Monday, 27 July 2009

Colouring in

Remember when you were a child and presented with a colouring book and a stack of crayons and pencils? What simple pleasures filling each segment with bright reds, blues and greens. And who can forget the frustration when the blue felt-tip pen ran out half way through filling in the sky!

Well, in my relentless pursuit of creativity and thanks to the inspiration of many of the cool creative 'chicas' out there in Blogland I have rediscovered this practice - with a twist!

I always struggled with painting faces - never could quite get that shading right and let's not talk about noses...

Well, dear readers allow me to let you into a little secret....

I've found a way to cheat/practice/have fun - call it what you will; it's sure working for me. Grab yourself a copy of Vogue (other style magazines are available!) and hunt out a striking pose - ideally black & white. Slap some gesso all over the shiny paper, but nice and thinly now because you still need to be able to see the shadows. Wait for the white stuff to dry then flex your fingers, fumble in your art supply treasure chest and empty your mind of pre-conceived ideas of what colour a face should be. Revisit that 6-year-old within you who happily painted a face blue just because they liked the colour or felt like it.

Now, colour in! In my first few forays into this technique I dabbled with acrylics (zip down and visit Rio), then added a spot of oil pastel and now I'm just experimenting with the pastel. For me, the point of the exercise is to really understand how that facial shading works, to experiment with colour and reawaken little Lisa. It's letting go, practicing and not being too precious. It doesn't have to be perfect, far from it. Like us all, it's just work in progress.

Wow! My first online art tutorial! I feel all grown up now!

Thanks to inspiration from Dirty Footprints (fighting the fear) and Jennyfur's Sketchbook for the bold use of colour.

Anyone recognise the pretty lady?


  1. Though I have no idea what gesso is ... (you see, I'm not a "drawing" person at all) ... but reading your 1st on-line tutorial is just fun! Well Done!

    Hmmm ... sorry mate, no idea who the woman is. Care to let us know?

    And thank you for your comment to my latest post. It's good to know that I'm not alone in this and other writers / creatives also experience the same frustration. But most of all, I thank you for your support and friendship! :)

  2. I love this idea! Great way to experiment and to learn more about form. Lovely piece and great use of color!

    Thank you for the link love!


  3. i've done that!
    check me out here ;-)

  4. it was a magazine cutting too. did you notice the gesso? it is the same technique as yours ;-)


Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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