Ginger and Her Fish

What a fun experiment this turned out to be! I’ve been inspired by a number of mixed media artists like Juliette Crane and Ayako Rokkaku who paint on unconventional surfaces besides canvas and paper: how about a piece of cardboard? Seeing I love to shop online and receive some of the purchases in parcel boxes, I thought it would be a great idea to recycle a bit, cut out a piece and paint away! And here is another idea: We know that cats love to play in cardboard boxes right? Now I’ll be dedicating this exercise to cat paintings! Here comes the first in the series, and this time, I’m trying out my pastel mediums!

Prime Time

Before we paint away, we firstly need to prime the cardboard piece with some pastel ground. The purpose of this is to firstly try to smooth the ridges from the cardboard, and secondly, to provide a tooth on the surface to give the pastels some grip. Enter the pot of Pastel Ground by Golden which I evenly applied by a wide brush. As you can see, the ground is white but turns transparent upon drying.

Sketching Away

Once evenly dry, my cat was sketched with Derwent’s pastel pencil. I was quite amazed how rough the surface was, almost like sandpaper, and thus went light-handed with the drawing so I don’t run the pencil lead down! Decided to make my cat orange and call her Ginger, reminiscent of the naughty tabby in my boyfriend’s old neighborhood. And there she is holding a plush in the shape of a big blue fish!

Let’s Get Coloring!

And now time to color our little cat! For the subjects themselves such as the cat and the fish, I went for Pan Pastels, pleasantly surprised how smooth and even application was. The resulting coverage was further impressive! Then for the eyes and collar, I used pastel sticks by Faber Castell. You can tell that the coverage is not as even as Pan Pastels are. The whiskers and fish eyes were added with pastel pencils. And here we are, our kawaii Ginger playfully clutching her new toy!

Indeed an inspiring experiment and so much fun painting on cardboard! A great change of pace here, going for the unusual. Perhaps the only disadvantage here is uneven surface which may be unsuitable for detailed drawings. Also some mediums may not provide the desired coverage. Nevertheless, great to play around with various possibilities. And now that I’ve tried pastels, I am curious to see what happens with other mediums. Wonderful start here, though, with this kawaii Ginger and look forward to more!

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