2

Love & Hate Learning

I am currently enrolled in Tamara Laporte’s newest class called. “Ever After” The class is geared towards helping you develop and recognize your own style. It’s a brilliant class and I am so thrilled to be a part of it and. Yes it is definitely helping me to begin recognizing my own style.

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You can learn more about this fabulous course here http://bit.ly/EA2016Tam

That said, I also have come to a love hate relationship with parts of the lesson. Lol Learning may be fundamental but it is not always 100% fun! Lol The first lesson was one of Tam’s, since I am familiar with doing her tutorial’s I didn’t struggle as much with this one but still as always had my moments.

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You remember those times when you look at your work and feel your stomach working its way up to your throat as you contemplate your next step. That step that brings fear and causes your heart to do that thumpity thump… Yah so I exaggerate a bit, but you get the idea.

But again I pushed through and tadahhhh a new little mermaid was born, to swim happily through the majical fairyland under the sea!

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The next tutorial was Beauty & the Beast by a wonderful artist, Andrea Gomoll. Now with this one I got to the sketch phase and from there on was in a constant battle between the forces of Love & Hate. Her style is so very different from my own, but I was determined to keep mine as close to what she did as possible, so that I can learn. I was ok with the initial steps of using watercolor as I am familiar with that process, and I wasn’t too concerned at this point. Then the next layer came and although I loved the softness of my girl and beast and I also loved the texturing step, which was totally new technique for me, I hated the darkness my background had taken on and my rose. (ughhh)

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Yet I wasn’t doing this course to love every step, I took the course to learn. So buck it up ranae’ and keep going. The next steps my blood pressure had to of been lifted and my mind was doing the “this is terrible, I can’t so this, I hate mine” mantra. I wanted to give up on this one so many times. But hey we can’t let the hate win, we have to push it back into a place of love, so I moved forward.  Here is my end result.

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This particular style is not me, but I was amazed at how much I learned from pushing through those rough patches. How much I would of missed out on learning had I not completed the lesson. I also learned how much I appreciate Andrea and others who can do this style so easily!!!

The next lesson has me already at Hate stage, and I have done nothing on it but sketched out my girl. Lol But it is a style I have never ever tried any of the steps on. So it will be pretty much completely new to me. I will post about it also when I am completed. Of course as I typed that my mind is saying “IF you complete it” lol, but I will, my hate relationship with learning NEW art techniques will not win!

 

Hugs & Love – Ranae

5

Works in Progress, or just in Limbo…

I tend to have focus problems at times… ok so I actually have them a LOT of times! Today was one of those days. To explain the trouble with these focus troubles I will share one situation of my day earlier. I went into the kitchen to make a sandwich, took out the last two slices of bread, went to throw away the bread wrapping. My trash can is in the laundry room, so I remembered I needed to get the clothes out of the dryer, started to fold them up and heard this very soft ding… ding… ding… Took me a couple of shirts to realize what that ding was. I had left my refrigerator door wide open, because I had originally planned on getting out my lunch meat next for my sandwich and totally spaced it all out. *Ughhh – blush*

I am no different some days when it comes to my art work. I have books and books of projects I started but never did finish. Not because I didn’t like them, but merely because I wound up getting involved in a completely different project. The picture below is a little Fairy I did over a year ago.
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Now I really like the sketch of this little fairy girl, and my plan was to use copic markers to color her. Unfortunately, she wound up staying in the sketch book and put away with the many other old sketch books I have.

This mermaid below was meant to become a pen and ink sketch. Fear is what stopped from going further with her. You see I really liked the pencil sketch and was too scared I would mess her all up if I transitioned her to inks.
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This next mermaid I had planned on turning into a watercolor painting.

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I wanted her sitting on a treasure chest with all the wonderful sea life around her, complete with a seahorse and some fish. Unfortunately, I became involved in doing a test run of the seahorse which I then turned into a mixed media project, then when finished had forgotten all about the poor mermaid. That sea horse however I did finish!!!

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Do you often find yourself moving too quickly from one project into the next? Are half finished projects stored away in your closet, drawers etc.? If so how often do you actually go back later and actually find yourself finishing them?

Ah the wonderful Limbo moments in art, what fun they are. Lol

Hugs & Love Ranae’

5

Art Journal Stalemate

Art Journaling has become very trendy over the past few years. I myself have started quite a few, but I always seem to get to a point where I stopped. This bothered me for quite a while as it seems as if I could never get more than just a couple of journal pages before I became bored with it. Until now…

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You probably recognize this lil gal from my post on Emotions & Art

After pondering why, I could never seem to really get enthusiastic about art journaling, I finally realized that it was because I am the type who tends to advance quicker and more fluidly when my process has some type of organized thought process behind it.  So I began my own “Girls” Art Journal.

