Thursday, March 27, 2014

Masks and stencils

Among other art supplies, masks and stencils rate right up there near the top of my favs.        I watched Pam Carriker's face mask video which I downloaded from Cloth Paper Scissors website.      Here on the right side is a sketch from that exercise.      The stencil on the left is one I cut using a magazine photo of a famous movie star.  This is how I spent part of a rainy day.

Yesterday I tried to paint from my newly cut face stencil.     I thought I'd try it as a generic face and was surprised to find a junior grade drag queen.     I should have knows that watching Ru Paul's Drag Race every week, it might have some influence on my work.    Only difference is that in the real life drag race,    you really cannot recognize the boys face.   I'm always surprised when I see the guys without their make up.    I would not guess they could possible be the same person.  One of the reasons I like to watch is to see them apply the make up to change their features.   Shading and shadows,  highlights, and contouring.   Sculpting with color.    Like making their own portraits in 3 dimension.   It is truly a unique art form in itself.    I didn't have room on the page for a humongous wig!   So a simple turban had to suffice.

When I had finished that,I decided to rewatch Jane Davenport's video workshop  on drawing whimsical faces.     She used totally different proportions from real faces.    This is her style.   Kewpie doll mouth.   One that may seem a bit familiar in a way from our pasts.      I'm thinking of the big eyed faces that used to be on greeting cards.  Sweet faces, big eyes, innocent looking girls.       Here is the exercise from that workshop.    It never hurts to audition another artist's processes.    

 Next, I want to tell you about an interview with Roz.    I follow her blog and she is one of my ultimate journaling heroes.      She was interviewed on her International Fake Journal project for the month of April.     April is just around the corner and I may just join this group and do the project myself.       Here is the link.  The video is 12 wonderful minutes lone with a good sound track.   It is a visual delight.   This is the direction I'm heading with my own journals.    Her sketches are superb.  Her use of stencils in backgrounds and her layouts and use of color are awesome.      I've been an Anne Bagby, Pam Carriker,  Rice Freeman-Zachary, fan.   Particularly in their use of original drawing and sketches of really interesting and arresting faces.       But Roz has it all over the bunch.       By the way she is looking for faces to draw and if you think you have an interesting face, sent it to her in an email and she might draw you.    LOL     How brave is that?  The article with the link above can take you to her blog for more information.    

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Saint Patricks Day and Frances

Spring is full of green and good spirits.   So is my friend Frances.     She is 82 now and so full of fun, it makes you wonder what she was like when she was a fresh  young thing.     And I bet she was really fresh, as she is still full of spunk and vinegar, loves to start a row or any kind of mischief.   Don't take her to a meeting unless you are prepared for unexpected challenges she might make to the leaders.  LOL   Phyllis and are in charge of getting her home safely from the Spring Art Show Gala event.     I'll be working the whole evening at raffle ticket sales, and Phyllis is signed on for at least half of the time.    The other half, I think she may be keeping Frances out of trouble.      Here's my new sketch of Frances.    Photoshopped in green in honor of her ancestral and heart homeland.    I hope to have at least half her energy and spunk when I reach her age.  
Phyllis will say I'm too kind in leaving out some of the wrinkles (and she will be right), but this is more the way I see Frances.   This is done with #2 and 2.5 pencils in my art journal.

While we are thinking green, here are some of yesterdays pics from my garden.  

This little arbor is next to the entrance to my studio(which of course is painted green.     We are expecting rain today so the head/planter is lying on its side so it won't drown the succulents that are planted in it.    
 I like to perch little unexpected things here and there in the garden.  They sort of make me smile or even giggle when I come across them.    These are plastic bugs (old toys) that live on the birch tree.    They do nothing to scare away garden pests as you might expect.   

This one is in a cage which my friend Nancy gave me awhile back.   I'm so happy to have little reminders of my friends when I'm out there alone.    
 I've been waiting and waiting for this ground cover to start blooming. The neighbor across the street has them in front, and they have been blooming for over a  month.  A wild mass of bright blooms.     I pulled most of mine out as they had overrun the rose bush and everything else.    There are times we might get overambitious in pruning and pulling, and I thought perhaps I had done it permanent damage.  But, alas, the blooms have started and I'm loving them again.    The pink oxalis in front   is something I've toted along from home to home, splitting and sharing with anyone who wants them.    The originals were in a wheelbarrow in a little shop in Ione some 30+ years ago.     The shop owner was going to plant them and I talked her out of a couple.  They grow like weeds and most people think they are weeds.  But, I know from all these years that they are the most dependable fresh p ink blooms in spring and way into summer if treated kindly and with respect.    

This little corner has succulents and white oxalys next to a taller pot with the pink ones growing.     They look sweet together.     

Now, I'm inspired and might just paint some flowers today.     Or bugs... LOL       

Friday, March 21, 2014

A few new things.

Yesterday was our mixed media group meeting.  We worked on journal pages, with stencils and paints.  And collage and doodling.   I only got as far as paint and stencils.    And a white Sharpie paint pen.    I sure like that little pen.  So far it has never clogged or been stubborn to start, or skipped like some white pens do.   I recently purchased a Tim Holtz white pen.     It was dreadful, and I took it back for refund.      Don't waste your money on that pen.

You can see on my journal pages, how nicely the Sharpie while lines show up.    On the upper pages I used some of the new stencil girl stencils.   I love them.    Some of my friends borrowed them during our play time.     The figures are hand cut stencils.   The one of the left I cut out of a post card that came in the mail with three ladies holding weights over their heads.  The front one cut out easiy and the slick postcard is a wonderful weight and type.      The one on the right hand page is one that was handcut by my art friend Jackie.  She made it with a stencil cutting heated tool.   I have yet to try this, although the tool is down in my studio.    

The bird was just for fun, There is another one on the opposite page.

This is a drawing of "Carson" from Downton Abbey.   I'm working really had to get his likeness, and it's getting closer, but as you see, I'm not there yet.      He has such an interesting face.   He scowls even when he smiles.  I think it's the eyebrow thing.  He started out looking like "Bates".     Part of this still does.     I hope I can figure out what needs to be done before I erase right through the paper.     I have moved his nose and mouth around so many times you'd think it would be worn out.  

When I started seriously working on drawing faces, I was reluctant to erase anything, it was so hard to draw.    Now that it is getting easier and I'm more confident, I can erase and eye, or the nose or anything and figure I can draw it in again without the angst.   This is a huge step and something that's been in my bucket list for a long time.

If I ever get it to look more like Carson, I'll repost so you can see.    In the meantime, if you can tell me where I went off track here, I'm glad to lissten.     All suggestions are welcome.    Maybe the right eye needs to move farther to the right?     Hmmmm.....