Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Face Cards

No, not the joker and the queen, but the elf! I ordered some cards from MOO with my elf on the front. As usual, MOO did a great job. The paper is nice and heavy and the printing is great. I order all my business cards from this company as well.  With the post cards and business cards (and I think greeting cards too), you can order a different image on each card if you like!

If you use the link I provided above, I'll get credit for referring you, and you will get to try out their neat stuff.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Face 5/100

Here is face #5. I kind of like how she turned out, but I some how lost some of her head tilt while I was painting her. Her tilted head was so sassy in the reference photo, and I wish I'd managed to keep that, but maybe next time. What attracted me to this girl was her gorgeous hair, and I definitely had fun making her curls.
 I used a banking envelope with a security pattern on the inside, and then put on the polka dots using some punchanella and fingerpainting. Kind of messy, but it's all good! I sketched her, but then of course I had to use some gesso to make base for all the skin tones.
I've been painting on my dining room table...which is where I usually do. Late night painting and watching CNN. I chose purples because the documented life project had a prompt for using colors you usually don't use. I rarely use purple or lavender. There is also the second prompt from another week of polka-dots!

Beginning a face...

Here is a start to another face. This will be face number 5. She is from a photo from the internet, but as usual she doesn't actually look just like that person. I like her look though...she has spunk I think!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Route 66!

 Today I started in my town of Pontiac, Illinois, and toured up to Braidwood, Illinois. This is the Old Log Cabin. If you are in town you can grab a great meal at this old eatery on the north side of Pontiac.
 There are some nice information plaques on various sites. This one even has a "passport station" on it.
As you can see, you can put a piece of paper over the disk, and rub over it with a pencil or crayon to make a nice rubbing for your journal or album.
 The next stop was the Ambler-Becker Texaco service station in Dwight, IL. Dwight has done a great job bringing this old station back to life.
 I love the old gas pumps. No doubt you'll see a drawing of this soon!
Another rubbing at the Texaco station. I love stuff like this. If you are a hiker, you can look for a similar idea at national parks...the parks have rubber stamps you can use for free to stamp your journal.
 In Gardner, Illinois you will find an old two cell jail.
  You can go in and get a picture of yourself and your friends locked up!
Glad I don't have to spend the night here!
 This was my destination of the day...the Polk-a-Dot Drive In! It's a 50s style drive in, with malts and shakes, burgers and fries, as well as their famous chili cheese fries.
All around the outside of Polka-a-Dot are stars you can pose with. In fact, there are several more inside as well.
 Betty Boop!
 The Blues Brothers!
 Many of the tables have their own juke box and you can play your favorite tunes. I brought my page along so I could start drawing one of these. It's kind of hard to see, but I've penciled in a general outline, and now I can start inking and painting.
 These things are soo cool...they have the look of an old car...lots of chrome and curves.
Here is an interior shot of part of the restaurant. If you come in the summer you can drive up, and get your food brought to your car. I had fun being a tourist in my own state today. If you haven't done that in a while, you might want to give it a try. It's amazing all the cool things that are in our own backyard!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Get Your Kicks On Route 66

 Tonight I'm working on some Route 66 artwork. I went out on the Route, just around Pontiac, and got revved up to illustrate the road.
 This barn is just north of Pontiac, IL. It's a great old advertising piece.
 Here I am at the old state police headquarters. There is a new sculpture depicting a motorcycle cop. There are information plaques that tell about the headquarters and the history of the police on the Route.
 The building is a modern one (check out all that glass block!), and when viewed from the air, it's in the shape of a pistol.
One of the information stations has a passport station on it. These are so great! They are raised metal and you can lay a paper over it and get a nice rubbing to paste into a scrapbook or album. It makes a neat keepsake.

Face 4/100

This is my first try at a face from my imagination. One of Santa's elves! I pasted gift wrap in my Moleskine, then painted gesso over it, and drew in the face. I'm trying to do some of these faster to fit them in because I have a lot of projects going right now. They might not be perfect, but they are done, and it's one more day of practice!

Be the Change...

 This page was for Thanksgiving week. With the self portrait, I fulfilled the prompt to make a page about gratitude.
On the inside, I decided to do the next week's prompt to trace a hand. I've been watching the news about Ferguson, MO, and I decided to document this. I traced my hand on to a map that included Missouri and Illinois. This week's news filled me with sadness in so many ways, and the only thing I  know to do, is to do my own little part to be kind, and to love others. I can see pain on all around this issue, and so many things that need change.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Documented Life/Moleskine Planner

 This is a page that I put in July when I was at the lake. There is a big Native American influence still in the Sister Lakes area. In this area it's the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi Indians. The background of tow of the pages is a beautiful envelope from Shawn Parks-Penn.
I combined the challenges of using a white pen, and adding a tiny photo. This one of Hawkeye and me was taken on the boat on Magician Lake.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Face 3/100

 I started this page using a beautiful envelope sent to me by artist Shawn Parks-Penn. It's so rich! I love it. I veered away from drawing another self portrait, because I found a photograph of a lovely Navajo woman. The link is to the article where I found the photo, and is about several Native American women who are working to preserve their heritage. This drawing ends up not looking just like her, but it gave me a place to start.
 I started with the measurements I've learned from websites and books about dividing up the head for features, and then I used acrylic paints to block in some shadows and highlights. This worked pretty well. Before I was sketching in features right away, but of course lost them when I painted and had to do them all over again after painting.
Next I added her features. I added some whites back into her eyes with a white Sharpie water based pen, and also used it to highlight her lips and the feather and beads. A little bit of final shading was added to her neck and jaw using a water soluble graphite pencil. I think I managed to keep her serious expression.

