Tuesday, March 30, 2010


what i've been fiddling with so much these last few months is seeing how much i can leave out while drawing a face and yet still have an expression, a feeling, come through. i try different colors so i can see what their effect is. each little change makes a difference, and usually a big one. a face can go from happy to sad with one dark pencil stroke.

since the first 'face book' i've been letting what's already on the page show me where to start. there are usually blobs of walnut ink or wrinkles that point the way - a face is in there somewhere.

i drew/colored 'della' this morning while having coffee - i have to make myself not fill everything in; leave some mystery.

plaster cloth can be found at michaels for about $10, and jude's got a great post here about collaboration and 'diluting our efforts'.



  1. I know what you mean about

    filling everything in.

    It's an excercise in restraint

    and knowing when to stop.

  2. What a great fiddler you are! I am enjoying so much finding eyes and faces in the little journal book I bought from you on etsy! The single piece you sent with the crow stamped in it is on the back (or front). Well it is on the back side of the face I found. I am using pencil and I am slowly visualizing what to do with the rest. I love this! Thank you so much for sharing your techniques. I have to go buy some perm pressed muslin this weekend!

  3. Della is pretty special. And I am feeling a lot of emotion from her too.

  4. You have inspired me to make my own books though a littel differnet from yours as I dont work with acrylics but so far I am really happy with the results.

  5. I love this piece you posted today. I can view it from different angles on my monitor and see different layers of it. There is Della's exhausted looking face, and a sort of cruciform shape beneath, and is that some swiss cheese?;-)
    I was trying to figure out what the flower is, now I see it, as a christmas cactus flower not opened yet.

    I need to start a list for Michaels. I only get there once or twice a year and then am overwhelmed by everything.

    Ha, the veriword is lastwar wouldn't that be nice.

  6. yeah, grrl... i imagine i'll be practicing it for life as i'm not a natural leave-things-empty kind of person. xo

    janine, it's so nice finding those eyes and mouths in there isn't it?! sometimes i think there isn't one, but there always is... thank you and you're welcome!

    thank you, seth... she ended up with more emotion that i thought she'd have; she seemed distant at first, but then she was right *there*.

    jo, thank you so much!

    te, i am so interested in knowing how using the soymilk goes. i would really like not using acrylic paint. thank you for leaving your thoughts!

    jan, yes, i can see the exhausted face too - but not the swiss cheese, ha! i should've left the pic bigger so it's easier to see. it's not easy taking pics of these because the faces aren't dark to begin with. you're right about the flower - a christmas cactus bud. xo (oh yes, no more wars...)

  7. Wow that was fast. These ones I have used a soy milk powder which is an asian brand but I cant tell you what as it is at the studio but I do know it only contains soy no additives I just mixed it up with water to the consistency i required and brushed it on left it to dry then did the other side. For the best soy size it is necessary to start with the dried beans which you soak over night then blend with 3 different lots of water. But it is a lot of work and it has to be used within a day or two. The other option is to use prepackaged soy milk but trying to find one that isnt full of rubbish is nigh on impossible. Pigment can be added to the soy milk to create lovely washes of colour (I only use earth poigments) If some flour is added you can make a nice starch paste to brush on and draw into a slightly different effect is got if you use cows milk powder. The soy milk can be used on cellulose fabric to help make it take up more natural dye. Oh and mixed with pigment (or nice coloured dirt) and patterns drawn on cotton if left to cure is washable. I am more than happy to share.

  8. You bring so very much to the table to collaborate with ! ;)
    Love how you play, and your faces are like a new imagined race somehow - these wonderful beings so full of personality and emotion. I love them and the stories they seem to whisper...

    Play away, Creative One !

  9. I am finding, if I LISTEN, while I am working the piece tells me what it wants, MORE or LESS. Sometimes I try to ignore the advise and we fight. It happens less and less these days because I realize the piece KNOWS more than I do. :)Bea

  10. I love your faces! The find a face method sounds like a lot of fun and it shows in your wonderful work!

  11. I love Della and I agree with you I am working on leaving something out and creating more mystery!! xx's

  12. te, lol, yeah, that was fast... : )

    last night i was thinking about soy milk powder, and wondering if i could still buy the kind that was sold at the health food store i used to work at back in the 80s. it was basically just ground up soybeans. i'm gonna look for it... the other thing you've got me thinking about is using milk paint (i saw that you use it) to prep the muslin. so i'm going to investigate that too. i would like to move away from plastic based stuff as much as possible. oh yeah, and also starch - or maybe starch and flour. i wonder how these would work?

    thank you so much for sharing - i really appreciate it!

    hello ms. Big Heart Walking... yes, let's just play away... : )

    yeah, bea, that is so right. the trick is listening... the other thing is Experimenter Lynne. she's always asking 'what if'... xo ; )

    thank you so much, tonya... i appreciate that... : )

    hey cat - welcome back! nice to see you again!

  13. not filling things in, another lesson in less. thanks.

  14. Knowing when to stop is an artist's touch. -J

  15. Every line does count, nice. Lynne.

    And the Jude post was thoughtful.
    I do believe that experimenting in other mediums gives energy in your primary work. It is nice in getting mature enough to see the things you really don't have to want to do any more, certain options fade drop away and we are left with our focus. -J

  16. as i scroll through these faces, post after post I see see lots of emotion and also lots of juxtaposition of emotions ... love the face from Under the Bush... i can't even speak it all.

    peace to u.

  17. Its good to see your fiddling. Hope you have a wonderful bank holiday xJ