Friday, 30 September 2016

How the Jane Davenport book Beautiful Faces influenced my last two faces of the 29 faces challenge

Hi folks in todays post are my final pictures for the 29 faces.  As a couple of the faces have been influenced by Jane Davenport, who I discovered online, I talk a little bit about her influence on me, including my opinion of her book Beautiful Faces. If you have any questions please ask in the comments below. If you are someone who has also been influenced by Jane Davenport, I would love to hear about it in the comments.  I am also interested in any other influences others have in the world of creativity, why not share who influences you in the comments.

I have been taking part in the 29 faces art challenge which finished on 29th September.  Here are the final 4 faces I have completed for this challenge.

"let go of perfection"

ink and alcohol markers 

watercolour and prismacolor pencil

prismacolor pencil

The last 2 faces were a follow these instructions activity contained with in the Jane Davenport book Beautiful Faces. As seen here on my desk. 

I bought this book about a year ago on Amazon.  I dip in and out of it whenever I need a little boost to my creative mojo.  You may have heard that it is "bad" to copy.  Well, of course there are copyright rules and you would want to follow these.  This is a large topic and I will not be going into the details right now. Essentially, you are not allowed to reproduce another persons work without permission, whether that be art or photographs or even writing.  You might now be asking how do I find a reference to draw from.  Well the solution is to either take your own photographs or you can always go to paint my photo and find a reference photo there. For the purpose of my post today the book invites you to follow the instructions so I would like to thank Jane Davenport and her book for giving me the instructions and inspiring me to produce work that is not an exact copy but is clearly influenced by her work.  

This book has an information section and activity on pretty much all types of media known.  There are clear instructions on how to draw a face at any angle and focuses in on each of the individual features of a face.  Although the style of art in this book is primarily whimsical, there is also some instruction on what a realistic face proportions are.  It is a very good book and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in drawing and painting faces, particularly whimsical faces.  

The book has not been the only influence.  I first found Jane on YouTube where she has a number of art lesson videos.  These are a great introduction to the media she is demonstrating.  The downside is to learn more you need to buy her art classes.  The only classes I have experienced so far are the classes Jane has done for Lifebook2016 ( by Willowing arts) These lessons were such an inspiration I just got out my supplies and began arting along.  Not all classes do this for me. Taking more of her  classes is on my to do list.  

Thank you for visiting.  I would love to hear what your influences are, so why not leave me a comment. 

Monday, 26 September 2016

How ink and flex markers faces helped me with artists block - #29faces2016

I have been thinking a lot about how to come up with good ideas to draw/paint. I am finding it harder to come up with new ideas to keep up with the demand of a face a day for 29 days.  I would be very interested in what you do to help keep your work fresh and interesting?  Please share in the comments.  Here is what I did. I have a cute basket full of a variety of colours and do not use them very often so decided to do some art work using them before they dry out.  This was my way of kickstarting my artistic flow.  I revisited a medium I have not used for a while and gave it a twist by using a pen to sketch rather than a pencil I could rub out.  Unfortunately I was too late for some of my markers as I had to throw out 3 pens out due to them being dry and not working :( I guess that's what happens when you neglect alcohol pens. (another good reason not to keep your good art supplies for special work only and to use when the fancy takes)  I did have the markers for at least 6 years, maybe longer, I originally bought them for colouring stamped images for making cards.  First I started with a faber castel pitt pen xs to draw the faces then used the alcohol markers, I kept the pictures sketchy as I've heard Jane Davenport say on many occasion, anything can be forgiven in a sketch. Jane has been a positive influence on my art work and can be found at her website  I am beginning to see what Jane means.  I do enjoy just going with the flow and not sketching in pencil first.  I just trust the marks I make on the paper and just go with what I have and accept my marks and make something of them.  Rather than worry about them. I have so many other projects on the go right now I needed to come up with ideas that were not going to take me more than say half an hour to do. Revisiting something I have not done for a while was something that work for me on this occasion.  I do have other ways, perhaps I can share them with you another time.  Here are the results, including a picture of my basket of alcohol markers at the end :)

Face number 23 and 24

Face number 25

a basket full of yummy markers used 

Thank you for visiting and hope you will come back again soon.  Take care T

Friday, 23 September 2016

face 22 of 29 faces - watercolour potrait

GI was about to head to bed about 9pm when I was struck with the inspiration bug and so I just had to do some painting before I went to bed.  Little did I know I would still be up at 1am in the morning, ooops.  I am rather pleased with the outcome though, so maybe it was worth staying up just that little bit later to produce this lovely watercolour painting.  What do you think?

