“Just a little cuddle, please!” is painted in watercolours, using the following paints by Schmincke Horadam: Indian Red (654), Mauve (476), Ultramarine finest (494) and Neutral tint (782). The paper is Hahnemühle 425 gsm, and the three brushes shown in the photo below are the traditional Chinese Ink Brush (medium size) called Ying Hao (the big one); Chinese bamboo shaft brush with wolf hair (hair length: 20mm) (in the middle), and the third one is the Da Vinci Maestro Kolinsky Special Inlaid Liner Brushe, No. 8.

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The first layer. I started with the background in blue, in the central area of the paper, trying to roughly capture the basic shape of the hedgehog’s body. I intentionally created water puddles on the surface of the paper (note this is 425 gsm paper that can cope with loads of water without getting wobbles).  20180810_192827~2

The second layer. After allowing the painting to dry overnight, the process was continued by sketching the head, the eyes and the nose of the hedgehog. I used separately Neutral tint (782) and Indian Red (654) to create the first sketch (shown on the left), while in the next iteration, the sketch is repeated by adding more details on the head (shown on the right).

The third layer. Here, the focus was on the lower part of the hedgehog body using Neutral tint (782) and Ultramarine finest (494), and by adding sea salt on the wet surface of the painting. After adding the sea salt, I’m always allowing the painting to dry overnight, in order to let the salted surface turn into some unique texture created by the salt absorbing some of the color and leaving light spots.

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The fourth layer. The painting process could stop here, but I like adding some more details at this stage, e.g. touches of other colors and finer details to balance the final visual impression. These included adding some Mauve (476) (on the hedgehog’s head) and Ultramarine finest (494) (on his body). Finally, I painted the hedgehog’s feet, toes, long curled nails, and drew several of his prickles using white watercolor pencil.

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Hope you like this little guy! We have been feeding hedgehogs in our garden for nearly three years and here are some of the latest photos of one of them.

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