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Art Journal Every Day: 29 Faces Challenge

ArtJournalEveryDayLogo-150If you're new to Art Journal Every Day, there is a short introduction here.  All of the previous posts can be found archived here.  There is a flickr group for sharing right here.  Remember, it's just ten minutes of nourishing your creative self every day!  No need to finish anything or even like it.  If you've done some art journaling this week and you've blogged about it, or put it on flickr, please leave a link in the linky list at the end of this post.  Thanks!

Today we have a guest post from Sharon Evans.  I found her blog through the linky list and discovered that she was participating in a really interesting challenge called "29 Faces."  I asked her to share a bit about the experience today.  And, as a side note, if you're interested in faces, check out my DVD: All About Faces.

29 Faces Challenge

I love drawing, painting and doing journal pages centered around faces.  When Julie asked me to do a guest post about the 29 Faces challenge, I was honoured, and then I thought HELP!

However, I love challenges, I need challenges; otherwise I tend to stay in the same place.  I have only been blogging since July last year and in that time my art has come a long way.  The encouragement of other artists has a lot to do with it, but more so are the challenges that I take part in.  The 29 Faces Challenges hosted by Alaya of I love 2 paint are wonderful.

I have always loved doing faces, but had no confidence. The first one I did last September and I really did not know what I let myself in for!  I had total blockage, but decided to do what some others were doing – copying portraits by artists that you liked.  It was a real learning process.  By the next challenge in February, I was better prepared and set myself some goals. Such as getting on top of acrylics, sketches of real people, getting the hang of journaling!  I had never done any journaling till this year.

Here are some of my efforts from the February challenge.

One of the biggest challenges was the goal of getting peoples likenesses.  Whenever I try to paint real people it comes out wrong.  So I decided to draw from some photos, and hey presto it worked 90 percent of the time.  So the next step was to try and paint them, well um, that will have to be my challenge for the next 29 faces in September!  However, I have a mild success if I keep the portrait sketchy.

The following steps are from a journal page I did from a photo of my sister’s granddaughter Kendal.

The background was painted all over the page with acrylics, and I painted the facial area with white gesso.  I wanted to use watercolours and I find that my journal paper soaks it up like blotting paper!  Also I like how the watercolour slides about on gesso.

I sketched in Kendal, and then started to make marks on the background, with some homemade stamps.

I added some horses, as Kendal and her mother are horse mad. Then I added the text which I painted in with gesso, and then coloured with gouache. I like to keep some of the white showing as it helps the text to stand out.

This is a fairly simple piece for me, as I usually put more texture in my work. This one below, I did for the Fall, Fearless and Fly challenge at Artists in Blogland.

I love texture, and like to create it with lots of scribbling, dripping wool into paint and dropping it onto the page and lifting it to see what mark it makes.  I use a white gel pen a lot and even a tippex pen.  Anything goes, even a comb!

It pays when doing daily challenges to be able to ring the changes as it can all become a bit too much.  I love using digital media, either drawing or painting directly in a paint programme or scanning some art and manipulating it with other artwork.  Here are some examples of digital journal pages:

With this one I scanned a background I had painted in my journal, then in Photoshop merged a painting I had done in Corel Painter.  Then added more marks and the text.

This page is entirely digital.  The face was done in Painter, and the rest in Photoshop.

This was from a drawing of a face that I did with my left hand.  I often do this when I find that my drawings are starting to look alike!  After scanning I coloured it in and scribbled and made marks etc. in Photoshop.  (I have a tablet and pen that makes drawing and painting easy.)

There are a lot of challenges out there from weekly ones with a prompt to daily one with a theme such as 29 faces.  The important thing is to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself.  You don’t know where it will lead, but for sure you will meet lots of likeminded people and your art will benefit.  Mine did!

Se_11About Sharon:

I live in the Wairarapa region of New Zealand, a rural area with easy access to Wellington, the capital, so have best of both worlds.

However, I have spent much of my life away from NZ, mostly in Europe.  I have itchy feet, but they seemed to have settled now.  I have always been involved in art, as a hobby or with jobs closely related, i.e. designing tapestries, working for a greeting card company and so on.  It was only when I was involved in a serious car crash 12 years ago that left me disabled, that I started to take my art seriously.  I did a Diploma in Art & Design at a local Polytechnic – three years of bliss!  However, I still shied away from calling myself an artist and went into children illustration, mostly educational for schools etc.  I got tired of that a couple of years ago, not the illustration, but doing what others told you to do.  Also my health deteriorated and I needed to find work that I could do at home.  So, I decided to illustrate my own stories and design web sites for other artists (no e-commerce sites please!) I have been slogging away at that.   Middle of last year, I was designing a site for a photographer I discovered the blogging world.  Here, at long last I was able to explore my artistic side and tentatively call myself an artist!

My blog is Art Inspires.

(Hopefully in the next few weeks I will have my own website up and running.  It will be  Please note it is not there yet.  Try in a month.  I will do a post on it on my blog when I have uploaded it.)

Here is this week's linky list:

Thanks for stopping by!