Rescuing Cats and Dogs

Terrible what’s happening in Kabul, Afghanistan! Not to get into politics here, but my heart pours out to all the innocent civilians affected by the recent events. Many have managed to escape, which is great, but fate awaits them as they have to start a new life abroad. Praying it all goes well for them! Now recently, I read an article about this wonderful British ex-Marine who managed to rescue 200 dogs and cats to safety by flying back to the U.K. with them. He had founded his animal shelter 15 years ago in the country and as he needed to evacuate he could not part without them! A week ago, they have all arrived well and safe with the animals in healthy condition although they need to be quarantined for 4 months. And so I decided to start a painting about it of course!

Outlines on Digital Art

I sat one evening relaxing and decided to practice digital painting once again. Initially, it was going to be a theme about “raining dogs and cats” because as of the time in late August, we had some wet and rainy weeks. Then as I was progressing with the drawing, I read about this rescue in Afghanistan and decided to change my theme! How about something more cheerful? The dogs and cats were copied and pasted and in some cases, vertically flipped over for some variety. And it makes it easier if a new layer is created for each animal as we shall see.

Coloring for Variety

Once I was happy with the layout of my cats and dogs, I set about filling them in. Variety was the aim here, whilst trying to keep the colors neutral in tans, greys and browns. We then begin to see why it is important to have a different layer for each animal from the beginning. Where it there is some overlap of the animals, I thought it would be cool to maintain the outlines even though they are colored differently; just a touch of an abstract effect! Another reason is that layering allows one to add a Clipping Mask layer so patterns can be incorporated, as we see with the orange and white cats and the mouth of the light brown dog. I also added some colors in the eyes where visible. So far so cute!

Kawaii Water Background

And now the background! I wanted to leave the background till the end as I could then decide what scheme is best suited. Seeing that the subjects are neutral, I opted for a vivid background and of course pink was the first that came to mind! My favorite color as well as my aim to enhance the “kawaii” out of the artwork. I felt that these poor possibly traumatized dogs and cats deserve something to brighten up their lives, and that sure worked here! Another layer was then added so I could incorporated some “water” patterns in a darker shade of pink. Perhaps this water signifies that they are “on the boat” to the U.K. to start a new life? And that vivid pink sheds some light of hope and optimism? Most likely. And here we have it!

A bit simple again and yet with some wow effect! It is always fun to practice and experiment with the various possibilities and techniques on the Procreate app. Most of the time, it’s not planned at all and I just continue with what goes in my head. It is also not often that I use neutral colors for my subjects and choose a bright background, and I think that also worked well. I shall definitely be doing that more often! Meanwhile, I am happy that all the 200 or so dogs and cats have made it to safety to the U.K. and hope that they are not too traumatized. The 4-month quarantine may not be the most ideal condition for them, but it is for the best, and they will now find a wonderful loving home!

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