Inspired By... Vol 4/2018

Oh boy I'm excited about this "Inspired By"! I can honestly say that it's probably the best piece I've ever done so far! 

Do you remember, that this year we are doing it a bit differently than before? Inspired By is something sweet Marsha and me have been doing for years now. Until 2018 it was that we chose a subject to be inspired by and then did something inspired by that theme, a piece of art or a book. The inspiration could be anything but we both turned that into some kind of project and blogged the creation on the 10th. You can browse the past "Inspired By" posts from here (link).

Inspired By is a playground, a concept we can use to explore, to play and to discover. We can do as much or as little we want and have time for. I guess it's not a surprise then that we both enjoy Inspired By very much but after doing it the same way so many years, we thought to change the things a bit.

This year, 2018, we both just post on the 10th with some source of inspiration we found that month. Or rather on a period from the 10th of previous month to 9th of the current month. It can be a series of photos, a book we read, an artwork we saw, just a pebble on the street or a new product we bought. We can make something using that source, but it's more about sharing just the inspiration. Consider it as a window to our creative minds!

I have to be honest, I found this inspiration source early in the year. When I saw the first piece by Juliette Belmonte, I was mesmerized. She uses mixed media and the pieces remind me of my two favorite artists, Gustav Klimt and Alphonse Mucha. Still they are totally new, fresh and oh, so inspiring! At first I just was happy to be able to see the paintings and marvel them. But then a thought started to form in my head. Maybe I could try to do something like that? 

If you have followed me some time now, you maybe remember that I've done mixed media ladies before. But what stuck me in the works of Belmonte was, well naturally the talent, but also the use of fabrics and little ephemera in the base of the painting. As my goal this year is to add more textiles in my work, I thought having a go at her style would be perfect.

Belmonte uses oils in her work and even though I was tempted to try something I've never worked with before, I decided to go with acrylics. As I then started to do the piece, I grabbed another medium and found out that my art teacher was right! But more about that later. 

I put a rule for myself, too. I never draw profiles as I never get them to look right. So I usually draw faces from full front if I draw those. All my previous ladies have also been from front as well. So the rule was that this time I'm going to do a profile. So I grabbed my sketch book and started to practice. It took me by surprise how fast the hand started to do what I wanted, to remember how to sketch and draw! 

I even uploaded a sketch program to my mobile so I could sketch while going to work. I used it before I started to make my final piece, so maybe that helped, too. Although I must say that sketching using a finger as the pen wasn't easy! The line never formed there where I meant it to come! 

To challenge myself a bit more still, I wanted to go bigger than usual. As I normally love to work in a 6x6" or 6x4" canvas, this time I went for about 14x14". The background I used was an old advert piece done on a sturdy Kapa board. First I draw the outlines with a marker, adhered the materials, painted the board with white and black gesso and then started to add colors. 

My art teacher back in high school told me that pastel paintings are easy as I was marveling a piece in another school. I didn't think much of that then, as I thought the paintings were really beautiful and he was just making me feel better, but after coloring my lady with the Pan Pastels, I can state that maybe there was something in what he said. I started the coloring with acrylics and built the background layers using the paints. I also made some acrylic washes there to fade the layers a little. But what I used to contour the face was Pan Pastels. And boy that was SO MUCH easier than fiddling with acrylics! 

I enjoyed doing the profile so much and painting the shadows and thinking about the way the hair would flow and... This project was absolute a pure joy to make. I felt good making it and I feel good about the end result. The only thing now is that I'm not sure if I set the bar too high and if I make another attempt, it will end up ruined as I compare it to this one! 

I snapped some pictures along the process with my phone so I made a little collage underneath if you want to see. I guess the main reason for those was that after the third picture I started fearing I'll ruin the piece, lol. 

I knew from the beginning that I would include a dimensional part to her hair. I looked for the inspiration for that from Mucha's elaborate hairpieces and did my version of it. Just a little fascinator style piece, but anything bigger would have been too much. When I then had the piece adhered and colored, it seemed too detached from the rest of the project. So I sought help from Klimt and added geometric shapes underneath and then merged them to her flaming red hair. 

I really like how the final piece turned out! And what I like almost even more is the process and the feeling I got from it! Underneath you can see the finished piece. If you want to see the lady bigger, please click to the photo. 

I can see several "errors" now in the piece, but this time they don't bother me that much. What I'm maybe happiest about is the ear. I've developed a way to draw or sketch an ear, just a few lines to make the viewer think about an ear but in a piece like this that wouldn't naturally do. But after the first fear, I just started to add the shadows and light spots with Pan Pastel and ha, an ear started to emerge from the background. 

Let's see what I can come up for next month! I have to be honest, it's not easy for me to top this! I wonder what Marsha's been inspired by this time? Here's a direct link to her blog (link)!

What do you think about this piece? Should I give this style another go? 

Thank you for stopping by today! Wishing you a lovely, inspiring day!

Materials: Pan Pastel, Prima Marketing, Carabelle Studio, Lollipop Box Club


Marsha Valk said...

Yes, YES!!! Do another one!! This is so fab Riikka! I totally get why you were excited to share this!! Yay! You made my day!!

Unknown said...

This is so beautiful !! The dimension of the face is beautiful, I never used Pan pastel ..must say awesome effects !! Waiting for the next <3

mamablitger said...

Great job. But I still love your steampunk style much better. But of course I understand that you need to try out other kind of art projects.
Hugs from Monica

mamablitger said...

Riika I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for the lovely small TAC you gave to me. And thank you also for your sweet gifts like the doily, the ribbon and a Finish book page. You are amazing. I’m so grateful. Thank you again !!! 😍💜😍
Hugs from Monica

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