TJs WIP: The Cheshire Cat.
Greetings my lovelies!
I just shipped a pile of packages with Etsy goodies and a commission, so feel free to throw some more sales at me that I can ship out! I have colorful tissue paper and ribbons just waiting to be used.
However before I send you all to my Etsy Store, I have a “staring post” for you. A while back I showed peeks from the Cheshire Cat painting that I did and I thought it’d be fun to show you a few work in progress pictures. This piece has been created for my sweet friend, Dani Heart. She is a huge, huge fan of The Cheshire Cat and I can’t even tell you how honored I was when I got picked to re-create her favorite character.
Let’s start with the artistic ramble and pictures! Oh. Do click on the pictures for a bigger image as you can see the details a lot better.
Phase 1: Researching and Sketching.
Well, after a little browse on the web, I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to capture and what type of Cheshire Cat I wanted to paint. I sent a quick sketch to my friend.
Since the Cheshire Cat was the main element, I had to re-draw him while making sure that all the markings were on the correct place. I still really love the sketched version of him.
Phase 2: Transferring the art
The sketching was the easy part. Now I had to transfer it onto a bigger sheet of watercolor paper and add the details. I used templates to add the branches and I had a variety of samples. I just traced these randomly on the paper, making sure they overlapped as much as I could to give it a “maze feel”, just like you see in Burton’s movie. At this point I had no idea if I’d trace everything with a black fineliner, so I added a very light layer of color and I’d use colored pencils to make sure that I had an idea of the color scheme (plus it helped seeing the lines after I added the watercolor layer).
You can also see that the painting changed a lot from the intital sketch. The yellow glue-y layer you see is masking fluid. It gives me the freedom to paint freely over the cat as it repels the watercolor.
Phase 3: Layers, layers, layers!
Now it’s all about layering. I started with the background and the first two or three layers are all about color placement and getting the correct undertones. I think I worked with five or six colors at once. Sometimes I picked up a purple, blue and green. Other times I picked up a red/pink with an olive green and a light blue. I don’t really think too much about the colors, because if I start to think too much, I can lose that flowy feel that I want in my work. The only color I did not use was a yellow or orange. And this was quite difficult at times as I always drop in some yellow to brighten up a color.
The layering continued until I felt it was enough and then it was time to work on Ches. The fur would be tackled first, so after removing the masking fluid, I re-added a bit of masking on the eyes and teeth. His fur was a tricky element. I wanted him to be fluffy, just like in Tim Burton’s movie, but the colors would be like in the Disney version. I’ve never really painted fur before this, so I was scared to mess it up and I had no real idea how to tackle it. I started with adding colored pencil to the markings and then I began with some watercolors. I later switched to gouache and acrylics and used a very tiny brush and lots of repetive little flicks to create a “fluffy fur” pattern. I think the fur alone has 5-7 layers of paint.
I loved painting his eyes! So bright and glowy!
As soon as most of the paint and the most important details are added, I’ll set the painting aside for a day or so and then I’ll check where I have to add some more details. In this case, I wanted to really add some magic by adding sparkles. After a long research for the correct sparkle, I ended up using a super-fine glitter by Rayher it’s a gorgeous glitter powder. It truly looks like crushed minerals and the glow is amazing! I’ll have a review about this as well soon, but for now some detail pictures.
And of course, I have to show the entire painting in all its glory!
This is it! Hope you liked staring at the pictures. I’m just very happy that the painting arrived safe and sound at its new home!
If you have questions about the painting, the process, leave a comment below and as always, if you have an idea or a project in mind, feel free to contact me for pricing and/or my thoughts on it.
Okay. NOW you can go to my Etsy store! The sale will last till end November.
Till Next and Happy Shopping!