I started a new mixed media painting the other night, sort of on a whim. I was listening to a song by the Lumineers called, 'Flowers in Your Hair', and just wanted to paint a girl with flowers in her hair. I started off with the standard collaging of papers. I tried to keep majority of the more vivid colours up towards the top and the paler / more neutral colours at the bottom - which bits of each all over to add some harmony. I left the middle blank, as that is where I want her face, and I didn't want to have to be fighting over the textured paper for this one - I want to get her face on the more realistic side than illustrated. This way, there is also a difference in texture in her face to the surrounding, to add interest to the piece and help pull the face from the background.
I started drawing out a rough outline of her face with the faber-castell artist pens. I like the india ink, and how it I don't like something, I can quickly wipe it off. I can also 'layer' my drawing - start with a lighter pen, and then go to a darker pen for more definite lines. This face is being drawn just from my imagination. I will be using reference photos to get an idea of where I would want accurate shadow placement, but more now it's a lot of just 'going with the flow'. I also painted the sides (a lovely green) and brought some of that over onto the painting, so when I start working on the background, things will blend and 'melt' into eachother more, and there will not be such a harsh line around the edges. I know a lot of people extend their paintings onto the edges - but I have never been one of those. And, I don't think I ever will be. I may paint the sides a solid colour, and add texture with washi or stamping, but I will not extend the front picture over the sides. It's just not my method :D
I started colouring in her skin tone - starting with just a overall solid midtone. I will be adding shadows and highlights to bring definition to her face. I kept the outlines I wanted for now, but those will mostly be gone by the end of the painting. I also started to colour in her red hair. I choose red, because quite frankly I am obsessed with red hair, hehe! I think dying my own that shade just made me want to use it all the time - it's so fun and vivid. the red hair is why I choose a green shade for the background. They compliment eachother wonderfully.
I also added embossing to my painting - yup that's right! My newer love of stamping has snuck it's way into my painting :) I am going to add more of this on my painting, but I think I want it as more of a finishing touch, so this is all I'm putting on for now.