Sunday, January 12, 2014

On The Bench - Obsession with Faces

Something about painting faces fascinates me! Female, Male, doggies & kitties, they all are becoming a great obsession to practice so that I can get better... I'm not wanting to become good enough to make faces that look like real life (my aesthetic is too abstract for that), just to get a better perspective on eyes, nose, lips, forehead, hair, etc., so that later I can abstract the heck out of them. :D

To that end, yesterday I stood in front of the mirror with a sketch pad and pencil figuring to tackle my own self portrait first. Wow, this can be an uncomfortable experience if you're not used to staring at yourself in the mirror, but who knows your special features better than you? And, it's a great way to be sure your model stays put while you work! After 10 minutes or so I had a nice rendering that I took to my computer and scanned. Now I can print copies in various sizes to use in my sketchbook for experimenting. Idea #1 tackled!

Several articles in the Winter 2014 Cloth Paper Scissors PAGES Mixed Media Art Journaling magazine feature drawing and painting women; go figure! (Pun intended :)

Jane Davenport shares in her article 'Hair-Raising Adventures', "The way to master to simply practice. Be willing to make mistakes. Put pencil to paper and let the lines flow." Then artist Monica Zuniga gives a great lesson from start to finish creating a journal page about herself in her article 'Illustrating Life'; starting with a sketch and building it up with watercolor, then she finished up with fun inspired imagery and journaling.

Reading techniques magazines and books always get my creative juices flowing, so Idea #2 was to look at faces in the magazine and online to create one woman's face and one man's face. (Actually, the man's face I did first and intended it initially as a woman's face, but decided to take it more masculine after seeing where the graphite and charcoal took me!) My Art Journal is the perfect place to play and experiment with these new projects and art materials.

I like to write what materials I used to create my images in the borders when trying out new techniques. The image on the left was painted on a smaller piece of mixed-media paper, then taped into the journal.

Idea #3 was to take the techniques I just experimented with, grab a Victoria's Secret catalog, and make a whole journal page with my new found confidence. Below is what I came up with:

BONUS - Here are the instructions for creating the journal page!

I started on a 9in x 9in square journal page that already had on it some practice calligraphy and a light blue wash of Ranger Distress Stain. The face inspiration and printed words came from a Victoria's Secret catalog. I sketched the face with a pencil then outlined with a Micron pen, added a light layer of gesso to the face and hair so the bottom calligraphy practice would still show through, re-emphasized the lines again with pen and Ebony pencil, then painted with watercolors. I glued decorated paper and the catalog quotes to the page with a glue stick, then outlined the quotes in marker. At this point I added a light coat of gesso on the other areas of the page so I could easily journal and stamp on the surface, wiping some of the white away with a damp paper towel to allow the calligraphy and color wash underneath to show through. To add drama, I outlined the face and quotes in charcoal and smudged them with my fingers, spraying after with a light coat of fixative. Next I wrote colorful words in Faber Castell Pitt big markers, outlining them in Micron pen, and used the same Micron pen to journal my thoughts. Last I stamped and embellished the surface. Yes, those are crystals on the hearts and liquid pearls paint along the bottom to add some bling bling and extra dimension to the page.

So glad I could share today's creative Art Journal inspiration with you. HAPPY ARTING! Tristina

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