Thursday 9 May 2013


What I appreciate so much about Kristin's Tutorial Tryouts - Every Tuesday is the fact that Kristin points us in the direction of a style of art that is quite different from the safe haven of our regular style, which always gives me the reaction of 'I can't do that, I don't want to do that, and I think I'll sit this one out'.

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?

(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.


  1. I really need to try out these tutorials Jez, as you are inpiring me so much by your ability to learn and develop new methods of working. I adore Lynns work, she has the ability to create with a limited palette and minimal marks such beautiful faces. Thank you for your comments Btw it is always such a pleasure to hear from you. :)

  2. It's so inspiring the way you've been diving into these challenges head first. There really is something exhilarating about smashing your way through a fear. Great results!

  3. I know I say it a lot, but Jez, you are truly amazing (and an inspiration)!

    I love the way you face your fears and 'go for it'!

    I'm so happy that you played along, and shared your thoughts along the way. I think it is great the way that your own style comes through even when you're following someone else's tutorial - that's what it's all about!


    p.s. Before I even read the post below I thought, "those drawings are very Schiele-esque"! Cool!

  4. Well, thanks to all of you. I'm such a scaredy-cat that it's amazes me to get such encouraging comments and they really inspire me to keep trying something new, even against my will.

  5. Oops the posts were the other way around...I was enthralled with this post and the links!! God distracted by these links... Love what you've done after watching the video...such a good instruction she gives!! I love your tenacity to dig in despite not having the exacting tools!! Good job!! You've inspired me!!

    Hugs Giggles

  6. New things are always frightening, no matter who you are. Therefore, I applaud you for taking the risk and trying something new to you. You did a great job, and she's beautiful!

  7. Lovely piece, and well done on leaving the familiar path to try something new! Valerie

  8. Congrats on meeting the challenge! I love what you did. I'm glad you got over your fear and went for it! Great job. I like this swimmer and the page you chose to paint her on.

  9. Well done Jez for feeling the fear and doing it anyway! Its a lovely piece and lovely to hear Dez's description of you when you had completed her. It's a very interesting concept painting on a book page, you get a sense of the person coming out of the page into the real world.
    Love your adventures with her in Photoshop too x

  10. Jez you did great and I think I need to check out those tutorials. I am just so busy I never have time for anything and at the moment I am trying to catch up with stuff I may have some time on Tuesday. I will report back to you and show my Lynne Hoppe style off lol. It might not be pretty though ;)

  11. Jez I could get on your TAW page but this hands on art is very cool...lovely work.


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