My daughter is a huge animal lover. And I like it that way because so am I. Having spent most of my childhood summers at my Nani’s place (Mother’s mother; I could go on and on about it) where there was a multitude of animals – goats, dogs, cats, hens, one peckish Rooster, cows, langurs and the occasional rabbit – I had seen and played with them all, and I can honestly tell you, they were some of the bestest friends I ever had. My husband too, loves animals too, but of the tamer kind. So our daughter’s love for them is nothing new to me. Onscreen or offscreen, she screeches in kiddish glee whenever she sees animals, “Awwwwww….Doggggiiiiieeeee!”, with an extra emphasis on the last syllable. It’s rather cute and is one of her best attributes.
Naturally, she loves the animated series – Shaun the Sheep (I have no qualms in admitting that I do too, and even hubby dearest sometimes sits with her and chuckles occasionally). So yesterday, she and I were whiling away the evening when it occurred to me to draw her animals and quiz her about them. While the others I wont dare to show, a lamb sketch I drew came out rather well. And on seeing it, she promptly said, “Oooo, Shaun-e fee” (She likes to prefix an ‘Ooo’ everytime she identifies an object and, though she calls a sheep, a Ship, I don’t know why she insists on calling the series -‘Shaun-e fee’. Kids!)
Since the sketch came out rather well, I thought I’ll put color to it too. And this was the result –
I should have taken a picture of the sketch too. It looked funnier than the painting, but oh, well!
This was done with poster colors (surprise!) and later outlined with black ink, and aquarelle pencils. Now the deal with poster colors is, I hate them. Absoultely! They are the one reason that put me off coloring through the greater part of my education at school. I don’t know why, because our Art Instructor used to paint rather well with them, but I always thought that poster colors lacked a certain something, unlike other mediums. To me they appear very…. can’t find a better word than ‘flat’. As if the pigment in them has no life of its own, unlike in watercolors and oils. But in school, we were always encouraged to first learn how to use poster colors with ‘tiny’ brushes (another reason that put me off coloring). I gave up on painting because the results were always unappealing to my eye.
Yesterday I found a neglected set of poster colors I had bought some time back to initiate my daughter into painting. And I thought, ‘Might as well use this for practice’. But I was very, very surprised! Goes to show that the real skill lies in the hand of the artist, not just in the tools you use.
I call this sketch – The Inquisitive Lamb – because he looks, well, inquisitive, curious, as if he has just come to realise something.
When I showed the above to my daughter, she was puzzled by it for sometime, and then gave me a sheep-ish smile, finally giving her verdict, “Oooo, ita ship!” (Ooo, its a sheep). I looked at her in mild annoyance, “It’s Shaun the sheep. Don’t you recognize him? You recognized the sketch just fine!” She looked at the illustration again, and nodded her head, affirming her previous statement, “Ita ship… Baa baa bwak ship…” and she skipped away singing the rhyme.
I looked back at the illustration. Of course! Shaun the Sheep is snow white, while my lamb is grey. Indeed more like Baa Baa Black Sheep!
Kids are a constant source of reality check. What an evening of revelations! Lessons well earned and hopefully learned too.
I’d love to know what you thought of this sketch, what techniques you use, mediums, and if you have any suggestions for me, let me know. I’m game for improvement 🙂
Have a Great Monday!! XOXOXO
©Pradita Kapahi, 2017.