Number Twenty-Nine : The Tutorial : Part Three, The Final Installment

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Need to catch up with the previous two tutorials?

Click here for part 1.

Click here for part 2.

 

And now…on to part 3 here…

I use prismacolor soft core colored pencils to add details, add shading, add colors, augment and define.

I used at least ten different colors in a variety of shades, all over the face.

 

I smooshed a rough line of charcoal around the outside of her and sweep over it to blend it out.

The final step is to add the white highlights to her eyes, using acrylic paint and the end of a paint brush here.

The hair has a layer of metallic paint over it to add shimmer…you can’t really see that in the pictures too well.

 

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Number Twenty-Nine: The Tutorial : Part 2

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Remember Twenty-Nine?  Read part 1 of the tutorial here.

 

Here I put on a layer of flesh-colored paint.  It was thicker than I wanted, but I had to put it on fairly thickly because of the texture of the watercolor paper that she is on.  I do not always add flesh-colored paint, not at this stage, nor any other.

I am using higher quality artist paints at this point.

 

Now, a coat of red over her lips…and her hair…plus a little bit for shading.

I swear, there is a method of my madness.

 

A darker blue went on over the background…and then was spread around to add depth to the face.

And some white to add in some missing features, like the nose…I also tried to bring the whites back to the eyes a little bit.

 

I had to let her dry a bit before moving on…

 

Details pulled out with payne’s grey…

 

One color on one side…a different color on the other…blotches and splodges…

Two different colors on the hair…

A new background color…

Drying time…

 

More layers…new hair…new background…some white effects…

And dry…

 

 

A layer of a pale pink to bring all the underlayers together…

 

And then–so much for unification of layers…more layers added…

 

More layers…adding to the background some more….

 

Next a glaze…usually I just glaze the skin–the face, the neck…shoulders if they are there and not clothed…for Twenty-Nine, I glazed the entire piece…

 

 

And here I leave her to dry some more…

One more layering technique to go…well, mostly…

Stay tuned for the next tutorial in this series…

 

 

 

 

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Number Twenty-Nine: The Tutorial : Part 1

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Read about how this face, and her twenty-nine other sisters, were created and why here.

This is number twenty-nine.

These lovely ladies do not receive their names until the process is complete and I sign the work.

So, for this tutorial, she will be known as Number Twenty-Nine.

All of these girls were done in the same journal.  They are all 9 inches by 12 inches.  Every single girl has the same painting process.

This is the process I am sharing with you now.

She was drawn using a regular #2 pencil, one I grabbed off the floor where one of the kids had tossed it and forgotten it.  Yep.  Happens a lot here.  What can I say?

Using nothing more fancy than a large round brush and craft paint, I added color.

Sometimes I use pale vanilla white colors.  Other times I use blues, or even greens for the initial flesh tons.  This one is actually a nearly dried out antique gold.

I cover all areas of flesh.  Sometimes I even cover the eyes and the mouth.  Sometimes I leave the eyes alone and just cover the skin and mouth.  Sometimes I only cover one lip.

I do not mind if I stray outside of the lines.  Layers upon layers are yet to be added, so there is no problem.

Baseline hair color added.  Usually the hair color stays in the same color family by the end, but not always.

Now the lips…lips do not always match hair, but when the hair is pink, why fight it?

Eye color added.  Sometimes I paint the eyes the same color as the hair…or sometimes the same color as the lips.

I also take the eye color and use it to shade here and there around the face, the ear lobes.

Slowly building up those layers.

A random color thrown in for the background.  Backgrounds almost never stay the same color as they begin.

I do use some of the background color to shade various areas.

That is the beginning of Twenty-Nine.

What didn’t I do?  I didn’t fill in her pupils…sometimes I forget that.  It will get done later.

Sometimes I shade more with the colors I use.  I do keep the paint colors to as much of a minimum as I can.  I normally pull out four to six colors and use nothing but those.  Any color I use, I also use to add shading somewhere in the piece.

Until next time….

 

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Something Lost…

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For the first time in months and months, I was stirred by a question I read in an email newsletter to which I subscribe to write some morning pages…

It was one of those questions I knew would need more than just a simple writing down.  It needed more energy, more love…so I wrote out my response to the question…I wrote out my prayer to the Universe…

and as my youngest child slept on beside me (thankfully…else this would not have gotten done…) I added one layer of paint…but the words still showed through…so I added a different color paint over that…and then another coat over that…then I missed the original two colors and how they worked together so I added them back, one coat at a time…allowing time for each coat to dry before adding the next…

You first saw her after I grabbed a chunk of charcoal and drew out a quick form…

WIP. .. first morning pages in a long time

A post shared by Tabitha Beck (@theknittingjourneyman) on

 

Then I let her sit, until I was able to come back to her.

This morning was that time.

