Friday, February 25, 2011

Opposites (am I cheating or is it just another tool!?)

Hi! Lyric here. I'm doing it again.
I had exactly what I wanted to do in my head the first day of the month.
Waited until the last minute anyway.
Stressing out because I'm trying to make it "good."
 This is the man I love. I call him Mr. Almost Perfect.
Isn't he handsome!?
The photo is by Julia Wade (who is having a photo shoot giveaway!)
I printed out a photo (yes I'm cheating again - I think it's FINE!)
Maybe in December I'll draw a face freehand.
I scribbled with a soft lead pencil on the back of the paper.
It's just enough that when I turn it over I can trace it...
...and transfer the lines to the surface of this thick watercolor paper.
I've added various color washes to almost all the pages of this book.
Just for fun. I think this was a watered down acrylic that was then sponged off a bit.
I decided to be bold and use a super cool japanese brush pen filled with india ink.
OK.... lesson learned. Don't color in the lips on guys.
Doodled with some water soluble crayons and more ink.
Doodling even more with acrylic paint markers.
I have no idea if I'm done or not. Sometimes it's best to just move on.
What do you do when something isn't working like you envisioned?
Give up? Learn from it?
Try something else? Try to fix it?
Start over?

(By the way - if you're near Cary NC on Tuesday March 1
I'll be lecturing at the Cary public library, 10am. I'd love to see you there!)


  1. I love this post! And nothing is cheating in art, you just change tools and the way you use them...

    when I am stuck, I walk away and give my brain time to reset and look at it again, if I feel it still isn't working then I dump it, and sometimes I gain a fresh perspective and go forward with an idea!

  2. what a clever idea - your portaits look great!

  3. He IS handsome, and I agree with you about coloring in the lips. Way fun idea. I wonder what would happen if you tried drawing the faces (from the photograph) without looking at the page, or with white crayon, then adding the watercolor wash. I seem to be on a roll with this blind drawing thing. Anyhow, the drawings look great as is!!!cac

  4. Oh I don't think it's cheating, I would have never come up with a version a photo like you did even with tracings or rubbings. Awesome outcome.

  5. NOT cheating. Just a timesaving tool!

  6. How fun is that?!! Fun idea and maybe a good tool to help face challenged Sketchers (I'm ONE!!) to learn spacing and shapes when doing faces !! Love it !!! THANK YOU !!!

  7. How fun is that?!! Fun idea and maybe a good tool to help face challenged Sketchers (I'm ONE!!) to learn spacing and shapes when doing faces !! Love it !!! THANK YOU !!!

  8. Wonderful idea! Not cheating at all, just another (quite clever) possibility.

  9. Very cool -- I love cheats like that!

  10. I never thought to do this. I've got to try it! You made such a fun, nice rendition of your own from the photo.

  11. You're really only cheating yourself when you trace. You miss an opportunity of real practice and putting your skills to the test. I know you have the skill to draw faces without tracing :) It's definitely a time saver to trace and don't get me wrong, I trace sometimes! Tracing can be a very effective tool when learning to draw, it has helped me. But you learn more when you draw freehand, it gives you the opportunity to find out what needs more work, what you need to improve on :) You're a fantastic artist, try not to trace!! :)

  12. I love what you are doing with it, so I think its just another form of art. No cheating in art I think, just a different method of creating. Very nice!!

  13. I enjoyed reading your entry. Thank you for sharing your personal reflections and your opposites' work was lovely.

  14. very cool technique! thanks for sharing in such an easy-to-follow way.

  15. My motto - whatever it takes to say what you want to say - this speaks very nicely! Love it!

  16. It's only cheating if you think it is.

  17. Hi Plum Jayne - I know, I know. And I'm WORKING hard to get to the point where I can capture just as good a likeness from life. At least a face drawn every day and I'm posting them on my blog here:

    But sometimes I need a little instant gratification - especially when pushing a deadline!

    Thanks for your encouragement!

  18. What a lovely post!!! Nothing is ever cheating when it comes to Art. At work we project images onto paper/boards to give the students a base for their work and get their outlines complete, then they do whatever they need to do to it, paint, pastel etc. I have even found some carbon paper and started to use that too, as well as tracing paper and photoshop. Anything is possible!

    When something isn't working sometimes I leave it and other times, particularly recently I cut out the section and patch it from the back so I can make it right. This is present in a couple of pages I have been working on this week.


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