Painted using prima watercolour (decadent pies)

You can always let me know what you think in the comments.  Is art worth staying up for sometimes?
Thank you for visiting.  Till next time.  T

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

29 Faces number 20 and 21

Hi folks and welcome to my blog post.  I have fallen behind slightly again from my daily posts but I have a double treat for you as I have caught up on my faces today.  Another two watercolour drip effect portraits.  I am trying new ways and trying to find my style in there too.  It is still a bit of a hit or miss but so far I have resisted the temptation to sketch first.  I may try sketching next just to see how much of a difference it makes to my paintings.  I have been trying to make these paintings as organic as I can, hence no initial sketch.  But perhaps I can still get that organic feel even with an initial sketch even if it is to place certain markers of the face.  So without further a do, here are my two faces.

I decided to use my decadent pies watercolours by prima then thought "oh the purple acrylic ink I have would look fab as her hair" So there you have it.  I quite like this girl.

For this painting I thought I would try my hand at a male face with this technique, only it did not quite go according to plan but it certainly is a step in the right direction.  I think I got too invested in making sure it looked like a male face and got too bogged down with trying to get in detail. 

I hope you have enjoyed seeing my abstract exploration paintings as much as I have enjoyed painting them.  Thank you, please come back soon T   

Monday, 19 September 2016

Watercolour abstract art for 29 faces catch up - face 16, 17, 18 and 19

Unfortunately my daily posting was interrupted by having to give into my cold.  I decided the only way to get rid of it was to get to bed and rest up.  Well I did that on Friday and Saturday and so by Sunday I was feeling a lot better and more able to art.  I did a few catch up one after the other in the same style and medium.  I love working with watercolour and thoroughly enjoyed working on my Jean-Luc Picard However, I have always fancied trying my hand at a little more abstract art.  So I figured why not, "how hard can it be? Right?" Well, I can tell you it is not as easy as artists who produce fantastic work make it look.

This was the first painting, done on 'The Langton' hot pressed watercolour paper by Daler Rowney 140lbs 12"x 9" There was no pre sketching done it was totally out of my head and spontaneous.  I wanted to experiment with dripping, it always looks so good on other artists work.  I faffed about with this a fair bit and I felt I was still being a little precious with the detail.  I needed to let loose. So I tried again .................

This one I switched to bigger paper as I figured it might help me to just "let Go" and try big bold brush strokes.  I used 'The Langton' hot pressed paper 140lbs 16"x 12" again by Daler Rowney and just went for it.  I liked the overall outcome, yes I can still improve but I was beginning to really enjoy this process/style of working.  Of course the downside is I now want to purchase more watercolours lol oops 

As I felt more confident I had a thought in my head, an image of a painting I wanted to do so I attempted it.  I say attempted it as it really did not quite work out how it was in my head but then as artists do we ever get that? This is what I got instead........

Again like all the other paintings I did not start with a pre sketch. It was painted on the same type and size paper as the previous painting. I actually do think it is a fair representative of what I wanted it to look like and it covers two faces so lets me catch up with 29 faces (woohoo). I am just not sure about this one being display worthy.  I feel I have kinda messed up the eye area of the male face I was trying to hint at an eye and ended up with the darker area in the wrong bit so tried to fix and just made a mess. Also as a kiss it is not as sensual as I wanted it to look.  At least that's what is in my head, that is what I see.  So what do you see? I would be interested to find out others opinions of this very raw painting.

