LESSON 1 - INTUITIVE CREATIVE PORTRAITURE

 
 

INTUITIVE INTRO

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For the longest time, I felt I couldn't call myself an artist until I could paint intuitively.

I now know that's not true but I do still believe we need to practice this skill as much as we practice painting with references.

Sometimes I'm astounded by the emotion I find in some of my paintings.  I know it's a way of tapping into our own deeper wells of emotion buried within.   Let your paintbrush help you find yours.  When a new face appears and she has a little attitude, lots of personality or deep sadness - I’m always amazed.

In this section, I would like to focus on painting several portraits intuitively.

I know that can be quite daunting for a lot of people.  It used to be for me.  Stepping out of my comfort zones was terrifying, sometimes still is.  Funny enough, I think I've become more of an intuitive painter now than not.  Even when I use a reference, I'm more about my own interpretation of it.  I think intuitive painting and reference painting go hand in hand.

This kind of painting is tapping into your creative play, knowing the rules but playing without them and about finding your own unique style and voice.  I find it incredibly playful and joyful, finding my face within the tea stains, in the shadows and in the happy mistakes….  in the corners of my mind and in the corners of my tiny teabag.  The more I practice the skill of intuitive work combined with the skill of referenced work - the more I find greater depth to my work too.


LETS FACE THE BASICS...

Once I learned the basic skills of how to draw / paint a face… it opened the doors to greater intuitive, creative play.  If you already know the basics around the face - then you are welcome to watch me doodle and ramble on about drawing and doodling faces.

 

UNDERSTANDING FACES

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Look forward to seeing your doodles too.


LET'S DRAW....

Let's practice drawing some faces - do this as many times over to help you get your eye in.

  1. Select 9 teabags of your choice.
  2. Tape them down securely with masking tape.
  3. Gesso them and let them dry.
  4. Grab your stabilo and let's draw.
  5. Work quickly and uninhibited - it doesn't have to be perfect.

DRAWING UP

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Don't underestimate the power of drawing.

The best painters are usually good with the pencil too. I encourage you to make this part of your daily practice, even if you use it as a way of warming up or getting your eye in. What I love about this exercise is when I do it in groups of 9 - my eye and hand start to work together and you will find that my last ones are usually my best ones.

Keep a mini drawing book and pencil (no eraser) in your bag and when you have a moment here and there - draw.  Don't worry about mistakes or rubbing out... make squiggles, lines and marks.

Just draw.


LET'S PAINT...

Now that you have done some Stabilo draw ups - let that guide you into your painting.

Most times my draw ups are exactly that - just a guideline.  Don't be stressed if your proportions aren't perfect.  Lots of fixing and tweaking happens with the paint.

Sometimes the paint leads me into a whole new direction.  With intuitive painting... let your TeaBagGirl lead you where she wants to go and you might be delightfully surprised with who shows up.

 

Paint colors with my limited palette:-

  • Raw Umber - cast shadows and hair.
  • Pyrrole Red - coloring and background.
  • White/Buff - your best friend.
  • Rose/Pink - different tones.
  • Light Blue - toning down and blending.
  • Olive Green - for the leaves.
  1. Your teabag of choice, ready with Gesso.
  2. A small paintbrush - 0, 2, 3, or 4 Filberts
  3. Stabilo pencil, red or brown.
  4. Your choice of acrylic paints.

TIP:   don't be afraid to load your brush with paint.  It really helps to move your paint around and it helps with blending.  Have fun.

INTUITIVE EXAMPLE 1

 

Paint colors:

  • Raw Umber/Prussian Blue
  • Pyrrole Red
  • White/Buff
  • Rose/Pink
  • Light Blue
  • Yellow Ochre
  1. Your teabag of choice, ready with Gesso.
  2. A small paintbrush - 0, 2, 3, or 4 Filberts
  3. Stabilo pencil, red or brown.
  4. Your choice of acrylic paints.

 

INTUITIVE EXAMPLE 2


LET'S PAINT ON TONED BACKGROUNDS...

When I have excess paint leftover from something I've been working on, instead of throwing it out, I use that leftover paint on prepped / gessoed TeaBags providing me with ready toned mini canvases.  I almost always have a great outcome with my toned backgrounds.  The color immediately adds a greater depth and beautiful tones to my portraits.

TONED BACKGROUNDS 1

 

TONED BACKGROUNDS 2


HOMEWORK EXERCISES #1

This is an incredible exercise to practice the art of loosening up.

It's a technique I have learned in most of Misty's classes through the years and one I found very hard to do in the beginning because it made me feel a little out of control. It's something I've grown into and continue to practice. The idea is to paint fast and carefree and unattached.

It helps you to abandon your inhibitions and your attachment to the outcome. I know for me, I often worry about delivering the perfect face instead of experiencing the beautiful moments in creating. 

This exercise will definitely help you with that.

  1. Draw up ~ one after the next - quickly and without too much thought.
  2. Cast shadows ~ lay down your shadows and undertones moving across all the pieces.
  3. Color/Blending ~ then start to find your face with more detail.
  4. Go ~ do this whole exercise in one sitting with the same palette.

~ have loads of fun ~

HOMEWORK #1

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Even while putting this video together for you, I noticed I still need more practice.  I tend to move across all the pieces all at once but then I get stuck on each one. I keep having to remind myself to keep moving.  Half way through I had to remind myself to let go more... it's a constant reminder and work for me but painting this way, always brings a special outcome.

I know it takes practice doing 9 at once.

But maybe start with 4 until you are into the flow of it.

I would love to hear your feelings about doing this exercise and would love to see what you do.


HOMEWORK EXERCISES #2

Now that you have experienced that and the challenge of that - let's try doing this without the lines to guide you.  This exercise is pushing you to go deeper into the practice of abandoning your inhibitions and silent rules.  It will also help you learn how to find and correct your proportions with your naked eye without the perfect draw up - it is a good practice.

 

HOMEWORK #2

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Set up your teabags for this exercise and choose your shadow colors.

I used Raw Umber, Payne's Grey, Green and Red.  I also had my White/Buff close by.

Remember no pencils or draw ups allowed.



Let's CONTINUE to LESSON 2...


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