Last week’s Let’s Face It tutorial was a mini-lesson with Petra Stein. The thrust of the lesson was to not get tied up in outcomes but just to practice through play and not worry about getting things right and just accept imperfections. I decided to use that prompt as another opportunity to practice being more loose and uninhibited with ink and watercolour – the media with which I am most comfortable.
I adapated the approach I take when illustrating my 100 Faces – ink work using a pen and brush followed by watercolour and/or more ink. However, with that series I tend to work very tightly with clearly defined lines, shapes and blocks of colour. What I wanted to do was practice being loose and more intuitive again, allowing some loss of control, letting the imperfections, blemishes and mistakes happen. In this regard, it was a bit of a repeat of last week’s Life Book lesson and actually the finished painting ended up looking quite similar to that one. I was slower with the ink drawing and a bit more controlled so my mark-making was more precise and I also used more muted hues but the use of very liquid paint applied with a large brush resulted in a similar look. The face is a little bland and expressionless but that’s OK. Defects are OK. My focus after all was not on constructing the face but on loosening up. Besides, it is all grist to the mill of development.