Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I dislike this drawing so much I almost decided not to post it. However, it serves it purpose so I put vanity aside. I have an idea I am excited about for my next painting but I have lots of choices so I am doing studies and experiments to narrow them down.

The first decision is which facial image I want to use. I have two I took with me looking up. I like the unusual angle of the head and the shapes of the features. One of the photos I really played around with in Photoshop Elements and distorted it a bit and rotated the head. This is the one I was drawing today. I think I may have gone overboard changing the angle of the head. I did about 4 drawings yesterday of this image in it's original orientation. Pencil drawings are hard to photograph, so I didn't bother this time. I will draw the image 5 or 6 more times at least until I feel confident I can draw it with pen onto a good sheet of paper. The size and placement will be important so I will probably draw onto tracing paper first and then transfer it. The other option is to put the drawing in my projector and then scale it up and down until I like the placement and size. It is easier to draw small and project larger. I have the projector on a rolling cart and the paper on my easel. Works like a charm. I only believe in tracing your own drawings, not photographs.

The second decision is the format of the painting. Right now I am thinking I want it long and thin with the head at the bottom looking up. I will be making lots of thumbnails to get a feel for the composition.

Third decision is how to put the writing on the wall in the background. Lots of options here, also. Today I tried gesso on watercolor paper using a variety of instruments to write with. Diluted gesso works better than straight because it flows. I was writing with the gesso on the untreated paper and letting it dry. Then, put a wash over the whole thing and the words show up lighter. Turns out the best lettering was done with a bird feather I picked up in Yellowstone National Park. I was going to make my own quill pens. I just used the feather in it's natural state on the end. The ones I tried to sharpen into a quill pen weren't good. Probably the wrong kind of feather for that. I want to try a bunch of other ideas before I decide on the background. The words are "stream of consciousness" all run together but can be read with a little patience.

I will try stamping tomorrow.


RHCarpenter said...

Myrna, the diligence you have for your art work is amazing! You work, work, work at it and the end result is always a winner (thanks for telling us how you work at it and how many times you draw it out and figure and study and plan!). You put me to shame - but I still love coming to see what you're up to all the time.

Elizabeth Parsons said...

I love reading about your process. I am in awe at how much planning you do!

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