Valentines Jungle

Today is Valentine’s Day! It still doesn’t feel that way this year with COVID going around. Restaurants are closed and no one is in the mood to celebrate. So we’re just staying in and enjoy each other’s company which I can’t complain about! Nevertheless, I thought we’d cheer ourselves up further by me creating another mixed media “masterpiece” this time with a Valentine’s theme.

The Background

I grabbed a page from my A3 Mixed Media Sketchbook by Cansons and primed it with some white gesso to smoothen out the grooves on the surface of the paper. Then with a red oil pastel and an Iridescent Rose Ink Brush (both my Sellenier), I scribbled out “Happy Valentines” and “Love” with some hearts across. I would be interested to see the effects when layers of paint and translucent collage papers are added on top.

And so on top came some random shapes and marks using a range of acrylic ink, fluid acrylic and gouache. At some point, I sprayed areas with some isopropyl alcohol to diffuse the colors. Collages included torn up bits of paper napkins, wrapping tissue and deli paper (on which I had previously drawn flowers on). In some cases you can still see the writing beneath the collages because they are so transparent. I also introduced some small stickers I had gotten from the Kawaii Pen Shop for added variety. I never thought I’d use stickers but since seeing how cute and quite tastefully done they are made for artistic purposes, they shall be introduced more often in my work!


Painting… Us!

Once I was ready, I made a little sketch of me and boyfriend where I had deliberately left a bit of empty space in the middle. Charcoal pencil was used for this so I can erase whenever I want and also when you paint over it, you add some shadow when the charcoal merges with the paint. A combination of acrylic ink and fluid acrylic was used for this. The skin was a blend of Titanium White and Quinacridone Azo Nickel Gold. Hair was a combination of that latter color along with Antelope Brown and Payne’s Grey. For my BF’s hair, all I had to do was smudge some of the charcoal pencil away. After the eyes and clothes were painted in (Antelope Brown, Cadmium Red Light Hue and Azure Blue), I looked around the background to see what else could be added. More paint, especially gouache, was dotted around to introduce some strong vivid colours.

Painting Us!

Finishing it all Up

And whilst at the subject of the Kawaii Pen Shop, I wanted to try more stuff I had bought there. It’s an on-line shop I found on Facebook. Apart from stickers, I also bought pens, namely gel pens and metallic pens, which would be great to use as finishing touches in my artwork. I then put some to the test by doodling in some more hearts and flowers where I felt some empty spaces could be filled in. More stickers were also added. Can you see what I’ve done? And now, I can say I’m totally happy with the painting, how cute is this! Kawaii indeed.

Being “stuck” at home during Valentine’s weekend amid the pandamic is not not such a bad thing after all! I had the time to work on my painting and had a lot of fun with it. It was also a great opportunity for me to try new products I had bought recently. Being creative certainly lifted up my spirits, especially with all the vivid colors and the happy theme. And now I hope you all had a good weekend and Happy Valentine’s to all!

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