Friday 28 February 2014

29 Faces Day 28

I've been decorating my moleskine diary/journal for part of the Documented Life Project. This is the front cover,  but it looked nothing like this earlier on today, it was a mass of stencilled designs with flower doodles, however, it just didn't feel right, so out came the gesso and after several more layers of reworking I opted for a face, seemed the easiest option. I never imagined that I would consider drawing a face an easy option, but after the 29 faces challenges I certainly have more confidence in this area, whether it be a whimsical style or a pencil sketch of a "real" person.

This particular girl was inspired by Suzi Blu, she has a very distinctive style in folk-art and sylized girl's faces, she's a little whacky too so I find watching her videos a little distracting at times, but she is very sweet and generous with her work.

I've not quite finished her dress but it needs to be pretty because I will be looking at it for the rest of the year!

Thursday 27 February 2014

29 Faces Day 27

Young Woman In A Blue Blouse

I couldn't resist another Matisse offering and today the young woman in a blue blouse gave me inspiration.  This ended up a bit of a mixed media affair - prismacolor and watercolours.

Working with a limited colour palette really simplifies things and helps takes the stress out of this challenge, and I notice how relaxed I am feeling after working with the colour blue.

Do you find working with a particular colour therapeutic?

I also ran her through a photo editor, added a blue tone and a water effect with a  blue frame, I quite like the dreamy quality it gives her.

Wednesday 26 February 2014

29 Faces Day 26

Sid James

As a child, my favourite films were the Carry On films, a particular favourite of mine is Carry On Cab which I regularly watch on dvd. A favourite line from this film always makes me chuckle is by Sid in his character as Charlie Hawkins - "when you get to be a cab driver you cut yourself right off from the rest of the human race. Everybody's got it in for you and nobody loves you. In no time at all you find that you're about as popular as a wickerwork seat in a nudist camp, and you know what sort of impression that makes on people"

Tuesday 25 February 2014

29 Faces Day 25

Yesterday class opened for Kelly Rae Roberts Hello Soul Mantras, a painting e-course.  I'm currently working through the first lesson which doesn't involve any painting yet, I'm currently working with some journal prompts which will help me to choose my Soul Mantra.

I have Kelly Rae Roberts book entitled Taking Flight and I dipped into that today to help me with this mixed media piece.

Step 1 - collage papers, music sheet and an old letter stuck down onto some chip-board (which had a layer of gesso applied)  

Step 2 - pattern and colour by spraying ink onto a doily

Step 3 - outline the face and body with a charcoal pencil
Step 4 - colour in face and body, draw wings and apply embellishments.
I have decided to use this a Mothers Day gift and I collaged an old photograph of my Mum with me as a baby. It's not quite finished, just a few things to add and then it will be complete.

Monday 24 February 2014

Saturday 22 February 2014

29 Faces Day 22

It's interesting to note where inspiration comes from sometimes to assist in this challenge.  The face of this young girl came from the front page of The Guardian, she is a 17 year old student and has now become the face of the Guardian's campaign to help end the practice of female genital mutilation in Britian.
I was drawn to her very sweet face and the colourful headscarf  she was wearing which is far more vibrant and detailed than what I have chosen to draw.

I liked her simple message, she said "I want to help these girls who don't have a voice"

If you are interested in reading more about this campaign, please visit

Thursday 20 February 2014

29 Faces Day 20

RIP Neal

I dedicate today's face to a friend who died suddenly in December 2013 and due to the circumstances and events around his death, his body was only released 2 weeks ago, his cremation took place this Monday. I used the picture from the Memorial Service sheet as a reference. 

It felt nice to spend some time drawing him, it allowed a space to remember him as I knew him several years ago before health issues and circumstances in his personal life took a turn for the worse.  

Wednesday 19 February 2014

29 Faces Day 19

Tired Bunny

This drawing was my translation of Other Little People created by the blogger Myth & Moor.

Using a book page, I covered with it gesso, applied a burnt umber wash and pencilled in the drawing, adding colour with acrylics, prismacolor pencils and my white uni posca pen ( a recent discovery for me which I love!).

I was drawn to this picture as the character reminded me a little of Betsey Clark, she was a popular figure when I was growing up and had a gentle nature about her.

Tuesday 18 February 2014

29 Faces Day Day 18

I'm a little behind, I've not posted since Saturday.  Feeling emotionally and physically tired this morning  I decided to dedicate a little time to "catching up".

This is my translation of Jane Goodall, a British primatologist, ethologist, anthropoligst and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered to be the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, she is best known for her 45-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania.

This sketch does not do her justice at all really and the more closely I look at it, the more chimpanzee I see in it.

I feel this is a total disaster, it's meant to be Nigella Lawson but I was unable to catch her essence, I feel this was due to me not being in the "right space" for sketching faces.

Finally, I went back to Matisse for inspiration, this is my translation of Marguerite. I enjoyed this sketch, I fee like I have captured an essence of his work. I realised that I am not so much interested in capturing an accurate likeness, but an essence, which are two different things.  I usually consider myself not very good at drawing noses, yet with this sketch, the nose turned out to be OK, I'm not sure why that is?.....maybe because I enjoyed this sketch.

