Saturday, October 17, 2015

LB2015 : Reflections of You

This Life Book project was created by Jeanne Oliver. Here's a peek at the lesson from her blog
I struggled and struggled with this lesson at the start. It was released on 25th May, and I'd already struggled with another lesson that was an expressive portrait so maybe that was part of the problem. Jeanne was also a Documented Life guest artist this year in July - if you check out that link, it gives you the basic steps in the process.
I began with my 'self portrait' using charcoal pencil 
I added the white gesso and tried to blend - it wasn't pretty so I tried adding face colour
During the lesson videos, Jeanne says there is ALWAYS a crazy/ugly stage that you go through and think maybe you can't get past. Unfortunately I think I reached this stage earlier than expected this time around! She just looks like an alien to me and so I set her aside in a drawer for months :-(
I recently found her again, and decided to give it one more go... I couldn't make her any worse!! I think another part of my block about this lesson was around the lack of vibrant colour in the sample. However, I've been learning to take the lessons and give them my own voice so having unearthed the unearthly base, I decided to see if I could alter her face shape and thus my perceptions about the project. After 1/2 an hour I got to here
The paint colours aren't right, I took her eyebrows off and I want to alter her eyes so much, but I feel like I can move forward now! 
If you've watched the lesson you might notice I didn't bother making a copy of my portrait to then collage with. I had to spend some time finding suitable colours of papers, but then I worked with her with renewed enthusasim :
Wow - what a huge difference and that was so fun :-) I haven't done anything to the face from the previous picture except add the collage it was time to add another element of collage to the background, and paint to the background and her face 
It all needs to be toned down a bit but I'm okay with where it's going. Several more layers of paint and I'm calling her face done
and the background is my style
Here she is all finished :
I'm glad my alien start didn't end up in the bin! I'm going to repeat my conclusions from my previous challenging portrait experience since I obviously need to remind myself for the next challenging project : The goal is to find your own art style, but I was worried that my work wasn't looking enough like someone else's! Life Book lessons help you develop your own style, but not necessarily in ways you might expect. With every new lesson I am learning what I want to incorporate into my own work, and what I want to leave behind. In the end, she looks like something I alone would create, not an exact copy of the lesson, and that is exactly where I want to be.
You can see all my posts about Life Book HERE and I've created a Flickr album for all my Life Book projects HERE.
Life Book 2016 is now open for registration - check out all the details HERE
Scroll all the way down the page in that link for the schedule for the year and all the teacher profiles. Work out how much it will cost you per month....I am seriously considering continuing this journey next year.


Zsuzsa Karoly-Smith said...

So glad you managed to save that portrait, Lynette! Just goes to show it's worth persevering. I haven't done this lesson yet - it does look rather challenging. Now I feel inspired to have a go at it myself. I still copy the design of the lessons most of the time, although on a few occasions I went off in completely different directions, so the lesson was barely recognizable, which made me feel like I didn't really give the lesson justice. On other occasions, when I copy the lesson too closely, I feel bad about that too! The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle! I too struggle with trying to develop my own style - I'm hoping one day it will just happen!

Linda said...

I really like your finished portrait! Well done at perservering. You've definately inspired me to have ago!

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