Whimsical character - circus kitty

Whimsical character - circus kitty - student project

I learned sooo much from this class. I watched it twice all the way through and then just the washes lesson another time or two. First I learned that I have very little patience for planning when it comes to painting and for waiting for paint to dry. Sigh.

More importantly my washes improved so much after watching Vanessa’s technique that I am amazed. It’s like a switch flipped between my brain and my brush. So even if I don’t use the layering technique again, I am super happy with my painting progress.

For this project I imported a sketch from my sketchbook into Procreate, then traced it and chose a color palette similar to how Vanessa did her color rough in photoshop. Here is my Procreate version:

Whimsical character - circus kitty - image 1 - student project

Then I struggled a lot. First because I tried to do the background in my first attempt. I realized my mistake because the layering was so difficult. I ran out of paint a couple times and didn’t know in what order I should paint the sections.

So I started from scratch and left out the background. This went much more smoothly. I did cheat a little a use a craft dryer. I usually only have about 20-30 minutes a day to paint, so if I waited for each layer to dry naturally this process would take weeks. Here is attempt number two:

Whimsical character - circus kitty - image 2 - student project

Vanessa makes this look easy, but it’s definitely not for beginners. It is obvious she has practiced and perfected this technique for a long time. So don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t come out the way you hoped the first time. I will use the layering washes technique in paintings where it makes sense but I doubt I’ll sit down and plan out the order of colors again. It was just too time consuming when my painting time is so limited. 

Thanks so much for an amazing class and for sharing your process, Vanessa. I am curious if you ever paint backgrounds and how you handle those? Thanks again!

JoAnna Crone
Art & books are my happy place