This week’s Let’s Face It lesson caused me to reflect on how I have been approaching both my online art courses. In my determination to not purchase materials I am unlikely to use and in my pragmatic need to fit the lessons into my available free time, I have found that most lessons find me improvising, adapting the lessons to fit my circumstances. It has led me at times to question the value of the lessons since I am not always truly trying a new approach, experimenting with an unfamiliar medium. On the other hand, however, the lessons do inspire and encourage me to try new things and in doing so help me tweak my own style, help me find elements for my art that I either had not known about or did not know I would enjoy. Furthermore, in moulding the lessons to suit me, I am better able to hold true to while developing my own style. There is definitely something to be said for that.
This week’s lesson was taken by Robin Laws and should have involved manipulation of digital imagery and layering with and painting over collage. Despite that being the focus of the learning, out of necessity and inclination I undertook neither step. I did, however, draw my inspiration from the lesson: Laws’ exemplar was created using soft, pastel tones and – since I usually paint in bold colours – I decided to challenge myself to use paler shades and I set myself the additional challenge of including the ear, not doing my usual thing of covering it with hair.
I do think my proportions are getting better when drawing a face in profile and I am also growing more confident with making the faces I paint look more like the faces I draw, making them work with the more illustrative style I enjoy. As I also find that I am much more interested in depicting faces than bodies, I have increasingly found myself reducing the torso portion of the bust to a much more simplified shape. I think my husband’s Roman nerd influence is discernible as I have taken my inspiration from Classical herma. Incidentally, the shades in this painting are actually paler than they appear in the photograph. My husband thinks she looks a bit like Angelina Jolie. I don’t quite see it but I will take the compliment anyway.