Techniques for painting whimisical animal art

Here are some ideas that you can take to create whimsical animal paintings. The imperfectness of the painting is what makes it so enchanting. Happy accidents become interesting features and clashing colors and doodles convey a sense of whimsy. For each painting I have done, I give examples of techniques that can be used to achieve a similar look.


L’ornithologue (the ornithologist)

Draw the outline of your animal with a hot glue gun. Exaggerate some of the features. Once dry, draw over the glue with permanent felts in various colors. Draw in certain sections of the animal with oil pastels. Don`t be afraid to mix up the colors. When finished, paint over the oil pastels with acrylic paints. Once dry, scratch designs into your animal such as feathers, fur, doodles, etc. Afterwards, finger paint the negative space surrounding your animal. Leave approximately half an inch to an inch of space between your animal and the finger paint. This will frame your subject. Add a glaze or a wash of color over the entire negative space. Finish off by touching up a few features.


Minou volant (flying kitty)

First thing, your going to need a piece of paper and a pencil. Think of the animal you would like to paint. Now try simplifying the animal down to two or three lines. One line is even better. In this painting, I simplified down to two closed lines: the body and the face. Once you’ve got your shape down, prepare the background of your painting by tearing up strips of paper and applying them to the canvas. It can be paper from an old book, a magazine of maybe even gift paper. Inspiring yourself from the paper you have just chosen, use a hint of color in the white paint that will be apply to cover the entire background. It can be opaque or translucent. Now you can draw the simplified version of your animal with a charcoal or lead pencil. Paint your animal with the colors of your choice and work the background creatively by inspiring yourself from the shapes and colors of the strips of paper that have been applied previously to the canvas. Smudge oil pastel on painting and etch designs in it if you want. You could also stamp the background and play up empty vs. full spaces.


Ma belle Chanelle (My beautiful Chanelle)

Use the glue gun technique again, but paint the outline instead of drawing it with permanent felt pens. To create the background, use soft gel and apply a thick coat with a painting knife, making sure to create a lot of texture. Paint animal with acrylics and add doodles. When background is dry add a few washes of colors. The texture will prevent the paint from drying uniformly, creating an interesting background. Finally, the clouds where painted on which the cat is sitting and the doodles repeated.



Bulles de rêves, bulles de chats (Dream bubbles, cat bubbles)

Again, the glue gun technique is used and the rest was painted using acrylics.


Krysthle Poitras

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Views: 448

Comment by Thaneeya McArdle on August 7, 2011 at 1:59pm
Great post, Khrystle! So informative, and lots of fun techniques here. Thank you so much for sharing how you create your whimsical animal art!
Comment by Krysthle Poitras on August 8, 2011 at 1:22am
Thank you Thaneeya!
Comment by Krysthle Poitras on August 8, 2011 at 4:15pm
These make great paintings for children.
Comment by Suzanne Vadnais Monson on August 8, 2011 at 6:28pm
I really like how you used a glue gun for drawing and texture and multiple types of media: pastels, acrylic paint, strips of paper, and suggested using stamps as well. It's clear that the sky is the limit for what can be used in this whimsical approach. I love it! Can't wait to try out some of the fun ideas you share in this post!
Comment by Maureen Craddock on August 8, 2011 at 8:18pm
Krysthle, Thanks for sharing your creative approach to art. I really enjoy your whimsy!
Comment by Jeffrey A. Knight on August 10, 2011 at 3:54am
Jeff here. thank you. This should really help !!!
Comment by Dehra McDonald on August 15, 2011 at 2:19am

Went into your blog and found it extremely interesting. I especially like the way you do the pages with photos

I must try this with holiday photos...good way of giving presents to the people in the photos.

Comment by Ev McTaggart on September 5, 2011 at 5:15pm
I am here to learn. Your post certainly fits my bill!


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