Layer upon layer.  Patience in between each daub of paint to let things dry.

More layers.  More paint.  More drying.

A remembering of the faces, of the energies, of the spirits, of the bits and pieces of me, that I love to draw and that I love to paint slowly returning to my hands, to my heart…

I painted her in a journal…the scanning does not do this one justice…in real life, the paper does not look nearly so rumpled and warped…I swear it…

 

I thought maybe if I could just get a close-up of her face, you would get a better feel for her…

But no.  Some days, the scanner and I really get a long well…and other days…I watch the movie Office Space…and giggle while looking for that baseball bat.

So I took a picture of her for instagram with my phone that I thought turned out better and gives you a better feel for her…

Her scan didn't do her justice…was hoping this might…

A post shared by Tabitha Beck (@theknittingjourneyman) on

 

She is 9 inches by 12 inches, done with a variety of paints and metallics, as well as charcoal and colored pencils.

There will be more of her story to come…as well as those of her sisters at some point, I am certain.

 

 

 

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Thirty Faces Project

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WIP

A post shared by Tabitha Beck (@theknittingjourneyman) on

 

I know I talked about this project in a recent video, but since the time of that video, I have done some work and found the space I wanted and needed within that project.

I felt nearly finished when I completed my 25th sketch, but I knew I needed more.  Maybe I am just conditioned by all the face challenges I do.  I had to sketch out thirty faces.  I have been painting initial layers and leaving them be until I have more time and inclination to paint them out.

So far, I have twenty-five based out (that initial layer of paint).  Which means i have five more to base out…and then a mere twenty-eight to paint to completion.

I do not have a time-table for the completion of this project.  I will just keep working at my slow pace until I am done.

I do have a new project once this one is more complete.  I plan to pull out all the sketches that I have … mostly from last year, I think, and paint those out.  I am nearly ready to jump into those sketches again.

New things are brewing under the surface.  I am anxious to explore them, but I do understand that it takes one step at a time to make the journey.  Running ahead and missing all the signposts along the way accomplishes nothing.

I will keep you posted as I continue along…

A New Project…

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I have been wrestling with taking more classes to expand my knowledge base, on many topics, of late.  The only classes I am really taking at this moment are…anything but art classes…

Sometimes I miss having that framework of a class to fall into, to fall back on to when I forget what it is I want to be doing…having classwork, homework, to do gives me a reason to be greedy and take time for myself that I wouldn’t otherwise get or allow myself.

There are a lot of year-long classes.  There are a lot of monthly subscriptions.  You pay for the month and have access to everything.  Yada yada.  There are many free-standing classes.  There are many self-paced and self-directed classes.

There are a few that pique my interest.  Yet, nothing really genuinely calls to me.  I have an interest, because that is who I am…but I balk every time I sit down and think, is this class something I want, something I need, something that appeals to me, something that will lead me somewhere on my journey…and invariably of late, no matter how much I love the subject matter, no matter how much I love the teacher, I always end up saying…not right now.  Even to many many free classes as well.

It dawned on me a few days ago that this is probably the reason I don’t feel up to creating any classes at the moment.  I am so unconnected/disconnected to classes of this nature that I am stepping back from creating them.  Even though I usually have much of the course material sitting ready to be typed up, videos made, handouts printed up…

So, I have been searching, soul-searching, meditating, pondering…what is going to mean something to me.  It always comes back to one thing…I want to — not reconnect–because that sounds as if I have dropped all ties and turned my back and that is not in any way true–I want to re-establish an excellent relationship with the Divine, the way I used to have that deep constant strong connection…only…I want it to be better than it was before.

I have spent several years now, working through other people’s classes, doing other people’s work, on things that stirred my soul and felt like they were heading in the right direction for me…but when I sat back, when I reflected, there was always something missing for me.

Now, I understand what has been missing.  Me–doing my work.  Me–working through my own things.  Me–stirring my own soul.

It’s funny.  My friend and I talk about the 201, the 301, and on and one classes…where are they?  There are so many 101 classes out there, beginner’s classes.  I will not speak for her, but I know myself I have tried to push myself to have that beginner’s mind into those places because…a beginner’s mind is essential–because there is always something new to learn, a new way to look at old things, so on and so on…

But, I have been reading this book, and I have been trying to work my way through it for well over a year now.  I read a few pages and then I stop–I digest.  I allow it to work on me.  Then I forget about it.  This is a beginner’s book, but it is a different sort of beginner’s book for me.  It’s not about the 101 stuff.  It is a beginner’s book for people who have and who are moving beyond the basic initial blah blah blah and who want to actually learn how and actually plan to do the real work of it.

That’s when it hit me.  It’s not about reading more books.  Have I said this before?  Me?  The uber-knowledge hoarder?  The bookworm?  The…perennial student? Yes, she who actually plans to eventually go back to school and get that degree in Art History…yup…that’s me.

