Sunday, July 27, 2008

New portrait. 7-27-08

I have been thinking that while painting from photographs and ads from fashion spread, is certainly nice, and it has helped me find some symmetry in my facial features, I am beginning to feel like I have lost some of my "originality and spontaneity " in my work. The faces are pleasant enough to look at but what are they telling me or the viewer...I answered that with a "not much." So now I need to find a balance and continue to reveal feelings and emotions with my portraits. With that being said. I started another portrait from a photo. This one is supposed to be a likeness of my daughter. Whether it is or not is not important. I just need to be able to translate some of myself into the work and it simply is not there...



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hair and eybrows added: 7-23-08

I spent a few hours today working on my class project. The hair and eyebrows are more or less done. Every time I pick this work up, I frig with the skin tone. It is driving me crazy. I know I will also go over the hair again too. I think the wispies are a little too thick. I will say that I love the challenge of all this though. Next week we will play with the artist crayons so I guess I better get my face to where I like it. I think I may actually sand portions of the face too. I am working somewhat intuitively at this point. That is because I have chosen different colors and color combinations than Paulette. It is kind of funny because whenever I take a workshop or class with a really good artist, I simply can't copy exactly what they are teaching. It feels wrong to me and so I put my own spin on things. I am thinking that is how I grow.
Till the next lesson!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The next step: 7-19-08

I have continued work on my portrait for the Faces class with Paulette Insall. Eyes and lips were completed and I redid the "under painting." I was having a hard time with the first flesh tone I laid down and so I completely redid it using the same colors but blending them a little different. I am still not completely satisfied but it will do for this lesson. I am torn here. Many of my portraits have been painted in a more emotional vein, using not quite realistic colors. Getting flesh tones to look real is just plain difficult and at some point I just gave up. I can see where this will take loads of practice. But that is OK...I have the rest of my life. I actually like doing portraits whose skin tones pick up my background colors or reflect my moods. But I digress...My main purpose here is to learn to sketch the face in some kind of proportion. I also wanted to improve the look of my eyes. I have to say the while my eyes are small in this work, I was able to achieve some depth and I am satisfied with them. The lips are OK and will do for now. I am not sure where Paulette is going next but I am sure I will learn something! I am so glad that I did this. It will create a new path for me to walk down.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Little Painting from All about Faces Class

As is becoming a habit this summer, time has completely escaped me. I seem to be in the car all day long, with very little time for art. I am not sure what possessed me to take this on-line class! I really wanted to sketch more to practice getting face proportions right but I never seem to find the time. I bet I am not the only mom with this time issue!

Last week, in the middle of one of my many taxi jobs, my 1999 model Jeep broke down, deader than a door nail! I had Colin and Claire with me and one of Claire's friends. Thank God nothing happened but it certainly could have. I lost all power as I was driving down a main road in Crystal Lake, IL. No brakes, no steering, no acceleration, no nothing!. I managed to get the silly thing over onto a side street and then we had to wait for the tow truck. By the time I got home it was time to make dinner. What should have taken me 10 minutes to get home, took almost 2 hours. What a day, a day lost. Iso hate when that happens! Anyway the next day I spent some time waiting for the Jeep and blessedly my bill was under $600. Whew, that certainly beats buying a new car.

Here are two scans of my current work in progress. The first show the background painting with a face that has been traced. The portrait was drawn on sketching paper and then I transferred with graphite paper. This just happens to be an attempt at a portrait of my 15 year old daughter. The second shows the flesh toned under painting. Sigh....the color is so off. Kaitie does not have any red or pink under tones. She has a lot of melanin and is very mediterranean looking. There is some yellow but not a lot. Oh well, maybe Iwill do a darker wash over the entire face, or work with those artist crayons.... not sure yet.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Another Sketch 7-6-08

I never thought thought that I would be able to sketch a portrait that resembled the actual person. With Frida, my husband gave me a thumbs up. That was enough encouragement to try another portrait. This time I used a magazine ad (which I will not post due to copyright issues). But I received another thumbs up. Now I am hoping to be able to draw better portraits for my art work. I am getting the hang of facial proportions. Somehow that all escaped me over the years. I mean, I always thought I could just wing it...NOT! I need to learn proportions of facial features when the face is not straight on. I can't wait to paint some of these faces. I think I will transfer them to my substrate so I do not have to redraw them. I spent a lot of time on these suckers! I really have to thank Paulette for her excellent video and I am really looking forward to the next lesson.

Friday, July 04, 2008

New Look 7-4-08

I can't believe actually had 3 hours to myself today. I have been meaning to change the look of my blog for some time and I took those precious 3 hours to do so. I tried out this banner maker program which I am sure every one but myself knows about It took me some time to get the formatting down but it was a good lesson to learn.

I hope you all have a happy fourth. This little photo was a free image and I thought would suite the day well.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

faces 7-3-08

In a way, this one is Rosa inspired. Rosa, if you are reading this, I hope I did her justice. Here is a first attempt at a face. I wanted something to work off of so I used a book of women's portraits done by master artists. This was a really intimidating exercise for me because I have never been able to draw a face that actually looked like someone you could recognize. My husband actually recognized her. I am not sure what I learned from this exercise except for the fact that using guidelines before I drew her features actually helped. However I had to modify those lines several times to get the perspective correct. The guidelines from the class did not exactly work. Her nose was way to long and not broad enough. I think that the guidelines given in class maybe more beneficial if you are drawing a face that is looking straight on and from your imagination. Anyway here she is.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

On line class 6-30-08

Several months ago, I discovered the art of Paulette Insall,, and I was immediately struck by her style. She paints mainly portraits and is a mixed media artist. What really hit me was the her treatment of eyes and the near perfect proportion of all the facial features in her work. I really wished to improve those aspects of my work. When I discovered she offered on line classes for faces, I jumped at the opportunity and registered. I rarely get out to workshops because of time and of course expense, so I thought this would be a good compromise for me.

Week one is under way and I thought I would share a few sketches. I am enjoying her teaching style and the way she has broken up the task of sketching a face into small pieces
. I set goals for my self with this class and one was to sketch every day. Another was to be able to get facial features in proportion, in perspective, and somewhat symmetrical. I realize that no face is perfect but my main goal is to end up with features that do not resemble anything cubist! I am now going to attempt a full face next. I thought I would tackle sketching from a self portrait of Frida and then create some of my own faces. So far, I am at least sketching each day...


UPDATE: I sold one piece at my gallery show thus far. I am thrilled especially because I can appreciate how difficult it is to spend money on art in light of the current economy.