Gong Hei Fat Choy! Tomorrow is 1 February which according to the Chinese Lunar calendar, is new years! It’s the Year of the Tiger too, in line with the animal zodiac that revolves on a 12-year cycle. And what better chance now to commemorate it and create once again a cute little painting featuring a tiger! So today, I spent much of the afternoon on my iPad doodling away…
The painting starts with a red background, typical for this occasion. Along with gold, this color is considered auspicious and symbolizes fortune for the years to come. I’m therefore very pleased I got hold of the add-on Gold Rush brushes! Using the Bokeh and Glitter from the set, I scribbled away with the metallic palette provided. Then I proceeded with painting the tiger using Medium Airbrush. Another auspicious color typically used in the Far East is violet, which is connected to wealth and prosperity as its associated with clothes worn by royalty. And hence a purple dress for my tiger! A good tip is creating a new layer for each shape or area to facilitate tweaking and adding details with clipping mask as we see below.
Hold it, Tiger!
And now for some details! I discovered that drawing a tiger is not all that difficult; tigers are a bit like cats but with stripes and no obvious whiskers. Of course tigers belong to the cat species right? The stripes were then incorporated with some soft charcoal brush in dark brown. And then the eyes: I started with the left eye by creating a perfect oval via auto-shape (pressing the pencil down on the tablet) in dark brown, then on the next layer added two white circles before merging the two layers together. Symmetry for the eyes was then achieved by copy and paste followed by flipping vertically. At this point, I removed the gold glitters from, the background as I was not certain about them anymore. So far so cute!
And here comes the fun part! I got very excited to be able to use more of the Gold Rush and Lights brushes again. The secret of getting parts all sparkly is to firstly draw the area you want done with some solid color as a base. Then with clipping mask, you cover the area with the sparkles using one of the metallic colors. This I did for my Tiger’s round collar in white and eyelashes in black. Then finally, the chinese character for fortune (福) was carefully written on the violet dress in gold Neon Bristles from the Lights brush set. And now my tiger is done and time to merge all the layers together!
Finally the Background!
Once the layers for my tiger was merged, I was able to expand her and reposition that diagonally. A new layer was then created and shifted to the bottom layer just above the background to redo my design. This time, I went for gold Sparkles 2 and Stardust Cloud from once again the Gold Rush brushes. The kawaii painting was then concluded by the chinese character for “tiger” (虎) in white with the Neon Pen from the Lights brushes before tweaking the lighting effect to Luminosity. And here we go!
My tiger is not only kawaii but also very stunning in her pretty little outfit! Despite the few hours I had to create this painting, I enjoyed experimenting with the various metallic and neon effects especially for this occasion. A great excuse to play around with my brushes! Also red is a color I hardly use for a background, and I now realize what I’ve been missing; it’s stunning! And now I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Year of the Tiger with lots of happiness and fortune!