 

Since beginning this journal on the 10th of June, it seems ideas for new pages are coming to me consistently and I am having such a great time filling my pages.

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This is also a wonderful place for me to test out new color schemes, new products, new theme ideas etc… For example, with the Fall Girl above I wanted to try out a darker skin tone than I typically use. By testing it in my journal, it took the pressure off and allowed me just to be free to experiment.

My next page spread I wanted to see how I would like using colored pencil for part and then watercolor paints for other parts. Just me testing a different way to come up with skin tone and textures, so my Mermaid Girl was created.

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My latest girl, the Naturalist Girl, was a mixture of watercolor crayons, paints, acrylic marker pens and colored pencils. My focus on her was to make her more whimsical.

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Now that I finally figured out why the journals were so hard for me to stick with my mind is jumping ahead to other theme type journals I could do. It feels so nice when you finally figure out what it was that had you at a standstill.

 

How about you? How do you motivate yourself to work in your art journal(s)? Do you use prompts? Do you do theme’s? Maybe you prefer having one journal for everything? What motivates you to keep filling up your pages? I would love to hear from you.

 

Hugs & Love – Ranae’

5

Techniques’: When is it your own?

I have my own style in many things but lately with my girls I have taken to following Tamara Laporte’s wondrous tutorials. I always try to make some part of each tutorial unique in some way. Yet I find myself leery of saying it is 100% my own yet.

For example, I recently completed one of Tam’s tutorial called the “Merry Muse” The photo below is Tamara’s work.

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(Click Here for more info on this tutorial)

To make it more my own I used a different color palette and I changed the items in her hands from a Celtic Harp to Moon and then made my dove different with no crown. See my take on this tutorial below.

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So yes it looks different than Tam’s yet similar still because the techniques used are pretty close to the same.

My next project I decided to still use the techniques I have learned from Tam but I didn’t follow her tutorials directly and even drew my very own girl without any visual aids from anyone else’s works. In other words, the girl is totally my creation.

However, once I completed her, in my mind she is still not really mine. She is not from any tutorial, she is not a copy, and yet she still doesn’t feel like all mine. Simply because the techniques I used were all learned from Tam.

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I would be very interested in what others may think. If you are learning techniques from other artist’s when does what you are working on become your own work? Does every technique used needs to be 100% your own idea? Does it become your own if you mix one learned artist’s technique with another’s? How do you get to that point where you feel your creations are all yours?

I personally have no answer, I am still on the journey to developing my own personal style, technique and cohesive works. However, I know one thing…

Learning various techniques from various artist’s is definitely a great way to keep me moving forward in this journey. So to all those wonderful artists’ that share their own techniques, trials and tricks with us I thank you with all my heart! Thank to each of you, I am confident that one day I will be able to do the same and will have my “own” unique style and techniques.

Hugs & Love from – Ranae’

11

Mad Hatter Day

Does your art sometimes turn into a series without you meaning for it to?  Do themes just happen or are you one who plans them out?

I started out working on a new project that revolves around Alice in Wonderland. Unfortunately, I am unable to proceed further than my preliminary sketch due to having to work out some kinks with the background material I want for her. So in the mean time I began to look for something else to do.

I don’t usually have a list of what I want to do next and in this case my mind was blank. I only knew I wanted to paint.

I have a great friend, Savannah, who has her grandma’s tea recipe tacked up on my fridge and as I went to get something to drink I looked at it and there began my inspiration. She loves tea so I decided to paint her a whimsical teapot. It was a lot of fun to paint and I definitely want to do more of these.

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When I was finished with it, once again I turned to my friends. While chatting with them I just asked them to name me a few of their favorite things. One of my friends, Nicole, said bunnies. And so this lil bunny was born. She was an ornery bunny and as usual I almost gave up on her as she went through her ugly stage, but I pressed through and I rather like her now. Not too bad for my first ever acrylic animal.

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Still running into trouble with my background and having to wait now for delivery of the material I designed, I once again was looking for something to paint.

My friend Michelle and I have been talking about holding some of our own paint classes at some point and were chatting about what things we could paint in those classes. Being a lover of hat’s I told her I wanted to try a whimsical top hat.  And so this hat was created.

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Now look back at the various items I wound up painting over the past couple of weeks… do you see the theme?

