Keep Those Plates Spinning!

Hmmmm……2 am and I’m writing business letters. Yup, you can tell I own my own business.

But can you tell I’m an artist??  Not from looking at my eBay auctions, that’s for sure!  I usually like to keep a supply of fresh, brand-new art live online—which is hard for me to do sometimes, when I’m dealing with a challenging bout of carbon monoxide side effects.  Multitasking abilities are severely compromised.

Some of that has an effect on what I’m doing now, and explains why I’m up at 2am doing business.  When I can work, I try to get everything done at once.  But another major reason is that I’m crazy-busy organizing the upcoming Art for 1000 Wells auction on eBay.  Awesomely exciting, and my heart is swelling with gratitude and admiration for the many wonderful artists and artisans who have come on board for this event!

But I haven’t had too much time for art the past couple days.  Last night, though, I had a window of opportunity when my computer clutched during my attempt to update MySpace in honor of the auction.  PC was down—so while it “thought” about itself for a minute, I grabbed my pastels.  I have to remind myself that I’m also participating in this auction event, so I need to paint something! The result of my sketchng time is not complete yet—but I have some work-in-progress pictures to share. Clicking the pictures will lead to a larger image.

Boy WIP (Work in Progress)

Original Pastel on Vellum Bristol paper, for the Art for 1000 Wells (TWBW) eBay auction Nov. 24-Dec. 4, 2007, by Christine Taylor (mousewords)

Step 1: While listening to Jars of Clay perform “Light Gives Heat,” I start with a loose sketch in blue pastel.

Boy WIP1 (c) mousewords

Step 2: While I don’t work from one particular photo, I study the faces of children for reference in bone and facial structure. Using the “rules” of anatomy, I make up my own person from there. Kind of like parenthood…sort of. :):)

Noticing that the skin tone I want has warm undertones, I define my sketch using yellow pastel.

Boy WIP2 (c) mousewords

Step 3: The fun part! Adding features. I love soft drawing mediums such as pastel, because it’s similar to doing sculpture–you “sculpt” a face with your fingers. (You know, Athena sculpted a child from clay, and the child magically came to life and grew up to be Wonder Woman. Hey, this IS like parenthood!)

Notice the bit of red in the upper right–I’m beginning to explore colors to find the right skin tones.

Boy WIP3 (c) mousewords

Step 4: Skin tones aren’t brown and white and red. They’re really made up of colors like green and purple. Colors that would make you go to the doctor if you saw them in the mirror.

I begin layering color over my undertones. The shadows are purple, so I begin using that to “flesh out” this little guy’s features, so to speak. I save the eyes till nearly the last, to preserve the whiteness of the paper.

At this point, I’m looking at it and thinking that I love the light, sketchy touch to it. I’d really rather not use the heavier application that I intended at first. That means, however, that I’ll need a delicate touch to build up the skin color.

Boy WIP4 (c) mousewords

Step 5: Time to turn the lights on! At this point, my little one looks ike a zombie, so I take a brown pastel and dash a soul into his eyes. When I’m drawing eyes, I just look right into the subject’s face and meet his gaze, then intuitively let my hand draw what I would see if I were really eye-to-eye with him. I literally feel my heart pouring out onto the paper when I draw the expression in a person’s eyes. I feel that a spirit has so much to say.

Then I take my purple and let my fingers shape the contours of this child’s head and face. The purple blends with yellow, making different colors on its own; while the blue shows through on his chin, making me think of the reflection of light from the surface of water. I like that look, and plan to preserve it.

Boy WIP5 (c) mousewords

He’s not done yet–needs cleaning up in the balance of his features, and needs more of a touch in his hair and skin tones. But that’s for next time.

3am…time for some bed.

 

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m sorry about your carbon monoxide side effects, Christine. You’re such a positive, supportive person to everyone else – it can’t be right! I hadn’t realised these side effects went on so long. I’m sending you positive vibes from over here – and so’s Monty and Rosie.

    Love, Susan

  2. Thank you, Susan! You’re so wonderfully supportive, yourself!

    But yes, that’s why we’re always trying to raise awareness of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, to save others from experiencing what we have. With hard work, we’re doing much better than we were at first–but it’s something that will always be with us.


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