I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Do I dare...

Do I dare show my face at Show Your Face?  I've been watching for a while as some of my favourite crafters share faces of their own creation at Kim Dellow's community link-up, Art It Friday - Show Your Face - there's Kim herself, the wonderful Julie Ann of Magpieheaven is usually there, and Froebelsternchen Susi too, as well as many others.

The idea of Kim's link-up is to share portrait work, to learn, practice, inspire and be inspired. The faces can be of any style or in any medium, but they must be your own work, not created with a stamp or stencil - that's what makes it scary!  I don't know that I'll manage to be a regular, though I know it's regular practice which will help it become less of a scary thing to do, but I'm here to share a face this week.


Regulars will have noticed it's been slightly more colourful round here lately... well, this page started with a full-on blast of colour...  I've seen people having lots of fun with the Dylusions paints, so I was wondering whether I could get a similar blending effect with the Distress Paints.  While I was at it, I decided I should really reach for some of the brighter colours if I wanted to get a Dylusions-style effect.








I'm not exactly sure any more, but I think there's Picked Raspberry involved, Wild Honey, Scattered Straw, Worn Lipstick, some Ripe Persimmon and maybe some Spiced Marmalade.














I spritzed with water and used my fingers to blend and move the paint around.  I really rather liked what I ended up with, but then it sat there in the journal for some weeks not knowing what should happen next.











Finally I decided that, having already leapt quite a long way out of my comfort zone, I should leap a little further and have a play with my newly acquired oil pastels.

And then a little further again... let's try a face with them.  Some of you may remember my little pen and ink doodled faces, and I've doodled faces similar to this in pencil in the margins of scripts for years, but I've never done one on this scale before.  This is a large journal - the pages are 9 x 12 inches.











Once she was there, I added some more familiar touches to try to connect her with things I'm more comfortable with.

So there are some brown stencilled flowers, there's some text stamping...













... and of course some words - stamped in Sepia and clear-embossed...











... and some splatter, naturally.

Then she sat there again for a while, and I would look at her occasionally to see if she wanted anything more.  (You have to look closely, but I promise you the next photo is different from the big one above - an earlier version.)











As I looked, I noticed that the background paint and the white stamping had created a striped top, quite by chance - I hadn't put in any "shoulders" myself at all (just the downward line outlining her neck and one cross stroke to define a clothing neckline) - and that she definitely seemed to be turning her head away from the direction of those shoulders.











I wanted to accentuate the effect, so I got out the oil pastels again and added some more definite shading and lines to help the striped top have more presence, defining the neckline of it a bit.  I shaped her arm reaching out in the opposite direction to where she's looking, and I gave her neck a little more form and substance with some gentle shading.












I also added to the hair (my doodles always have quite a lot of it - wonder why!) to help give the impression of the turned head, a moment of the attention being drawn in another direction.  And (by chance) I think the underlying paint shading on her face helps with that impression of movement.








She does have a disconcerting habit of looking very different in different lights - suddenly she'll burst forth in all that vivid colour, and at other times she's much softer.

I remain unsure whether I don't like the pre-changes version better (check out the equivocal double-negatives in that phrase!!), and I'm still not convinced we're "finished" here... but I think it's time to show my face at Show Your Face and see what you think.

I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.
Lauren Bacall

44 comments:

Julie Ann Lee said...

How lovely to see you here, Alison! This is such a beautiful journal page. I love the colours and - yes - there is a lot of movement. I really hope that you'll 'show your faces' often from now on because I definitely would like to see more! I can imagine how she would change in different lights. She has something of the fragility of Eve Arnold's portraits of Marilyn Monroe. xx

Marci said...

Love the colors you used here. This is beautiful! She reminds me of someone, I can't think who.

Lynn Price said...

Wow!! Such wonderful nspiration to move into new territory in color and content - and incredibly beautiful work here, Alison! I love your stamp as well - is that a Dina Wakely stamp? xxx Lynn

Rupa S said...

