Inner Child of Radiant Faces

It has been literally years since I have posted to this blog! Yikes! Since my last post I have gotten married and am now pregnant with our first, a boy! I’m due December 26th, and that fast approaching date has kicked my normally procrastinating butt into high gear! I am a HUGE fan of the Somerset Studios (Stampinton Co) magazines and Cloth Paper Scissors. I spend all my free cash on their publications which in turn makes me spend more cash on new art supplies just waiting for something to light that creative fire inside me.  Well in all of my admiration of these publications I have come across some amazing artists such as Jane Davenport, Donna Downey and Julie Fei-Fan Balzer all of whom I have become totally enamored with! These women create for a living, and it shows. In cyber stalking them on Facebook and finding their awesome personal sites I came across this online course called Radiant Faces. This course is full of detailed classes from several inspiring women that, wouldn’t you know it, lit that creative fire in me that has been dormant for years. I actually conceptualized and created a work of art in one weekend. That has literally NEVER happened! So I wanted to share my progress pictures and the finished product. I love it. That is another thing, I rarely love my artwork! But I love this because it is a part of me.  The assignment was to focus on your inner child, who you were and what you wanted to be. So here is what I created! Continue reading

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“Mason”

Being a high school art teacher means you get to encounter and observe many interesting individuals during the day. These students can evoke many different emotions but the ones that stick with me are the ones that make me laugh. Last year and this past semester I had a student named Mason. Mason was one of these students that always cracked me up. It was like he fell right off the Sunday Funnies with his extremely charismatic facial expressions and one liners. He didn’t talk much but when he did, it was funny! He inspired me to create a comic image based on him. Unfortunately Mason had to move across the state, and he didn’t get to see the finished product. So Mason, this blog is for you! Below is my cartoon Mason, in my sculpture class, with his Nintendo out and wearing his Domo backpack. Since then I have sketched a few more students as cartoons, whenever I feel inspired to finish them, I’ll get them posted as well!Image

Painting on clear Acrylic

This is my first attempt at a tutorial!!! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! The above picture does not do the final product justice. It looks very 3 dimensional in person. This is a quick how to for painting on clear acrylic.

Materials Needed:

  • Clear acrylic or Plexiglas (found at any home improvement store)
  • Utility knife
  • Ruler
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (perfect for fixing mistakes!)
  • Paint Pen ( I used black, Sharpie makes them, I used one I had, no clue where I got it)
  • Acrylic paint in various colors
  • Clear acrylic sealer

My wonderful fiance was placing an air conditioner in our room, and used Plexiglas to fill in the gap above it in the window. He so graciously saved me the scrap pieces and said : “I’m sure you can find something to do with these!”. He is so awesome! So here I was, months later, and suddenly had an idea for the scrap plexiglass.

Here is the piece I used:

(The protective coating has spray paint on it, that’s why it looks grey.)

There is a thin film on both sides to protect the surface from getting scratched. You will remove one side of this.

I used a ruler and a box cutter to score the top of the plexiglas that had a rough edge I wanted to get rid of. This is how you will cut your piece to size. My ruler has a cork backing to prevent it from slipping on the slick surface. You won’t be able to cut all the way through the plexiglas, but just score it, by running the blade in the same spot a few times, so you will be able to snap it off.

The easiest way to snap off the extra piece is to align your score mark with the edge of a table or counter top, apply pressure (wear eye protection! you never know!) on the table side and with your other hand push on the overhanging piece and voila!

Two pieces!

Now it gets artsy!

I started out with a doodle that I had and went with that concept. The awesome thing about the plexiglass is that it is clear, you can see through it (dur!). So if you have an image, or an outline that you would like to use, I would place your plexiglass over the image, secure it with tape, then draw using your paint pen. I free-handed my drawing, it was more fun that way!

Remember, everything you are doing on the plexiglass will be reversed in the final piece. So if you are planning on using letters, or words…you need to draw them backwards.

Get creative!!

The paint pen I used

The beginning of my doodle. You will find that using the paint pen on the plexiglass is really fun! I like the way it feels. With paint pens, you have to shake and “pump” them often to keep the paint flowing freely.

This is the finished doodle ( a little blurry…oops)

After you finish your drawing,  you have to decide what colors you are going to use. Now this is where it gets tricky. This is unlike any other painting you have done before. You are working BACKWARDS. With normal paintings you start with your base color and then build on those then end with your highlights. With this painting you are STARTING with your highlights then ending with your base colors. Yep. Tricky.

The first colors I used were a bronzed sparkly gold. This is turning out to be reminiscent of Gustav Klimpt!

Once you start applying the paint, you can turn the plexiglass over to see how it is looking on the front. I left the front protective plastic on  to protect the front from getting scratched or unwanted paint. I’m a messy artist.

I filled in random circles, not all of them, with the gold hues and some white. Fun!

From here, I just kept adding color!

Remember to put the highlights on first!!! Then the other paint on top!

After this layer dried, which didn’t take long at all, I painted the sky and dirt.

