Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Trying Something I Saw My Girl Do...

MY 50's snow girl - Roberta Laliberte inspired

I LOVE watching my girl* Roberta Laliberte do her thang. If you haven't seen her work you can check her out on YouTube or visit her blog, Prairie Fairy Designs. SUCH talent!

 * she doesn't know me, but she's my girl, my go-to girl.  She is such an inspiration!

Her work is just scrumptious! Yeah, SCRUMPTIOUS is the perfect word to describe it. It's delicious, and yummy and makes me scrunch up my shoulders and shiver! To watch her start out one place and take things in a whole different direction with a stroke of her paint brush is JUST awe inspiring! It's truly magical!  In the words of George Gwershwin, 

  'S wonderful! 'S marvelous 
'S paradise, so satisfactual
'S what I love to see 

Okay, so you get the picture, right? I want to be her when I grow up, artistically speaking, LOL!

I was watching her one video, The Queen Bee, and it really drew me in. She started her canvas with a magazine clipping and she transformed it. 

It made me remember how as a teen I would use this light thingy I had, sort of like the transparency projector teachers used in school (dating myself). With mine you would place it on top of a photo and project it onto a piece of paper taped to the wall. It wasn't a very clear image but I could get the general outline. I would work off of the outline and sketch in the drawing's details. After using this method for some time I got pretty good at portrait drawings. (Wish I still had some of my old journals. I did some really cool Elton John portraits). 

So I thought, if it worked with drawing maybe using the technique in Roberta's video would improve my painting. I have in the past done something similar where I just embellished a picture or cutout, this time I wanted to try to totally change it up.

Instead of a canvas I worked on a page in my art journal. Being in a winter mood, I began by creating a snowy background. Using a Neo-color crayon and a Gelato I gave it a nice blue base. I then used my hand carved snowflake stamp and added a few falling flakes in silver, blues and white.  

Next I added the star of the show, in this case Julianne Moore, taken from an ad in Elle magazine. 

Looking at her I decided to give her a 50's look. 
(for the record Ms. Moore wasn't born until 1960.)

Using white gesso I painted the shapes to represent her mittens and hat. I also applied clear gesso over her face.

Once that layer was dry it was time for some acrylic paint. I wish I had taken more pictures of the process but I got so 'into' it that I just kept painting. 

I added some texture and pattern to her mittens using modeling paste and a tracing wheel tool, normally used in sewing.

I found the hardest part for me was the shading of her face. I painted layer upon layer, over and over, until I was finally satisfied. This is one of the earlier views (before her mascara)...forehead was a mess!   ( I find it very helpful to take photos and review my progress. It's good to see from a different view other than staring at the actual piece.)

Painting her eyes, nose, teeth and lips wasn't hard at all, actually it was the most fun! It was like applying makeup. (In fact my daughter said she'd love that shade of lipstick herself.)

A touch of color, a bit of white paint to make them pop and then finished it off with a little sketching using Stabilo pencils (both black and white).  

I think I took a few years off of her, what do you think?

I love my finished painting and can't wait to try it again. Crossing my fingers that my painting skills improve. Until next time!

***Roberta has a really cool online class called "Magazine to Masterpiece "- You can get more info HERE.***

PS...  Before you go - please join my facebook group, Fabric of My Life. Think of it as our own art cafe, a place where we can get to know one another, share our work, ask questions, or just shoot the breeze.


Roberta Laliberte said...

I am seriously speechless....... and teary eyed. Shelley... thank you for your lovely post on my blog <3. Then to come visit your blog (which is awesome by the way!!!!) and see what you wrote about me. It is beautiful souls like yours that make putting yourself out there worth it! When there are 10 loads of laundry to do and the kitchen looks like it blew up, I sometimes think "what the hell are you doing here!" and it makes me question my mantra. "Let it not read on my headstone -Damn that girl had a clean house!-" Then someone like you pops their heart into my life and my soul is nourished. Thank you. seriously. I am your newest follower. I am adding you to my coveted blog list (a special short list on my desktop which are the ones I frequent the most) and I am going to go and join your Facebook group! XOXOXOX Happy New Year! Hope 2015 rocks your world. Mwah!

Roberta Laliberte said...

Did I forget to mention OMG! I love this! I think she has a very Audrey Hepburn-esque feel. Delicious. xo

Shelley Graham Turner said...

YOU are speechless?!! I swear my heart is beating so hard it's coming out my chest!!

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