Mooncake is the most recent painting I did and I wanted to share some thoughts and pictures of the process.
I had this sketch for a long time but I wasn’t ready for it. Sometimes you don’t feel confident enough to make something and that’s ok, as long as you continue to practice.
After I’ve made couple of mini paintings for an exhibit and with no day job, I thought it was the time. As always, I’ve started with the fun parts. I made the typo in gold and started the mooncake with colored pencils with washes of acrylics. It’s been a while I wanted to mix both. I’ve drawn most of the left cat with pencils at this point and try bits of cloud background.
I couldn’t push the inevitable any longer, the background. I hate doing backgrounds mostly because all my life I’ve focused on characters (maybe to avoid it). Now I feel like I’ve reached a point where I need to add some background to add more dimensions in my art. I just fear to fail it and be disappointed with what I’ve done. I’ve started to make an underpainting and contouring everything I’ve already done. Bad idea I know, I should have started with the background but hey, I had to make this mistake to understand! That’s why at some point, I’ve painting over the typo instead of contouring it. On the photo you can see the first layer. It took couples of layers and many tries to figure out how to paint these clouds.
On the next picture, you can see a comparison between the process. The first cat is only made with colored pencils and the other one is fully painted. I found it very helpful to have pencils before painting.
I chose to repaint the typo in cream instead of gold. I love gold but it never looks good in picture and it’s pretty deceiving when printed. At the last moment I added the word mooncake in chinese characters (thank god I haven’t misspelled it). I felt some corners were a bit empty and now it looks more like an advert poster which I love.
Now I can say I’m proud of this one and it helped me to gain some reassurance with paint. I may have reached a little step. It could have been a disappointment but it turns well so please guys, always keep practicing and enjoy every little success you get. Things come easier with time and that’s true for many things.