Here’s Happy from Fairy Tail looking sad. I worked from a screen shot of the image, dropping the background. I have no excuses this round about my blue being less than ideal. (Click for a happy Happy and excuses.) I know watercolor blue lifts very easily. For the non-painters, I just mean you can take the color back off easily by brushing it with water. I wanted a bold cerulean blue, so I intended to paint several layers, but subsequent layers tended to lift previous layers. My round brushes were particularly streaky, so I switched to a flat, which, of course, wouldn’t work in the nooks and crannies. I used Cotman’s blue, which is a student grade paint made by Windsor & Newton. I only have a couple tubes of Cotman’s and the Payne’s gray is so separated and awful that I vowed to evade Cotman’s forevermore. I don’t know if I can blame Cotman’s for this, though–seems like user error. I have another cerulean by a brand named Soho, which is so cheap I’m a little afraid of it. My Soho blacks are chalky and clumpy, but after vigorous mixing they seem alright. Maybe I could try Happy in another blue.
Blue aside, I received an early birthday present of Faber-Castell pens. (Hurray!) It’s a set of eight Pitt pens, the wallet set. I used the smallest size (XS) for my outlining. I need to get better at speed lines to keep the widths the same. When I wobbled too much, I tried to hide it with a thicker line, which might be worse than leaving the wobble. I’ll just have to keep practicing. I used the widest round-tip pen in the set for the eyes, and by the end there was a piece of marker string trailing like a loose hair on a paintbrush. I don’t know if that was a fluke or a sign that the pens aren’t so super after all. I really liked the idea of avoiding the need to deal with cleaning and changing ink cartridges, which just might be the only way of having and using true art pens.
After the outlining, some of the shading looked even paler than before, and the blush lines on Happy’s cheeks and nose had pretty much disappeared. I had painted over the blue with a fine brush using predominantly alizarin crimson, but it wasn’t nearly bold enough. Using watercolor pencils, I added lines, but I didn’t add water to them, so they’re really just pencil lines. I also traced a shadow line around the interior of the eye outline because the starkness was just wrong and the shading I had used before, again, had become too pale against the contrast of the black ink.
There you have it–sad Happy, runny nose and all.