Life Book Week 24 – Dancing With Shadows

This week’s lesson with Tamara Laporte was about dealing with the inner critic and dealing with change.  The technique was to use symbolism and transformation in our work. Hence we did a paint over collage.  I did a similar class last year in Life Book in 2015, but I can tell I’ve learned more about shape shadow and color.

I began by looking through my fashion magazines for a three to four inch face without a big smile.  I had several girls I wanted to paint, but I chose the 3/4 face because I wanted to practice.  I’m taking a portrait class at the Community College and I’m also working on a 3/4 face.

After I found the girl, I found a really nice tiger to sit by her.  I then collaged other magazine pages that I thought would go well with the theme on awatercolor paper block.

Here is the before picture.  Tam said not to go overboard with the collage, but I loved all these designs so much I had to include them.


The next step was to add clear gesso and start painting the face.  It doesn’t look like much, yet!


In a few hours, I was able to transform the girl into a jungle girl and her tiger.


Tamara added an aura around her, but I decided to add a glow around her face.  The flowers around her head are also from a magazine and the butterflies are from a collage page and that peacock was also part of the page I cut out.  I added some green branches and a few rub ons.


 The tiger is very dignified, but he allowed me to put a butterfly on his head.  I added a rub-on that says “live free.”


Here are a few close-ups around the main image.The four leaf flowers were part of the collage and I just added more color around the leaves and a rub-on in the middle.  I also finished her off by adding white dots all over her hair and a few on her face where I had laid my finger, so I went with more dots.  The Imagine word is also a rub-on.


And this is the close up of the face with all the white dots.


This is another one of my favorite projects of Life Book 2016 and my husband made me feel so good when he exclaimed “That’s beautiful, bet one ever.”  What a sweet thing to say.  I think he’s a keeper!

I though I’d show you my work in progress for my portrait class.


As you can see I need to paint the flowers and a wide brim hat.

Here’s a close up of the face,


and the tulips at the bottom of the canvas.  There’s still lots of details and tweaking to do, so I’ll post the finished product next week.


Thank you for stopping by, and keep on creating!


2 thoughts on “Life Book Week 24 – Dancing With Shadows

  1. I love how vibrant and exotic your collage piece is. I also really like how much of the pattern from your collage layer peeks through. My collage layer all but disappeared. The brightness of that piece is such a contrast to the softness of your portrait piece. I love the dreamy colours and tranquil feeling you’ve achieved in that piece. Your lady looks quietly confident and elegant.

    1. Thanks Laura. I like the patterns showing too. What I did different this time – I did a layer of gesso over the first layer of watercolor crayons and very lightly added more watercolor crayons and acrylic paints. I like the contrast of the yellow and orange on the blues and magenta. I think I have discovered the secret!

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