Hey Gorgeous ones!
A journey into Whimsical Portraits.
Its all about trial and error
So I thought I would share a bit of my process and journey into creating whimsical portraits and learning mixed media!
Mixed media and whimsical portraits came into my life 2 years ago when I stumbled across an incredible artist called Tamara Laporte. Tamara runs Willowing Arts and focuses around art and wellness! Right up my street, the fusing of art and wellness really is a massive passion of mine and I adore finding other artists who are on that vibe too.
One of the types of art I have always loved is mixed media and portraits. But honestly, I have avoided portraits for a very long time due to fear of not being good enough. When I found Tamara Laporte I enrolled on the free art class that you can find on her website. The free class goes through how to create your very own whimsical character!! They’re colourful, bold, floaty, dreamy with big eyes and cute little details.
Here is my first ever attempt at painting a whimsical character… ——————————->
This took me AAAGGGGGEESSS! It actually took me quite a few attempts to get the facial features okay and skin colour, shadows and highlights about right.
Since creating this piece I signed up to Tams LifeBook 2020 year long course. The course features a whole variety of mixed media artists a lot of whom focus on portraits within their art. I love having an array of artists with different approaches to this style of art. You learn so many different ways of drawing and painting the faces. Some people start of with darker skin and lighten where as others start with light and then add in the shadows. I realised that If i wanted to develop my skills in creating faces then enrolling in a course would help me the most. I am so grateful for the internet and the connections it allows us to have. I have watched tutorials and completed classes from artists all around the world.
Now I have painted a few different whimsical portraits I am slowly getting there with skin colour, shadows and high lights. Its taking a lot of trial and error of playing with what colours to use for shadows as I have not nailed the use of bold colours. When I do try and be risky and use bold colours I usually end up ruining the face. A thought I am having at the moment as the #blacklivesmatter movement is rising and raising awareness in the effect of white privilege I feel I would like to create portraits of all skin colours to make my art more inclusive. The intention behind my art is to inspire and I would like to ensure that I am inclusive of all race, genders and ethnicity.
<———- This one is my newest whimsical piece! Look how far I have come! Its taken a lot of trial and error to get to this point but I feel like I am finding my style. There is always lots of exploration and experimentation to have when it comes to the creative process. Backgrounds are next on my list to tackle. I find that I create a piece and it take a whole lot of energy to find inspiration and motivation to finish it! For this background I decided to use left over paint I had from another abstract piece I was creating. I also made some stamps from some pieces of foam I had from an arts and crafts pack. I am excited to use more stamps to add symbols and patterns to my work as that is something I would really like to infuse into my art more.
So what have I learned about mixed media portraits so far? That it takes time and practice to find your own style in terms of what shape face you like, sized eyes, types of mouths, and other features of the face.
Skin colour is something I have been exploring and I realised its always good, for me anyway to start off lighter and then slowly build your shadows and highlights. I have learn that its important to be inclusive in your art and to include the vast array of skin colours.
The final thing I have learnt is to explore with your backgrounds, for me I like abstract backgrounds but i am also having a dabble in some more cosmic looking backgrounds it also helps to give context to the character that you have created. Creating a background of a place can give a whole new feel to the character.
I look forward to sharing more of this process with you!
To check out more of my work and regular updates check out my Instagram and Facebook! You can also join my Heartful Art and Wellness Tribe for updates on new art and upcoming courses I am running (You will receive a free creative wellness cheat sheet when you sign up!).
Big love to you all