Last week’s Let’s Face It lesson was taken by Iris Fritschi-Cussens. One of the things I really like about Iris’ lessons is that she approaches art in a way that enables one to take either a more painterly or a more illustrative approach and to find a way to mesh the methodology she demonstrates with one’s own style. It seems to me to be an extension of her attitude that each of us should accept where we are with our skill level and style and embrace and develop that instead of crippling our creativity with unrealistic expectations, to just experience the joy of creativity and not be concerned with a wider audience.
The idea behind this lesson was to playfully create an interesting background and then paint a 3/4 facing portrait on top of it. I decided, however, to twist the idea a bit and to make the background become part of the foreground: all my painting, spatter and mark-making in the background was painted around to form the negative shapes of the clothing, the hair, and the irises of the eyes. I quite like the effect and might continue to explore this approach to negative space painting. The face I am less happy with. I seem to be prone to drawing my figures with a strong jawline and heavy chin. Of course, Rossetti did likewise so perhaps I should not worry too much about drawing and painting more delicate features. I think she has a bit of a 1930s vibe to her. Still, I think I did a better job with Iris’ previous lesson. What I have enjoyed with both lessons is using the Stabilo All pencil to create a dark but smudgy outline. I think that helps me merge painting with my illustrative style of drawing, makes the paintings more “me”.