Drawn Mochi Volume 4 Chapter 9.1: Operation Capture an Angel*8

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 The next day, I began working on the commissioned painting.


 First, I dressed the angels in angelic clothes.



“Beautiful…” (Ange)


“Hey, what is this fluffy thing?” (Lian)


“I had seen angels in illustrated books wearing this kind of clothing.” (Tougo)



 They were dressed in something like a long white T-shirt made of soft cloth. The collar, cuffs, and hem are embroidered with gold, and the waist is fastened with a decorative belt. Lian seems to be uncomfortable because the hem is fluttering. But it seems that angels wear clothes like this, so please accept it for now.


 Ange’s eyes sparkle as she spins around and watches the fluttering hem. Lian is uncomfortable, but that’s the way it is.



“Then, come here.” (Tougo)



 After getting dressed, I take the two of them to the guest room… or rather, the guest house, which is a different house from the one they started living in. I set up one of the rooms there for the painting.


 The bed was a king size, or something similar, big and fluffy, with pure white sheets, and on top of that was a pure white blanket. And in the center of it, a basket.



“…what is this?” (Lian)


“An Angel’s Nest.” (Tougo)



 From now on, I will ask the two of them to stay here.



“…Hey, is this really okay?” (Lian)


“Yeah. What do you think?” (Tougo)


“Fluffy…” (Ange)


“I see. That’s good.” (Tougo)



 What I decided to paint was an angel’s nest. I had a white comforter and blanket made into an angel’s nest, and I put the two angels on it. Then I put a crib in the middle of the nest, like a large fruit basket, and asked the two angels to comfortable surround the crib.


 I left it up to the angels, and Ange happily pulled and stacked and renovated the angel’s nest. The angel’s nest was reshaped to make it more comfortable, and soon Ange lay down there. She was satisfied.


 Lian began to poke and look at the crib and gently drape a blanket over it. Of course, the crib was empty, though it is covered with a soft cloth to make it look less like a fruit basket or something.


 …And leaving the angels alone, Ange soon began to fall asleep surrounded by fluffy pillows and blankets. All right.



“Lian. Just stay still.” (Tougo)


“Huh? Oh, okay…” (Lian)



 Lian turned her face to the side while still looking inside the crib and stopped moving. …I think it’s nice that his expression froze when I told him to stop moving, which very child-like.



“…how long?” (Lian)


“About ten minutes.” (Tougo)


“Seriously…?” (Lian)



 Yeah. It may be a terrible thing to ask a child to stay still for ten minutes, but I’ll ask him to bear with me for a bit.



 So, only Lian was the one I managed to draw and as predicted, his stillness ended in ten minutes. Following that, I began to draw Ange, who was now sleeping.


 Since I had already drawn the shape of the crib with Lian to some extent, it was easy to draw Ange sleeping around the crib. And most importantly, it is very easy to draw the sleeping Angel because she hardly moves at all.


 …When I had finished drawing the two angels and the crib, I proceeded to draw the angel’s nest. Why are wrinkles in cloth so difficult to draw? The shape is not consistent, there are few clear surfaces because it is fluffy, it is difficult to tell where a shadow will fall because it is a series of curved surfaces, and yet the shape is not convincing if there are no shadows…


 I have sketched on rolled paper many times, but cloth is different from paper in that it has to be soft, and that is what makes it difficult. Yes, but I think it is fun because it is difficult. I was able to proceed with the preliminary sketches happily.



 By the time I had roughly finished the rough sketch, Ange woke up from her nap and realized that she had fallen asleep in the middle of the sketch. She turned bright red and panicked, but when I told her that I had finished the rough sketch while she was asleep and showed her the drawing paper, her face lit up when she looked at it. Apparently, this was the first time she had seen a drawing.


 Then, looking at Ange’s bright eyes as she looked at the drawing paper, I changed her expression in the drawing paper.