It was completely unintentional but I wound up painting items that can be found relating to the one thing I “truly” wanted to be working on, which was my Alice in Wonderland!

Funny how things interweave isn’t it? “Curiouser and Curiouser!”

How about you? Do you find yourself working in themes without intent to do so? Perhaps it’s just a certain color palette you keep using unintentionally. It may even be thicker than normal line strokes or an embellishment you suddenly realize you put into many of your art works.

I would very much love to hear from each of you regarding your experience with such.

Hugs & Love Ranae’

8

A Dibble Dabble Day

So today is a starting out to be a dibble dabble day. One of those days where it’s just hard to settle your mind down long enough to really dig into any one project.

Dibble…

I started out scribbling chalk over the back of a preliminary sketch I did for a larger project I want to do.

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Dabble…

Then I put that aside and refreshed my coffee, walked away, let my pups outside, said morning to a few friends on FB. Grabbed a piece of copy paper and began sketching a face.

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Dibble…

Was not liking that so I returned to my chalked paper and taped it in place, tested the transfer to ensure the yellow chalk I used would work. Walked to my computer then right back to the taped sketch and began the actual transferring process, finished that, took the transfer sketch off then back to sketch on paper again. Still not liking the sketch, I sighed and walked away from it. Took a bubble bath to hopefully relax my scattered thoughts.

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Dabble…

Then Refreshed my coffee again and back to my computer, opened up MS Word and here I now sit typing this blog entry.

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Dibble Dabble…

I have come to the conclusion that part of this dibble dabble is the result of me starting a project I have never tried before. It’s not an unfamiliar medium, it’s simply on a larger scale than I have done before. So a bit of my dibbles are unsurety of how to move forward with it. Of course there is always other life circumstances that enter into the mix which add to this dibble dabble mindset, on top of our projects, that tend to add to the scattered thought processes.

This might be a good day for an abstract of some sort… *giggle* Dibble… Dibble… Dabble… Dabble..

Do you have days like this? If so what helps you to refocus and settle your mindset? Would love to hear your thoughts on Dibble Dabble days.

Hugs & Love – Ranae’

6

Strange Inspiration Processes

Today I find myself wondering about those strange inspiration processes I go through to get to where I want my piece to be. A sweet friend of mine, Michelle, and I were talking this morning about where I get my inspiration from. That is a very hard question for me to answer but I answered the best I could. “I get my inspiration from life.” To which she so appropriately replied, “Playing inspires you. – Nature.”

I agreed she is correct. Yes I am very inspired by nature, I am inspired by oddities, by children, by animals, by other artists, by simplicity, by colors.. and the list goes on and on. However in reality there is no “One” certain thing that inspires me and I find that often times my inspiration simply comes from “playing”. Letting my inner child come out and just be silly and have fun.

So with that I thought I would share with you my process thus far today.

I woke up today and decided I wanted to design another Sugar Skull Girl. So I started off with just the basic face. Nothing Fancy just a simple sketch that I could build from.

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So with my basic sketch created I then scan it to my computer, this way I can make multiple copies and try various things until I am happy with my result. It helps to take some of the fear away, because I know I will still have my original also.

Then I play… and play… 

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and play some more! YAHHH

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I tend to draw this and that, then take a new sheet and do it again. Often I will play with adding to this base face for hours, not even realizing how much time has passed. Just letting myself have fun and not really thinking too much about it all.

Perhaps I will grab some old fashioned crayola’s and color this section, or maybe I will use simple bic pens. Stop for a coffee and a bit of dancing to the music or giggling at my pups then back to the art play.

I may cut one section out and lay it on top of another, to see how I like it or perhaps I will scribble some hair to get an idea of what she could look like. Or maybe I will cut out some hair shapes from card stock or use old frames I have and lay them on the face in various positions.

Many of the trial runs will be very scribbled and very few clean lines. ( I love my erasers!) Now keep in mind none of these are meant to be a part of my finished project, they are simply my way of letting my creative process have some fun until I find what I really like. Before you know it my typically organized studio desk will begin to look something like this…

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But messy or not I know this much. At the end of the day even if I do not like the results I came up with, I had a great day and a lot of fun. Not only that but as I look back on things the majority of “techniques” I now love to use came about from one or another of my “Play Session”.

So please don’t get so caught up in your end result’s that you forget to have fun. Let your inner child come out to play, you just may be very surprised at how very creative he/she is. Just  letting your mind roam until you feel that inspirational ah hah!!!

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Hugs & Love – Ranae’