Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Seal & Seahorse


 This was my first "original" page in my mermaid shaped book, the rest were based on pages done either Jane or Teesha or a guest artist.

I started sketching seahorses and seals in my main working journal. I guess they are easy for me because I can draw horses and my seahorse is based on a horse.

I found drawing seals was easy because they are essentially dogs without ears!
This is a sketch I drew in September while traveling. It is inspired by my seal/seahorse page above. I also have a seahorse page in the same travel journal but haven't scanned it. I will post both when I complete them!
The photo shows my little compact drawing set that I take whenever I travel and space is an issue.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dolphin Ride!



This mermaid was inspired by a mermaid drawn by Jane Davenport in the Mermaid Circus online workshop.

It was my "quickest" creation drawn in mostly color pencil and a bit of paint pen. I really enjoyed doing this mermaid in that it was pretty much instant gratification.

I started drawing her waiting for Len to get  back from fixing a massive water leak over at the farm. He was suppose to be only 45 minutes. He was more like 4 hours. I did this mermaid while preparing dinner and waiting for him. A very productive use of time!


Monday, February 10, 2014

A Trio of Mermies

The three mermies in this post were based on Teesha (and Tracy) pages in the Mermaid Circus class book. 
This Mermie is a collage piece. The body, tail and headdress uses Teesha's collage sheet elements. I printed out many sheets so I could use a few elements multiple times.  

You can see the inspiration for this piece from Teesha's original.

 I put this collage on one of my crazy bright pages.

I started with the tail - where I got a bit crazy  using numerous collage pieces to built the upper part of the tail.

I used a color copy of a face I painted in a previous post.

The bodice was composed of a lot of small pieces from Teesha's collage sheets as well.

I painted the neck and arms in last.

The above photo is the piece prior to my adding shading. I will be adding lettering on it later when the "mood" strikes me. I find that the words pop in my head when I'm not trying to think of what to write. 

This  is my psychedelic mermaid that I executed on another of my fluorescent pages - this time a yellow one. 
I don't know what possessed me to paint so many of my pages in fluorescent colors LOL. 

The photo at the left is Teesha's inspiration.


I modeled my page after this sketch that I did in my main working art journal that is full of all sorts of art info. Not my favorite page - I like the one in my main working journal. But I still had fun making it!!






And another "bubble head" girl. I did another one in my travel Moleskine journal. They are just fun to draw!

These girls are based on another Teesha inspired page. I tried a number of variations that just didn't work the way I wanted.

Originally I tried to use Teesha's collage element (the face/helmet was in one of Teesha's collage handouts) that is shown is the inspiration page.

My work just went in a different direction. I did a bunch of these little guys in my general art journal.

Here is the first one I based the page above on.  I am still working on this mermaid shaped page. I will be putting in finishing touches (needs some black (value as Teesha would say). And of course - some lettering!!





Friday, February 07, 2014

Never Give Up! Never Surrender!

This page is a perfect example of not giving up on your art when it starts going terribly wrong. Jane Davenport says over and over in her workshops - "it's only paint - if you don't like it, you can always cover it up!" Both her and Teesha Moore insists that you can always save a page. Dion Dior points out that every art piece goes through an "ugly phase" before it becomes wonderful. Of course when I hear/read this I say "yeah, right, ah-huh, you guys are professionals so you can always fix things!"

I definitely would have thrown this page out, but couldn't because I had art I liked on the back of one of the pages. Working in journals has definitely been a plus for me. I have a tendency to rip up and throw away most of what I make. I'm not now. This is a very good thing.

Also, if I hadn't had an issue with things going so wrong with this page, I would have never of ended up with the final page. I couldn't reproduce this thing if I my life depended on it! Let me start at the beginning.
Teesha had made this delightful little mermaid in her and Jane's Mermaid Circus book for the class. She did this mermaid while in a coffee shop with markers and pens and pencils. These are screen captures so I don't have a good shot of the entire mermaid.

I naturally wanted to do one like Teesha's in my book. It should be a quick one because there was no paint involved. Whoo-hooo!!!

I started out quite happily. I drew in my figure using color pencil. But when I used my white acrylic paint pen, that particular color pencil bled like a son of a gun! I tried to paint over it. Bled through. I tried to gel medium and gesso. A no-go. As you can see with this photo, I just couldn't fix it with paint of any type.

I was really annoyed and discouraged. I tried to determine if I could somehow tear the page out. Nope - I had work on the other side.

Luckily I was taking Jane's "Supplies Me!" workshop which had a lesson on Shiva oil pastels. They are an oil pastel that will actually set after a few days so they will not smudge later.

I really hate them, partly because mine are very old and they just didn't work nicely. I had deemed them as an art supply that I would never use. However, I decided that they might go over my mess when nothing else would. So I gave them a try.
Luckily they worked. I redid the body using the Shivas. I believe that I did some shading with some chalk. It was a very unforgiving medium and I had to be careful. It could not be overworked without ruining it. I realized that I could not draw the face in.

