ve created my Little Empress! Looking forward to embarking on the next lesson for this class and wondering what kawaii stuff I can come up with next…

Click here for more on Juliette Crane and her inspiring classes!

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