Hi ho my lovelies,

I have been stuck on what to do with the 10th and final piece for my show next month.  I tried to mix techniques up with my portraits, but the last one stumped me.

I distracted myself with my Happy Planner, which led me on a visual chase that included a lot of youtube videos, my stack of Somerset publications, and at some point, I remembered Effy Wild’s lesson from the 2014 Life Book on negative space.  That string led me to the idea that is helping me finish the portrait.  I decided I wanted a profile for this portrait and to use a stencil.  I’ve had some trouble with facial profiles, so I spent a little time fiddling and came up with a stencil I really like that is based on one of the Radiant Faces Lesson, the Dreamer. Oddly appropriate for the final portrait:  Maya, the goddess who lived in a cave, mother of Hermes, and surrogate mother to Calisto’s son, Arcas. So she ties nicely into the series.

This style of making an elaborate background and then painting out shapes takes me a long time.  Lots of layers.  Lots of waiting for layers to dry.

Rather than jump right into my portrait, I made a few stencil tests.

Which is the point of this post (finally, the point!).

This 2 page spread started with the horse and unicorn sketches, done with a Derwent Medium Wash Pencil. I wanted to see how far I could push the wash.  I added a couple of birds and then used a couple of Gelatos, activated, for the background.

For the profile test, I used Distress Sprays in Mermaid Lagoon (delish!) and Wild Honey.  These two colors blend together nicely into a pine-ish green. Very pretty. Once it dries, I am going to take some gesso and grunge the background, which will bring the figures forward and set the Distress Sprays.

The journal is my very large (16″x22″) I forget the brand.  Probably Canson.

More on my show in future posts.

In the meantime…fly, be free!