Sunday 31 May 2015

2015 #10: Bottles {by Leandra Franich}

2015 Topic 10: Bottles

Hi everyone Leandra here, actually doing a blog post for a change! 

If you have been following me on twitter, FB or Pinterest lately you will know that I have been playing with Craft stuff quite a bit of late, just trying to catch up with you all!!

Over the last few weeks I have gone back to a journal I started a few years ago.... well.... I did the cover, and that was about it! Sound familiar??!! For me journalling is like doing altered books, except flatter. About 15 years ago my creative life evolved around altered books. However, now the main difference is rather than a dimensional page I really want to master my control over drawing faces, so I've been adding those to my pages of late. Quite a few years ago I did a Suzi-blu class, and that got me started on faces, but I have not spent any time practising, so that time has now come.

To be perfectly frank, I am no expert at this! There are many of you out there who are far more adept at this process than I. For those of you who are still at the thinking-about-it-but-don't-know-how-to-start stage, then maybe my simplicity might help you jump in too. I just follow my instinct, and have no idea how to 'do' it, I just take it slowly trying to think about proportion, shape and shadows. I often use Pinterest images as a reference, there are many fabulous journal entries there, and having a guide to refer to certainly helps a lot.

I'm sure there are numerous methods, but at some point you need to just jump in. I know I need to improve my shading skills, but it's one step at a time, and perhaps if I share a little of how I get started, you might be brave enough to try too, and we can get better together!

Step One: Outline
So first up I started with an outline...Now DON'T LAUGH....but she was certainly going to end up as an alien if I kept going with this option!! Maybe I have a talent for alien faces! LOL

OK so you can see what's wrong can't you?
- The eyes are too high
- The face is too long

There's probably a lot more that is wrong, but I'm not aiming for perfect! Just a recognisable face would be good! So to fix it, rather than move the eyes, I rubbed out the pencil and shortened the face! Yes its OK to do that, you can't always get it right the first time!! So don't expect to! And pencil easily rubs off Fresco paint. Yay! You can also see the grid thing. I like to do this as it helps me get the lips and nose in the right place, and that is even more important if the head is for me that helps.

As far as the shape of the eyes goes, the lower lid tends to be flatter, and the upper a curve. The more you platy around with this, the more expression you can add, or you can move from whimsy to realistic in style. But I'm not bothered too much with that, for now its all about 2 eyes that match, so I'm going with basic!

Yes, I know...dodgy eyebrows right??!! Very Brooke Shields circa 1980...I ended up ditching them and covering that issue with a fringe!! 

Then I went over all the lines with a Black Pigma Fineliner micron pen (#4). This is the first time I have done that, usually I just paint over the pencil. Not sure it makes much difference, but the pencil is easier to adjust moving forward, so stick with your pencil if you wish! Once heat set the Pigma Pigment pens are permanent (nice alliteration there), and the set of 3 gives you fine .02, thick .08 and medium .04, so I like them a lot. Always make sure the paint is totally dry before you use them or they will stop working!

Step Two: Shadows 
So from the basic sketch, add colour. And that's it!

My go to paints for the initial face-tones are all the pale white-skin tone Frescos eg Snowflake (white), Chalk (white-cream), Nougat (off white/cream), Buff (very rich beige-cream), Vintage Lace (hint of pink), Mushroom (pinky-beige), Blush (skin pink), Rose (very pink), Taupe (like it says on the tin).

The concept is:
1. Put a dark shade in the shadows, then 
2. Come over the top with a 'blender' or lighter shade
3. ...and repeat...
4. ...and repeat...
5. ...and repeat...until you like it!

So I used mushroom down the sides of the nose and I will then take it up into the eye socket cavity. Blush (under left eye) and Blush then Rose on the right cheek/ under eye. On the whole, I added Blush in all the shadow areas, above/under lip. Then the white/ highlight areas are done in Chalk/ Snowflake or Nougat (nose, above eye). For the rest I then move into the mid tones (Nougat, Vintage Lace, dash of Buff) to blend from the shady areas to the highlight areas.