Luckily, I had cut out this Minnie Mouse "fashionista" from a Vogue magazine because I liked it. I though I would never use her. She was in a red dress in a very striking fashion pose. Her face was a perfect size for the page. I used one of her hands. I let the coloring in her face guide the color scheme in the rest of the page.

On her chest you see part of her advertisement: "Kisses, $5" The page was never in my head, but come out as a result of a huge mess I would have loved to have buried. Now, I have a page that I am very happy with. Minnie would have probably of languished in a stack of never-to-be-used collage pieces. Now she is in a journal I'll be looking at.

As an added bonus, my page now has a woman with a "story". Why is she selling Kisses for $5? What does she does with the money? ;)

Jane and Teesha are correct - making art is all about the process. I have always been so orientated on the end result. And the end result typically would not please me because I could see the flaws and felt anyone else could do it so much better than me. I have really changed that thinking and I am loving to do art: what comes out, comes out. Yes, there are still flaws, but I don't feel the need to trash my art because of it. Because it is in my journal, it is my practice. I am not creating something to sell. And yes, there are lots of people who could do better than me, but then, what is the fun in that way of thinking. I am now in a place where I am just happy to make art and much less critical of what comes out. And because of that, I can see I am doing better because I am drawing more - because I'm not focused on the end product, just the process! Which means I'm totally having a great time!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tiphoni Style Mermaid

 Oops !! I found that I never posted this one!! But notice how the pages behind this one is all blank. It is because this was one of the first pages I made. My other posts show photos of each page after I finished the entire book.
My next mermaid that I made in my mermaid shaped book was this mermaid following a video by Teesha Moore's oldest daughter Tiphoni. Tiphoni is a very talented artist and she did this lovely mermie that I "copied" the best I could.

Tiphoni mostly used copic markers with I struggled with on the type of acrylic paint I used to paint the pages. I think I ended up having to use acrylic paint here and there. I also used paint pens and prismacolors. Again, waiting too long to post so I've forgotten what I did ;).

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Jane-Style Mermaid

For this Mermie, I used Jane Davenport's Mermaid Circus lesson on doing collage "Jane style." Jane uses color copies of her own faces and reuses them in collages to save time in drawing the face. The arm is from a magazine which is cut at the elbow and wrist so it could be placed in the proper position for the composition. I painted the body with acrylics, pasted the face and arm down, then painted the rest over the top with acrylics. I did the tattoo with markers. The fish was cut out from wrapping paper that I brightened it up with Prisma color pencils.

Notice the above photo was taken without the white paper backing. You can see the other pages behind. The solid blue is the inside of the cover. The little piece peeking from the left side is the tail of the Teesha collaged mermaid tail. The mermaid peeking over this Mermaid's tail is from another page I'll be showing you later.

I don't have a good color copier, but it actually worked OK. I used Golden matte medium over the face to "fix" the ink since my copier is an inkjet. The copy smeared a bit, but that doesn't matter because you paint over it. I was able to fix the eyes from this early on face I drew. Do you recognize her? She is my Journey Woman done back in June! See how she changed:
This is a neat method because you have the chance to fix some things and the face won't look the same way twice. Fun!
 
I haven't put lettering on any of my pages yet. I will get there. But I want to get all the mermaids done first!!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My First Mermie in the Mermaid Shaped Book

My first mermaid was one that Teesha Moore showed us how to do in the Mermaid Circus class. I actually redid her face from when I first made her as you will see in my progress photos shown below. I used a method Jane Davenport taught us later in the class where you use color copies of your own work and then "redo" it. You may recognize this face from my journal in an earlier post. The neat thing about using your own work is that you can "correct" what you didn't like or what was wrong. The eyes were fairly "off" so I was able to correct them. Not perfect, but I'm getting use to the technique.

Just a note on how I present the pages. When you look at a page in the mermaid shaped book, you will see parts of  pages behind it.

This photo shows how the book folds together.

In some of my photos, I will place two sheets of white paper behind the page to concentrate on the page I've made. I do this especially when I have other pages in progress behind the page I was photographing and didn't want the page behind to distract.

Now for Teesha's technique. I can detail her methods since she gives permission to do so.

First I drew an outline of my mermaid on the page. Then I cut out scales to do the tail. You then put the scales down so they overlap. Teesha uses a Tombow double sided tape dispenser to glue everything down. I've had problems with using double sided tape. I've lost scales off of this page so it doesn't work well for me. Perhaps my tape was too old LOL.

FYI I'm using collage pieces from one of Anahata Katkin collage books and cutting pieces from magazine pages I saved for their color or patterns. I painted the arms and hair with acrylic paint and used paint pens over the top of everything.

Here is the finished product. Before I changed it ;).