Kerrie Woodhouse

Whimsical Watercolour

Alcohol markers

Pale and interesting

My art journeyphoenixarttally

pale and interesting I am learning to love the beginning of a new series. The first one is hard. After a month of drawing a particular subject using a particular set of supplies you start feeling comfortable and easy.  Changing supplies and subject feels like a challenge. Actually, that's rather the point.

But I loved doing the first 'Jane-ish' face for August. And I loved the pale hair. So here is some more pale hair. In fact I think she is altogether 'pale and interesting'.

I like that phrase... pale and interesting. Reminds of a particular friend who went out and bought a very pale coloured lipstick when that was all the rage (oo way more years ago than either of us cares to recall). Anyway, she said this was her special lipstick for when she needed to be 'pale and interesting.' It was an important phase, I'm sure.

I didn't realise it was a Thing. But it seems it is. According to the Urban Dictionary, it refers to a rebellion against fake tanning, and what it might stand for. An embracing of one's natural appearance in the hopes that it will be taken as an indication of sufficient intelligence to resist the urge to paint oneself a shade of orange.

Here, here.



Learn to draw faces

Beginner Resources, My art journeyphoenixarttally

Learn to draw faces arttally New month - new series! August is going to be all about faces. I have been enjoying drawing teapots but found myself wanting to put faces on them. So I have decided to spend August working on faces.

One of the first things I learned to draw was faces. Whimsical faces. 'Jane style'.  And one of my favourite ways to draw faces is using alcohol markers - something else Jane introduced me too. There is nothing quite like them for making creamy skin tones.

Today I started with Jane's book on drawing beautiful faces.  I started, of course, at the section that shows you how to draw a face step by step using markers. This is my version. I am using Spectrum Noir markers. They are the cheaper brand of alcohol markers, but as long as I use proper marker paper, I find that I rather love them. They don't have the brush tip unfortunately, just the chisel but I seem to be okay with that too. After all, significant precision is just not my style!

I highly recommend learning to draw faces. With a few good tips, it is really not as hard as you might think. I started off with Draw Happy, one of Jane's workshops which introduces face drawing. Then I was hooked and did more of her courses that cover faces.

Faces are fascinating. We communicate so much with our faces, even if we don't intend to. So being able to draw a face feels somehow empowering.

Studying faces and expressions to be able to draw them has made me a little more perceptive I think. It certainly makes me really notice someone who is talking to me. I'd like to say that it makes me more present. I think on a good day, it does. But it is also possible that I missed what they were saying because I was trying so hard to observe and remember the tiny expressive crease of brow, a particular dimple that appears only for a certain type of amusement, or the shapes made by shadows falling across the face.

It's all good. It's these tiny details of every little part of our lives that makes them worth living, I think.

Perseverance pays...

My art journeyphoenixarttally

You know, there just might be something in this 10 000 hour rule.

Early attempt at a  face using alcohol markers

Early last year, about 400 art hours ago, I was introduced to Spectrum Noir Markers. They are alcohol based markers, which (when used with the right bleedproof paper or card) blend the streaky marks you inevitably make, all by themselves. So they are nothing like the markers we used as kids. They come in glorious colours and enable the production of beautiful, creamy skin tones. They do take some getting used to though. I remember being rather pleased with myself for being able to draw something resembling a face, under Lovely Jane's gentle instruction. Here is a face I drew back then using these very markers. I feel very brave revealing her, but she illustrates the point!

Another face, still using alcohol markers, but about 400 hours of drawing practice later!

I haven't really used these alcohol markers much because they are so fussy about the paper, and I am rather enjoying working in art journals at the moment.  But it is week 1 of 'Express Yourself'  another one of Lovely Jane's classes. Our warm up assignment was a shaded face using alcohol markers.

I think this face is much better than my earlier effort above, so I feel jolly encouraged and enthusiastic about doing more. It seems that we can learn new things, at any age.

I think there is a risk of being so focused on an outcome, the place you would like to get to, that you forget to notice where you have already been. It's a bad habit I am prone to, I think - the tendency to be more mindful of what I still can't do rather than acknowledging, or even observing, the current progress.

So here I am, pausing to take heart that practice does indeed seem to work, and ready to put in many more joyful hours of drawing.

In the midst of my self-appreciation, Beloved offered the observation that it looks as though she got smacked in the top of the head with an iron. Well. Yes....I see what he means. Luckily, I have 9 400 hours or so to work on that....