LOVE it! Such a different color palette from you and she quite blends in with the background and seems to be surprised herself, lol! A beauty, Alison...the blending of colors and the subtle sketching. Once again an inspiration.

Valerie-Jael said...

Lovely face, with a wonderful, delicate background. Hope you come again! Hugs, Valerie

Helen said...

Well if you can draw like this, yes, you should dare again! She looks very wistful in the middle of her colourful background, I love it!! the colours are gorgeous, and the added bits of embossing work perfectly.
The only way I could "show my face" would be with a stamped one!

selena said...

c'est tres joli ce visage qui ressort délicatement .

chrissie said...

Definitely you should keep daring. This is very beautiful and I love the way the face is slightly hidden in a haze of colour.I look forward to seeing more like this from you Alison

Love Chrissie xx

Amanda said...

I've also been watching from the sidelines and that's still where I am, well done you for taking the plunge and with such an esquiste softly drawn face. Still don't think I'm brave enough to join in but well done you.
Love
Amanda x

Moon Depinoy said...


Superbe bravo

Lauren Hatwell said...

Fabulous! She really has a magical quality. Your colours and the way you've layered them remind me of the sky at dusk. I almost felt that if I turned my gaze away from her she would vanish into the night. She lives. Lx

butterfly said...

Yes, Dina Wakley - from her Handwritten Quotes set xx

Gibby Frogett said...

I was the same but braved it and joined yesterday too :) So glad you did - you're face is really beautiful - I love your background and its gorgeous colours and the lovely details. Look forward to seeing more.. Gill xx

JackieP Neal said...

Fabulous!! So glad that you jumped in and shared Alison- she is beautiful!! xo

Nan G said...

Stunning, Alison! She's beautiful. The colors are fab and the effect of her looking off to one side is amazing! I'm in awe of your talent. Hugs

Lisa Minckler said...

This is so fun and different and I'm loving this. I'm a sky watcher and surveyor of all cloud anomalies and I love finding scenarios in the skies; an elephant chasing a bunny, a castle being invaded by a troll, whatever is unfolding in the heavens, I like searching it out and this image reminds me so much of that; especially at sundown. It looks like the sun is casting rays of light across her face from behind a cloud. I don't know, it's what I see and I love it!!

Meggymay said...

Wow, good for you to get out of the comfort zone. This is a wonderful page in your journal, a beautiful face and super colours.
Yvonne xx.

craftytrog said...

Well done for taking the plunge! She's lovely Alison! x

Lys Scrap said...

I love when you dare, Alison! New warm colours, movements in the pencils, and the way she looks! Amazing!

Inky and Quirky said...

Well done Alison, I love this face, very delicate and the colours are just so warm and yummy. I'd highly recommend Jane Davenports book for face drawing, it's a brilliant reference book
Hugs
Donna xxx

Sandy said...

Well Honey Child - I think you did your self proud and she looks like a kindly soul. She also looks like she has lived in another time than now. Perhaps her younger self spent time in the 50's or early 60's.
Sandy xx

Kirsten Alicia Sheridan said...

I think she looks great.

Corrie Herriman said...

I think she is lovely and soft and I would leave her just as she is !
Corrie x

Margik said...

A fabulous face and very creative and different, and I love the beautiful combination of colours.
Very inspiring, Alison!
Mar xx

Sue said...

This really is lovely Alison, I really like how the colours change. Well done you! xx

rachel said...

Oh Alison - this is fabulous - i love it to bits - the face is fabulous and the colours are amazing - you are such an inspiration! Brilliant! hugs rachel x

Lynne Moncrieff said...

