Sookie Sachs

Web & Aspiring Graphic Designer



Whimsical Kitty - Based on Kandinsky's Yellow Pink 1929 - Version 4 (I'm walking away now!)

VERSION 1: My first version, I used a compass and ruler to make the lines but the layout is not 100% proportional to Kandinsky's Yellow Pink.  I estimated the size and location of the shapes and lines.


Music - I listened to Simon & Garfunkle's Greatest Hits.  The song that particularly fits my cat Whimsy is the song Feelin' Groovy.  

Particularly this verse:

Got no deeds to do,
No promises to keep.
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.
Life, I love you,
All is groovy.

Size: 11x15 inches, Due to size I had to scan in two pieces and put together in Photoshop

Materials used - Dr. Ph Marten's Liquid Watercolor, 4B pencil, 140lb paper

All colors were mixed from colors used in the paint swatch shown to the left of the cat.

  • Green - mix of 1H hansa yellow light, 6H phthalo green, 10H venetian brown
  • Darker Blue - mix of 18H ultramarine and 11H carbon black
  • Light Blue - mix of 7H phthalo blue and 12H titanium white
  • Gray - mix of 11H carbon black (lightened with water)

Techniques used - mixture of wet on wet watercolor and wet on dry.  After the painting dried, I went over the lines with a 4B charcoal pencil and smudge the lines lightly with stiff flat brush.  I used a old paint brush to randomly splatter gray watercolor paint across the entire painting to give it texture.  I finished with a spray protectant to keep the pencil from smudging.

VERSION 2: I enlarged the photo of Kandinsky's original painting Yellow Pink and traced it onto 11 x 15 in paper using a lightbox.  This version is an almost exact duplicate of the lines and shapes in Kandinsky's painting with my colors applied to it.  Colors are much brighter than the colors I mixed with Ph Marten colors for version 1.  I like the white lines everywhere but the face.  The cat face doesn't stand out well.  I may decided to go back over the white lines with black acrylic or india ink.


Music - Nothing specific - I just listened to a classic rock station on Pandora.

Size: 11 x 15 - Due to size,  I had to scan this in two pieces and then put together in Photoshop

Materials Used - Windsor Newton pan colors French Ultramarine, Winsor Blue (Green Hue), Winsor Green (Blue Umber), Permanent Sap Green, Reeves (tube) Noir, Dr. Ph Martens Iridescent inks in blue and green, generic acrylic white, white india ink

Techniques used- used wet on dry watercolor for the cat shape, I used wet on wet for the background, I went over lines and shapes with white india ink, splattered white acrylic paint (watered down) and the Ph Marten Iridescent inks randomly across painting

VERSION 3: This version is an incredibly loose and fun version of Kandinsky's Yellow Pink.  I had the most fun making this painting. This version is not as abstract as Kandinsky's painting.  It has the same feeling as Kandinsky's painting but I drew wavy lines and some more cat elements (a paw, ear, whiskers, etc.). The colors on this painting came out great.  The scan doesn't do it justice.  There is a shine to the paint from the Iridescent inks that is eye catching.  I think this version captures my cat's personality best. Cool yet bright colors with a bit of shine and lots of wavy lines.


Music - I listened to Simon and Garfunkle again.  

Size - 11 x 15 -  Due to size, I had to scan this in two pieces and then put together in Photoshop.

Material Used - I used Reeves Gouche tubes in Ultramarine, Black, Emerald, Blue Lake, Leaf Green, Dr. Ph Martins Iridescent Calligraphy Inks in 23R Metallic Green, 22R Crystal Mint, 20R Misty Blue, 24R Sequins Blue, 13R Nickel, Dr. Ph Martins liquid watercolor in Cobalt Violet, Micron no. 08 black pen, generic acrylic white paint.

Green - mixed Leaf Green, Emerald, and smidge Black used with 22R Crystal Mint

Darker Green - mixed Emerald, Ultramarine and Black used with 23R Metallic Green

Gray - mixed Black with Dr. Ph Martin Cobalt Violet with large amount of water to get a gray with a lavendar tint used with 13R Nickel(mixed with black)

Dark Blue - Ultramarine mixed with Black used with 20R Misty Blue

Light Blue - Blue lake mixed with Black used with 24R Sequin Blue

Techniques used - Used highly waterdown gouch, Wet on Dry, used paint brush to apply Iridescent Calligraphy inks to wet gouche, I watered down my Gray mix even more and applied that to the background. When dry used old brush to splatter white acrylic paint, Leaf Green (mixed with Crystal Mint and white acrylic), and Blue Lake (mixed with white acrylic and Sequin Blue).  When that dried retraced pencil lines with Micron no. 08 black pen.

VERSION 4: I took a step back and looked at all the versions I completed and I still wasn't 100% happy with my work.  There were elements I liked with each version.  I liked the shape of Version 1 and I liked the colors of Version 2 & 3.  The colors of the first version are pleasant, but I kept thinking that they had a look of the blues (depression) and that doesn't fit my cat.  He is calm but there is a brightness about him too.  So... I decided to make a 4th version (I'm obsessed).  Plus, I got some new "toys" I wanted to play with.  I just purchased a Japanese watercolor set by Kuretake and some Brusho watercolor crystals. I wanted to try them out today.  


Music - nothing this time, I was binge watching Supernatural (Jensen Ackles - yum!) - but that tv series has plenty of good music! :-) 

Materials used - Kuretake watercolors: Green - No. 53, Light Blue - No. 63, Dark Blue - No. 63 and No. 20 (black), Teal - No. 57, Gray - No. 20; Brusho Crystal Color (shake on watercolor crystals, messy but fun!)- Ultramarine, Leaf Green, Turquoise, Black; White acrylic paint and black india ink

Techniques used - wet on dry watercolor, the Kuretake watercolors were different than watercolors I have used in the past.  The paint didn't soak into the paper like regular watercolors. It sat on the paper and reminded me of how oil and water beads when mixed together.  The colors are great - very bright.  After the painting was dry, I shook the Brusho crystals on the page and then sprayed lightly with water.  I also flicked a little white acrylic paint on my cat (funny thing - my real cat was sticking his head over my painting the whole time I was doing this - he has some white paint on his head too). After the Brusho crystals dried, I went over the lines with black india ink.  I went thicker on the black lines for more contrast with the brighter, more vibrant colors.


STEP ONE (Planning):

I've been wanting to create an abstract painting of my kitty Whimsy for some time now. He is a super laid back cat who likes for me to hold him like a baby.  He is my inspiration for my abstract art project. 


I started researching works by Kandinsky and his painting Yellow Pink 1929 spoke to me.  To me, it looks like a cat.


This painting was created using watercolors, india ink, and pencil on paper.  These are some of my favorite things to work with (with the exception of digital media).  When I think of my cat Whimsy, I think of peace, tranquility, and contentment.I love the shapes associated with the Kandinsky work above and I also can appreciate the colors.  It reminds me of a sunrise and new beginnings, these colors leave me with a sense of excitement. However, these color associations do not work with my cat's personality. Even though, he oftens has a kitten-like sense of play, he is rarely excited and active. When I think of my baby, Whimsy, I think of cool colors like blue, green, and grays.  So, my plan is to create a cat similar to the painting above, using blues, greens, grays, and white.  Like Kandinsky, I will be using watercolors, india ink, and paper.  Tomorrow, I plan to start working on some preliminary sketches.



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