Papillon is French for “butterfly”, and Little One is having so much fun dressed as one! She made those vivid red wings herself with some recycled old clothes along with those cute glittery antennae. How resourceful is that! And now she’s donning a pretty purple gown with gold decoration and white boa collar. Now that’s what I call colorful! And I of course wanted to paint about this especially whilst following another fun class with Juliette Crane.

The Background

Today’s Unit from her Serendipity I classes was on “Allowing for Beautiful Mistakes”. Much of this involves learning to deal with “mistakes” or areas in your painting you end up disliking and then improving on it by recreating. Luckily in this class, I did not have many serious mistakes and merely went with the flow. We typically start with the background by randomly painting or playing around with blocks of colors with whatever shade you fancy. Here I used a selection of acrylic ink and fluid acrylic in Quinacridone Magenta, White, Cobalt Teal, Green Gold, Fluorescent Pink, some Flame Orange whilst introducing some Pearlescent Blue and Yellow. I used a 30x40cm Canvas Board for this.

My Character

I had an idea about what I wanted my character to be which of course was Little One! But how to present her? Given I liked the colors around the sides, I opted for pretty wings and since there is plenty of room above her head, how about a pair of antennae? I began filling in the colors by firstly painting her face followed by the dress and then the eyes. And of course the antennae and then the wings followed. Soon I colored in the background on the top with some Cobalt Teal and Titan Buff, the latter being a cream off-white shade which gives a softer result compared to Titanium White. The eyes were painted in Emerald Green whilst the dress for now in Quinacridone Magenta blended with Titan Buff. So far looking good!

Further Developments

The rest of the background, especially the bottom was filled in with a combination of Emerald Green, Green Gold, Cobalt Teal and Titan Buff. Next I chose some Fluorescent Red, Cadmium Red and Yellow for the wings. Looks great so far, but I was not keen on those dark blue dots across the bottom half the painting. Thinking it was a good idea at the time, I merely covered the area with torn bits of purple wrapping tissue but realised that was not clever. The area was then covered up whilst I decided to make the dress violet instead. Now that’s much better! Then I was able to work on her hair a bit more and incorporate the eyelashes.

Adding Texture

I love introducing texture to my paintings! It’s been awhile since using texturizing mediums like modelling pastes and glass beads and of course this would be a great opportunity to reintroduce them. As you can see below, Modelling paste was spread along the hair, whilst the Glass Beads were applied on the antennae spheres and the bottom area of her wings. I let it dry overnight before adding a coat of acrylic ink on top (gold for the antennae, fluorescent red for the wings and antelope brown for the hair). Some glitter glue and gel, along with some glitter paint too, for the crown, lashes and wings. Then added torn bits of gold aluminium candy wrapper on the dress. Finally as finishing touch, sequins were added on the tip of the crown. Et voilà!!

What fun was this session! I must say following Juliette Crane’s classes are very inspiring and keeps me motivated. Many cute characters in colorful and abstract forms have been created from her classes. If only I had more time to follow them often. But such is life, and when I have the chance, I do look forward to them and continue with so much energy. Can’t wait till the next classes. And now I shall enjoy admiring my kawaii painting of Little One dressed as Papillon!

Click here for more about Juliette Crane and her amazing classes!


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