Sunny Birthday 2020: Yellow Up My World

“How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun.”
Vincent Van Gogh
“Yellow, the colour of sunshine, hope and happiness.”
Iram Khan
“Yellow wakes me up in the morning. Yellow gets me on the bike every day. Yellow has taught me the true meaning of sacrifice. Yellow makes me suffer. Yellow is the reason I’m here.”
Lance Armstrong


May seems to be a month that is meant to be full of yellow colour. Just yesterday, we celebrated a Korean couple day known as Yellow Day (also known as Rose Day), for which I made a DIY paper sunflower for Taenggu (see YELLOW DAY / ROSE DAY 2020: BEE MY SUNFLOWER)! And today specially for Sunny’s birthday, I had an idea to make a single-toned posterised portrait of her from the below instagram photo I had chosen that would be coloured only in yellow, the colour that is as bright and full of sunshine as her name.

Reference photo of Sunny for my artwork

Not only that, I also bought 2 bunches of small synthetic sunflowers to decorate the artwork frame with. It was going to be an artwork that is full of positivity and cheerfulness. However, when I started working on it, what I initially planned didn’t actually work out the way I thought it would, so I had to improvise some methods and materials used.

For example, I thought I could use a yellow oil pastel for this drawing, but it turned out the effect was too thick and rough, not ideal for colouring the finer details like her facial features, so I switched to using a yellow colour pencil that is much finer-tipped. Also, as I began to find both free-hand drawing and pencil tracing too time-consuming and unreliable (the details didn’t turn out accurate), I had a sudden idea to use my home printer to make an imprint of my edited posterised Sunny portrait onto my blue paper first. Then all that I needed to do was to simply colour over the marking with my yellow colour pencil to make the colour stand out more. It was a major life hack for me!

So here are my work-in-progress photos of how I made this artwork.

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Presenting to you more close-up photos of my completed artwork for Sunny! ☀️

Dear Sunny,

Hope you like my artwork for you this year too!

May you always be overflowing with yellow, bright, cheerful energy! 🌻💛
After all, you’ve always been known as Girls’ Generation’s energy pill since debut, right?? 😆💊

Fighting 소녀시대 활력소 써니!! 💪🏼

Handmade with love,
Celeste Koh

Listen to: “Yellow” by Coldplay

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