Friday, October 9, 2015

*** S T A R D U S T ***

What a gorgeous day! First little hint of Fall (this I write as I am lounging by the pool in my swimsuit - this is Key West after all) But man oh man, there is a pleasant little breeze -perfect! So happy just to be outside in the sunshine without sweating like crazy. Each delicious sunbeam feels like a gentle kiss from God!

Photo Tutorial for Painting a Mixed Media Angel

Today I thought I'd show a bit of the process of my latest art journal page based on the Lifebook lesson, "Magic, Vulnerability, & Courage" (& yes, I am behind -oh well) I was particularly led to share this one because: first, it is very personal as I used it as a way to honor my youngest brother's passing and second, as you'll see, part of the way through, there is a major oops. I think that it is helpful to see how folks recover from painting disasters -and as a very messy painter, I have my fair share, usually of the split something or other variety but occasionally it is a "yuck"  I just don't like how this is going type. In fact, I actually have a couple of painted canvases right now that I plan on either totally painting over or more likely adjusting to something hopefully I find more interesting, beautiful, or meaningful.

Ok, back from my slight tangent to this particular journal page. I actually stayed closer to the lesson than usual. It just "fit." Ever since Patrick's funeral, I'd been visualizing a piece with wings and balloons drifting across an abstract-y sky. Well, this one didn't end up with balloons, but it is close to what I had in mind.

Drawing a Whimsical Male / Boy

First there is the sketch -a unique challenge as I wanted it to both have an essence of Patrick but not be an actual portrait. I wanted to keep it whimsical and soft, similar to my girls. I started with an oval then gave it a more angular jawline, shorter thicker neck, heavier bow and eyebrows, and a more prominent "Patrick" nose and fuller mouth. (The lesson had a nice simple overview of the more obvious differences in male and female features) I also journaled on sentiments and thoughts that I knew would be covered up as I continued.

Then some watercolor crayons. I'm pretty random with what colors I select, but basically in the gold, brown, and peach range. I blend mostly with water, then continue with additional colors (usually some blue, green, and yellow, maybe purple and pink to add an unexpected depth to the skin) mixed with some white acrylic, sort of modeling up the face with highlights and shadows. I also use a little charcoal, and sketch & wash pencils for additional detail and shading.

How to Create a Mixed Media Background for a Male Angel Art Journal Page

Next I start on the background with scraps of patterned papers and book pages adhered with matte medium. Let me tell you, matte medium is the bomb for gluing art stuff to paper or canvas! Then I scribble with more watercolor crayons and water based markers. It looks a little garish and all over the place at this point but that is totally expected. Next comes the brayer with white gesso. This tones the background down but still allows some texture from the papers to peek through.

The phrase, "We are all stardust," kept flowing through my head. I know in actual context, it was used from an atheist point of view but I find it a beautiful thought in a dust to dust sort of way. We truly are stardust, a part of this magnificent universe. The physical part of us is for ever recycling.

Now the wings begin -a double set, both angel and butterfly. I sketch them out and fill them in with white acrylic and smidgens of more watercolor crayons. Then back to the background, unfortunately as I am painting, I spill a blended wash of Payne's Grey and purple all across my angel's face. I don't notice initially and then I can't find a paper towel. Urgg!!! Too late, much of the face is stained and I was really happy with how it was looking. This is the time, you just wanted to throw in the towel. So much time invest :(

How to Fix a Portrait Mistake

There is no way to easily fix this. It takes several layers of white paint to cover the stain. Now he looks like he is the lovechild of no nose Voldemort and vampire Edward. Not a good look. It is basically a start over from the bottom of the eyes to the bottom of the chin. Watercolor crayons again. Relatively random colors then blending into the rest of the face. You really can't do just this area so I have to add color washes over all the skin portions to make it cohesive. Redrawing the nose and mouth. For some reason, getting the mouth right the second time, is definitely harder.  Finally, I am satisfied. I want to do a happy dance!

This page is taking longer than I thought it would but now on to more of the fun parts. Adding details to the wings,  I like the idea of something growing, swirling, with leaves. Then I add a little star, moon, and heart to his face. Next a quote, I consider several options but decide "...let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets." Perfectly Patrick!

Stardust Mixed Media Painting - Let There Be No Excuses, No Explanations, No Regrets
by Laurie Anne Sikorowski
More colors and details to the background, another star, triangles, +s, a scalloppy border. I play around with different items in the "sky" using tracing paper to try optional placements and shapes. The balloons just don't feel right so I settle on a honeycomb pattern. It reminds me a little of something "computer" but its gotten a bit busy so I add one more wash of fluid acrylic to blend them in to the background. All done. I'm pretty proud of how it turned out.

Well, there you go!!! I hope you've enjoyed this little glimpse into my world!
If you'd like to see other post's with progress painting examples, here are a few links to some of my older posts:
"The Making of Friendship"  "Holding Tight to Home"  "Simple Things"

Have an artful day & I hope I'll contact with you again later!
Laurie Anne :)

Music for Today (just couldn't stop with one):
Nat King Cole's version of "Stardust"
Babyface with Stevie Wonder's version of "Gone too soon"
Tegan and Sarah's "Where does the good go" 


  1. I think I remember seeing this in the FB group! Amazing shading! Really well done!