I don’t retire for another seven years, but I have a lot of free time on my hands and a lot of questions about ‘who do I want to be now that I can be whoever I want to be?’ I spent the better part of my adult life being mother and wife, and while I do not regret a moment of that time, I have a lot of life left in me as I enter the retirement age. My children have grown up, moved away, and blessed me with a passel of grandchildren. My husband has retired and settled down with the television.
I am still working, but – in all honesty – I have only worked steadily for the past 14 years of my life. Prior to that, I was Mom, Homeschool Teacher, Church Volunteer, School Volunteer, parttime employee. I posed a lot of questions on my other blog (jacidawn.com) about growing up and what I decided was that I have several choices – but what is my first love? ART.
I have not pursued art seriously for decades. Off and on, I start something and go through with it (hence this blog), but for the most part… being an artist came in behind children, homeschooling, gardening, work, writing- you name it.
In honor of my decision to become a more serious artist and to improve my natural gifts, I did a short series on Facebook about portraits. The idea was to garner constructive criticism and ideas on ways to improve myself, but it really ended up being a self-critique and a lesson in using medium to its best advantage given my limited skills. In no way did I expect to be perfect, only to play around with the most difficult task I could think of: human faces.
I picked my granddaughters.
Granddaughter #2 in her mother’s sweater.
Crayon. Crayon is difficult anyway. I’m not terribly disappointed with the results since I have never – ever – attempted a portrait with crayons.
Pastels. Much better. The little girl doesn’t actually resemble my granddaughter because I sketched free-hand from a computer image. Mouth is off. But it isn’t a bad rendition of a human face and I think my art teachers through the years would admit I finally got the concept of planes down. Mr. Wall always told me I didn’t understand the human face is made up of planes. I think I just rebelled against the idea that geometry could be of any value in art.
My grandson snapped this photo of his sister, granddaughter #1. I just want to give him credit. He loved the idea that I had a real camera and I would let him touch it. I think he was enamored of the instant gratification of digital photography more than the f-stops and flashes, but…
This was my first post to Facebook. I was appalled. The scanning process revealed my weakest spots – but since I used watercolor crayons, I knew I could fix the error without over-working the portrait.
A little bronze to the side and I managed to tone down that glaring wite spot by her eye. I like the end result – and she actually looks like my granddaughter.
I switched it up to my youngest. I scrolled through her “selfie” file and picked out one I thought I could imitate. I love this photo of her. It reminds me of Audrey Hepburn.
Oil pastels. Oh. Ugh. The details are too tiny and the points are too lacking in oil pastels. I totally flubbed up the mouth. She looks more like a Zombie (which I am certain she is fine with, but I am not).
Water color crayons to the rescue. I am so pleased with this!
The results? I *love* water color crayons. I have a lot of work to do. I need to keep plugging at it, don’t back down. I have seven years to perfect this gift I have.