I paint this on a summer page on a week I went to the lake. The Native Americans in that area are Potawatomi Tribe, not Navajo, but it still seemed the best place to place her in my planner. I'll post a bit more when I finish up that week's pages.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Face 2/100

Here is my second face. If you'd like to join the fun of drawing faces check out the facebook group: studio7ARTacademy. This one is another one drawn from a photo of me in my new hat taken last year.

I've been looking online, finding youtube videos that show how to divide up the head so that the features fall in approximately the right spots. That helps. I am nervous and freeze up when trying to draw the nose, especially.  Laura Frankstone draws wonderful faces. She had a post once in which she reminded us that the nose has shape and architecture. I'm working towards capturing that. Maybe by face 100, I'll get a hold of that idea and be braver!

This is drawn on a piece of map that I'd taped into my Moleskine pocket planner. I put some thinned out gesso over it to knock it back a bit before I drew and painted the face.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Face 1/100

So, they say to stretch beyond your comfort zone. Tracy Scott started a group of us drawing faces. That is totally beyond my comfort zone. I figure I will draw myself for a while and see how that goes. This is from a photo of me dressed to go on a motorcycle ride. I cheated a bit, by choosing a photo where I don't have to draw the eyes.  I've looked up how to draw faces before, so I tried to use the little I remember about it, but I think I'll refresh my memory by looking it up on Youtube.

The drawing under this was all ink. I was not going to color it, but I found that when I tried to add shading to my face with ink, it looks very much like a beard!! Also, the gelli print I was drawing on had a big green splotch in the middle of my face. That's when I broke out the paints.

This is my first one. The gelli prints make a wonderful way to add interest and color, and also avoid having to start with a blank page!  It will be interesting to see how the faces change as I go along.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Underpaper Envelope

When I was making that journal cover, I had some big envelopes under it. I cleaned my brush on it, and stuck little bits of the collage paper scraps down. It actually looked pretty ugly, but after adding a few borders and some flowers, it's kind of fun. I needed a big envelope for 2013 taxes, so there you go. If I ever get audited the auditor will think I'm nuts probably. Anyway, no wasted paint!!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Wild and Precious Life....Journal Cover

Tonight I added a line out of one of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver. Originally I wanted the bicycle to be horizontal, but when I had to add the duct tape, I turned it on it's side. I think I like it that way! I think this might be done after a couple of coats of sealer.

I want to ride my bicycle....Documented Life planner cover

 Tonight I started to work on my planner by closing the cover, which I had collaged and painted while it laid flat. That was a mistake. When I closed it it ripped in several place. I  know from last year, that the spine is important, and so I went the most functional way I could think of: DUCT TAPE.
 I had some colorful duct tape from when I was making hula hoops, so I chose some yellow and put it on while the cover was closed. I hope that works!

I've done a bit of doodling too, and a packing tape transfer of some red glasses. If you want to know how to do a packing tape transfer, I have a tutorial here.
 I sketched a bicycle on, and painted it in with some acrylic paints.
I used the Scarlet Lime pen to outline, and the Sharpie white acrylic marker to highlight. I did the same to the little glasses, to make them pop a bit.
 This is the back of the planner. Kind of simple, but that's ok.
I like this bike! The pink is a bit more Barbie than I usually go for, but it's bright and fun. I think I want to stamp some words on still, and maybe do a bit more doodling, but I think that's enough for tonight.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Journal Cover 2015..in process...

I went to bed early so I could get up early to meet friends for breakfast and not be tired, but I could not sleep for the life of me. So I got up and smeared some paint around. I guess I'll just go to breakfast tired, but it won't be the first time.

I couldn't figure out what colors to use. All the sudden I was freezing up about it, so I decided to use some new greens and yellows I bought today. And some of my favorite blue. I can see looking at this that I've obliterated much of the blue on the left side, but I can fix that later. Whenever I'm at this stage, I wonder if I've just made a mess of it, but usually later it works itself out as I start drawing on it. We shall see! If not, gesso can usually save the day and give it a fresh start! I think it looks summery and sunny. I like that.
 Ok...now I'm starting to see it. I might end up liking this after all! Pretty sure there might be a bicycle on this year's cover too. Why not? Bikes are happy, active things, and I like to draw them.

This post reads much like this meme:

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Muffler Men move to England

It makes me so happy to see someone fall in love with a piece of my artwork. Last month, Jules became the happy new owner of the Muffler Men of Illinois. This piece will now live in England! I like to get a picture like this one when I sell a piece...it makes it a little easier to let it go.