Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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Birds of a Feather

During the Angels Among Us workshop, the first 6 weeks were devoted to each guest artist teaching a new lesson each week. For the second half of the workshop, each teacher was paired with another teacher. They were asked to use each other’s lesson as inspiration to create a new lesson.

I decided to jump ahead to the week 9 bonus lesson with Brandi Dayton. Brandi’s lesson was inspired by Stacha Conboy’s week 3 lesson. In that lesson we created a watercolor angel.

Brandi’s lesson was quick and fun. A nice break from the more detailed lessons with longer videos. She enjoys birds so that was the focus of her bonus lesson. Materials used included watercolor, ink, marker, and pen.

BrandisBonusLesson_BirdsOfAFeather

Birds of a Feather

 


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Friday Featured Artist: Maria Pace Wynters

This week’s featured artist is Maria Pace Wynters. Maria is a mixed-media artist from Canada. I first saw her art on Ivy Newport’s blog, GraceandIvy.

I love Maria’s use of color in her paintings and the childlike innocence in many of her portraits. Simply yummy work here.

Check out Maria’s blog and her art here.

Happy Friday!

MariaPaceWynters_faith-trust-and-pixie-dust


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Her Name is Cherish

Next up in the Angel painting series, as part of the Angels Among Us online workshop, is “Cherish.”

This painting was created following some of the techniques provided by Deanna Strachan. Deanna was the instructor for week 6.

How did I get to week 6 when the last piece I shared was from week 2? I got bored. The beauty of falling behind in an online class is that you can choose which lessons you want to watch instead of waiting for the upcoming lesson. And since each lesson in Angels Among Us stands alone and is not built one upon the other, you can work chronologically or start wherever you like.

Anyways, I went to Pinterest for inspiration for the sketch of this angel. I found this painting by French artist Louis Treserras. I love this young woman’s face.

AngelFaceInspiration_Week6

And here is my sketch of this young woman’s face.

Week6_AngelFaceSketch

Once the background of my canvas was ready, I transferred this sketch on to the canvas. As with some of the other lessons, it seems to be popular to glue a layer of torn paper onto the canvas first and then paint on top of it. I’m still not sure if I like this technique. It can give you some interesting texture in your background. However, I’ve also had papers peel off and tear away from the canvas. So the jury is still out on this approach.

1CherishSketch_BackgroundCanvas

Face sketch transferred onto background

Oh yes. Now I remember another thing I don’t like about the torn paper backgrounds. When transferring an image, the texture from the torn papers can sometimes muck up the transfer. In this piece the lines of the sketch weren’t lining up. I had to remove as much of the original transfer as I could and then try again. Poor girl’s nose was looking a little twisted and her eyes uneven. Fortunately I knew I could correct some of this once I started painting her face.

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First layer face paint

One thing that was fun with this lesson was Deanna’s loose approach to painting. My confidence in painting faces is also improving. The combination of loose paint strokes, better paintbrushes, confidence and wet paint was a recipe for success.

3Cherish_MoreFaceDefinition

A bold lip color

When I got to this point, I thought I would give her a nice, soft lip color. You know. Angelic like lips. Hah! In Deanna’s lesson she used a magenta color with a small amount of black. I didn’t have the exact same color and ended up with a deep purple tone. I figured I could always change it to something lighter if I found it really repulsive.

I didn’t change it. The color makes a bold statement. Cherish owns those lips!

And then came the wings…

4Cherish_WingsOutlined

Now I’m not so sure about this. I think she’s looking more like a fairy than an angel. Not that there is anything wrong with fairies. But this wasn’t quite what I had in mind.

Unfortunately, my brain seemed to be hitting a wall when it came to figuring out a different way to work the wing. It took a few attempts before I finally felt satisfied with it.

5Cherish_WingsPainted

A few more tweaks here and there and then she was complete.

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Her Name Is Cherish

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Cherish


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Watercolor Angel and Angel for Paris

The second lesson in the Angels Among Us Online Workshop was created by Stacha “The Daydreamerie” Conboy. Stacha is a watercolor artist (watercolorist?) Stacha has an easy-going demeanor and her art is simple and beautiful.

I’ve always admired artists who work in watercolor. To put it plainly, it’s a medium that can be a PIA. Watercolor has its own mind. And it will let you know just that as it meanders across your paper, flowing into areas you don’t want it to go. (Sometimes that is a happy accident. Sometimes it’s an “Oh S***” moment.)

Anyways, I was happy to give this lesson a go. I knew it would be a challenge. It took a while for some old memory yarn to kick-in. The last time I really worked with watercolors was back in high school. Eghad.

Watercolor Angel

As always, we begin with a sketch straight on the watercolor paper.

Next I worked on her wings and hair.

At this point, I wasn’t crazy about her wings. The purple was too saturated. The watercolors ran every-which-way. I just wasn’t getting the hang of using watercolor paints. This was definitely the ugly stage for me.

But I kept plugging along…

Adding color to her face. Now she was starting to come together. It was tricky painting a face on such a small scale. I admit that she does look a little shell-shocked.

From here I started to work a little quicker, adding words and paint to her torso and adding finishing touches to the wings.