oh I nearly forgot to say, all paintings were done using Windsor & Newton 12 half pans travel set with graduate round size 10 brush and System 3 round size 6 both brushes by Daler Rowney

Anyway Thank you for stopping by and checking out my blog :) Have a good day/evening bye for now T x

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Day 15 of 29 Faces Challenge - Watercolour portrait of Jean-Luc Picard included in the #CACFanArt

Welcome all, I am now past the half way point to this 29 faces challenge.  Today I am pleased to present my 15th Face which covers both the 29 Faces Challenge and this months #CACFanArt event. Scroll down to the link at the end of this post, if you are interested in seeing my process video.  Otherwise continue reading for the process in pictures.

I started off with a sketch of Jean-Luc Picard on 12"x 9" hot pressed watercolour paper 140lb by Daler Rowney (The Langton) 

Using a round system3 size 6 brush and Windsor & Newton travel watercolour palet I begin to add the colour.  I know with watercolour you are suppose to go from light to dark but I sometimes like to add my dark in first and graduate it out. 

Looking a little strange stage for sure lol 

starting to look a little more lifelike but there is still something missing

The eyes in my opinion really bring life to a painting. 

Adding the finishing touches 

There you have it...... the finished painting.

Thank you for stopping by, click on the video link below to view the painting process. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Day 14 of 29 faces challenge

Today has been another day of a stuffy nose and head feeling like it has been put in a car crusher :( So unfortunately I have not got done what I planned.  So I thought it might be fun to find an old face I drew when I was at school.

I was 12 when I drew this self portrait and that was not yesterday lol 

Thanks for stopping by and hope you come back again.  I have a rather special face post planned for tomorrow :) T x

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Day 13 of 29 Faces challenge.

Hi Folks,

Well today I am still not feeling very well.  I have a bit of a cold so, have to admit I am feeling a little sorry for myself today.  So for my face I have just been messing about with one colour of my polychromos pencils. I hope the camera has picked up well enough on the photo.

Hopefully I will feel a little better tomorrow and normal service will resume lol Thank you for stopping by.  See you all again soon.  T x

Monday, 12 September 2016

Day 12 of 29 Faces challenge 2016

Well, here I am on day 12.  Despite a few delays I am almost at the halfway point woohoo.  I really was not sure I could even get to here, what with all the other things going on in my life and projects on the go.  And today has been no different.  I do have a face to share but  I have also been moving furniture around in my art studio to try to make my space a little more inspiring.  I moved into my new house in June and have not really focused so much on my art space.  Well today it was my studios turn.......

that point when you think "why did I start this again?" lol 

It is starting to look a little more worth the effort.

It is still not quite finished but I decided I would stop and take a break, so I could come online and post in my blog.  And share with you the face I quickly sketched for day 12 of the 29 faces challenge.

I was attempting to be more loose and going for that artistic effortless sketchy look.

So there you have it a little glimpse into my day 12 efforts.  Thank you for stopping by.  I plan to do a full studio tour once I have it looking more inspirational rather than just a room with furniture dumped in it lol.  So watch this space for that.  Thank you for stopping by.  Have a good day. T x

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Day 11 of the 29 Faces 2016 Challenge

Hi folks, I am thinking even I have outdone myself this time and it will be difficult to top todays offering.  I have managed to do three faces in one project and reviewed 3 types of pencils in the process, Polychromos, Prismacolor and Spectrum Noir. First will be a written explanation of my drawings and if you continue to scroll down you will find a video if you would rather watch my demonstration.

This first sketch is using prismacolor.  The camera has not picked up the sketch very well (sorry) Although it is difficult to see in the photograph (this happens with all pencil sketches) I am happy to report that using this pencil to sketch was a joy.  It was very smooth.  When I was sketching with a light touch it laid down light pigment increasing in intensity when pressure increased.  

Next I sketched with polychromos (by faber castell).  The second face is a little more difficult to see but this is more to do with the different colour I chose to sketch with.  For demonstration purposes in the future I will be more careful what colour I use.  However,  again, like the prismacolor, these pencils are a joy to sketch with.  They allow for lighter touches increasing in intensity of colour the harder you press down on the paper.  

