A guest post by Pam Carriker.
Facing a new year with the expectations we place on ourselves can be a bit overwhelming. It’s a fresh start, a new page, a chance to do things differently than we did in the previous year. And then there are those pesky resolutions, that even as I write this may have fallen by the wayside.
Creative resolutions however, can be fun and easily incorporated into what we already creatively do. Often times, we only have to look around the studio at what we already have and decide to use it. Maybe in a new way, maybe you haven’t even broken the seal on some of your supplies yet. It’s time to grab something you’ve been meaning to try and sit down and use it!
I’ve been doing portraits for several years now and still never tire of the subject matter. So much so that I spent most of last year writing a book about them. As the advance copy of my book, Mixed Media Portraits with Pam Carriker was just placed in my hands a week ago, I decided to revisit a couple of the exercises and projects in the book and combine them with a different medium.
MAPPING YOUR SELFIE
Step One: One of the exercises uses a ‘selfie’ to draw your self-portrait from. For this project I used a selfie to add a bit of “me” to the project by using face map guidelines from my photo and drawing in the facial features.
Step Two: This won’t really look like me but it will have something of me in that the proportions came from my own face.
Step Three: I used a Stabillo All pencil (water-soluble) to sketch in the facial details following the face map guidelines. (Note: There is a section in my book that demonstrates mapping a face from front side and three-quarter views.)
Step Four: Use a wet brush to activate the pencil. Don’t try to be neat, just let the color bleed out a bit around the details. Let Dry.
Step Five: I decided to experiment a little with PanPastels so I picked a color palette that I used for one of the projects in my book. Instead of the acrylic paint, I would substitute PanPastel Turquoise with the tint, shade and extra dark shade of that color.
Step Six: To prepare the paper to better accept the PanPastel and to fix the water soluble pencil, I used a Color Shaper tool to apply a coat of Mixed Media Adhesive over the top being careful to make side by side swipes and not go back over the pencil so it wouldn’t smear. (Note: Mixed Media Adhesive is completely matte with a bit of tooth to it so the PanPastel has something to grab on to. You could also use clear gesso. It has a bit more tooth to it.) Let this dry completely.
Step Seven: I added a drawing of a simple color wheel (Stencil Girl Products) to the page to show the color palette I’m using.
Step Eight: Using a Sofftool palette knife (these are tools designed to use with PanPastels)
I began to work with the extra dark shade to establish the dark areas on the face.
Step Nine: Continue using the tint and shade of your chosen color to develop the tones on the face, blending directly on the page.
Step Ten: Add some Titanium White PanPastel over all of the face, blending it in with the shaded areas.
Step Eleven: Continue to build up the PanPastel until you like the way it looks. You can add it to the background as well using a larger Sofftool sponge applicator. Finish off the details using a charcoal pencil to reestablish any lost details such as the eyes.
So what did I accomplish with this little project? I revisited a couple of the exercises in my book using new media and combining the two to make something new. I explored something I had in my studio, using it in a new way, and I have a start to a journal page that will be about Facing the New Year, thus keeping my commitment to art journal more in 2015! This is much more fun than losing the ten pounds resolution!
Pam Carriker is a mixed media artist, author, columnist and instructor. For information about her current online Still Pursuing Portraits workshop at Artful Gathering this summer and her signature products, visit her website at pamcarriker.com She welcomes email at email@example.com