Friday, September 16, 2016

Oil Pastel Portrait in an Altered Magazine

I'm actually not completely sure how I feel about today's face.

Normally I have pretty strong feelings one way or another, but with this mixed media portrait, I feel a little bit of both. There's a lot that I like and quite a bit that I don't, and it's conflicting. For example, I feel as if there is a lot of potential in this piece when it actually comes to character development - she practically screams fire, both in appearance and in stature.

 I also feel as if the photos here don't exactly do the page justice - however, seeing as I do most of my art journaling at night, I don't see how I can take photographs in sunlight for better results. I'm going to attempt to shift it over at some point, and hopefully that will help.

However, all that being said, onto the actual page!
  • In the first photograph, you can clearly see that I worked this page in the altered magazine I have going. I don't know what makes me decide to work in a particular book or on a particular project, but there was an unfinished portrait on this particular page and it was taunting me.
  • You can also see some of my attempts at a background in this first photograph. I like the portrait itself a lot more than I like the background - likely this page isn't completely finished and I will go back to it later. For me, an art journal page is never truly finished unless I'm happy with it. 
  • Moving on to the second photo, you can see some of the finer details in the skin tone of this girl's face. I worked with it quite a bit, trying to get the blending right without being over the top (I kept accidentally rubbing sections away, I think because the surface was slick), and I'm decently happy with the results. Like many other pages before this one, I used Portfolio oil pastels to do the majority of this face. I also blended the oil pastel with both acrylic paint and graphite pencil.
  • In both of the above photos, you can see the colors of the hair. I used a lot of yellows, oranges and reds, though the intention had originally for her to be blonde. She ended up being more like fire, and I love the result of that.

Now we come to my favorite portion of the page. It's not overly complicated, and there's not a whole lot to say in the long run. However, on the neck portion of this figure, I decided to stamp "fly" with a silver ink pigment ink pad. I adore the result. 

At some angles it's subtle, hardly noticeable at all, and at others it draws from the light source and stands out. Essentially, those are the sorts of details that I love. Also, a shoutout to Paint Party Friday!

I had a lot of fun experimenting with this little piece, and I also think it's cool to point out that a day ago yesterday marked the point of my first oil pastel portrait. In just that short of a time, I've already made immense progress, thanks to all of the practice I've been putting in. It just goes to show, sometimes that's a lot of what it takes!

Thank you all for visiting, and I hope you enjoyed today's page!


  1. She is very nice, I love the little silver stamped fly on her neck...and her rich textured hair! Lovely...and yes it's all about practice...however I have noticed myself going backwards at times!!

    Hugs Giggles

    1. I absolutely agree with that statement.

      Being a perfectionist, it's sometimes hard for me to realize that not everything I create has to be spectacular (for example, I created faces before this one that I like better). However, the practice is still a way to get better in the long run - you're just finding things that don't work!

      Thank you for stopping by, it's great to hear from you!

  2. nice work! I now how painting especially faces can be challenging but ....just keep at it :) Happy PPF!

    1. It definitely is challenging, especially after spending years working almost exclusively in abstract. However, I've never been one to back down from a challenge and I've been plugging away at this one.

      I feel like I've been making progress - thank you for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment, it really means a lot!