 She was lying down in a posture as if she were hugging a crib, but her eyes were turned toward the viewer and she was smiling at them. That’s the kind of face she has.


 Lian, on the other hand, looks like he’s peering into the crib, with a smile that’s a mixture of nervousness, wariness, a bit of confusion, but plenty of happiness. The two of then ended up giving a good feeling.


 They were angels, so it was only natural for them to be wary of humans. But the younger angel didn’t know any better, so she was smiling without any particular wariness. On the other hand, the slightly older angel is a little nervous, wary of humans… but he is still an angel who blesses humans. So, he has that kind of face.



“Oh, you forgot the wings.” (Ange)


“Hey! It’s a picture of an angel!? Don’t forget it!” (Lian)


“Yeah, you are both angelic enough as you are, so I can’t help it.” (Tougo)



 Then, I add the feathers. I’m used to drawing feathers with the Pergasus, so I’m confident. Drawing feathers coming from the backs of the two and put halos on their heads. All right, angels.



“…they’re angels.” (Ange)


“Yep. They are angels.” (Tougo)



 Looking at the finished draft, Lian looked a little embarrassed. He seems to be embarrassed to be portrayed as an angel. But I was able to draw something that I was satisfied with, so it’s alright.


 Now all I have to do is to paint it with water. I’ll do my best.



 Once the water-covered paper was dry, I started the coloring process. It was late in the evening by then, but I decided to apply as many colors as I could remember.



 Just as when I painted Ms. Croix’s nudes, I was careful about the light. In this painting, the light source is in the background. The light is shining through the window behind the angel’s nest, so the angels are smiling in the backlight.


 In other words, I had to add color by taking into consideration the depth of color of the shadows in the foreground, the way the hair shines through the light, and how the light shines on the areas that are illuminated. Using watercolor painting, the white areas are expressed by “not painting anything,” so the position of the light must be decided at the beginning. I had to use my head to figure it out.


 …For Ms. Croix, I wanted to express the strong sunlight, so I placed the shadows clearly and deeply. This time, however, I wanted to create as soft an atmosphere as possible, so I used less light and less shadow. In other words, I left a little less white. The boundary between light and shadow is also a little blurred in many areas.


 In particular, the cloth. The angel’s nest. The colors are difficult to place here because it has to be soft. …but painting is pure fun.



“Amazing.” (Lian)



 When the undercoating was almost finished. Before I knew it, Lian, who had come to look at the painting, leaked his surprise, and then realized that he was speaking out, covered his mouth in a panic.


 I was so focused after seeing this sequence of events that I decided to take a break.



“Is this the first time you’ve seen a picture like this?” (Tougo)


“…yes.” (Lian)



 Lian was staring at the painting as he said this.


 The painting is still in a primed state, but I can make out the general colors. Since Lian and Ange are also drawn, for the person who is drawn complicated feelings are understandable.



“You haven’t painted the eyes yet.” (Lian)


“Hmm… yep.” (Tougo)



 And in the process, Lian noticed that their eyes were still white. Yeah, that’s right. The eyes are not painted yet.



“Are the eyes last?” (Lian)


“Umm… for some reason, I don’t have a good enough color.” (Tougo)



 In response to Lian’s question, I showed him my palette.


 There are many paints on the palette. …But, among them, the shades of blue is still very few.


 Robin’s egg blue, which I got from the shell of a giant robin’s egg, and the ultramarine blue of lapis lazuli, which I got from the store where the sword of Laocles was kept. These are the only two.



“Why can’t it be this color?” (Lian)



 Lian points to the robin’s egg blue. But… Ummm, I’m not convinced that’s the right one.



“Maybe that’s okay… but I kind of think I’d like it to be a little less greenish…” (Tougo)



 I can add color, but you can’t take it out. I want to use pure blue for the eye color, like Lian’s clear blue sky.



 …Both the robin’s eggs and the lapis lazuli are each very beautiful blue, and they are very precious things, but that alone is not enough. Hmm, am I being selfish?



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