Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Chandelier Necklace

Have you ever been to salvage yards, where you can find all kinds of home d├ęcor pieces for sale? We had a great one near us that recently closed down. That's really too bad because it was a wonderful source for artists, particularly assemblage artists. I had a friend who found door handles, metal P.O. Box doors, funky hinges, and old candlesticks to use for her art. I found a few things I could use for jewelry, most notably chandelier crystals.

This store had boxes and boxes of different crystals, all sorted by shape and size. Presumably, people would go there to find a match for their home chandelier when a piece broke. I just looked for their individual beauty, as well as a suitable size for a necklace. I didn't want to go to big on the crystal piece because they can be quite heavy.

Here's a necklace I created using a chandelier crystal.

I painted a background for the crystal. First, I used watered-down acrylic paints on watercolor paper. I splashed a few of those around. When the paper was dry, I traced the crystal on it, then cut a piece of paper to size. The paper was then glued to the flat back side of the crystal. To finish it, I then traced the crystal on a piece of black adhesive felt paper. The felt has a paper side that you pull off so that you can then adhere the felt to the back of the painted paper on the crystal. The felt gives it a nice soft feel when you're wearing it around your neck.

The chain is a purchased chain and I added my own crystal dangles to match the color scheme of my chandelier piece.

I didn't put a clasp on the chain since it is long enough to slip over your head. Voila! Instant crystal charm.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Back to My Own Faces

After being inspired by the faces in "100 Girls on Cheap Paper," I'm back to making my own faces, inspired by run of the mill magazine photos. Here are a couple of my latest.

I think she has a pretty face. I definitely didn't concentrate on the hair! I like the shading on the neck and the cheeks.

She looks like she is her own person. Or else she has something to hide. I'm not sure which.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Face and a Body

After the last Friday Faces, I tried to make a body to go with the face. It's not so good, but that's because I did not use an inspiration picture. I should have grabbed a magazine ad to help me out. It's okay, but seems rather cartoon-like. I do like the feeling of movement I get from her hair.

What do you think of these faces so far? I'm certainly enjoying painting them and experimenting. I'm learning about the colors I like, the colors that can make various skin tones. I'm also learning how to put personality into the faces through different shapes of the eyebrows, lips, and where the eyes are looking. I'm also learning that a little bit of makeup does wonders for a face!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Face on a Canvas

As I practice making faces, I think about -- am I ready to make a full painting? What am I going to do with my new-found skill of painting faces? I got brave recently when I decided to make a face on a canvas. (I've been doing all my faces on 9" x 12" watercolor paper.) The occasion was a visit I was taking to see a dear friend who I had not seen for a few years. Her name is Kim. She's a vibrant, daring, accomplished woman. In fact, she now owns an artist co-op in Deland, Florida, called Funky Trunk Treasures. If you're ever in that neighborhood, you should check it out. Deland has a great downtown main street, filled with great shops and restaurants. Kim calls herself "Kim Possible," which is very appropriate, since she is the woman who makes things happen. Here is the painting that I did for her:

I just did a splotchy very colorful background. I didn't want to over-think it, since this was my first face on canvas. Kim is a redhead, but this doesn't look like her. It's inspired by her and her go-get-it-ness. She immediately displayed it in her shop, which was quite an honor, since it is filled with wonderful artwork.

Friday, March 21, 2014

More Inspiration

In my last Friday Faces, I showed you a couple I did based on drawings in the book 100 Girls on Cheap Paper by Tina Berning. Here are two others that are copied from her art. This is for my experimentation only and I will never sell or publish my versions of her drawings.

I chose this one because it was an incomplete head. Why not? An incomplete face makes you think.

This one had know discernible eyes, and I liked that it included some of her torso. I will have to branch out and do more than faces next time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Paint -- It's Not Just for Faces

I've done an awful lot of Friday faces. I hope you've been enjoying them. I also paint canvases, so I thought I'd show you one of my newer ones.

A while back I took a painting course from Flora Bowley. Be sure and check out her website to see the her beautiful paintings. The course was actually online, and she made amazing video tutorials that we watched to learn her techniques. I'll never be her level, but she is certainly inspiring. She's also really giving in her instructions. Some artists may be afraid to give out their techniques. The reality is: No one can truly paint like her; and her style is always evolving. So if you're copying her, you'll always be a few steps behind.

Here is a photo of some of the detail. She paints layers and layers, and sometimes other shapes and colors peak through, and sometimes they don't. I think you can see through my layers here to see some things that didn't make the cut. I look at it that the under layers inspire the over layers.

Here's a detail at the top. I covered up so much of the under layers that it looks smooth and monochromatic up here. I'm not sure if I like that. Maybe one day I'll go back and add a little more pizzazz up there.

Friday, March 14, 2014

100 Girls

On my first Friday Faces post, back in January, I talked about painting 100 faces to practice, and see how good I'd get. I'm on about 20 now. Last Friday, I showed you a weird Face Fail. Now I'll show you some where I did use inspiration pictures to get going. In fact, I copied them just to try some new techniques. I'm not claiming the designs as my own, they are just for me for practice. I will give you the source, because it's a really cool book and you may want to get it. I picked it up on Amazon.

You can see what it's called: 100 Girls on Cheap Paper. Drawings by Tina Berning. This artist has made face after face and published them all together. Talk about awesome! And inspiring. I've done a few of her faces, and here's one:

I love how the rest of the scene isn't even drawn. It's just the face, no hair, no ears, no neck. I used just a couple of colors -- Payne's Grey and Titan Buff.

This next one is a slightly side view. See how much better I did than last week's Face Fail by using an inspiration picture? I also did a little bit of an ear, which I never do. Have you wondered why all my girls have long hair? Yep. No ears are necessary. This one even has a bit of a shoulder. I really should include those once in awhile.