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8WatercolorAngel_FinishedFaceClose

Overall, I’m mostly happy with the way this angel turned out. It was a bit frustrating not to get the hang of working with this medium until I was about half-way finished with the piece.

What I learned was the type of watercolor paper used, the format of the watercolor paints (tube or “cake”) and even the paintbrush all contribute to the quality of the painting. And practice, practice, practice.

Angel for Paris

In the aftermath of the bombings in Paris, I, like many artists, was compelled to create something as an expression of our sadness and empathy for the victims and the citizens of Paris.

The day after the attack, an image came to me while I was getting ready for the day. I picked up a small sketch book, put a rough idea on paper, and transferred it to Bristol paper a few hours later.

The piece below, “Angel for Paris,” is the final result. It incorporates Micron pen, Caran d’Arche pastels, and watercolor.

AngelForParis_1

AngelForParis_FromiPad (1)

 

 


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Friday Featured Artist: Finnabair

They say it’s nice to share. So with that in mind, I’m starting this new feature-The Friday Featured Artist-a periodic blog post on Fridays on a new-to-me-artist.

Today’s featured artist is Anna Dabrowska also known as Finnabair. She is an artist originally from Poland now living in Ireland. I love her melding of Steampunk, mixed media, and collage, and her use of color.

Check out Finnabair’s blog and portfolio here.


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Frida Inspired Angel

Life has a curious way of distracting us from our other plans. Such as it is with my attempts at blogging on a more consistent basis. However you might define consistent.

Anyways, I finally put my butt in the chair and uploaded the rest of the pictures for my Frida-inspired angel. This is the angel created in the first lesson of Kara Bullock’s “Angels Among Us” online workshop. You can see the first installment here.

Picking up where the previous post left off, here are more work-in-progress (WIP) images and the finished piece.

The initial layers of her face, hair and halo have been painted. Now it was time to sketch in her shoulders, torso, necklace, and wings.

Then came the color of her necklace, dress, and texture for her wings. And a few more tweaks to her face and neck. Of course.

I found a picture of Frida online and in it she is wearing this groovy necklace made of crocheted flowers. That became my inspiration for the necklace in this painting.

At some point, you have to stop focusing on the little details and move on to the background. It’s really easy to obsess over the little details. I lost count of how many layers of paint are on her face. Or how long it took to paint in her hair, adjust the width of each row, and make sure each section landed evenly on both sides of her head.

With the background painted, she really started to pop off of the canvas and the painting finally felt like it was coming together.

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An Eye Popping Background

From this point I focused on finishing her necklace and making some final adjustments to her dress and face. She had finally come together and I was super happy with how she looked.

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Frida-inspired Angel (cropped)

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Frida-inspired Angel (iPhone version)

I even pulled out my Nikon to take a few pictures of this piece. I’m a little rusty on taking art photos with a digital camera in manual mode. And the location where I set up this painting and my equipment wasn’t ideal. However, the resulting images give a slightly different “feel” to the painting; a more “aged” icon kind of look.

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Frida-inspired Angel (Nikon version 1)

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Frida-inspired Angel (Nikon version 2)

Since this painting was finished, I’ve completed a second lesson creating an angel using watercolors and am in the process of working on another angel using acrylics. I’ll share those with you after the Thanksgiving holiday.


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A New Angel On The Scene

Dropping in here to share my progress on the first Angel I’m creating in Kara Bullock’s Angels Among Us online workshop. The workshop features 6 artists and 12 weeks of inspired creations.

First, here is the sketch of my angel’s face. She looks good on paper. However, will she look the same or even bear any resemblance to this drawing once I put paint onto the canvas?

Angel Face Sketch

Angel Face Sketch

Instead of hoping I might be able to draw her face free-hand on the canvas, I opted to transfer the original sketch directly onto the canvas. Painting her face is challenge enough.

Sketch Transferred to Canvas

Sketch Transferred to Canvas

Okay, first layer of paint and you can see some resemblance to the sketch. Right? Some sort of modern abstract contemporary thing going on here. Face it (haha, no pun intended. Maybe), this is ugly stage. I am digging her turquoise nose however.

First layer of paint

First layer of paint

More layers. Now she’s kind of rockin’ a Picasso look with that dramatic dark eye.

More layers

More layers

At this point I feel like she has too many layers of paint on her face and I need to move onto a different aspect of the painting. Onto adding her hair and a halo. Just because.

Face, Hair, and Halo

Face, Hair, and Halo

Here is what I’ve learned so far.

  • Using a combination of Liquitex and Golden Fluid acrylic paints may not be the best idea.
  • Be careful if you dampen your paintbrush with water, dry it, then paint again. You will pull up a layer (or layers) paint. Then Angel face looks like she has age marks on her cheeks.
  • Put enough paint on your palette. This is still a challenge for me. I seem to have this mental block between squeezing enough paint onto my palette, not wanting to waste paint, and seeing dollar symbols rise from the paint puddle. You know the issue: “I paid a lot of money for this paint. I can’t waste it!”
  • Using a paint extender can counteract the above problem. And, covering the left over paint with some plastic wrap kept it viable for painting later or the next day.

Angel Face still has a ways to go. I’m way behind in this online workshop. Haven’t even attempted the other lessons yet. Fortunately, we have “lifetime” access to the videos. Maybe I’ll be all caught up by the end of the year.

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