Bravo to you Alison! Not only for becoming more colourful .... tell me, what is happening to us as we delve into the world of colour LOL. What I am in complete admiration is that I have also watched as favourite stamping artists pick up a pencil to create their own characters and it has certainly sparked an interest in me. I should be ashamed of myself to be so apprehensive, not sure what all my Art & Design teachers would be saying right now other than a declaration of disappointment but that is the number one reason for my apprehension, knowing I should be able to conjure up a decent face yet I know it is an area I have always struggled with and the years will not be kind to me if I do eventually place pencil on paper to draw a visage! Julie Ann Lee is such an inspiration and now you. One day I will don my brave girl pants but maybe not tomorrow LOL.
Your art has appealed to me for so long now but Alison, it is wonderful to see you delve into a variety of colour and different styles, love that you are embracing this.
Wishes
Lynne
(Sorry for the ramble!)

Gerrittina said...

Looks great. Love this colours.

Astrid Maclean said...

Well done for daring Alison! Love the way you did the background and great to see you branch out into different colours! The little face is so sweet and etherial, childlike in quality, - love the whole spread!

froebelsternchen Susi said...

It gives me great pleasure to see you at Kim's challenge with such a wonderful face debut. Fantasic - you will see the more you are drawing the more such happy fortunes like this with the shoulder will happen. That are the gifts of our muse!
Happy Sunday dear Alison!
Wonderful to see you with faces!
I am deeply honoured to be mentioned.

oxo
Susi

Terry said...

Alison, this is such a fabulous page! I love the subtle way her face looks out at you and just draws you right in! You have done this challenge so well! Love it! Hugs!

Sarah B said...

I had to a double take to check on I was on the correct blog - love the bright colours, hope to see more of them. The page has so much movement in it - reminds me of pictures you can see in clouds xx

Kim Dellow said...

You have made my day Alison! I'm so glad you have joined in the fun and what a fabulous face and a wonderful page. I do hope we are going to get to see more now you have broken the ice so to speak! Thanks for joining in Show Your Face and for the fabulous shout out too. Kx

Mona Pendleton said...

Such a pretty journal page! What a wonderful face!

MaryH said...

I admire your bravery in doing this self-portrait, as well as your skills in executing it. Love the colors you selected, they make a lovely soft background for the portrait. Your doodles look so pretty, and love the curly hair and the 'dress'. Clever to see a way to shape this serendipity of color to add the shoulders and neckline. Also loved that you added the stenciling for the florals. It's just wonderful and you should be very proud of it! TFS & have a good week.

Coco said...

A very courageous (I do not have the same courage so far!) and beautiful page Alison, full of delicatessen and poetry... I remember very well the first one that you made and shared with us, so gorgeous in my memory. Well done to you!! Hugs, Coco xx

Fliss said...

Looking beautifully ethereal Alison and you're very brave as I'm not sure I'd dare at the moment!
Fliss xx

Dianne said...

love the subtlety of this sweet face...and the sentiment too! ♥

Princess Judy Palmer said...

Wow! Completely different for you and just as lovely. I love how she changes in the different photos with the different light. So much personality!

Ruth said...

Wowser! I love it! Well done you for taking the leap. Really hope you do it again - love the colours and the soft face in amongst it. Beautiful. Xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh my Alison! When you step out of your comfort zone you really do create such wonders! This is fabulous - I couldn't get my comment to send before losing the signal and now I am on catch up -again! Need to stay in more lol! Chrisx

Shari Trumbull said...

Totally beautiful AJ page, Alison! I love this colorful page-it's glowing to me and your 'doodled' face makes quite the impression-Like she's making her grand entrance into a crowded room, and everyone turns to have a look at the beautiful, mysterious, woman!! Good for you for taking the leap and bringing your drawings to a larger scale! I know I couldn't do this!! ;) :) Can't wait to see more of your drawings!! :) :) XOXO-Shari

denthe said...

I love how she is just coming out of the background, very soft and ethereal. And the colours remind me of a sunset... I think she's finished!

Giggles said...

This is a dreamy mystical piece...with gorgeous colours...it's as though this gorgeous face in the clouds!! Really pretty!!

Hugs Giggles