Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Painting Faces.

This is an absolute first for me. I've always considered myself to be rather hopeless at painting. I've never been very good with colour, so when it came to art for me, I always chose to draw in pencil (or pen) and invest my time on shading and detail. I wouldn't even consider myself the greatest drawer either, especially if I compare my work to some of the other artists I've seen. But that's not what art, and in particular, what my art is about. At least it isn't anymore. Before I discovered art journaling, I was always very critical of my own work. I believed it wasn't good enough and that I was doing it all wrong. I was always comparing it to someone's work which was better than mine. I've now realised that this is the wrong attitude to have and that art (and craft) is something I love to do, with a passion. I do it for my own personal satisfaction, and I do it the way I want to do it. There are no rules in art. Which brings me to my very first attempt at painting a face...


I recently purchased a copy of Craft-A-Doodle by Jenny Doh. One of the first prompts in the book is to draw faces. Initially, I doodled a couple of faces using the guidelines, but kept venturing off to draw the faces you see lots of art journal folks do. They kinda turned out alright! After I had drawn a few of them, I decided I would have a go at painting one.


So, I drew this lovely lady as a practice piece in my doodle book, with the intention of drawing a larger version on water colour paper to paint. Yesterday, we had no electricity for a large portion of the day, so I took advantage of having no internet, no tv and furthermore, no distractions, to do a practice painting. I got my pan water colour paints out and the water brush I had purchased months ago and never used. I also got out my Derwent Inktense pencils, and settled in for the day.


In hindsight, next time I won't outline her features in pigment pen and I will just draw her lightly with pencil and then paint in more detail.


Prior to having my daughter, drawing was always a passion of mine. I would lose myself for hours drawing and shading my images, so I particularly enjoyed doing my lovely lady's hair while painting her. Blending the colours together was my favourite part of this painting. Once I had done her hair, I was very hesitant to paint her face. Flesh tones can be so hard to get right! Keeping in mind, that this was my very first painting, and that it is ok to break the rules, I figured that if it all went pear shaped, I could always turn her into an alien and paint her green! My pan water colours had a fleshy colour, so I just jumped in and did it. Gradually, I built up darker areas. I now have to add here that I am officially in love with water brushes. I don't think I could have ever pulled this off with a regular brush. At least not with any of the brushes I have on hand. With such a fine brush tip, I was able to focus on the smallest areas and really blend in colours with the same sort of articulation as I use in my drawings. Once the painting was done, I got my Inktense pencils out and shaded in more complimentary colours to enhance and highlight areas. I used a cotton bud to blend these in, rather than add water to them.


And so here is my Lovely Lady. I haven't given her a name, so she'll just remain my 'lovely lady'. Overall, I couldn't be happier with my first attempt. I'm quite excited to start another one, a bigger one and be a little more daring with my colours and add a bit of a mixed media background. I really didn't think I was capable of doing something like this, and I might sound a little like I'm tooting my own horn, but I really think that if I had the same attitude towards my art as I did before discovering art journaling, then no, I couldn't have done it. I think that knowing that there are no rules, and realising that there is no right or wrong, it has given me the courage and the confidence to just let go and do it anyway.

Once again my wonderful readers, I hope you have enjoyed my post today, and thank you all so much for stopping by.


8 comments:

  1. This is lovely. I particularly like the hair colour and your shading is superb.

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  2. the colors on her hair are so beautiful...

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    1. Thank you! Blues and greens are my favourite colours to use. I've just visited your blog and your artwork is just beautiful!

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  3. She's beautiful! I can't sketch at all... sometimes if I make my faces look abstract enough, I can pass it for art, but this is great! So smooth and detailed. Great job!

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    1. Thank you Anjuli! I've only just learned how to draw faces. That's the great part about art journaling though, it doesn't matter how it looks in the end. It's about the fun you had during the process.

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  4. Amazing. What's art journalling?

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    1. Thank you. Art journaling is a form of creative expression by painting, drawing, doodling, collaging, stamping, even writing in a book, or on separate sheets of paper you could bind into a book at a later time. There are no rules to art journaling as it is your very own creative process. It's a lot of fun! If you do a search on YouTube for Art Journaling, you will find a wealth of inspirational videos.

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