It is about taking your subject matter and engaging in it, engaging with it, digging into it.  Creating your work as an entity.  Giving your work a name.  (I dub thee Sir So-And-So.  My goodness…)  Creating a relationship with your work.  Not using someone else’s work as a foundation.  Hmm.  How do I put this?  Because there are so many ancient texts that can be used as a foundation–like the Bible, like the Koran, like the Sutras, and so forth and so on…I am in no way discounting these structures as a foundation.  What I am discounting is accepting someone else’s methodology of interacting with this sort of thing and not actually putting your own thoughts, your own work, your own style, and so on, into it.

Then the whole #100Day Project emails starting hitting my inbox.  That, coupled with this image drawn in charcoal that has been stirring around in my brain, waiting for me to sketch it out, struck a chord in me.

So, this is sort of a declaration of my doing the #100Day Project…#100DaysofShe for me.

This isn’t what it sounds like.

I have been reaching out, reaching out…one Deity after another.  Mother Mary.  Kwan Yin.  Brighid.   Freya.  Kali.  Oshun.  On and on the list can go…not a single one of them felt *right*…but in their own way, every one of them felt *right*…just not *right* enough.

Back to the contemplation board…when I heard a voice whisper something, most of which apparently went in one ear and out the other–I was more than half asleep at the time…but what came of it was…why bind myself to one creation, one form, when what I am seeking is the Infinite Form of that creature?

She.

The Timeless. The Endless.  The perfect complement to the He of my childhood church-going.  Or is She?

Right now–those boxes do not matter.

What matters to me is allowing that connection to She to open…

Will I create 100 pieces of art around this theme?  Honestly–I dunno.

I plan to write.  I plan to sketch.  I plan to paint.

I plan to allow this to take its course.

I do not in any way plan to allow 100 days to be the start and the end of this project.

If I have work to show, I will show it.  If I reach 100 pieces–yippee.  If I don’t, yippee skippy.  If there are more…boy howdy.  It is what it is..an on-going dialogue with the Divine Essence of She…and inviting Her into my life and into my world more fully and completely.

Thank you for listening.

29 Faces – A Final Thought Or Two

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I was actually worried there for a bit that I hadn’t kept up with Ayala’s challenge of 29 Faces in the month of February.  After seeing my February journal, I knew I had at least thirty-two faces…plus I knew I had done a couple outside of that journal…so I figured, ok, thirty-four, maybe thirty-five…then I created my February 2017 29 Faces Challenge pinterest board…and low and behold, once I had everything uploaded…I have thirty-nine completed faces for the month…

February was such a roller coaster month for me, regardless of art or online challenges or anything else like that.  Physically, energetically, it was a heck of a month…and although we are this far into March now, I am still processing and recuperating from February…

I did enjoy this 29 Faces challenge immensely.  Although I worried about not having enough faces done at the end of the month, I didn’t actually worry about that until…the very last day of the month…

I didn’t post every single day.  I didn’t even post every single face on instagram as I sketched them.  Why?  I actually forgot…and then I would do several sketches in a short time…and I didn’t want to overload my instagram feed with photo after photo of charcoal sketches–especially as if I had the time to sketch, it meant I had some time to add color…so I chose working with color and pigments to posting online.

This seems to be a strong recurrent theme in my life at the moment…real life takes precedence over online life.    But more on that later…I’m sure.

I learned something very valuable about myself and my work this round of 29 Faces.  It is actually something I already knew, but it has not been something I have clung to or worked with or on.  I merely noted it, when meh, and moved on doing what I have been taught/learned to do…instead of trusting and following my heart–which lead to quite a bit of congestion over the past year.

What I learned…and what I am embracing is…I love my primitive faces far more than my … not primitive whimsical faces…I’m not sure what to call the not so primitive ones.  I put a lot of time and effort into both –into all sorts of faces and whatever else that I do…I have never thought to sit down and create a box for anything — other than ‘my work’…and I guess I am going to let that singular box suffice.

Christy Sobolewski, to date, has given out the best advice I have heard.  To paraphrase her, get a bunch of (fashion) magazines, check out instagram, pinterest, whatever–gather up a bunch of faces and start sketching and painting…and then do it again and again and again…and keep doing it.  Draw faces.  Paint faces.  Lots and lots of faces.  That’s how you learn.  That’s how you develop your style, your body of work.

I have a stack, I mean over fifty sketches, of faces that I drew last year and didn’t paint.  Quite a few of them are there for my own Ride The Magic Mushroom prompt project.  I now have the desire and the willingness to pick these up and start working on them again…and I haven’t wanted to touch faces in such a long time…so for that, if nothing else, I am so deeply grateful to Ayala for hosting this challenge.

I learn something new about myself every time I do this challenge.

Thanks for following along with me as I do these things, as I traipse along on my journey here.