Wanderlust: portrait

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The second theme of the Wanderlust year was “Faces” and we started off with inspiration from the organiser: Kasia Avery (blog, Instagram).

It took me a while to tackle this one. I could use the excuse that 1st February (when this class went live) was also the start of the Daily Marker 30 Day Colouring Challenge and my desk was full of digi stamps and Copic markers. And that would be true. But it’s quite a convenient excuse. The truth is that I have never really done people in my art. I’d had my Copic markers for well over a year before I even started colouring stamps of people and even then, that’s not the same as trying to create an image that is recognisable as a real live person.

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The basic technique is simple: find a photo in a magazine, cut it out, glue it in your journal and then paint over it. I don’t have a lot of magazines around, at least not the sort that have large photos of faces in them, so I had to trawl through my photo archive to find something suitable to work from. The headshot I chose is from a candid photo I took on the tube quite a few years ago.

Not only was the subject matter tricky, but I am also still utterly bluffing my way with acrylic paints, figuring it out for each new image. I’m getting the hang of throwing down colour for backgrounds, I can even cope with small-scale detail work like some of the pieces I did for the Square-a-thon challenge, but a portrait? That requires proper painting…

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And somehow, somehow, I managed it. I managed to create something that I am not embarrassed to show people and, better than that, it even looks not unlike the original photo! Of course, I am now going to put it down to beginner’s luck and never try the technique again for fear of creating a hideous mess 🙂

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