I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately but I’m already a week behind on the challenges in three out of the four art journal workshops I am participating in this year. It’s not that I’m not motivated, it’s more that I feel scattered and unsettled and can’t sit long enough to finish anything with patience.
For the main challenge on Week 1 of Life Book 2015, we were supposed to draw and paint our own version of a Beacon of Light that we could turn to throughout the year to motivate or soothe or encourage us on our life’s journey. Tamara Laporte provided both a video and a PDF file on exactly how to create her big-headed, big-eyed whimsical beacon of light figure which was done mostly in taupe and gold tones. I tried one version and thought the head was too big. And I tried to paint her in brighter tones so that she was more cheerful. The problem? I was too impatient while using a black paint pen on her eyes which blobbed all over her face. I tried blotting and reworking the parts of the face that had been ruined but it didn’t work. I felt really discouraged and sat without doing anything for several days.
Yesterday I decided to start all over. I sketched a new girl, not unlike the one I had ruined, but with a head that suited her figure better. Tamara’s figure had ‘rays’ for a headdress. I decided to create a moon headdress with a sun/halo behind it since I wanted my Beacon of Light to be both of the day and the night. I sketched the figure using 9″x12″ 140# Cotman watercolor paper and a 0.5 mechanical pencil.
Then I got scared about painting her face, fearful that I would ruin it again. I decided to paint the body first, which I did, and the face second. I was really into the process by the time I was ready to do her face so I proceeded, using a light hand with acrylic paints. I decided to use fineline markers for her eyes rather than a paint pen. It worked much better. I used metallic IZink and Liquitex inks in teal, gold & silver for her hair/crown, her dress, and the sun/halo behind her. I used Neocolor II watercolor crayons for the background & charms and and a dot stamp with gold ink for the tiny ‘stars’. I used silver glitter on the crown but rubbed most of it off. I think it looked tacky and I probably will never use glitter again since I am finding it everywhere around my desk. I finished by shading and outlining everything with Letraset alcohol markers and a Stabilo All pencil in black.
You can see the shimmer in the first photo above that was taken with a camera & flash. The details show up better in the second, scanned image.
I’m pleased with how this turned out and plan to adhere the watercolor paper to a 9×12 wood block to hang next to my desk to remember that I am always safe in all of my undertakings. I can take as many do-overs as needed until I get things right. That is true both in art and in life.
Now onto Week 2 of Life Book, just as week 3 is being released! See you soon. I hope you find time in your weekend to be creative too!