The third sketch, which is even more difficult to see, is spectrum noir.  Even allowing for it being a different colour I used from the Prismacolor and polychromos sketch, it is definitely the lightest pigmented pencil.  I found it usable to sketch with.

Colouring with prismacolor pencils I found really a really good experience.  This is only the second drawing I have done with my new purchase.  The colour is highly pigmented and went onto the paper very well.  The colours layer well.

Colouring with the polychromos was, as it always is, a joy.  The pencils lay down colour very well as with the prismacolor.  The polychromos also layer well.  I had to use raw umber helioblue and Mauve to create the dark colour for her pupils as I do not own a black polychromos pencil. 

Colouring with the spectrum noir required a little more work to lay the colour down.  However over all they performed well and I am sure you agree the end result is pleasant enough.  The colours are definitely lighter and they layer to a point but not as well as the prismacolor or polychromos pencils.  

All in all I could not really ""fault" any of the pencils from this project.  The spectrum noir require a little more work to get a good result but you can get a good result.  They are the slightly cheaper pencil so it maybe more cost effective for someone on a lower budget. For me personally I prefer the prismacolor and polychromos over the spectrum noir.  I cannot based on todays picture seperate my two favourites.  However, perhaps in time I will find I gravitate towards one or the other.  


I hope you have found this useful and have enjoyed these particular faces for the 29 faces challenge.  I must ask the organiser Ayala arts if this counts as another 3 of my 29 faces rather than just one lol I do plan to do a more indepth swatch type review of all the pencils in the future so watch out for that one.  If you have any suggestions of what you would like to see me demonstrate next, or questions, why not put it in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them.  Thank you till next time T x

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Day 10 of the 29 faces challenge

Good morning from Scotland.  It is 10.32am as I type this post.  I have woken up and had my breakfast in the knowledge that I have already worked on todays face.  For once I am not playing catch up.  Yesterday as I said in my previous post I was waiting on a parcel.  This parcel was a pack of 72 prismacolor pencils.  Of course I really wanted to try them right away lol Well by the time I got round to having time to use them it was late at night so I had a bit of a drawing session in bed before going to sleep around 2am, oooops, so a  little tired today but so worth it.

This is not a drawing that fully tests my new pencils.  It was late when I drew this face, that's my excuse and I am sticking to it lol.  It was drawn initially in one of the many grey shades then I added a little colour to the eyes and the lips.  The only colour used on the face was a little lilac/purple in the shading.  The rest is a couple of grey shades.   The drawing is not fully complete but I like her just the way she is, so I will probably leave her as is.  I do want to put all my pencils through their paces though, so watch this space for a review of all the pencils I own, which are now prismacolor, polychromos and spectrum noir.  That should be an interesting testing session :) Thanks for stopping by hope you come back again sometime soon T x

Friday, 9 September 2016

Day 9 of 29 Faces challenge

Hi folks.  I have had a very busy day today waiting on a parcel arriving, I had a visit from my daughter and grandchildren so I have only had time to organise a very very very quick sketch of a face.  Tomorrow I may have something a bit more interesting as my parcel was a new set of 72 prismacolor pencils.  ooooooh I feel a comparison video coming soon as I now have prismacolor, polychromos and neocolour pencils :)

simple lead pencil sketch on multimedia paper

Thank you for stopping by I hope you will come back tomorrow to see what I have been up to. T x

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Day 8 of 29 Faces 2016 challenge

Hi folks.  Thank you for stopping by.  Today I thought I would just let go of my need for perfect art and collage a face on an art journal page.  Art is not always about producing pretty pictures.  It is also just simply great fun to create and not worry about whether or not it is a perfect piece.  We could all do with creating like we did as children and that is simply for the joy.  Here is how I did it.  If you continue to scroll down you will also find at the bottom of this page you will find a link to a video of my process.

After completing a background using pans pastels and gesso (which can be seen in my YouTube video) I cut out the shape of a face and collaged it onto the page using golden gel medium.  Then I added just the top lip cut out from a darker shade of paper than used for the face.

