Friday, October 25, 2013


Hello again! Welcome to my drawing blog.

Today I shall post the second drawing of 10 year old Wei Ting and her cute doggy QQ.

As I seldom practice painting, I am still kinda uncomfortable with the brushes and the outcome. I shall try to overcome this problem and phobia by spending more quality time burying myself under the tons of painting materials I bought but never used. I mean... use them. Seriously, as I don't have that much time to waste.

Here's another attempt at Acrylic painting, with all my heart, to make some significant improvement so it'd be worth my time. To begin, the ingredients:

A 45 x 60cm canvas.
I used a bigger size canvas for this painting than my usual practice pieces.

 The easel that I bought for $17 at the stationery shop.

A set of brushes that didn't cost too much. I'm still learning, not a pro.

A palette and a bucket with multiple compartments for water to dip the brushes in. 

I have several brands of acrylic paints.
This one is not expensive and good for practice works.

I also bought some slightly more expensive one in big bottles, especially for colors that I may use in bigger quantity than others, like white. Here I have just gotten a bottle of Flesh Pink for skin color, and I'm very happy with it as I don't have to mix skin colors myself anymore. But mixing different brands of acrylic together, though they did not explode, had different effects.
This brand for example, turns matt when dried while the others were glossy.

The other brand that I used. Burnt umber (1st from left) was most used for the shadings.

I also got some sponge brushes. These were used for painting the varnish layer at the end of the painting to protect the surface of the painting.

A plastic dropper to suck up water or other mediums to add to the paint. They are very inexpensive and come in a pack of 10 pieces for a little over a dollar.

To begin, I needed to prepare the canvas for use. The surface was sanded with a fine grained sand paper to smooth out any roughness.

Next, I added some acrylic painting medium to white gesso.

I painted the gesso on to the sanded surface of the canvas.
Did several layers and left to dry.

When the gesso was dried, I sanded the surface again, gently this time, to smooth it out further. The canvas was ready to be used now.

After adding in the pencil outlines, I blended the lines with a brush to create some shading effects, to get some idea of the shadings first, and also to thin out the pencil lead on the canvas so it would not smudge too badly when paint was applied to the canvas.

I also used kneadable eraser.
This was to remove some pencil lead on the canvas to prevent smudging.
The black carbon does show up beneath the paints if not reduced to a thin layer.

Here's the overall completed proportion layer.

I was lacking some confidence since I haven't painted for ages. I used some green to paint the shadings first to warm up. It also helped with the skin tone.

That was for the starting. Didn't look good here.

After gaining some confidence, the medium darker skin tone was added. It was a mixture of flesh pink and burnt umber.

After applying some lighter skin tone, I worked on getting the features out slowly, from light to dark.

The development of the face from left to right.

Working on the other eye and also adding some pink color to the cheeks and lips.

I spent a lot more time painting the lips carefully this time.

Time to work on the hair. I started with a thin layer of burnt umber.

Before I was done with the hair, I worked on the background.
Kept it simple with a layer of pink.

I then returned to the hair, starting with more burnt umber in darker layers, then a highlight in grey, which was covered by black and blended till it looked natural like soft lighting on the glossy black hair.

With the hair done, I began to work on the chair portion.

Working on QQ at last, shading done with burnt umber, yellow ochre and black.

The doggy was done...

Last thing to paint was the red cushion under QQ.

I'm not good with brushes at all. Before one painting was done, the brushes were finished.

Last thing to do (and also the happiest) was to apply the varnish when the painting was dried. Two coats were applied. After first coating it was left to dry completely before the second coating was added. I used gloss varnish for this painting.

And here's the finished work. Sorry for the bad scanning.

The painting took about 48 hours to complete, spread across several months.

Acrylic paints dry kinda fast, and I was not very used to it because I am a slow worker. I found myself practically dry brushing the paint at several points of the painting just to get the effect I was looking for. I would very much prefer to blend instead. But I have a lot to learn, still, and may I overcome this in time.

I would love to learn how to do oil painting some day, if I live long enough to learn so slowly...

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Hello there! Thanks for coming to my blog! Appreciate your visit dearly.

