A few months ago, I posted some of Lauren Vlcek’s Fabulous Faces. Lauren has been suffering through computer problems, but she was able to send the information and photos for a tutorial. So without further ado, here’s Lauren.
Paintstik Portraits, by Lauren Vlcek
I fell in love with Shiva Paintstiks the very first time I tried them. They are reminiscent of the big fat crayons that I used when I was young. Just looking at them takes me back to a time when art projects were about exploration and play! Paintstiks are a stick form of oil paint. I love the freedom of oil paints since they don’t dry out quickly. They are smooth and wonderfully fun to blend with your fingers.
I love any art project that includes fabric and the paintstiks are designed for fabric. To make the paintstik portraits, you apply them a little differently than the traditional methods. The faces on my art journal pages are painted on a separate piece of muslin and then cut out and collaged onto the page. However, you can use the same method directly onto an art quilt or even a canvas.
- Shiva Paintstiks- antique white, dusty rose, beige, mauve, meadow green/wedgewood blue
- fine pencil
- extra fine line artist’s pen
- Decocolor white paint pen
- gel pens
- spray fixative
Tape a piece of muslin to your work surface with masking tape. Using a high thread count muslin works best. Paint two layers of white gesso on the muslin. Allow the first layer to dry before adding the second.
When the gesso is completely dry, remove the masking tape. Draw a faint outline of the head and neck with pencil. Spray lightly with a workable fixative or your pencil lines will be smudged when you add the paint.
I like to use the paintstiks from lightest to dark. Fill in the outlined area with antique white. The area covered with antique white can be spread smooth with a filbert brush or your finger.
To add some shadow around the outer edge of the head and in the eye areas approximately halfway between the chin and the top of the head, use a beige paintstik. Again, this paint can be smoothed with a brush or finger. While you are smoothing the eye areas drag the inner edges of each straight down to create a shadow along the sides of the nose.
Apply dusty rose paintstik to the cheek areas and blend with a brush or finger. This color can be dabbed between the beige and antique white around the face to give the face rosier complexion. Then smooth as before.
If you lost most of the antique white areas during the smoothing, you can put them back in by adding some more right over the top using the paintstik and then smoothing them out with a brush or finger. It is nice to have some white highlighted areas at the forehead, along the bridge of the nose and on the chin.
At this point your face will have color, shape and shadow and is just beginning to resemble a face, but there are no details yet. The paint needs to dry for 24 hours. When the paint on your face is fully dry, spray it with a workable fixative.
Draw basic feature outlines with an extra fine micron pen in black or brown. Draw the eyes, nose, brows and lips. Spray lightly with workable fixative.
Using a meadow green, wedgewood blue, or chocolate paintstik put a dot of paint in the iris area and smooth with a small brush. Don’t worry if you lose some of the detail line at this time. Use the mauve paintstik to dab some color on the top lip and dusty rose for the lower lip, again, blend with a small brush. Allow the paint to dry. These small areas don’t usually take 24 hours, but overnight is a safe bet.
The finishing details of the face are quick and easy. Replace any detail lines that were obscured with the extra-fine micron pen and draw in a black pupil. If you want you can outline the iris in a gel pen that matches the eye color you chose in step 8. Use a fine, white Deco paint pen to put in the whites of the eye and tiny highlights on the tip of the nose and along the top tip of the upper lip and in the center of the lower lip. You can also put a small dot of white in the eye where the pupil meets the iris at about 1:00. This brightens the eyes and gives the illusion of a light reflected off a wet surface. Be sure to spray the entire face a final time with fixative.
~ Lauren Vlcek lives and teaches various classes in the Colorado Springs area, including one on her lovely faces. She’ll be teaching this class at the 2010 Textile Evolution Art Conferences. (You can visit www.TextileEvolution.com for more details.) Lauren is co-author of a new book called Fabric Embellishing: The Basics and Beyond from Landauer Publishing. It has just been released.
Many thanks to Lauren for providing us with this wonderful step-by-step look at painting faces with Shiva Paintstiks! Have a question? Post a comment!
And as always, happy painting…