Eleven Days In…And Now I Am Posting About It…

It’s September…ok, so it is seriously 11 days into September now…and Ayala Art is hosting another round of 29 Faces.

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WIPS day 6 #29faces

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I was lucky enough to catch some posts on Instagram that reminded me that hey, it’s September…people are making faces…I caught that on the 3rd …

So, it’s the 11th…and we as a family walked into September with nearly all of us sick as dogs.  What the heck is up with summer flus?  This is my second one this year.  On top of that, my oldest moved (erm, is moving, moved, is…working on it….doesn’t sleep here anymore…long story…) into her first apartment…or at least a sublet room in a two-bedroom apartment with a room-mate.  To say we are all ragged right now–that’s an understatement.

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WIP #29faces

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BUT…I love this challenge…and this season hit me at just the right time…I had been bingeing on Mindy Lacefield’s videos…and I have been wanting to get back into my own primitive little faces thing again…and I love how Mindy frequently starts with a square for the head…it’s just so cool.

I just bought her book, Wild Surrender, used, online…and when it got here, I was shocked-amazed-thrilled to find out it was an actual autographed copy.

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WIP ATC #29faces

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I am telling you this because for this month’s 29 Faces challenge, I have set up a few rules for myself.

1-I am using a very limited amount of supplies.

A charcoal pencil, a black stabilio, one paintbrush.  I have a water brush sitting here too, but I have yet to use it at all…and if I haven’t used it yet, I probably won’t.

A tray of water-soluble wax crayons (Reeves brand, I think–the box died ages ago).

A bottle of white paint.  A bottle of gold paint.

2-I have to start off with a square shape for the head.

3-I have to create ‘prims’, as I call them.  Little ‘primitive’ type girls.  I love these girls…and there is a lot going on with me behind the scenes as I make them.

An unofficial ‘rule’ I have is that when I work in my journal, each day I work a face on each page, each side of the two-page spread.  And when I hit upon a spread that has a smaller page in the middle of two big pages…each side of that smaller page gets a face on it–as well as the two larger pages.

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2 WIPs #29faces

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I have also been making ATCs this week…because I am prepping a journal for a totally different project by coating the pages with a mix of modeling paste and white paint to create a highly textured surface to work on–and as I cover one spread with this mix, anything left on the brush I wipe all over a playing card as foundation.  After today, I will have five ATCs made this way.  It’s pretty fun too.

I have also started making some of these faces in my grimoire, in what I am currently calling my Halloween journal, and last night I finished a 5 x 7 inch canvas.

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WIP working my New Moon piece #29faces

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You can follow along on Instagram where I post my WIPS (but almost never a finished product for some reason…) I love to see how the pieces change from basic sketch to completed piece.  A lot can change with a single flick of a brush.  Especially when the faces aren’t very large.

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WIPS now in my actual #29faces journal

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At the end of the month, at the end of the challenge, I will be making a video to show you all the faces I made…and hopefully, I will get well enough to pull together a board on Pinterest as well.



September 29 Faces Check-In

Ayala Art’s September 29 Faces is here…and it began on September 1.

Forget anything I said about planning anything

September 1 arrived…and I basically panicked…

I grabbed my two-minute self-portrait journal and figured — quick fast and dirty portraits: GO!

So these are not two-minute portraits.  So far, most are done in charcoal pencil…the last couple in water soluble graphite pencil.

But–I keep on keeping on…and I am looking forward to painting these … faces … out.

I am actually surprised by what has shown up in these wicked fast sketches.  It’s pretty interesting…my subconscious and conscious are listening … it shows…

I have been posting my pics on instagram every day–you can find the link in my sidebar here.

My daughter is also participating, posting on her instagram account.

Here’s what I have sketched out so far:

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WIP. .. first sketch for #29faces

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WIP. ..#29faces

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WIP #29faces

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WIP #29faces

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WIP #29faces

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Ayala Art’s 29 Faces Challenge This September

Ayala Art hosts 29 faces every February and every September.

