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  • Writer's pictureandreahywong

Sleepy Llama

I've been really loving how nice it is to start something and #complete it within about an hour, so here's another little #painting of "things around my home"! Today, the object of interest was my favourite mug - a llama mug.

Pencil Sketch

The nose of my llama mug actually protrudes out (and yes, my coffee fills its nose... extra volume!) so it was interesting to see if I could capture that depth. (Fast forward: I don't think I captured it. ><"). I decided to #tip the mug on its side so I could include the colourful dots near the bottom of the mug. I also quickly realized what a horror the llama's "fluffy" bumps were going to be. I completely left those details out in the pencil and braved it later with ink.

I always forget about lighting and shadows so this time I added an outlined, and decided not to ink the shadow #outline (like in this post) but to see what I could do with just the watercolour paint.

Ink Outline and Shading

This was a satisfying step - I was pleased that I could pull off outlining the tufts of wool(?) by broadly #estimating and #improvising those lines. I think it looks okay so far! At this point, I still didn't know how to create the #depth of the mug. It seems rather flat still. I drew a #curve along the side of the nose but the face in general still lacks depth to me.

I didn't do much shading as I was scared what the #harsh black ink would make it look. I attempted to add depth merely with the #watercolours and see what I could do there.


I initially felt there wasn't that much colour in this object at all. However, looking closely, it appears I could not be more wrong! Even if the immediately obviously colours comprised of the small areas of pink, turquoise, blue, purple, and bronze(?), the lighting and shadows gave #opportunity for it to hold more than what meets the eye!

Colour #Mixing Blue + Green + White

What a gorgeous turquoise! I knew I needed white for the lightness, and a base blue, but tried adding yellow and only ended up with too much of a green colour. I ended up adding just a few touches of green and I think it turned out quite well!

Colour #Mixing Red + Purple + White

I initially thought this darker pink could be achieved with just my dark red and white, but I ended up adding a tiny bit of purple and it helped make the pink less joyful/"popped out".

Colour #Mixing Brown + Yellow

I definitely didn't have any metallic paints of #bronze or #gold so I mixed in some yellow to lighten up the brown that I had. It turned out to be a nice #oak colour that somewhat matched my object! I ended up adding shadows of brown and I think it worked out nicely!

Here's a close up taken later as I was waiting for the llama's right cheek to dry.

I was hesitant to add the light speckles, but it just seemed to clean and bland without those little blue dots adding to its overall textural look.

I briefly contemplated speckling with the same technique I tried in some previous posts, but decided the results were too unpredictable for this piece. I ended up dotting the speckles individually with the tip of my paintbrush. There were definitely some dots that were not "dotted" lightly enough, resulting in larger speckles than intended. And some that were darker/lighter in colour than intended. But I learned so much by trying this method!

So, so far, I have...

You can see above that I re-used my dark blue, turquoise, purple, and pink colours in the shadow and I think it was a nice touch vs. just a gray shadow. I do think next time I'd change the shape of my gradient. I felt the pink on the bottom was too dark and didn't get its proper place to "shine" (haha, how can shadow shine?). The whole balance also seems off with almost 2/3 of the shadow being blue/turquoise. The lines are also weird, with a weird slant between the turquoise and purple #accents. I think I'd like it more if it were blended more evenly and I'll have to experiment with that next time. I think instead of directly painting on it, if I just watered it and spread #droplets of those colours #simultaneously in their areas, it could look better.. I also feel starting with black might've been a mistake. I'll have to try avoiding using black altogether for #future #shadows. I think despite lacking the "dark" aspect of the shadow, the colours alone could still be convincing as a shadow. We'll have to see in the #future!

I felt the mug in general still looked too "clean" and took a risk to add a shadow directly on its face. Yikes! I initially felt black, but decided an accent of the same pink could look nice! Above, you see a #mixture of both so that hopefully looks like a darker shade. I added to the bumps with the same dark blue in its topmost dot mixed with some black. Shadows with hints of that same blue. I lined some of the bumps with this colour and later added the same pink throughout. I'm actually rather pleased with out these shadows turned out!

I noticed later that there's actually quite a lot of "shiny spots" where the light hits the various bumps on the mug and I absolutely ignored the brightnesses. Might be something I try next time.

And voila! I think the #dried product looks quite cute! Can't wait to do this again! #practice


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