Sunday, January 8, 2012


I finished my first Life Book piece.  I made mistakes along the way, being such a novice and all.  I document my mistakes here; not to be over critical of my work, but so that I and perhaps others do not make these same mistakes again.

Here is my finished drawing.  At this point I am pretty happy with my work. I made the eyes a tad bit too big, but decided not to change this as I was going for an Art Journal look rather than a realistic look.  I am happy with my window of opportunity depicting three of my favorite words from my Character Strengths. And I am happy with the hair.

I am working on Canson cold press water color paper, 140lbs.  I chose this paper because of its size...11x15.  The large size frightened me in the store.  This year is about overcoming the anxiety of drawing, painting and making by hand.  The feeling of CANT DO rather than CAN DO.  So, I made myself buy the larger paper to prove that I CAN!

I am working with acrylics, pens, watercolor crayons and pencils and stamps and ink.  My first major mistake was on my goddess's face.  Of all places, why the face???  ACK!  I applied too much water.  And kept at it with the water. Until the paper began to bead up.  The beads should have warned me to step away for awhile and let the paper dry.  But NOOO.  I was on a role.  As you can see from the splotch on the face, I ended up peeling off a portion of the paper.  Now my goddess has eczema.

Notice the blue tape in the top right corner here?  That is painters tape.  I've used it before on paper to mask off portions of background/details etc.  I used it here to prevent coloring my window with the background colors (as I wanted a blue sky, not red and pink sky).  Well, I guess I kept the tape on for too long.  And I did rest my hands on it a few times.  Long story short, the tape ended up sticking too much to the paper.  When I peeled it off, the window went with it.  I had to redraw the window on now much thinner and damaged paper.  Painters tape is a wonderful asset to mask off areas; but lessons learned are to not keep it on for long and don't rest your hands on it.  Although the tape is not super sticky, it is sticky enough to do damage.  **sigh**

My third, what I consider major mistake, was using acrylics and a foam pen tool of sorts to write in "These are my character strengths."  The font looked too childish for me and was too dark.  Stood out like a sore thumb.  So I switched to my calligraphy pen...much better!

Finished work, closed.
The blue device with the silver and foam tip, that did not work well for lettering.  But I used it to put all the little white dots on my piece.  It worked well for that.  The Pentel Slicci pen...FANTASTIC!  Its 0.25 mm and the ink is smooth and covered most areas of paint.  I used it to put line detail back into my work and used it for the words Curiosity, Hope and Beauty (see finished work, opened, below).

I don't have pink paint.  No problem...blend some white into into white etc.  Only I did not have any white acrylic. I should have used my white gesso in this case, but instead used a white pearl with metallic finish.  Bad idea.  In small amounts, the metallic sheen would add interesting texture.  But in my finished piece, the sheen actually looks blotchy.  The picture below does not capture the blotchiness adequately.  So, my last lesson learned is to minimize use of metallics.

Finished work, opened
There it is.  My first Life Book piece, a mile stone.  I've done a couple of mixed media pieces before; but never with something I've drawn.  I look forward to becoming better at both painting and drawing.  I think it will be very interesting to see how my work grows and progresses throughout the year.  I think it is brilliant for Tamara Laporte to bring in such a diverse group of artists/teachers for a year long art course.  YEAH!!!  I'm excited to the core of my bones!

1 comment:

  1. Lisa: This is very cool. I applaud you not only in continuing through what you believed were errors/mistakes, but starting to begin with! I LOVE the eyes--glad you didn't try to fix, start over, whatever. Also, you did a great job documenting your process. I also love the integration of the color scheme of the crown with the fold-over. I don't think this a direction I want to go, but I can certainly admire your work!!


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