I decided to be completely different and chose to collage a yellow paper for the neck and pink with white poker dots for the hair.  So far so good.

To finish I used a faber castell pitt pen to loosely sketch her eyes and nose, a posca white pen for her eyes and highlights and whispers water soluble pens to shade on the face lips hair and neck.  

As I was finishing the journal page I realised.  I had stuck her lips on too high and attempted to change it slightly by using more shadowing to make her face look smaller.  However, in the end I decided that I was trying to be too perfect again.  This page had been about just letting go and doing something completely different and fun.  So in conclusion, the secret to fun is...........To let go of perfection.  For those of you who would like to view my video please click on the picture below.  Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you have found it useful to see that we all have days where we think our art is no good.  But there is no such thing as bad art.  It is all good fun :) 

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Day 7 29 faces challenge

This is a very brief post today.  I have been busy today with cleaning my kitchen etc as it has been neglected a little so I could do art lol Still I managed to put time aside to work on a portrait I am doing in spectrum noir coloured pencil.  This is a long way from being finished, however, as I was technically working on it today I thought I would share it as Face number 7 :)

I am particularly pleased with how this portrait is going. Thank you for stopping by. Why not stop by again tomorrow to see what I have been up to next :) 

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Day 6 29 faces challenge

Well today I completed a face.  It did not quite turn out how I hoped but it is still pretty cool.  I hope you like it.  It is a face coloured with pencils (mostly polychromos with some Spectrum Noir.  It did not cover the background quite as well as I had hoped.  Oh well never mind.

The background is a combination of gesso, buff white and pans pastel dusted on using a brush then wiped with the paint brush to get the texture in the background.  I then drew and coloured the girl using pencils.  The hood and dark neck was painted last with acrylic paints.  Even though it did not turn out as I expected it was fun to experiment.  Perhaps next time I will draw the face before the background and do the background around the face, see if that gets a better result.  Thanks for popping round.  T x

Monday, 5 September 2016

Day 5 29 faces challenge :)

Well, here we are on day 5.  I have been busy attempting to clear my art room to make a more creative and less chaotic space.  One where I can be more artistically productive so today I have only had time to do a quick sketch of a face for todays challenge.

Perhaps I will get round to painting her eventually :) I suspect that as this is a face a day I may not get round to that for a while.  Still at least she is in reserve for when I am just not in the mood for drawing :)  Hope you are all having a great day.  Watch this space for more faces in this 29 faces challenge T x

Sunday, 4 September 2016

day 3 and 4 of 29faces challenge

Oooops  I forgot to post my face I did yesterday. What can I say, I am human after all lol So rather than just missing a day out (after all I did do the sketch) I have decided to combine both days into todays post.  Call it a weekend post lol

Saturdays face, drawn in colour pencil.  I have sketched an idea for a bigger picture but I am featuring the face for day 3 in my 29faces challenge.  Which is proving to be more difficult than I thought even at this early stage.  Perhaps I just need to get a bit more organised.  hmmmmmm I can but try lol  As the pencil is a light colour and I have drawn on white sketch paper it is rather difficult to get a decent picture so I hope you can see these ok. My idea for this sketch is that the girl is being comforted by her angel.  I am sure in the future this will become a fully realised bit of art :)

Sunday day 4 of 29faces challenge.  I have managed to complete a quick video to demonstrate how I used my gelli plate to start a journal page with a background.  The purple/blue colour was already there.  I had previously cleaned off brushes over the top of some tape then took the tape away (I will use the painted tape in another project).  I rolled white gesso thinly onto my gelli plate firmly pressed the stamp onto the gelli plate then took a print off the plate onto my page and was left with the background as pictured below.  I just filmed the process of how I printed the girls face onto my background using the gelli plate.  Thanks to Andrea Mercier who gifted me my prima face stamp a couple of weeks back, I have a few ideas on how to continue to make use of her in the future.  

