Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Day 30: Cat named Popcorn in Mixed Media

7" square - pen, gouache, watercolor and acrylic on paper

White whiskers are always difficult for me. I'm still searching for the right opaque white to use for them and the right brush or technique to do them right. I considered masking them and decided to use white acrylic this time. More effective than the white watercolor but still a little difficult to control.

This is my third cat from the Weekend Drawing Event hosted by jlloren. The reference was seriously overexposed, made it hard to see whether Popcorn had white markings or was just bleached out by strong light. I decided to more or less follow the photo rather than compensate for the distortion as I didn't have any other photos of Popcorn to reference.

This time I penciled, started with Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and then decided to use gouache for the black background instead of pure pen-watercolor. Let it fade out to transparent above my signature and liked that effect, then had fun with quinacridone gold and quinacridone burnt orange on his face and body. Final touches with Payne's Grey and a little quinacridone red in the nose mix and ear pinks along with the burnt orange really worked - then acrylic whiskers. They may look a little like he's looking up from drinking cream but I liked the effect.

Ari has bold white whiskers so I'll be trying something new on his the next time I paint his portrait in wet media. I love doing cats and one of these times I'll really get the white whiskers right! White gel pens have not done the job.

Best of all, I did it! Within the 48 hour window I succeeded in doing 30 paintings in 30 days without sick day gaps. Now I usually try to paint daily or at least sketch a gesture. I still get some bad days or things happen to distract me and turn a meh day into a bad day or at least a no-art day. The 48 hour rule worked, so I may stick to that and see where it goes - if I miss a day, make it up the morning after and do something easy so that I can do two that day.

It also helped to do some ATCs. When getting slowed by circumstances, working that small and doing familiar subjects helps!

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