Garden Party!

Oh we can still dream. A year on, and life is not quite back to normal due to COVID. Although things have eased a bit compared to a year earlier, I feel even this summer may still be a bit doubtful with throwing parties and social events. But let’s not despair! I’m due for a vaccination, the second one already scheduled for July. My BF in June. The more folks vaccinated, the better chance we have to reduce the virus infections and in turn go back to a bit of normality. Let’s stay positive! And for that reason, I wanted to share a painting I did in my Tuesday evening art class last summer. A bit of a “let’s look forward to…” mood with Little One having a little carnival in the garden dressed as a bunny and surrounded by Hello Kitty stuff. We can do with some cuteness in our lives!

Starting with Collages

The original plan at the class was to create a Cubism-style painting but using collages of paper. Now that’s a challenge! We used a plank of wood for this on which we firstly covered the surface with what resembles some gift-wrapping tissue. The result is some interesting texture. Once dry, the area was painted over. Acrylic paint, a blend of light pink with pearly white, was used to give a “sweet and happy” sheen. Then the collaging! I of course had a rough idea of what I had wanted and hence able to place my collages reasonably in strategic positions. At least the bunny ears were taken into account and the area where the face is to be was left blank. The rest was random. A series of papers were used for this purpose: paper napkins, gift wrapping tissues, Japanese-language newspaper, origami paper and even aluminium candy wrapp!

Painting Away!

Once I was happy with the collages, I set about firstly taking a photo of the painting so far, and with a stylus, outlined Little One on the screen. This would enable me to get the sketch more in line with what I had wanted. On the painting, I then directly sketched the outlines with some chalk pastels. The painting now begins! Rather than use paint as I normally would, I opted for oil pastels instead. It’s always fun to experiment the unexpected. Although I’ve used oil pastels in the past, it’s the first time using them on a substrate other than paper. One of the reasons I’ve resisted drawing with them is that one needs to top the painting up with varnish which is quite smelly and takes ages to dry, something I prefer not to do at home.

Happy Accident

With the oil pastel done, I set about adding some finishing touches. Sennelier 3D Liners were used for some doodling around the painting, adding even more texture. Once done, the varnish was added on top to seal the artwork. And now a bit of a Happy Accident: I hadn’t noticed it when I got my painting back, but it just lately came to my attention that the varnish had smudged the eyes a bit making LIttle One look as if she is crying! Whilst that bothered me at first and I was tempted to contact my tutor to see if we can rectify it, I thought it best that we leave it. This “accident” has actually grown with me, as it adds to the abstract style. And rather than crying, it’s as if Little One is having such a great time at the garden party that even her makeup has smudged which is typical for party goers isn’t it? So nah, don’t fix it if it ain’t broken. And here it is now, Little One as the party animal!

This is one of my favorite pieces I’ve done in Dieter’s Tuesday evening classes. Loving the bright vivid colors as usual, and the festive mood it brings! Something we all need during these difficult times. It was indeed a pity about the varnish but I prefer to take it in a stride. Besides, things happen for a reason! Little One still looks adorable and having a wonderful time at the party, and that’s important. Once again, I’m looking forward to attending Dieter’s art classes again soon once my vaccination is complete. Let’s churn out more amazing work like this!

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