We're back again with another Art Attack! If you're new to the series, this is where I share my drawings and the process behind them. A behind-the-scenes look at my artwork, if you will. This is not to say that I'm very good at art, or that I'm a professional in any way. In fact this is the opposite, and serves as a reminder to how I first started, and lets me track my progress too!
So back in July 2020, I started working on Sean's birthday gift (his birthday is 4th Aug)! If you've kept up with this series, you might remember the past 2 gifts I gave him were also artworks.
In 2018 it was this collage of the iconic Dotonbori street in Osaka, Japan, customised to everything that Sean likes:
In 2019, I painted us admiring Mt Fuji together at Lake Kawaguchi; immortalising one of our favourite memories of Japan:
So for 2020, I decided to do something a little different, and thought I'd draw us in Singapore instead! And since it was Sean's first anniversary of working in Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in Aug 2020, it seemed fitting.
And coincidentally, at the end of 2019, all the CapitaLand Malls had a LINE Friends World Tour exhibition of our favourite LINE characters in outfits from various countries, including Singapore!
Source: Great Deals Singapore
I think you can see where I'm going with this. But basically my idea was to paint us at Merlion Park - an iconic Singaporean landmark and tourist attraction, but with Brown as the Merlion! The Merlion is our country's national symbol btw, and they even have a small version of it in Sean's office building!
This is what Merlion Park looks like btw:
I had an idea to paint us taking a selfie at Merlion Park, with us wearing us touristy shirts like those in Animal Crossing: New Horizons!
This was also back when I was very into ACNH and was practically obsessed with the game. But I would still totally wear those shirts irl tho they actually look really legit.
Anyway, I wanted to keep this a surprise which was difficult since we were living together in a small studio and were always within 1m apart. So I could only work on this while Sean was out. And I think starting 1 month ahead of time was definitely a good call just in case. At least this was post-lockdown so he could leave the house.
Here's the initial sketch:
I thought the buildings would give me trouble, but they were actually not too bad. I had more trouble with getting the proportions of the merlion right.
I thought I drew us a little too small, so I made us bigger before outlining. There were times that I was too excited to work on it so I waited until Sean fell asleep and got to work.
Added a few details:
Then it was time to get colouring! I did what I could with markers since paint might smudge some of the thinner lines.
Time to get painting!
As always, Sean's skin tone was a challenge and I tried using some of my newer watercolours but I still couldn't get it right. For the sky, I didn't want it to be blue since the water was blue too. So I went with a light orange since Sean's favourite colour is orange (and it's also the complement of blue). I tried to vary the colours of the buildings as well, instead of making them all greyish.
I had some trouble with my shirt colour since it was the opposite of his; in that I had to colour everything except the leaves. So unfortunately I had to use some bold lines to outline the leaves but I think it still looks okay.
After outlining once more, here's the final product!
Unfortunately, while I did get this done with plenty of time to spare for Sean's birthday, he fell ill just a couple days before! It wasn't covid thankfully, and it was a near dengue scare but turned out to be a pretty bad viral infection. He ended up sick for the whole of his birthday week! Really unfortunate. But the moment he recovered, I gave this to him straight away! At the time it was also Singapore's birthday/Independence Day so it was perfect timing!
And I'm so glad he liked it! Other than a few mistakes here and there I think this was pretty much the best I could do with watercolours at the time. Maybe I should've made his hair darker but I think his skin tone was pretty good for what it initially looked like.
Overall, I liked how this piece turned out! I wanted it to look simple and colourful and I think I managed to achieve that so yay!
Thanks for reading!
To find out more about me, check out my intro post here!