I mentioned how rusty my art skills were when posting about Pink Girl. Well, a little bit of drawing and watercolour was not enough to bring my skills back to their former standard. It seems that two weeks of no drawing might necessitate at least two weeks of art practice to restore me to my former ability. I write this by way of introduction to my first Let’s Face It artwork since our road trip because the outcome was hideous.
The lesson was taken by Lucy Brydon and incorporated gelli printing on tissue and painting on top of a tissue background. The current theme being to paint faces and hands, it was necessary to build a hand into the composition. I went wrong in so very many ways. The skin tone is ghastly, almost cadaverous, because I did a terrible job with the underpainting and layering. I tried warming it up by plonking more media on top of the acrylic but that just made her less corpse-like and more deathly ill. I also totally screwed up the proportional relationship between the hand and face. The detail of my gelli prints was entirely lost to the extent that I may as well have skipped that stage of creation, though I do quite like the texture of the background. I like the red hair against the green (though the hair lacks interest and texture) but I think I did a better job with this colour palette way back in the second lesson. In short, this painting is a hot mess. Even my kids, normally my best and most committed cheerleaders, looked at this painting and screwed up their noses and struggled for something positive to say. It was frustrating as I spent more time on this painting than I really had free and it all feels a bit like time wasted but I need to remember that even my most rubbish paintings, even my mistakes, are learning opportunities.
This week’s Documented Life Project prompt was to use tissue paper. The idea of using tissue paper in mixed media art projects is that much of the tissue disappears when it is adhered to the substrate so that only the chosen image remains prominent and the rest of the tissue becomes a background layer. Tissue paper is not something I have used in my art work and it is not something I own. I improvised with what I did have which was some tissue paper used for wrapping Christmas gifts. It is not thin enough to disappear but I thought it would “make do”.
As the tissue paper was red, the idea of Little Red Riding Hood came to mind. I created the clothing and cloak for Little Red out of the tissue paper and used acrylic paint and paint pen for the rest of the page. I like to work with a limited palette so I stuck to red, black and white for this page. It, therefore, annoys me that I mixed the black and white to make the wolf grey; I should have kept the wolf black to make the whole page more cohesive. My stencilling also annoys me as I continue to be too heavy handed and messy with it. Overall, however, I am happy with how this page turned out and my kids – who are my biggest cheerleaders – love the page so I guess this art journal page qualifies as a success.