Art Tips for International Day of Happiness

Small Kitten Looking AlertToday is the International Day of Happiness! If there is one thing we can all agree on that brings a smile to our faces, it’s cute animals. To celebrate International Day of Happiness 2020, I’m going to show you my process of creating a pen and watercolor illustration of a happy kitten. For this piece, I’m also going to be sticking to only the primary colors to show you that you don’t need many colors or even any knowledge of blending colors to create something eye-catching. And also, bright colors also make me happy.

To begin, I sketched out my kitten in pencil. I had some reference images open on my computer, but only as a guide. You can see this post, where I divulge some of my secrets when it comes to finding good reference images.

Then I line the sketch in pen. Keep your lines open and don’t adhere too closely to your sketch. This open-ness makes the kitten look furry and more organic. If you keep all of your lines closed or too rounded and neat, the animal won’t look natural. Here another tip, too: the more open you keep your lines, the less worried you’ll be about the general shape of your drawing, and you can always go back and fill in later once you’re happy with the outline.

I laid down my yellow watercolor first, as it will be the main fur color for the kitten. I went back over the piece once to add some darker fur details. There are several ways to achieve a darker watercolor tone, and one of them is to use less water. On the cheeks, you can see that there are some darker fur textures. I put down a more watered down yellow first, and then used a less watery yellow for the details.

To make pink with opaque media, you add white. Red and white makes pink. With watercolor, you add water to red to make pink. While some watercolor sets do come with white paint, it isn’t necessary, just as black isn’t necessary once you learn how to darken with complementary colors. This is what I did for the ears, nose, and mouth.

I then made the eyes blue, and used the same “less water to make a darker tone” method I described above to add depth to the pink areas.

Check out this piece on my Redbubble!

Hope you have a very happy day! Thank you for reading. If you have a question or request for a future blog topic, please feel free to leave one in the comments down below. We publish a new blog every Tuesday and Friday so, until next time, goodbye!

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