Almost four years ago to this date, I made a kawaii painting featuring Little One dressed up as a witch and calling herself Wilma. Well she’s back! We love her bright red hair, multi-blue eyes and sparkly eyelashes. And today, her witch’s costume is quite colorful with bits of magenta pink, turquoise, emerald green and gold with even more glitter. Not typical of a witch’s costume, but Wilma doesn’t want to be ordinary and prefers to be different from the rest. And good for her! So stunning is her costume is that I had paint about it.
What makes this painting special is that it is based on layers and layers of various patches of paint and ink applied over time on a square gesso board. How did this come about? Whenever I paint, I like I don’t like to waste any unused stuff; the paint is mixed on a separate substrate like paper or board which is used as a palette, and any remainders are smeared on there too. Over time, we then end up with splotches and patches of paint which eventually could be developed and recreated to an interesting piece of art. I got to a point where I was ready to move on and recreate whatever came to mind.
When looking at this board splashed with random paint, I could potentially see a hat; the triangular magenta shape and the round area in gold got me inspired. I then began making my initial sketch with a white chalk so its erasable, and once happy with it, painted in the face first in white to get an idea of the shape. This was followed by painting the upper area of the background with Ultramarine Blue fluid acrylic, so the hat emerges as negative space. And speaking of negative space, I liked the way the eyes would look and hence created a pair of “holes” on the face. So far looking good!
Look Who’s Here!
Next, a few collages were introduced. First the moon; I cut out a circle from a page of Japanese newspaper, glued it on and filled it in with yellow and later on spread an even layer of fluorescent yellow paint and Clear Tar Gel mixed together to give an ultra thick gloss. I was not happy with how the dress turned out and covered it up with bits of pink Lokta paper which gave some velvety texture. The hair was colored using firstly Orange acrylic ink, followed by streaks of Fluorescent Red. Then the rest of the background: Ultramarine Violet on the remaining area, and seeing that it still looked empty, I filled in the space with some cats stencilled in with white paint, and for the top left corner, dotted in some fluorescent yellow with the back of a cocktail stick. Whites of the eyes were added, along with the eyelashes. Now I’m really loving the eyes!
Welcome Back, Wilma!!
And no painting is complete without some bling! Especially for this one, seeing how colorful it is. First that came to mind was the hat of course. I was juggling over whether it should be the sky or the hat that should be embellished with glitter but as the sky already has some fluorescent yellow dots on it, the hat seemed a better choice. Some Ranger’s Stickles Gel in Magenta was applied, giving some glitter and tiny embellishments of star shapes. To allow the bright turquoise on the hat and outfit to pop out more, I spread some IzInk glitter paint in turquoise, and wow! IzInk glitter paint in black was then carefully applied with a small pointed palette knife on the eyelashes, whilst the upper lid was lined with Ranger’s Stickles glitter glue in black. To balance the color scheme in the painting, I made the fluffy collar fluorescent yellow. The finishing touch was gluing on a pair of magenta sequins as buttons of the outfit. And now take a look at Wilma’s stunning Halloween costume!
I had so much fun with this piece! Interesting to see how my artwork has evolved over these past four years. Without losing the kawaii touch, my growing confidence in creating certainly shows. I feel more at ease with experimenting with a variety of mediums, methods and tools now. This gesso board is one. After taking up layers of scrap paint over months, I took the plunge and decided to develop it as a painting. Whilst rediscovering my old methods such as stencilling, I enjoyed playing around with newer supplies like Clear Tar Gel and recently-purchased colors of glitter medium. And I’m loving this Halloween theme with a twist of brightness and bling, especially when featuring kawaii characters like Little One! I would be curious to see how my artwork further evolves in a few years…