Blue Warrior Woman

Last week’s Life Book lesson was taken by Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici and the idea was to work intuitively to paint a warrior figure, a trope of self-empowerment.  In the past six to twelve months I have gradually come to understand and accept about myself that I just don’t get great outcomes when I work intuitively.  The battle between my head and any gut feeling, between intellect and instinct I suppose, is just too great to be cooperative when I am in creative mode.  Perhaps it goes hand in hand with my style being definitely more illustrative than painterly.  I may continue to experiment with working intuitively when creating random backgrounds or attempting something more abstract but otherwise I have decided that I am going to largely opt out of working intuitively.  I figure there is no point in pursuing something that just isn’t working for me given how sparse my free time for art is.

When it came to last week’s Life Book lesson, therefore, I decided to adopt the central themes and ideas of the tutorial without adopting the same approach as Bonnici demonstrated.  For that reason, I chose to work with colours that instinctively appealed to me.  I have been crushing on turquoise combined with red a lot lately so I decided those would be my dominant colours and I figured the blue skin tones might also be a nod to the woad of a Pictish warrior.  She ended up a bit expressionless or at least set-jawed and stern but I am going to pretend that suits her as a strong warrior type rather than my inability to paint any sort of personality.  One of my sons asked if I was inspired by the movie ‘Avatar’ and another labelled her an “angry smurf” both of which comparisons made me chortle.  Not my best work but not my worst either and at least I am catching up on my weekly lessons after last week’s complete and utter lack of art time.

18 Warrior Woman

18 thoughts on “Blue Warrior Woman

  1. Love the colour choices Laura👏 lighter blue highlights and those angles are wonderful, as are the smaller details like those yellow dots👏👏👍🏻

  2. I actually thought of woad when I first saw the picture! The boys’ suggestions are priceless though. 😂 Turquoise and red are a great combo, I’m not surprised it’s your current favourite!

  3. I really like her and I think she has plenty of expression, more Avatar adventure than angry Smurf (truly great interpretations). The color choices are absolutely fantastic. This is one of your paintings that I just keep going back to – such great energy.

    I like your thoughts, too, on intuitive painting – I’m not one for that either. So taking the inspiration from lessons to use in your own style is a great way to go. The result with this one is terrific.

      • The phrase “working intuitively” has an “eat-your-peas-or-else” flavor for me. I love to work spontaneously in my sketchbooks where my intent is to play and come-up with ideas that I plan to produce as a finished artwork at a later time using real art supplies. The key word in that sentence is “plan” because after my messy sketchbook page (which looks like a scribbly mess – you can see what I mean on the free eBook sketchbook I’m offering on my website now) is done then I plan, plan, plan and re-plan. I get all up in my head and relish it! It’s called “composition”! It’s called exhibit construction! It’s called being a professional, someone who can be relied on! [Full rant on “”working intuitively” here omitted…] There are as many different ways of working as there are ways to cook with peas! An artist does NOT have to work “intuitively” if that’s just not normal for that artist! Just like peas do NOT have to be out of a can and cooked to green-brown mush! Sorry… got on a near-rant there. Mea culpa…. My point is don’t let anyone shove ya around – if you “plan things” then by-gum turn that into an artistic strength!

      • I love your rant! I’m with you in that I like to work spontaneously and experiment in my art journal but it’s about getting concrete ideas down on a page and playing around with them. I have to start with thoughts; I can’t just feel my way through things. It doesn’t work for me and I’ve finally decided it’s not going to. That’s why I’m opting out. It’s a horses for courses thing. I also agree with you about peas. Unless they are proper British mushy peas, peas should never be soft and squishy.

      • Lol! Thanks Laura! You and I have so much in common!!! Yes!!! Let’s start with thoughts… and yes, (holding up a plate) I’ll have some of those proper British peas please!

  4. Oh – and Laura, included in my “plan, plan, plan” structured work-style is the planning for when (what day, what time) I’m going to be working on my planned-out artwork! It’s part of that short-burst creative-appointment-with-yourself working style we’ve talked about… The trick for me is to be able to roll with it when something happens that interrupts my plans momentarily and then to be able to pick it back up and get back onto the “plan” asap.

    • I can’t plan the timing of my “art appointments” but in my head I always know what I’m going to do when I sit down to create – often options depending on what I’m in the mood to do. I think part of being efficient with my time is to have a clear plan, one I can deviate from and be flexible with, of course, but I find that useful.

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