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


Warrior Woman

It is rare indeed for me to even watch a Life Book lesson on the day it is issued let alone start and complete the lesson on the same day.  Today, however, I accomplished just that.  Just as well as I don’t know when else this week I would get it done.  We were stuck at home base today while construction work was being done on the exterior of the house so I watched the video tutorial in bitesize chunks and then worked on the art in stages all while handling four kids and keeping an eye on the work being done outside.  I am not sure if the art added to my stress or was an antidote.  Regardless, I got it done so go me!

This week’s Life Book lesson was taken by Andrea Gomoll and the idea was to create an illustration of an Inner Warrior Princess.  The lesson involved media (watercolour and ink) with which I was comfortable and involved an illustrative style which was again in my comfort zone.  Some weeks I really appreciate being challenged and forced to try new things but this week the familiarity was very welcome.

Since I am from the Pictish Kingdom of Fife – hence the Pict in PA – I decided that my Warrior Woman would be a Pict.  That then gave me the colour scheme as I knew I would want to put some streaks of woad across the figure’s face.  I used a mixture of watercolour paint and Inktense blocks to colour my drawing and I then outlined it using my dip pen and India Ink.  She is not authentically Pictish, of course.  I was not aiming for historical accuracy.  This is very much “inspired by” instead of representational.

Week 26 - Warrior Woman