And then I realise that the whole point of the exercise is to make us accept a challenge when it would be easier to hide under the blanket until it goes away. That was definitely the case with Lynne Hoppe's tutorial on how to paint faces in her delicate, ethereal style, which is about as far from my own as I could get - I don't often do sweet and pretty as you may have seen from my previous posts. Another reason was that I was scared to try this particular style.
Yes, I was frightened, and so I found a very good excuse, because I didn't have most of the materials Lynne uses. But since Kristin said of the beautiful face she painted that she used just what she had in the studio, that excuse was knocked on the head.
So here's my effort, which was a real experiment for me in every way:
I used just pencil, acrylic paint and watercolours, and mostly not even the colours Lynne had used, so obviously I was never going to get that delicate dreamy look she achieves. Sometimes I even mixed acrylic paint and watercolour together and found it worked. One thing that surprised me was that I painted directly onto the old book page and expected the paper to cockle tremendously but it didn't.
She's a little heavy on the eyebrows, but perhaps that runs in the family. Perhaps Frida Kahlo was one of her ancestors. When I looked for an old book page I was attracted to this one because the title of the short story is 'My Father's Love Story' which seemed right for the kind of sweet young face I was going to paint. Then at the end I followed Kristin's lead and found a few appropriate words to highlight.
I learnt a lot through following this tutorial, about painting in several delicate layers, achieving a more luminous skin tone, using alternative media, and - most importantly- about myself. How did I feel about the tutorial and my effort when I had finished?
I FELT HAPPY.
(Dev read this and said I didn't just look 'happy', I looked 'high'!)
Thank you Lynne and Kristin.
As always, I couldn't resist playing with the image a little in Photoshop, just changing the colours.
I think that the original, top left, looks better than any of the colour changes.
Do have a go at the tutorial - it's fun.