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.