Sunday, March 20, 2011

An Exercise in Blending Acrylic Paint

While I understand the concept of blending acrylic paint, the artists I've observed who are successful at it make it look so darn easy! Yes, I can do this are the words I kept muttering to myself while painting this face. I let it be okay to mess up . . . a lot! Maybe it works and maybe it doesn't just change direction accordingly.

Let it be okay to mess up
The reason she has such a distressed look to her here is because I painted her and scraped the paint off twice. I excavated more times than that around the mouth and nose but I was determined to find out what she was supposed to look like when I finished painting her.

Seek your own Truth!
There are some things I would do differently next time. Some are obvious and some not so obvious but I'll refrain from launching a full on self critique. Since this exercise was meant to be practice, the important thing is that I learned, improved, had fun and grew as an artist.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Becoming Comfortable Painting Faces with Acrylic

The greatest challenge to painting faces with acrylic is the quick drying time of the paint which can make it difficult to get the nice blended look that oils produce. I am, discovering that the effect can indeed be achieved by working smaller areas of the painting and blending your colors that way rather than trying to tackle the piece as a whole. Genius!

Mixed Media Face Painting
I am delighted with how fast my progress has been with these mixed media faces. Looking back at some of my earlier posts there is a remarkable difference between faces painted as a whole rather that being worked and blended one small area at a time as in this example. My work is actually taking on a more life like quality. Yes!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How to Release Fear

If you are like me and sometimes wonder how to release fear of anything the answer is simple. You have to face the thing you fear. You have to stare it down. Realize that its only power and purpose over you is to keep you suspended in your comfortable state and prevent you from moving forward. To help me release my fear of painting I recently made a list itemizing possible results of moving past my fear or choosing to give it power over me.

click photo to enlarge and read the list
I included things like how I felt about each choice and how that feeling manifested in my physical body. I was surprised by what I wrote. This method is helpful for clearing the mind and putting it all into perspective so that new choices can be made. There can be no progress without first making a new choice. The last thing I did before falling asleep that night was to affirm as I was falling asleep my willingness to release fear. Sometimes willingness is all the instruction the universe needs to help move you beyond what you thought was possible.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fear of Mixed Media Painting

Is there a such thing as a painting phobia? What would the fear of mixed media painting be called? Artistaphobia? Painterphobia? Whatever it's called I'm positively, steadfastly gripped by it! The side effects of said disorder include severe procrastination and justification of sitting like a lump watching others create under the pretense that I am "observing for learning purposes." Who am I kidding? It's certainly not my aware self. It hears my pleas yet chooses to remain passive.

shading exercise in graphite - where's the paint!!
Just how deep does the rabbit hole go? I'm afraid I'll never know the answer to that question because so far, I haven't landed anywhere. The fall just seems to go on with no end in sight. How do I stop? Where's the magical "release your phobia" potion or did I miss it on my way in? Come on awareness! Where's my 12-step program to releasing fear? I guess I could start by making a list of the pros and cons of remaining in my current state. Yes! Good idea, I think I'll start with that.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mixed Media Face Painting Progress

Ahhh! Progress at last! Today I tried something a little different with my mixed media face painting. The change made such an enormous difference in my work that I may end up assimilating it as a permanent addition to the ever evolving Kell Belle style.

start with a graphite sketch
Using graphite pencil, I created my face skecth in a more freehand style than I had been doing previously. I added some light shading in places and sprayed the piece with a fixative. Using the graphite as an underpainting I used water pencil and acrylic paint to add and blend my skin tones.

work the face in layers
WOW! What an improvement over the last faces I posted. I want to thank Monica Zuniga and her Mixed Media Faces tutorial for the dramatic change in my painting approach. I feel like I'm now heading in the direction I want to be moving and can start adding bodies and backgrounds to my practice pieces. Yaaay!