I always work with a damp (not sopping) flat small brush, and only the tiniest bit of paint on the brush. Apply the paint, wipe the brush onto the paper towel, then blend the applied paint into the nearby area. Leave it to dry before you decide what is needed next, bearing in mind, the pale paint will often dry a tad darker. So I move to a different part of the face, then come back. I don't use the heat gun because if you dry the paint too fast, you can get those tide marks, so it's better to just move around and work on a different bit.

Brushes. I use mainly the small flat one on the left, and the 2 on the right. Far right is great for the eye detail, finelining the eye etc. You can find them online here, less than £1 per brush, so cheap as chips.

Step Three: Warmth 
So you just keep working it until you like it. So how did I warm her up?? Once I had a base over the entire paper-face of various shades, I like to add some Pumpkin Soup. It's a translucent, so she immediately goes from vampire to the living when you add Pumpkin Soup! Again, go over the top with Nougat, chalk, and your shader-tones to soften it back, then it will look more natural and blended.

Step Four: Eyes
Again, it helps to find a template on Pinterest, and do the eyeball style/ expression you like. I am not good enough yet to do eyes from a blank page/ mind, so I find a guide to refer to eliminates anxiety. This also helps with the shading discussed earlier!

Eye Tips:
1. Draw 'brackets' ( ) in the eye socket.
2. Draw a pupil, but leave a hole in it to 'catch' the light. I find the pupil looks better if it is semi obscured by wither the upper or lower eyelid. Then she looks like she is looking up or down, in fact I always do them looking up or down and to one side, for me I find the eye ends up much softer, and less goggly.
3. Add more white to the white of the eye.
4. Add colour to the coloured bit (I used Limelight and Hey Pesto, and I even mixed South Pacific into the Hey Pesto to create a deeper green-blue for the very lower-right bit)
5. Colour the pupils. I used French Roast (a brown-black), 2 layers. Then Little Black Dress around the outer pupil edge. Then I Stippled nougat for the catch-lights.
6. Fine liner brush with French Roast on the bracket bits (  ) of the eyeball, and both lids.
7. Repeat 5 with LBD if necessary you see you don't need to use a pen at all! Oh hang on....I did...

8. Used  the fine .02 Pigma Pen for the eye lashes once it was all dry.

Hair Tips:
Again, look online for ideas. I had to cover the dodgy eyebrows, so I used Pumpkin Soup, Brown Shed, French Roast, then Little Black Dress using the fineliner paintbrush to draw squiggles. That was way easier than I thought curly hair might be! I finished with the .08 thick Pigma Pen to do a few more black defined squiggles.

Step Five: Page Background
Once you have the 'face' its easier to make a background to suit the tones. I decided I would go dusky.

The entire Spread was painted direct to the paper (no gesso!) with Buff, then I added patches of Lake Wanaka and Rose with a wide flat brush working fast. I wanted it to look scruffy, so I added the paint, then wiped the brush clean, and literally scruffy- scrubby style blended the colour into the Buff as fast as I could. (total paintbrush disrespect!) I then came back over again with nougat to soften and blend all the patches, and finally I added some chalk patches which I finger painted/ rubbed in.

I tinted Grunge Paste with the left over Rose and Lake Wanaka, and randomly applied it through the new Numbers Stencil (PS021) that Mark has been hiding from us all!

Step Six: Facing 'Bottles' Page
I had some brayered 12x12" HeavyWeight Smoothy paper 

made with EEG07 which was left over from yesterday's project...

.... Yesterday I made a 6x8" canvas with Clare Lloyd's face stamp ECL03 ... I used the stamped face instead of drawing one myself.... See if all else fails you can still make it look like you've drawn a face!!!

While we are here, here is the face close up... 

See how she has a nose ! Clare didn't define the eyeball or it was kind of tricky for a newbie like me to go from white eyeball to mushroom shadow of the eye socket...but I tried to subtly give it a go!

Where were we???...oh yes...bottles...I wanted to use the green paper that I used for the coat above for the bottles, the green colour would mimic the eye colour of the face.. So I stamped HP1109 row of bottles onto the brayered BG. And then made square you do! Actually looking at it now...they could be balloons!!