Now for the big reveal!!!!! After the back had dried completely, (I would seal it with a clear acrylic spray so the paint doesn’t get scratched off) I turned over the piece and peeled off the protective plastic.

It looks so cool!  It’s very difficult to show the effect through photographs, but I hope you try it out for yourself to see! Paintings like these could be used to replace glass in cabinets, placed in a window instead of curtains, or just displayed somewhere in your house. They are great ice breakers and conversation starters! I brought this to school to show some of my advanced students and they loved it, very simple with great results.

I hope this tutorial was informative and easy to understand. Like I said, it was my first one, so any input is greatly appreciated!!! Thank you!

Prepared

Well, last weeks Illustration Friday’s topic was “Prepared”. I instantly thought of the cute little squirrel that lives in my backyard that was feverishly digging and hiding her nuts for the winter. So I did a quick sketch and thought I would get it up on here before this weeks Illustration Friday topic….they still haven’t posted what it is!!!!

Sandy the Squirrel sitting on her prepared stash. I would like to make her a complete illustration with color….eventually.

New Year, New Resolutions

Every New Year that comes around we all make resolutions of some sort. Mine have always been, eat better, exercise more….but…but…BLAH. Boring. This year I am vowing to do more Artistically!!! Yipppeeeee!!!! I am currently an art teacher for a high school, I am involved in art every day…..but it isn’t the same. I can’t remember the last time I made art for ME. I do lots of projects outside of school for friends and family members, but I rarely do anything for around my house, or even just for fun! I am a very craftsy person, and really enjoy making things…any things…even cooking! So that is one of my goals. Do more artsy stuff.

To go along with this goal, I am in the process of applying to grad school, to get my Masters in Art Education. Resolution#?/30 before 30 – done. Just a few more steps and my application will be finished…now to just get accepted!!! (30 Before 30 was my friend Sarah’s idea….I’m still working on the 30 things, which will be another post. And I turn 30 in Oct…ohhhh joy!)

I am also going to attempt to do more in the blogging world. AND get a website on Etsy so I can start selling my little jewels I make. So many goals! I have had several revelations lately via Pinterest and Craft Gawker, my lord there are so many Creatives in this world! I need to get on the bandwagon and turn this blog into one of those awesome Art Blogs I see repinned and posted all over those sites!

So here is my first goal…This last Illustration Friday topic was “Grounded”. Teaching high school, I hear that word a lot. But I thought of something else. Being grounded to the earth, our roots. Where our roots take us, and how they hold us down. So I came up with this sketch:

It’s not the best sketch in the world, in fact I’m not too sure why I am posting it, I’m not particularly fond of it. BUT…..I have a great idea for a painting because of it. Stay tuned….I will be doing my first tutorial blog in the next week (HOPEFULLY).  Painting ON clear acrylic with acrylic.

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope the first few weeks have gotten you off to a good start!

 

Separated

This last weeks Illustration Friday topic was Separated. The topics sure have been getting more challenging for me! So many things come to mind when you hear separated. Everything from Siamese twins to  separating egg yokes is what I thought of. But the one thing that stuck in my head was the thought of loosing ones favorite childhood toy. I thought of a child accidentally leaving behind their beloved stuffed teddy bear at the playground, getting separated from their best friend. Sad but I thought the teddy bear turned out cute!

It started out as a sketch then I scanned it and painted it in Photoshop.

Here’s to many more Illustration Fridays!

This is the sketch of the lost/separated teddy bear.

This is the finished Illustration! I think he’s so cute!

Round

I’ve been working on this weeks Illustration Friday topic since Friday. At first I had a cute snowman, but then I thought that lots of people would be doing that so I wanted to do something else. So I came up with this little girl holding a giant balloon that is about to pull her to someplace far far away! This started out as a hand drawn sketch, then I painted it digitally in Photoshop…which is still something I’m new at, but totally falling in love with!

Oh and in case you are wondering, my Thanksgiving dinner was great! The only oops was that when I was combining two different pumpkin pie recipes, I didn’t add enough sugar….whooops. I am actually notorious for forgetting the sugar in the pumpkin pie…Granny was giggling at me from heaven, I know I heard her!

Vanity

I received my Illustration Friday post while sitting in on a “Family Survival” class my family and I attended for my brother. You would think that after 25 years of surviving him, we wouldn’t need a class! But now he has officially been sworn in as a Police Officer after 13 weeks at the academy. We will definitely need to know how to survive him now! AND….I wouldn’t have been able to do some awesome doodles. Hooray for my baby bro!

So of course, I took full advantage of the 2 hour class and doodled to my hearts content. This was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the word “Vanity” in the email. One of my students had shown me a preview of the new movie “Snow White and the Huntsman” (it looks awesome!) so that is probably where this idea came from. I would like to work on the idea more, but with Thanksgiving in a few days and my family here and all the craziness of me cooking my first Thanksgiving Turkey…..BAH!

Hooray for Thanksgiving break!!! 5 days off!