Year of the Tiger

Welcome to 2022, the Year of the Tiger! In Chinese Zodiac, it is still not officially so because according to the Lunar Year it is not until 1 February. The Japanese like myself, however, go by the Solar calendar which means 1 January is in fact new years and hence the Year of the Tiger. As such, I spent a day or so last week practicing drawing tigers, something I never thought about. It’s not so difficult, even dead easy!

The Practice

I went and Googled for samples of chibi anime tigers and came up with a few cute ideas. Then of course, I opened my little sketchbook and had a shot. The first attempt (below the 2022 writing) I first sketched with a pencil and eraser before tracing on top with a black marker. Once I got used to it, I began doodling one tiger after another. It’s like drawing a cat… let’s face it, tigers belong to the cat family indeed, and they are feline creatures aren’t they? The only difference is that they are bigger, definitely yellow or orange, have stripes and their whiskers are less distinct!

Watercolor Painting

And now here comes the real thing. Once I got a bit more confident, I set about painting one directly on paper. No pencil sketch, no erasing, no covering up. Just take the brush and go! Thought I’d make it a Japanese theme and use my set of Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors. Tiger was painted in just a tangerine-like orange, and just one color; the dimensional effect was achieved by the amount of paint and strokes. For the stripes, I used a “roasted tea” green-brown, followed by charcoal grey for the eyes. “2022” was then added with some Sumi-ink, a charcoal-based ink which is typically from the Far East. For both the tiger and the writing, I of course used the Japanese painting brush (Fudé) as it’s soft and gives less harsher lines. And now! How do you like my baby tiger?

And now I have learned to draw another animal and may like to add that into my future paintings! Tigers can also be kawaii and cute as I discovered. Looking forward to getting more creative this year and developing further by introducing new ideas and attending more classes with like-minded artists. Meanwhile, I wish you all a happy, healthier and more prosperous 2022!


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