What an adventure that must have been! Some months ago, I came home and was told by my boyfriend that a small bird flew in the house! It was a sparrow, I am told. How it got in he had no idea but it may have sneaked in when we had our front door wide open and never noticed it. Apparently, she was discovered as she was fluttering her wings in my designated Hello Kitty room of all places! The poor sparrow must have been so frightened to see all the cat-faces of my Hello Kitty plushies. As soon as my boyfriend saw her, she flew away past his study, up the spiral stairs and into the connecting attic before finding freedom in one of the open windows. No damage done, even my Kitties stayed intact. They too must have been startled! And there came an inspiration for another painting!
Planning my Sketch
I firstly outlined my ideas with pencil in my small sketchbook. As part of the ceilings in my room is sloped, I made the background with two sloped ceilings with windows. In the middle is a table surrounded by Hello Kitties, some sitting around and others placed on the table. One is looking out the window admiring the pretty flowers. As we have a beautiful garden, I wanted to incorporate that too.
I decided to make this a watercolor painting as a basis then work my way up other mediums like gel pens and colored pencils. First the background. Here I used up some of the leftover Holbein’s tubes of watercolors that were dried up in a dish. Glad I can find a way to recycle again! I then painted the table and grass with the same brand of watercolors.
When filling in finer details, I prefer to use watercolor pens. Kuretake ZIG Clean Color pens were used for this purpose. With a range of bright colors to choose from, I opted for a selection of pinks, reds and greens. Although sparrows are actually white, grey and brown, I went for orange instead of brown just for fun. It took me time to figure out the best way to paint with these watercolor pens. One can indeed apply straight to the paper and spread the color with a separate wet brush, or wet the brush of the pen itself and paint directly both of which I had done for the sparrow, plants and flowers. I found out though the colors come out too strongly and tend to look too much like markers rather than watercolors. Then of course the third alternative is to apply the color on a plastic film like a palette and use a wet brush. As you can see, that method was the best as seen in Kitties’ outfits. In hindsight, I wish I had firstly experimented what worked best.
Working with Other Mediums
At this point there was nothing else I can do with the flaw but leave it and move on. There may be other ways to help “hide” them like use other mediums I then worked with some Ecoline ink markers, colored pencils and white Uni Posca pens. The Ecoline markers helped to let some of the pink and green pop out more, and the colored pencils help to add some shading and outlining where needed. Another useful tool is the Uni Posca pen in white, especially for reinstating some white areas. Rather than leave the white Hello Kitties unpainted for instance, I filled them in white. Fine dots and squiggles were also doodled in the flowers. For now, I will leave it but I have a feeling that I will be working on it again in the near future as I feel a bit more could be done.
I have yet to figure out what else I could do to make this painting more appealing. Perhaps outline the Hello Kitties more? If furhter feel that the flowers tend to overwhelm the painting and the Kitties are fading in the background. It could be an idea to make their outfits more vivid. Let’s see what I can come up with. Although I don’t feel this painting is entirely complete, I just wanted to share it along with the story behind it. So keep your eyes open for a more updated version!