Painting the Woman with her cat

This is my 5th and final Bijin painting. With this, my series of women in kimono paintings will be complete! 

This one is based off Utagawa Toyokuni's work and from the start I was very attracted to his work because he playfully depicted a cat in his composition. Having an animal in the picture just adds so much movement and makes it a little more light hearted. 

Original

Original

In my version, I kept the cat and gave the woman's kimono a more spacey feel. The other day I painted Galaxy Egg: 

I realize now that this painting was a sort of practice run for what I wanted to do with this woman's kimono. I wanted her to have a sort of starry night feel, but still retain the flat look of a Japanese woodblock print. 

Here is the initial pencil sketch. In this sketch, her foot is still a little out of proportion lol 

Here she is with her size 20s. 

Here she is with her size 20s. 

Next I draw the lines with a 03 point pen and switch it down to 01 and 005 for the lines on her face and body as well as the hairs on the cat. 

Once all the lines were done, I started painting in the kimono first with a light blue and purple wash. I learnt my lesson from last time and made sure I wasn't using too much water.

Here's part 2 of the kimono: 

And finally, I colored in the woman, her cat and added a few more shadows. Prior to this, I also removed the masking fluid (the white dots in the kimono) which represent the stars at night. 

The result were nice round, white dots on her purple and blue, spacey looking kimono :) 

I'm really happy with how this final piece turned out. I felt more comfortable with what I was doing and I didn't sweat the small stuff, like when my hand smudged the paint at one point. I feel like there has definitely been some growth in the way I work since I started ICS. It'll be so interesting to see all 5 of the women lined up. I'll do up post soon featuring all 5 of these lovely ladies :D 

What should I do for my next series? Food?