Monday, March 10, 2014

New Jewelry

So you don't think that I'm just painting right now, I'll show you a jewelry piece I just completed. It is a two-strand necklace. For the small beads, I used a bead soup that I got from jewelry artist Beverly Gilbert, and I added some of my own beads to it. The greenish-brown beads were purchased at a bead show, I don't remember when. I don't have a huge inventory of beads on hand, but enough that I can dig through and find something inspiring to create a new piece. I founds those round beads in a little ziploc, and that was the starting point to this necklace. The clasp is a lobster, and I used copper to go with the colors of the necklace.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fail Face

O.K. Everyone will make a fail once in awhile. So what. I tried to do a side view without any instruction on how to do that. And here you have, the Face Fail.

Will I give up on trying to make a side view or tilted head? Of course not. The colors on this clash, the hairstyle is weird. Right, like those make a difference when it's just an awkward-looking face? Whatever. Will I try this again? Of course! But maybe I'll do a little research and find some steps on how to make a side view. Or use an inspiration photo (which I did not do here) from a magazine or book. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Back to Your Roots

When you take an art class, as I did with Dina Wakley's face painting class, you are learning a technique. It has steps, and a certain order. As you experiment later on your own, you tweak the steps, and tweak again. Sometimes you tweak so much you get away from the original method. I like to go back to the original instructions, re-visit them a bit, to remind me of how it all began. Here's a face I did in her initial outlining method.

The background is a bit busy, and of course you can see so much of it when it's just an outline. I like this one. It's simple, proportional, and still has a bit of the personality that I'm seeing in my faces. This takes it back to the simplest of elements.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Happier Friday Faces

Now that you've seen a few Fridays' worth of faces, what do you think? I'm certainly trying different things. I've learned how to make them happier. They're not necessarily attractive, but I think they have personality. 

One other thing you may notice is that occasionally they seem to be wearing makeup. You may not think that's so odd, but for me, I just don't wear makeup that often. It's never been my thing. Look at this face, though. She seems to have a little bit of eye shadow, and she is certainly wearing lipstick. Maybe I'm living vicariously through these faces. I'm enjoying putting the makeup on the girls.

Not sure what that is above her head. I'm thinking I started another face, flipped the page around, and started again. Well, that's what experimenting is all about!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Simple Bracelet

Sometimes going simple makes a stunning piece of art. I made this bracelet using colored freshwater pearls. I used a shiny silver magnetic clasp that stands out nicely. When I put it on, I give it a couple of twists so the strands twist together.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Different Skin Tones

In an effort to try out darker skin tones, I give you these faces.

All I can say is, ick. The ick color of her face above is accentuated by the weird background color as well. Oh well, I tried.

This one is a little better, but I don't know why her neck is colored so differently. I do like how I did the shading, though. The cheeks are a lighter color that the face. I like that rather than relying on shades of black to make shadow. I'm not sure if there are pupils in her eyes, but I do like the effect.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Faces Inspired by . . .

Have you been to outdoor shows where an artist is painting people's portraits? They are set up with an easel, their paints or pens, and someone sits in the chair across for them for a bit to have their portrait done. That artist is an amazing artist -- but he still needs something in front of him to inspire him and get him going. Try painting a face from memory. It's tough. It's hard to get the proportions right, the expression just so. But try it again with a picture in front of you, and it's so much easier. In my face painting practice, I've used magazine pictures (usually ads; invest in a Vogue or other fashion magazine, and you'll have tons to choose from), other artists' books or blogs, and of course, the new standby, Pinterest.

As I've said earlier, these paintings are not to be sold. They are practice. So if I am inspired by an artist, or I outright copy that artist's picture, it's just for me to practice. I am publicly putting my paintings on my blog, but I will tell you if I've copied another artist for practice. I don't think that artist will think for a minute that I am profiting from his or her work.

This first one came from an artist's website. She's wearing a big hat. I don't know, I think mine kind of looks like hair. I think it's very Bride of Frankenstein-like. I like this next one because it wasn't as detailed as the ones I've done, and it didn't rely on hair for beauty or interest. I think it's someone wearing a hoodie. This also was inspired by another artist.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Artistic --- shoes?

As I mentioned in my earlier post about the Continuum gallery that I helped with, the admission to the opening night was a new pair of children's shoes. The shoes were given to a local group that provides education and afterschool programs. Another part of the charity was an artistic shoe auction. Artists painted and decorated new sneakers then they were auctioned to the highest bidder. Here are a few photos of their amazing creations.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Love that Hair

When you've given yourself a goal to paint 100 of anything, you have room to try crazy things. As I make my way through 100 faces, I get a little creative with hair color.

If Kelly Osborne can do lavender hair, then why not one of my girls? I like the background color with her hair too. Sometimes I'm just making a background to make a background, and it doesn't really go with the face. I like the tilt of her head here. Or maybe it's just the way the eyes are looking to the side. You can see that I'm experimenting with different eye colors too.

This one has quite a "hairdo" as they used to say. I think it gives her a lot of personality. I think she's a powerful corporate woman who gets things done. But oh my, what a neck. I should have given her some shoulders.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Continuum -- More Art to See

In my last post, I didn't mention what my role was with Continuum. I helped to jury in the art, helped on the printed program with an artist statement from every artist, and helped to place the art. Then once all the fun events started, I greeted people, answered any questions, and helped where ever was needed during the events. Then after each event, of course, we swept and mopped and cleaned up the space. Sorry to burst your bubble, but yes, sweeping and mopping is included when you run a gallery. Here are a few more photos of the events.

The best part about working at a gallery is inviting your friends and seeing them there!

We work hard, and we play hard!