I have participated in two of these challenges thus far, because those are the only ones I have known about.  However, I am greatly looking forward to this September 29 Faces challenge.


It’s August right now.  I am already contemplating — style — genre — technique — which journal — what sort of paper.

No ATCs with this challenge.  Not for me.  I also don’t want to work too big.  I don’t want to work too small.  Plus, I still have all the ATC faces from this past February’s challenge sitting here waiting to be painted out.

I have my two-minute portrait journal.  I have the red coptic journal, which I have not started to work in yet.  I have the butterfly coptic.  I have the new red journal.

What I want to start playing with is more unreal, more surrealist faces.  Something more disjointed, less pretty, more strange.

I am very excited about the idea.  Now, it’s August.  I may start playing with this idea before 29 Faces…or not.  I have no idea.  This is where my heart is at the moment.

We’ll just have to see where it goes.


My Last 29 Faces Face For The September Challenge






During the second week of working through the 29 Faces challenge, I created a series of sketches in one of my smashbook art journals (the pages are prepped with clear gesso already, most of them).  This was one of the ones I sketched but hadn’t painted out…until now.

She is just charcoal pencil and white gesso, with colored pencil.

I very nearly left her black and grey, but she needed just a bit of color to her…and it really added to her appeal.

Just fyi, I created a little flip through video of my 29 faces expedition...although keep in mind, there are many more than just twenty-nine faces for me this month…


Thanks for coming along.  🙂

29 Faces Check-In

Didn’t expect this today, did ya?

But I love this…

Faces 23? to … uhm, 31… 🙂

This one is an old sketch on a 4in x 6in postcard that I did forever ago.  I decided now was a good time to finish her.


This one was actually fun and is more minimal than you think.  This is a spread that started as smears and blots of paint from other work.  All I did was add in the facial features and a tiny bit of shading…the ‘skin’ was already there.


This is a crop of my Equinox spread.


This is the face of the first full mermaid I have done in a long time.  There is a story about this one; I’ll tell you some other time.


This is a second mermaid close-up.  On canvas board.  Oh, there will be many many more mermaids coming…


Sketch book playing, creating shapes without sketching them in first.


This is part of my Full Moon Spread…which is coming this Monday…


Playing with paint, minimal palette, in my 8in x 5in journal.

watermarked-brown hair

This is my truly minimal piece today.  Gesso and charcoal.  A little color on the lips.  Indigo for a tiny bit of shading on the face and in the hair.

watermarked-minimal raven

Another 29 Faces Check-In

Numbers 16 to 22

I had a bit of a brain freeze…which means my hands froze as well…no painting after about Wednesday…and then there was a *click* and everything was fine again…but none of those faces are posted here as I have not scanned them all in yet.

And please note–I post a lot of unfinished faces and in process faces in instagram, (among other things) if you’d like to see what goes on there…

First, we have the very first ACEO face that I have ever done…working that small is definitely an experience.  I do think I will keep it up to see what else comes up with it.


Her nose…now matter what I did, her nose kept wanting to do its own thing…and I had to finally just stop and let it be what it wanted to be…or at least be where it was…and move on …before I drove myself crazy.


To be honest, when I laid down the basic sketch, I hated this piece…but I know I know I know, if I work with it and I let it go where it wants, I will be happy…or at least in some cases happier…this one I am happy with at the end of the day…


This one was inspired by the New Moon…it says, etched into the gel medium: Shine Your Light…


This piece is actually 18 inches x 24 inches…and the face is only a part of that…


This is a 6in x 12in canvas…I have a stack of four –now three, I guess, where I had used an anatomical heart stencil…and once I had the heart stencil on and set on these canvases…I had brain freeze…and then one day last week, I grabbed one of them, grabbed my charcoal pencil, scribbled on a face…and let her emerge from there…and here she is…she is called My Heart Still Beats…

watermarked-myheart still beats

This is yet another refurbished She Who persona…She Who Breathes Life Into My Soul…

watermarked-she who breathes life into my soul

There are more faces coming…please stand by…