Disguised as Tigers

This kawaii cat and mouse painting was completed more than a month ago actually. When I wanted to write about it, I realized the characters look a bit tiger-esque in terms of color and patterns and hence decided to save it till now to go with the Year of the Tiger theme. That’s right, our little cat and mouse friends decided to disguise themselves as little tigers in hope of good fortune for 2022. And here they are now!

The Beginning

As another intuitive artwork, this painting began with some leftover gold paint rolled across the page of my sketchbook with a brayer. Some random shapes and marks including flowers were then randomly drawn in with the tip of the dropper from Purple acrylic ink. Then with some wet brush, I spread the color around. Good start!

Layering Up

At this stage, I had no idea what I wanted to develop out of the painting but let nature takes its course. The white areas were firstly filled in with some yellow-green ink. Once dry, I added collages out of paper napkins, one of them featuring pumpkins and the other some swirly design in gold. Then stamping on some green with bubble wrap and Ranger’s distress ink (Crushed Pistachio). This was then followed by randomly incorporating some darker green ink, iridescent green india ink and fluorescent red gouache to further vary the mediums. So far so chaotic but great because now I decided some negative space painting would be a brilliant idea!

Negative Space Art

I was in the mood of making a cat shape with the negative space. It is because the orange reminded me of Ginger the naughty neighborhood cat from my BF’s earlier home. To fill in the page more, I introduced a mouse by the cat. The challenge is of course trying to determine which areas should show and which areas should be hidden. As such, I tried to make the cat as huge as possible then have a mouse occupy the space above her back so not too much gets painted over and hidden. The outline of both was firstly sketched with white chalk pencil, followed by filling the OUTSIDE with Titanium White ink. I myself like to keep the white rather transparent so you can see below the layer; it adds to the mystique and further “tells a story.” How cute do they look so far!

Adding Details

Now that I was happy with the layout of the cat and mouse, I painted the details in. First the cat’s face; eyes were added using acrylic ink in ink with white molotow pen along with the whiskers in black glitter pen. The crown then was painted in gold followed by scribbling in some gold glitter pen. Little mouse had her eyes drawn in with some gold gel pen too! Then some turquoise blue shapes were added on the corners of the page with some gold gouache dotted on. A few dots of paint here and there using the rear of the cocktail stick, and here we are! But wait a minute. Don’t you find that the pretty patterns on the cat and mouse somewhat resemble tigers too? What a perfect coincidence for New Years.

It’s not often that I do negative space paintings and thus, it was a wonderful change to create one. One of the drawbacks I find about negative space is selecting which areas to show or hide, or more precisely working around the areas you like best because you don’t want to hide them. It was also by chance that the patterns on the collage papers turned out to be perfect for a tiger theme although the original intention was creating a cat and mouse. Perhaps our little friends thought it would be cute to dress up to commemorate this wonderful Year of the Tiger and wish everyone a healthy, prosperous and happy 2022!

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