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.