The final step was journalling, and as I started with Buff paper, I drew circles on a bit of Buff painted book page, cut them out, cut them in halves, and journalled on them the story of how Barbara Streisand ....she does look like her I think.... wanted square flowers!

Might be a tenuous link to 'bottles' for the current topic, but we got there in the end!!! Finally I added a shadow with my Scribe All Pencil

It writes on glass etc, and comes in a set of 2 (Black and White and with a pencil sharpener) and it's water soluble. So you apply it, then blend with water to get the soft shadow around the things on the page. This technique makes things pop off the background too.

Lastly I scrawled some journalling about the process in a white sharpie paint pen, and talked about how its not that scary after all to draw and colour a face!

So, I hope you have had a lovely weekend, and perhaps this week you might be able to combine the bottles Topic with faces too! And share your work in the challenge that closes on Sunday Night?

Don't forget, if you are up North, this coming Sunday we are at the Doncaster Dome Stamp Magic Craft Show. Darcy will be there demoing with me, and mark and our eldest Courtney will be running the stand. We very much look forward to seeing you there!

We would love you to join in with challenge #10: Bottles If you are inspired by any of our guests who blog with us over the fortnight, then please join in and link up your creativity HERE

All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The Bottles link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, June 7th, winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.  


Helen said...

She turned out great, and I love the bottles page! Great to see you playing along with your own challenge!

Craftyfield said...

I did wonder if stamped bottles would be allowed coz I have some beautiful ones... and I can't seem to get my mojo in gear to transform an actual bottle.
Or maybe I lost my bottle...
Your journal pages are great, as is your canvas, and I have just found out that I need some new brushes and some scribe all pencils!

Claire said...

Lovely to see you on the blog Leandra! I love your journal pages - she is fab, especially her hair! Loving that numbers stencil too X

Julie Lee said...

Nice Work! The shading is beautiful and it's really helpful and inspiring to explain your process. I'm sure this lovely project will encourage lots of people to have a go! I've been having so much fun with faces lately too. It can be so rewarding to create a pretty, quirky or colourful face that is your own work and include it on a journal page - and it can look good without having to be perfect. Thanks for some great inspiration! xx

finnella03 said...

I can't believe you are not able to do everything easily, you are so talented. But I salute you for being honest. But you are good.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic Leandra! Been dabbling with faces too, so your tips are really useful! See you Sunday! Sue C x

Anneke said...

Your face turned out well, beautiful!
Love your square flowers too! A beautiful spread!

Carol Plume said...

Fantastic! Thank you for sharing your drawing processes - wish I had known about the heat setting of the pens this morning lol when I post my page you'll know why xx

Unknown said...

Great post from you Leandra and your pages are fabulous. Thanks for the detail on building the shading on the lovely face. The bottles are fab and the quirky balloon flowers.

Lesley Xx

Ruth said...

Fabulous and inspirational post Leandra! LOVE the bottles page you've done to compliment her. So good to see more of your work. Ruth x

SCarol said...

Love your face and thanks for sharing the process. I need to be brave and go for it!

Kirsten said...

EXCELLENT blog post Leandra! Thanks for all the tips. Your journal spread is gorgeous. I love the square flowers & Barbra looks fabulous.

Lauren Hatwell said...

Oooh! These are right up my street. I love the background you did with Emma's stamps (gorgeous soft colours) and your fab bottles page with the kooky flowers. Lx

ionabunny said...

Love the cat. New stamp? Hugz

Kim Dellow said...

Wonderful! I'm so glad you linked her up on Show Your Face this week. It is great to see your face Leandra :) and the steps too. Love your bottles, two great pages. Kx

Etsuko said...

Awesome pages. She is beautiful and the great tutorial...have a go. Fabulous the bottles and the square flowers also background too. I love your journal pages. xxx

Becky said...

I love her! You certainly are not a beginner!! :) Can I just do emoticon faces? I'm really good at those. I can even turn them the right way round...Heh. The bottles are very striking as well. At first I thought you had done that on a fabric pillow! :)