Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Life Book 2013 - Painting Over a Printed Image

Week 9 Painting Over A Printed Image 

Week 9 of Life Book 2013 is with Danita, and she taught us a simple technique for painting over a printed image, such as an image out of a magazine.  I chose an image of Drew Barrymore and was quite pleased when hubby immediately recognized her!  I love this technique.  When you look at the painting you can't tell there is an image undernearth, which makes this a fantastic way to incorporate faces and people into art journals without feeling self conscious about your skill level.

Life Book 2013 - Unstumpification

Week 8 Unstumpification

Greetings again!  Week 8 of Life Book 2013 is done with the marvelously talented Jane Davenport.  This is the most challenging lesson I have done to date, both emotionally and technically.  'Stumpification' occurs when you trace around a photo of person, typically the tracing results in a 'stumpy' version of that person.  By using the technique demonstrated we are taught how to 'unstumpify' the tracing.  The example Jane did took an ordinary photo and she created a very lithe and sexy fashion model, which is of little surprise as Jane has a background in the fashion industry.  The technique of 'unstumpification' is essentially using tracing and illustration to do on paper what magazines do in photoshop to make a woman 'more attractive'.

I choked.  With the average woman being a size 12, and with so many women on constant diets, so many women with eating disorders, so many women who hate their bodies and struggle with poor self esteem, I could not bring myself to be a part of that and call it art.  I know it's seemingly a small thing but we all have our lines I suppose and this one crossed mine.  Further, this lesson was about bravery, and I just couldn't reconcile what seemed to be two completely polar opposite ideals.

I did try the unstumpification technique using photographs of plus size models, but it was still elongating them, smoothing out their curves, essentially making them thinner.  In the end I used a plus size croquis, which is a line drawing used in the fashion illustration as a base for drawing clothing onto the human form.  The only unstumping I did was to create a slightly longer neckline to allow for the additional of all that hair.

I created the comic book cover in Publisher, printed it out on heavy weight paper and then transferred the croquis using wax transfer paper.  I decided to keep it monochrome and used a single shade of brown to keep with a sepia style look.  It took two frustrating weeks to create the final version and by the end I was so annoyed with my efforts that I gave up on doing hands and faces, so my comic book heroine is wearing a mask!  I am so glad this one is done.

Life Book 2013 - Celebration & Courage

Week 6 Celebration & Courage

Hello again!  Week 6 of Life Book 2013 is with the gorgeous, beautiful, radiant Tamara Laporte.  Our challenge is to choose a totem animal, one that represents courage, and using masks and inks create a background and and then paint an image of ourselves so that essentially the animal totem is almost like a shadow that we cast.

Tamara chose a bear as her animal, and looking at the other students work there were bears, panthers, lions, eagles and elephants, all animals that are readily identified with courage and strength.  I went a slightly different route.  One of the scariest things for many people is to sit quietly with yourself.  We drown out our inner wisdom with television, radio and all manner of white noise, and it seems rarely we can sit in the quiet and just listen to ourselves.

I chose the raven as my totem animal, the whisperer of wisdom, and the image of myself is one in a meditative pose, sitting quietly under the full moon.  I pray for the courage to be still and listen to what I need, and then have the wisdom to know best how to fulfill those needs.

The background is done solely solely with distress inks.  The gnarled tree border and the raven are cut and torn from regular photocopy paper painted black.  The image of myself is drawn onto book paper and coloured with matt acrylics and given detail with Prismacolor pencils.

Life Book 2013 - Game Board

Week 5 Game Board

Hello beautiful :o)  I have been without my camera for almost 3 weeks so I have an artistic explosion waiting to happen!  So using the hilarious words of Mrs Doubtfire... Brace yourself, Effie!

Week 5 of Life Book is with Kelly Hoernig and she challenges us to create an artistic board game.  The lesson takes us through creating the game piece (a figure that represents us), making the game board and creating some accompanying playing cards.

To begin we were asked to choose one word that is our focus word for the year.  I chose a stamp with a bee that has the words "be happy" underneath... I am often so busy that I don't make time to appreciate happiness.  Once I chose that image, the rest of the board seemed quite logical.  I created hexagons for the game board spaces and on four of these I wrote words that I think are essential for being happy.  I used the dictionary definition of these four words to create the playing cards.

The construction was relatively straight forward.  I used an antique bee print from the Graphic Fairy which you can download for free here.  Once that was adhered to the background the layering process began with inks, stamps and paints.  I used my Cricut to cut the hexagons which are adhered with Mod Podge and edged with Distress Ink to give depth.  The playing cards are actual Queens Slipper brand playing cards covered with the same bee print and given texture with stamping.
Week 5 Game Board

I am pretty happy with this although it is maybe a little more monochromatic than I originally imagined but I think it has a lovely, warm vintage feel to it. 

Thanks for looking and have yourselves a gorgeous day!