This year long course of a weekly demonstration of an artist's process has been really fun. With travelling I have very few supplies but try to do something in my handmade watercolour sketchbook. Week 9 was a lovely demo using a craft clay, sculpting a head and then painting it. The artist is Kathy Lewis aka KJ Allison (@stampagirl) and she was making a head she called "Poindexter's Other Brother". I have never worked with this clay and only have my watercolours and a black pen to work on my watercolour paper. Kathy layered the colours as she painted and I tried to do the same, what fun!
Week 10 artist is Jennifer Bonneteau (@jenniferbonneteau) and her demo was called "Silly Selfies". She took a fun selfie, manipulated it on her computer printed it out and then traced it out on watercolour paper. She used a wonderful assortment of Sharpie felt pens and a lot of cross hatching. Alcohol helped to blend the colours like a painting. Once again, I have no photocopier, Sharpie pens, or alcohol but I did have 5 Zebra fountain pens that I found if I added water after cross hatching, the colours bled but once dried, could not be manipulated. This was fun and because it started with a selfie, I was not worried about the end result. Another colourful entry in my travel sketchbook.
Working through the weekly demo in the "Let's Face It, 2022" by Kara Bullock Art has been interesting, challenging and fun. I am in Mexico and have very few art supplies which make trying to work through the demo difficult. The portrait on the left was my rendition of a demo by
Christa Forrest. I only had a small sketchbook with cheap rough watercolour paper, water colours and pencil. Christa is a mixed media artist and used all kinds of wonderful art tools. I was pleased with how this turned out considering the tools I had.
The second portrait on the right was week 7 and the artist demo was by Nadyia Duff. She had a very expressive way to do this portrait and it involved layers of hatch marks and painting with felt pens, gel pens, markers, pens, acrylic paint watercolour paint. It was a very expressive way to work. I only had a pencil, felt pen and water colours. I did have a very small jar of clear gesso so I put that over the first couple of layers to hold them in place which worked well and will use that process again.
Last week I chose my location as I was the only one available to sketch so back I went to Ancora beach bar. Looks like I just missed a huge event/party/wedding the night before as bags with sand still had lit candles marking the walkway and tubs were still full of bags of ice and cases of large pop bottles. There were flowers on the bar so that was my first sketch and the second was a very tipsy palapa and beach chair which struck my interest considering the state of the venue.
Yesterday Amy, Gail and I met near the recently emptied lagoon to sketch and paint. We did not take a group photo of our work but Amy worked in oil, Gail in gouache and I in watercolour. The first photo below is a two page spread in my homemade watercolour sketchbook of the lagoon view. The second is of a very tall plant just in front of me. Wonderful chatting and creating with these two!
This painting started out as a "Mining" exercise in an art group I belong to on Mightynetworks called 4C. We were to take a photo and break it down into shapes, rework and come up with a better image to paint. This one surprised me as I mined it right down to the basics and loved how it came out. The working sketches and painting-in-progress photos are below this painting.
"Se Vende, Fruita"
10" x 8" Oil on canvas board
My third and fourth week, we went to Rita's restaurant, sketched/painted the views of the lagoon then had brunch. This week the mediums were watercolour, crayon, pen and oil, what fun! Each week I have been able to meet a couple of different artists, like me, that hear about it and are brave enough to join in the fun. The two groups of art are the paintings in progress (some finished). My finished sketchbook paintings are below.
We have been in Mexico for awhile and I finally connected with a group of artists that get together to plein air (on location) sketch/paint once a week (thanks Carla and Deb for connecting with me). I had such fun with these artists! As always with plein aire, there were different levels, mediums and interests. Top right to left: we worked on our art in La Ancora beach pub for a couple of early hours and then went for brunch at a walkable restaurant. We enjoyed ourselves so much, we went back on my second week. It is intimidating to have your work photographed when it is not finished but so great to have all the different views and interests from the same place together.
Top left, week 1 Ancora Beach bar. Top right, week 2 Ancora Beach bar. Bottom paintings are the sketches completed.
I have signed up to do a 50 week course with Kara Bullock School of Art called "Let's Face It 2022". This class has a different instructor doing a short online demo once a week. My goal is to try each one and post it to keep myself accountable. I am in Mexico and am limited to the supplies that I have brought so will make do with what I have. I have a homemade concertina sketchbook 8" by 6" with a rough textured thin watercolour paper (you can see the textured paper in the first sketch).
Week 1's lesson was by Lauren Rudolf. As I am not a portrait artist, I found her process very interesting and detailed. Lauren used a lot of different pencils to render the form's lights and darks as well as details. I only have one 4B pencil and my paper is a homemade concertina sketch book with rough water colour paper. I quit on this one as the one pencil was not adding any more details in the dark areas. The hands were roughed in just to give the face placement on the paper.
Week 2 was a completely different process with Robert Kelley. He used powdered charcoal with a cotton ball to block in the face shapes and worked from there. Again, I did not have the correct supplies but did have a charcoal stick that I rubbed a Q-tip on with a some success. As these classes are for learning, I am not so concerned about the finished product. I loved how he was able to get really dark areas working this way. He also used acetone to spray on the background to make a mottled look in the charcoal. No acetone in sight for me but when I am back in Canada I definitely want to try that again. The great thing about this course is I will have access to all the lessons for the year so I can try some again.
Karen Oliver's Art Journey
Thanks for stopping by to see my art journey and what I am currently working on.