I dropped back into Life Book this week, and I’m glad I did. This week we learned a simple way to paint a face that you can use in an art journal or collage or basically however you would like: painting over a photograph.
When I was younger I used to draw fairly realistic faces all the time. It was sort of an obsession. As I have gotten older I have found more joy in randomness, and I definitely lean towards a more abstract approach. But there are times when I think adding a human element to some of my work would definitely enhance it.
Basically with this method, you choose a photo (I used print outs from the Web, but magazine photos would work too) modge podge or gel medium it down on some heavy paper (I used 140 lb watercolor paper) and then apply a layer of gesso thinned with water. You want to be able to see the basic outlines of your image through the gesso. Once the gesso is dry, you have your “canvas”. I used a combination of Neocolor water soluble crayons, water color pens, and water soluble pencils to create both paintings.
I made both of my photos (one is of my celebrity crush. Eeep! How embarrassing…) black and white before printing because I thought it made the images clearer underneath the gesso. Also, I didn’t want any of the original colors in the photos to influence my choices. I wanted an unrealistic realistic look if that makes any sense at all. I added some scribbled writing to both backgrounds just for fun.
I’m reasonably happy with both paintings. I think. Although I can’t stop messing with them. Maybe I’m not happy. Somebody stop me!
To make these I played with: print outs of photos, watercolor paper, pencil, Neocolor crayons, water soluble pencils and markers, gel medium, sakura gelly roll pens.