After being absent for more than a year, I finally made it back here. I hope I could continue to post new works, for during the long period of ill health I have not been able to do much. Though I'm a lot better now, I have no confidence of 'staying alive'! Ha ha ha...

During this period of long absence I have tried to draw several pictures, many left unfinished. I tried to do in particular the drawings I promised to make for people I know, and who waited forever to see them done. After falling ill I see how life is so unpredictable and fragile, and tomorrow is never a promise of better health and joy. When my mother became ill as well and I was the only one to look after her, life became even more difficult. I learnt to appreciate every moment available, and I wish to live up to my promises before life takes away everything.

Thus I began to complete the promised drawings, one by one, hoping I'd make it in time and be free to do other works as well.

The first one is this drawing of a wonderful little girl and her lovely doggy QQ who likes to jump on me and lick me every time I show up. Kwa Wei Ting was 10 years old when she posed for me with her QQ while I took her photos to do the drawings. I wish I could do a few pieces more but I could only do 2 for her, including this one, as I have limited energy these days...

I have given the drawings to Wei Ting already and she liked them (Phew...). I shall now post the step by step record of the first accomplishment.

Here's how it usually start for my pencil drawings:

I used only 3 pencils for this drawing. 3B, 4B and 6B. Didn't intend to go too dark and the photo I took wasn't HD either too so it was kinda 'blurry'.

The usual kneadable eraser is a MUST.

The tortillions that blend the shadings.

The A3 size smooth art cards used for drawings.

The Mono Zero eraser to draw fine white lines.

Finally, the tissue to blend the shadings in smooth tone.

The beginning of the drawing is all about getting the proportion right. It takes time and patience. Sometimes I practice quick sketches without all the tedious measuring but for serious works, I have to spend more time with it. I used several methods I learnt from youtube to get it right. There's a wealth of knowledge there and people are so lucky these days to receive them free.

Doing some basic sketches before adjustment.

Developing the full face and further.

Coming to the proportion of the doggy now.

Done, and since I was slow at it, it took about one and a half hour to get here.

At last I could put in a light shading in 3B pencil.

The tissue blending made it look 'realistic' immediately.

Darkening the face further with more 3B and tissue rendition. 
It takes time to come out properly and patience is a necessity.

Then I darkened it further with 4B and 6B pencils. Every bit was drawn slowly.

Blending with tortillion has different effect from tissue. Tortillions make the blending darker, while tissues take away the pencil lead and lighten the shadings.

Working together with tortillion and tissue to achieve the desired effects.

That's the face work for now, will come back later.

Starting on the hair now. Darkening the portion slowly with 3B first.

Here the Mono Zero eraser was used to draw fine white lines as highlights.

Then a darker pencil 4B was used to make the highlight more obvious, drawing around the white lines and darkening more areas at the same time.

The hair developing in 3B and 4B pencils.

Finally 6B was used to darken the hair and features in finishing stages.

Next thing was to work on QQ. A thin layer of 3B was shaded on first.

Blending the 3B shading with tissue.

Additional darkening with the other pencils to bring out the shadowy areas. Dog fur is very complicated and I had a hard time getting all the strands.

Getting the strands included using the kneadable eraser kneaded into a fine point to draw the whites over the grey. The lines drawn were thick and not very defined.

For sharper white lines, had to use Mono Zero eraser.

After that, define the lines further with darker shadings using the pencils.

Here the fine loose strands were drawn in with Mono Zero eraser. 
I couldn't see all the fine strands though, not on the poor photo I took.

I like to see the fur effect. It looked so soft.

Developing the doggy face from left to right.

Adding in some shadings for the background. It helped to bring out the white portions of QQ.

Blending the shading in smooth tone with tissue.

Last bits of the work was to draw in some fine strands of hair and do some final touch ups.

And here's the finished drawing.

The drawing took about 36 hours to finish, it wasn't as detailed as some of the other drawings I spent time on but the work was just as hard.

I was glad to get one done at long last, a promised work.

I would like to thank Wei Ting's parents for allowing me to draw and post the picture of their darling girl and QQ. I would like to thank them for their patience and support in my effort to learn.

I shall post the 2nd drawing of Wei Ting and QQ shortly.

Thanks for looking!