Gonna Miss Him

Boyfriend is off next Tuesday for about a week. Whilst photographing for his work in Switzerland, he is going to spend a few days in Austria skiing! Some fresh mountain air will do him good. I on the other hand am staying put because there is quite a lot of work to do in the house and I’m not too keen about snow. He will be missed! There is though quite a lot to keep me occupied so I’ll survive. And here I dedicate a kawaii painting I made for us to make me feel better: a sumie ink drawing combined with watercolors!

Sumie Ink Drawing

For a New Year’s painting, I used some sumie ink but once again ended up with some leftover in my palette. They don’t come cheap here in Europe, and I wanted to use that all up! So what is so special about Sumie Ink? Originating in China and also common in Japan for centuries, this ink is derived from the soot of pinewood (or even burnt lamp oil). It usually comes in stick form and is rubbed on a tray with a bit of water to produce the ink. However, for convenience (and laziness on my part) I just go for the ready-made liquid form for my work! And here I just roughly sketched us on a page from some watercolor paper pad. No pencil needed, I just drew directly! Very spontaneous.

The Background

And now time to fill it all in! As Sumie ink is from Japan, I thought it would be appropriate here to use my Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolor set. Starting with the background, a light wash of blue was applied for the sky and green for the ground. I wanted to have the two colors gradually merge together where they meet rather than have a harsh line separating them. It just looks much more soft and natural!

Coloring Us Beautiful

Once the background was finished, I proceeded in coloring us in. Started with the hair, followed by faces, outfits and then the red heart. I decided to keep this painting simple; just fill the colors in without any light and shade work. It is typical in a lot of traditional Japanese artwork to skip this part, as light and shadow is not crucial compared to say Western art. Perhaps this is because Japanese art embraces illustrations of ideas whereas the West emphasizes realism, starting with Renaissance paintings. Of course, I wanted to see how this traditional Japanese method would apply in a modern setting. And here it is!

Although a simple painting, I love how it turned out. Traditional Japanese painting works really well with the more modern kawaii anime elements. I would love to do this sort of work more often, incorporating sumie ink with watercolor. At the next opportunity, I would like to introduce some animals as well and create a whimsical painting with a Japanese twist! And now, every time my boyfriend is away, I shall be looking at this cute piece I had just created and even start painting more!

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