Friday, February 20, 2015

Elephant Family - Lifebook Week 8

Hello My Beautiful People :)

Today I am really happy to share my week 8 Lifebook page. The lesson was with artist  Mati Rose McDonough. She is a abstract artist who makes colorful canvas paintings with whimsical embellishments. She was encouraging us to try out gold leafing in our projects. I am VERY pleased  with how my painting turned out. thought it is nothing like hers. I did use several of her practices and also picked my subject matter (the elephants) based on some of the things I saw in her gallery.


This project was really quite up my alley. I love to put color together in a random seeming...but yet intuitive way. I was happy to see another artist do this in a video. She didn't 'teach' at us but rather just showed what she does when she makes a canvas. I am sure some found that disappointing, but I felt very at home with her style so I wasn't constantly 'searching' for that thing I needed to learn. 
Here is my step out of what I did for this painting.
First I started with my 140 pd cold pressed watercolor paper in 12"X18" size. I squeezed out some acrylics onto my palette using colors I like and staying in cool tones. Then using a fat flat brush I just applied color in lines, squares, and marks as I felt like it. This is REALLY relaxing to me!


Next I got out some scraps of papers staying in the cool tones as well as some text and applied them in a collage using matte gel medium. 


Then I decided I wanted a dark purple with a harlequin pattern so I used a large stamp to apply that. Then I used a old credit card to scrap on some color and make marks here and there. Then I used titanium white and added some letters with another large stamp.


Next I tried for some drips using Heidi Swapp Colorshine sprays in gold, teal and green. I sprayed them across the top of the painting and then tipped it up and lets them drip down. 


White the drips were drying I was thinking about gold leafing... and what kept coming to mind was painted elephants for the festival of Jaipur in India which happens in late February/early March. It is something I would love to experience. So I decided I needed to draw some elephants but I did not want to do it directly over my layers (also the painting was taking forever to dry) I decided to draw them onto deli paper and collage them on later. 


Once the drippy bits finally dried...I decided to go in with my warmer colors. I wanted yellow and a orangey red for sure. I used my brayer to apply the colors and then went over some areas with the brayer with white gesso as well. Then I really got into finger painting... added marks and smears with the red, yellow, white and even some purple and blue. I also added more credit card marks with the bright green.


Then I applied my elephants using matte gel medium. I used my fingers to apply everything. 


I blended over the edges of the paper as well using the same colors of paint as in the backgrounds. Then I started to paint my elephants. I wanted to have the colors of the background show through the elephants...so I used a very watered down combo of white and black to fill in their skin. I painted in the skin designs using the same acrylic colors and then went over the lines with black and white Posca pens.Finally I added gold with a sharpie gold poster pen. Then I painted and outlines a sketchy tree on the right edge.


The last step was to add gold leafing to the sun and the tree. It was a messy project but it looks pretty cool. I ordered the leafing kit from amazon as I just didn't have time to run to a store this week. My kit was faulty having 2 jars of sealer instead of one jar being adhesive size.... so I had to use tacky glue to apply the leaf :(


I hope you like my elephant family as much as I do. Leave me a comment or a +1 is you do :)
<3 Shel



18 comments:

  1. This is just wonderful, Shel - love the background and the gold leaf application - you've had great fun, and it shows!

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    1. Thank you Win :) Yes, fun and relaxing to do this one.

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  2. What a beautiful piece! The background is so full of beautiful color and layers and the elephants are so well done as well :) Thanks for sharing the process, Shel!

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    1. Thank you for visiting and commenting Pam. I am very happy with this painting and I am happy it is liked :)

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  3. It's beautiful. I've been reading a bit about the concepts of life books and they seem really appealing to me. Definitely a future project I think! x

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    1. Thank you Emma :) Yes, Lifebook is a great concept to keep you creating and learning..give it a try!

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  4. Amazing page, Shel! I was wondering how you did the background! Thanks so much for sharing your process. To be honest, I couldn't really rely on the instructional video that much, but you showed me how to do it! I'm so gonna try in now! Drawing the elephants on deli paper is a genius idea! And such great drawings too! Just brilliant! Probably my favourite page of yours to date!

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    1. Thank you Zsuzsa :) :) I am glad I could help someone by showing my process..that is why I do this blog. I really loved doing this background and just letting myself make colors go where ever they wanted intuitively...was so fun and relaxing. I actually got the idea of using the deli paper that way because of too many times messing up! Mispelled words and lines being crooked...if you do it on a separate piece and put it on you can look more perfect! LOL

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  5. Hi Shel, well done on all those layers to the finished creations ..
    Thanks so mchf for popping over, Shaz in Oz.x

    {Shaz in Oz – Calligraphy Cards}

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    1. Thank you Shaz :) Always a pleasure to see a desk hopper visit over here :P

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  6. This is fabulous Shel!! I love your elephants and their beautiful scene!! Even the beginning background was gorgeous! Way to go!

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    1. Thank you so much sweet Jackie :) I liked that first layer too..it was like..ok..do I do more? lol Knowing when to stop is the most tricky part I think.

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  7. This just makes me smile and warms my heart! Your color combos are as striking as ever, and the use of gold leaf is perfect - not over the top. And you little family is way too precious all dressed up for the Festival, especially Mom with her sweet eyes and painted toes! ! You ARE amazing, Shel!!

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    1. Awww..thank you so much Sylvia! I am really loving this painting as well. I might just frame it and leave it out of my lifebook...better hung on the wall :P

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  8. I just love getting your updated posts(this one is one of my favorites)! Thank you for always consistently sharing and keeping the rest of us inspired!

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    1. Thank you for coming by Britt :) I hope I am keeping you inspired!

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  9. This picture is SO much fun! You background is very interesting...it always amazes me to see your finished backgrounds given from where you start. Love your little family of elephants. Elephants are one of my favorite animals...so mysterious, intelligent and family oriented.

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    1. Thanks :) Elephants are indeed amazing. I would LOVE to go see that elephant festival...bucket list!

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Thank you for your comments. I read every one :)