I hope you have enjoyed this double weekend 29 faces blog post.  Why not come back tomorrow and see what I get up to for day 5 :) 

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Day 2 of the 29 faces challenge - a simpler approach - using a stamp is not cheating

Hi folks.  Well after the day I had yesterday (Thursday) trying and failing to get my day 1 face finished.(for details of the 29 face challenge click the button at the side of my blog)  I decided I would take a different approach today and make my life easier.  As I knew I was going to be working on my first face, as well as face number 2, I gave myself a head start (note I did not say I cheated) by using a journal page with a background already done and recorded.  I then used a prima stamp of a face, (donated to me by Andrea Mercier of Anlome you can check out her amazing art here ) and continued to record the process as I completed my journal page.  Perhaps you might like to help me to name this page? If so type your suggested quote/title for this page.

You see, sometimes we need a task to be made easier.  Please Stop giving yourselves such a hard time about stuff that doesn't even matter.  Would we call using cutlery or a food processor cheating? No they are utensils that make our life easier.  We do not call using a modern day washing machine cheating when it comes to washing our clothes.  So why do we think using stamps in art are cheating?  Ok if you used a stamp all the time and did no drawing you would not improve your drawing skills. However, you may not want to improve your drawing skills, who are we to insist you do.  There is no right or wrong way to do things in art.  Art is what you make it, pure and simple.  I know when I first got back to art I asked the question would it hinder my progress if I used stamps and stencils in my work.  Well the simple answer to that is not if I continued to practise my skills on a regular basis. So guess what, I use stamps and stencils as and when I like.  I also do fine art as and when I like.  Sometimes I combine the two and sometimes I try something completely different that I suck at doing but enjoy trying.  It still takes skill to colour a stamped image well, a skill that can easily be learned I might add.  All it requires is a desire to learn.  Everyone and anyone can be artistic.  Stamps and stencils are a great way to help everyone to start to enjoy being artistic.  If you are interested in my art process for this prima stamp girl check out my video below. 

So remember there is no right or wrong way to do Art.  Art is what you make it :) Hope you all have a good day and come back to visit real soon.  

Thursday, 1 September 2016

First of my 29 faces posts

Well here we are the 1st of September, the first day of the 29 days challenge as set by Ayala art and I am already behind, oops lol. The details can be found on the 29 days blog by clicking here Today I am posting a work in progress rather than the finished article.

 For me this really demonstrates that not everything in art is quick and simple, though it can be.  This face has gone through a couple of ugly phases and I have been filming it as I go.  I do plan to produce a video but for now this single picture will have to do as it is nowhere near finished.  Videos also, like art, take time to produce.  It got me to thinking about beginner artists who start out wanting to produce a lovely piece of art.  There are so many obstacles to get over.  First comes the ugly stage.  I can see how someone would believe they are no good and just stop.  It is so worth continuing, you will surprise yourself.  All art goes through that ugly stage.  The other hurdle is the oops that was not the shade of colour I thought it was going to be moment lol I had a few of them but again just go with it work with it.  You can always either wipe it away if its still wet or simply paint over it, if you are using acrylic paints.  There is also the oops I didn't mean to paint over that part mistake.  Oh and don't get me started on the, ooops I dropped the stupid brush on my painting, as I scramble almost in slow motion trying to stop it from hitting my work, mistake (and breathe lol).  All these can be dealt with in a variety of different ways.  If you are new to painting or you are wishing you could be more arty but are too afraid to try.  Please just trust that you can do it and give it a go.  I, along with many of my other arty friends have youtube videos showing you how it can be done.  The 29 faces challenge would be a great way to just make a start.  You can start simple and if you check out Ayala Art She has lots of hints and tips and how to's to get you started This video is not a beginner tutorial however it does demonstrate how I had to keep going to get a bit of work right.

So you see, when you have a hard time with a bit of work and it just does not seem to be going right, just remember you are not alone.  We all have times like that.  Not all art work is meant to be quick.  I am sure that some of the great artists had work that was quick and took no time at all but then other work I am sure took days.  I hope you will visit me again and see the progress on my work in project and my next face in this 29 faces challenge.