Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sondra - a portrait

This portrait is now my favorite.

The colors are blue,purple, yellow and orange and work together nicely.

When the painting was completed and I asked, "What is your name?" It took a moment for me to hear, "Sondra".

The meaning from Greek is, "defender of mankind." I guess that explains the angel wings that came about when I didn't know what to do with the background.

The background and pencil drawing shown here is acrylic paint on cardboard with some paper towel collage and sand for texture.

I like to use water soluble graphite to do the drawing and then go over the lines with a clear glaze medium to set the lines and blur them a bit.

Doing that keeps the drawing from getting lost with the application of paints. Something that I need to do at this stage of my experimenting.

And, I still like to use gesso for the skin tones.
Mixing it with glaze, I build up the face a little at a time.

Learning about the planes of a face is fascinating. I use magazine photographs to analyze lighting and how it makes the structures of the face appear.

Adding shadows with more graphite, which blends so easily, helps me define inward spaces. Color,which still scares me, is added only a little at a time with oil pastels.

When I have feeling for the facial colors, I like to work on the eyes. I use acrylic paints and graphite to make soft, expressive eyes. And, it's fun to add color from around the whole portrait into the eyes.

A close up of the face shows some of the texture on the base of the cardboard.
I'm wondering if I will continue with this strategy.
Maybe a smooth base will be better with the kind of faces I seem to paint.
My original intent was to create folk art pieces, but I don't seem to have that in me.
Or, maybe this is just me at my beginner stage, still trying things out. Folk art may not be my style.
Mixed media is a huge and confusing art style.

Too many choices can be its' own nightmare.

However, when I see what can come to life with gesso, oil pastel and my index finger, I want to create more...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Beauty" - a portrait

This is another experiment in drawing and painting.
I still like to use white gesso for all of the white work.
I like the dull appearance , the fact that it can be watered down making light applications a nice way to build up the highlights and mostly, I like the way it feels when I rub the oil pastel into the paper

Working on a pink background helped me make color choices that were very soft and feminine. In fact, every experiment I've tried so far has been based on the colors of the base of the paper.
At this stage of learning, I do not like to fool with the background at all. Once I get some color, collage, and stamping done, I look for a way to put a face on the flat plain.

This is going to be a page in my gut art journal. It is a piece of 90 lb. drawing paper, folded in half and punched with holes ready to insert into the covers I've made. The other thing I am having fun with is the water-soluble graphite.
Oh, how it darkens when water is added. And the line softens so beautifully.
One cool thing to do is to go over the lines with glaze media. When it dries, which is almost right away, the lines don't change and I can paint over or around them without them disappearing forever.
An important thing to a newbie sketcher.

Working on this background will direct all my color choices, so I will end up with a "series".

I'm still totally enchanted with coloring eyes.
I want dreamy eyes.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Moriah - Gut Art Portrait

This portrait was done in October while taking Mystele's Gut Art class. We were making covers for a journal that is to hold our thoughts and works of new art made during this on-line class.
I got so enamored by working on cardboard, I never did finish making the journal. Now I have several pieces of play on cardboard that I will probably just hang up somewhere in my home. The freedom I feel while playing on this humble substrate is just what I need right now. Too much structure on stretched canvas or even wood cut for me at Home Depot scars the play right out of me.
Am still too fragile in this art making thing. Will just move forward in quiet hesitation and hope confidence will grow with practice.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Puritan Girl portrait

This little piece of artwork, and for me this IS little, measuring 5 inches by 7 inches, was done on a torn left over piece of watercolor paper that had a blend of yellows, orange, metallic gold and a few red dots stamped on it.
It just came to be. I didn't plan it. I didn't use any photos for shading reference. I didn't copy it from other work I have tried. And, I chose not to obsess about it. A first!
Sheesh, this isn't rocket science. No lives are hanging in the balance while I figure out what to do. It's just paint on paper.
Why does it always feel so momentous to do any little project? I guess it's really about being new at it. I am comfortable with fabric. Paints are an unknown to me.
And, still, I quiver in hesitation to begin a new project. I am off today. No work to go to. No shopping to be done. No laundry to catch up on. Nothing but freedom, and still I hesitate.

Oh, get over yourself! It's only paper, pencil and paint!