Friday, May 18, 2018

The Cheshire Cat

I've always loved Alice in Wonderland so painting something with this fabulous theme was absolutely awesome. I loved every moment, even when it wasn't going so well (I messed up the background and started again). Thanks for choosing this theme Deborah, its been a good boost to the ego cos he's turned out to be a bit magical looking! So happy... I'm grinning like he does! lol :) Hope you like him too!

above : the one, the only, the amazing... Cheshire Cat!
Portrait version of the finished happy cat... I used only a few treasures : Dylusions acrylic paint, Jane Davenport Gesso, paint brushes, a watercolour pencil for sketching out the cat after painting the background and coloured pencils for deciding upon the colour scheme.

I was going to add a quote but forgot all about it after I started the actual painting! I remembered after I sent the book to Sharon. It was going to say either “If you don't know where you want to go, then it doesn't matter which path you take.” or “I am not crazy, my reality is just different from yours.” or “which way, that way, here, there, anywhere” (with arrows).

Scribbling out thoughts, deciding upon design, characters and choosing colours. So many fantastic characters from these books that are fun to portray in art!

The final design is based upon the original sketch of the Cheshire Cat by John Tenneil when he (CC) was telling Alice the best way to go.

Round and round and round I went with the paintbrush ... Dylusions paint in After Midnight (dark blue), Laidback Lilac (pretty purple), Vibrant Turquoise and Black Marble.

Adding white splatters of paint is much easier using a splatter brush than the old toothbrush! But then spilt some paint so turned that into a spiral. Next thing I knew, I had all these spirals over the page...

I drew the Cheshire Cat's basic shape and a rough tree branch in watercolour pencil after the background had dried properly.

Ground Coffee tree branch decorated with Melted Chocolate swirls... sounds delicious!

Quite a nice combo, the two browns. Pre-mixed colours make life easy :) I love mixing colours, even just adding a smooch of white or spot of black to anything makes me smile...

The leaves were painted in layers, one colour at a time ... first I used Melted Chocolate, then Dirty Martini (yummy earthy green, my fave). With this paint, the colours underneath show through adding a bit of depth.
Next I added a line of Lemon Zest (yellow) along one side of each leaf then waited for them to dry before painting over it with Cut Grass (bright green). then a line down the centre with the brown.

Next was the cat himself... I painted his basic shape in Jane Davenport's white gesso. Its not as thick as some, its more like the Liquitex gesso - smooth and creamy. Anyway, I painted his stripes and features a few times to get the shape and stripes looking how I wanted.

Once the white shape was ingrained into my head (don't ask), I mixed up some Laidback Lilac and Vibrant Turquoise to get a blue-purple mixture. I painted the Cheshire Cat in the purple and blue, then where the colours met, blended it with the new mix.
I should mention that I don't clean the paint brush inbetween the purple and blue... which why having a palette is so important - it keeps your pots of paint clean :)

Don't forget, if you use pots of acrylic paint like Dylusions (and live in warm dry climates like Australia), to add a spritz / mist of water into the pot before closing the lid. This puts back any moisture that evaporated while the lid was off. I didn't do this with my black and it looks like black cottage cheese! lol Still works :)

The Vibrant Turquoise and White Linen makes it look mystical and magical :) So pleased with how its turned out.

A splash of white, dash of black, smoosh of turquoise and he's a completed cat.

Oh, and it has a strip of Jane Davenport Washi Tape down the edge because I made a mess :) lol

Hope you like him Deborah!

Thanks so much for reading this blog post :) Hope my Cheshire Cat inspires you to get arty and crafty!

Happy Creative Day!


  1. So fantastic CC...the colours are great!!

  2. He is totally gorgeous!! Delicious colour palette.

  3. This spread is the cat's meow Jenny! Love seeing your progress shots and hearing about your methods. ­čĺÜ

  4. Beyond happy with this Jenny. You have done such a faboulous job on this.Thankyou again.

  5. Oh Jenny your Chesshire cat is truly magical. Great post.

  6. A perfect “Alice” themed page!

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