Saturday 15 February 2014

29 Faces Day 15

This is my interpretation of Head of Lorette with Curls, by Henri Matisse, a pencil sketch direct onto a book page.

Friday 14 February 2014

29 Faces Day 14

A pencil sketch of Grant Lee Phillips, an american singer songwriter.

Thursday 13 February 2014

29 Faces Day 13

I came across a fairy picture on the internet which I quite liked and this is my interpretation of her, although my fairy seems a little bit older loooking despite the freckles!

The flowers are from paper napkins which I collaged on and painted with gesso then acrylic. The rest of her is an combination of acrylic and water colour.

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Tuesday 11 February 2014

29 Faces Day 11

Amy Winehouse

29 Faces Day 10

I'm a day behind!  The posting for day 10 was inspired by Paper Rainbow and her experimentation with teabags.  

I stuck down the tea bags with mod podge, then applied a squirt of inks, painted the face with acrylic and then applied a layer of gloss medium.

I enjoyed this proces.....experimental and messy and no hang-ups about getting it to look good!

The face was a translation of  Orme Sight, designed by Thomson Dagnall and is a sculpture at Beacon Fell, Lancashire. On a clear day it was possible to see to The Great Orme at Llandudno through the eye of the sculpture. Unfortunately this is not possible now as the feature has been subjected to vandalism.

Sunday 9 February 2014

29 Faces Day 9

Another Picasso line drawing today as I have been busy working on a couple of mixed media projects

29 Faces Day 8

This is a watercolour birthday card I made for my friend Morag over at Paper Rainbow, I decided to include it in the 29 faces challenge, although the buttercup fairy's face is small, it is still a face!

And here's a poem I found on All Poetry:

Cheer up buttercup, don't turn a frown.
Just think of yourself in a beautiful gown.
Dancing with your prince, so handsome and pure.
The man you will marry, the man that's you're cure.

Cheer up buttercup, those tears just don't suit you.
A single tear from you could turn the whole world blue.
A smile's what you need, one from ear to ear,
One to fight back sadness, and destroy all fear

Cheer up buttercup, it'll turn out just fine,
This sadness is probably a happy sign.
Karma will make your frown into a smile,
And I only hope you'll be happy for a good, long while.

Friday 7 February 2014

29 Faces Day 7

I came across a paperback book in the library entitled Daisy Miller by Henry James. I was immediately captivated by the beautiful, petite figure on the front cover and decided to use it as my inspiration for today's challenge.

Using watercolours in my sketchpad, I really enjoyed this, I loved the elegant lines and feminity of it.

Let me introduce you to .........Daisy Miller

Suppose I better read the book now that I have painted it!

Here is a round-up of my faces so far (Day 1 is absent because I only came across the challenge on the 2nd)

29 Faces Day 6

I came across a picture of David Bailey in the Daily Mail, the article started "celebrated photographer David Bailey was flanked by muses and loves from the past and present as he launched his new exhibtion at London's National Portrait Gallery"  I was surprised to see him looking quite old and frail (in my opinion) and his face looked really interesting, partciularly as he was carrying big bags underneath his eyes,  so I decided I would draw him as part of the 29 faces challenge.

I used oil pastels (a medium I've not used before) and I'm not sure how I feel about them just yet, I will have to experiment with them a bit more!

Here's the photo I used for reference.

Wednesday 5 February 2014

29 Faces Day 5

Whilst I like the effect of this, in retrospective I wished I had used a uni pen for the doodling detail, it would have been alot faster and easier to do, instead,  I worked this with watercolours. I may add more doodling detail later using a pen :)

Tuesday 4 February 2014

29 faces Day 4

As I began my day this morning, my thoughts turned to who I should attempt to draw today, several people I admire floated in, and back out of my thoughts, and slowly, as my day progressed and I got busy, I realised I still had to draw a face. I was feeling uncomfortable about this and  I was already beginning to get anxious about the outcome of a drawing I hadn't even started!

A valuable technique I learnt on the creative spark course which I really enjoyed was blind contour drawing, it really helped "free me up". So, with this in mind, I thought I would go in the style of Picasso and his line drawings.  I really enjoyed the process, holding the pencil very loosely, I flowed with the lines and really sensed a joy within the lines, and I wonder if this is how Picasso felt when he created these simple, but energetic drawings. 

There is always more than one way to approach art and this is demonstrated in the  inspirational TED talk by Phil Hansen "embrace the shake"

Monday 3 February 2014

29 Faces Day 3

"I'm Thirty-Six Years Old. I'm Just Getting Started"

Can you guess who she is?

Sunday 2 February 2014

29 Faces Day 2

Today I found myself pencil sketching a musical hero of mine, Mike Scott. I first saw Mike Scott play live with his band The Waterboys in 1986 and I have been in a 28 year old love affair with him and his music since. I dreamt about him in the early hours of this morning and decided to attempt a pencil sketch of him from a photo which was taken in either '86 or '87.

I don't normally sketch faces as I feel I'm not very good at it, however, I have always "wished" that I could draw faces. Joining the 29 faces challenge seemed a good opportunity to stop "wishing" and start "doing", after all, practice makes perfect, right?

Here is the photo I used for reference: