Happy Chinese New Year 2017!

Happy Chinese New Year 2017! 

A bit late for posting this post. Just want to talk about this illustration done for the occasion :)

This week of each year is always busy for me as it's my duty to drive my mom around the city buying and preparing things for the event. Chinese New Year is the time for celebration, family reunion and specially for paying homage to our ancestors. We spend a day buying fresh fruits, preparing food like boiled chicken or duck or pork and various kind of sweets and candies. Mom always cooks her famous fish maw soup and we all have a portion of stir-fried chicken to take home. 

In China Town area, they celebrate with dragon or lion dance which became an inspiration for this special drawing. When I think about drawing Chinese New Year, I think about colorful costumes, dragon and lion dance, music, fun activities and lively show. Here is my initial pencil sketch for the ideas.

Then I traced the drawing in Photoshop. The challenge was how to draw the details of the lion dance. I looked at tons of lion dance photos in google and simplified what I saw into the drawing. Next was the matter of colors. Red was generally used for Chinese-related art but in this drawing I'd like to use subtler color palette. Bright pink and cheerful yellow were my favorites and really suited the topic.

You may notice that I didn't have the smiley-faced man drawn in the pencil sketch. He may be also called 'Big Head Buddha' and is the main character for the dance. I didn't know this until my husband asked about him. There are different stories about the origin of the lion dance. One of them says that the lion was a troublemaker. He did so many bad deeds that Buddha was called down to earth to put the lion under control.
I had fun drawing and painting this illustration. Since this is the year of rooster, here is the rooster proudly walking ahead of everyone. Rooster is the symbol of diligence, honesty, protection and fortune as well as strength and courage.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I wish you all have good fortune all through this year!

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