Category Archives: Whimsical Girl

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!


Life Book 2016 – Weeks 19 – 21

I’m back with Life Book 2016, but hadn’t had a chance to post my lessons because I’ve been busy making graduation cards for the kids in my congregation and especially my grandson’s.  I will post those pictures later.

Week 19 – Your Normal is Not the World’s Normal – With

Wyanne Thompson

Oh my!  This lesson really touched my heart because Wyanne has gone through a life changing event.  In 2013 she was diagnosed with head and neck Cancer.  The doctor gave her a choice of undergoing a 12 hour radical surgery, chemo, and radiation or saying goodbye.  She decided on surgery and had her whole tongue removed plus many lymph nodes.  She had to take a year off to recuperate and now she has a feeding tube to help her get liquid food.  I admire her so much!

When I heard her story about her husband fussing over her coughing, she just told him it was normal, but her husband said “Your normal is not the world’s normal” which gave her a jolt, it reminded me about what I went through eight years ago.

I also had that experience after I had my mastectomy.  Three days after I came home from the hospital, I developed a high fever that knocked me off my feet.  My husband, who took very good care of me through the whole nine yards, took me back to the surgical clinic and it was determined that I had an infection at the site of the wound.  One of the surgical interns proceeded to squeeze out the pus out of the wound and insert gauze.  They also sent a sample of the pus to the lab for culture.  This event was worse than my mastectomy!  Then he sent me home with antibiotics and gauzes so my husband could clean out the wound twice a day.

Thee days after getting home from the pus squeezing, I developed another fever, so back we went to the emergency room this time.  Since I was still recuperating, they put me in an isolation room and the doctor returned with the results of the culture and informed us that it was MRSA, a flesh-eating bacteria.  They changed my medication and sent me home to return and see my surgeon again in five days.

During those five days I was so depressed and felt like crying all the time.  Finally I went to see the surgeon and as he was examining me I told him I just want to get back to normal.  And he said to me, “This is your new normal.”

So, I know exactly what Wyanne was talking about.  When you realize that you will never be the same person ever again, it jolts you back to reality – a new reality.

But, anyway, let’s get back to lesson 19.

Since Wyanne has no tongue, she tries her best to talk, but she can’t be understood, so her lesson had captions to help us follow her instructions.  I really had to pay attention with this one!

Wyanne, taught a new technique; drawing a face, then using tracing paper to copy the drawing, but then attaching the tracing paper to the side of the watercolor paper and adding india ink to it then smooshing it to the watercolor paper.  She said this technique was made famous by Andy Warhol.  After the india ink dried, we used watercolors and washi tape for the embellishments.

This is my project. I’m afraid of spiders, so I drew a tarantula and put her right on my shoulder – it seems harmless enough!


The Lotus represents the scar I have from my Mastectomy.


After posting this, I realized this girl either has no pupils or her pupils are dilated, LOL.  She has a strong character, though!

Week 20 – Bonus: Expressive Mixed Media Portrait with Pauline Agnew

This week Pauline showed us how to draw an expressive portrait using a picture from a portrait one of the masters painted.

I googled “portrait of a girl painted by the Masters,” and I liked this one the best, but I forgot to write down who the artist was 😦

I then proceeded to very carefully draw the girl using an Inktense pencil in black, indigo, and brown.  As much as I tried, I couldn’t get the angle of the face just right, but I did manage to follow along with Pauline and using her direction, this is what I came up with.


The background was made by smooching some paint from a pallet paper and giving it a twist.  I did several smoochings until I came out with one I could use.


I think she has a serene look and I like it a lot!  Although some people are entitled to their opinions, one person said it was a bunch of BS.  I don’t care, I love how this came out, don’t you?


 Week 21 – Her Light Shines Brightly with Renata Loree


Oh my!  This was intimidating and very creative!!  I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making girls with different head positions and this is exactly what I had to do in this one.

Renata is also a past Life Book student. It’s really amazing how she has grown and developed her art work.  Now she is teaching!  I’ve seen some of her work in other places and I’ve been wanting to make girls that look like they’re glowing and looking up.  Renata was so generous because she was very accommodating.  She had two different lessons.  In the first video she showed us how to do a face looking up, but if we found it difficult, she also posted a front facing face and different techniques!  I thought that was awesome!

The lesson was done completely in watercolor, with the exception of using a stencil to transfer the different objects on the page.  I tried three different girls.  The first one I did without editing myself.  I just went through the whole lesson following her instructions.  There were different aspects I like about each one.  In the first one, I liked how the hands turned out, but not the face as you can see here.

Girl #1

I didn’t even finish her because I thought I would give it another try.  I do like the background stencil, but her neck was too long.  I did not draw a mandala because I’m terrible at it and I don’t feel comfortable doing it, but I took a stencil that was not proportionate and outlined it with a pencil then added the different colors on it.


She is not looking up, she’s looking at me, but her hands are great!


Girl #2

On this one, I love the softness of the watercolors and that you can see the Lotus I stenciled in, but the hands look out of proportion.  This girl is looking up, though.  Doesn’t she look like she’s coming out of the water?

Lotus Girl

Girl #3

Ah, this one looks so much better looking straight on, but her hands looks like a cartoon character’s hands,   For this one I took my time laying down the watercolors then applying a sticky Martha Stewart stencil and running gesso through it.  It was fantastic the way it came out!  The lines were crisp and bright.  I also used the gesso to simulate the light rays.  Because of the purple watercolor I used on the background, I couldn’t get her face to look right, but, hey, it’s not real!


There you have it, my crafty friends, three lessons in one post.

Thank you for sticking with me until the end.

I hope to see your comments, which make me very happy!

Until next time, happy crafting!!


PS After I finished writing this post, Renata posted on our private FB page that we can make the colors more transparent and make it like she’s shining by spraying some water on the piece and taking a paper towel and lightly lifting some of the color off.  I’m going to try that for sure!!


Life Book 2016 Weeks 11 and 12

Hello my artsy friends.  Did you survive Daylight Savings Time?  Oh, it took me a week to get over it and I’m still taking my naps to catch up!

Arizona is the only state in the Union that doesn’t follow DSM.  I guess it’s a rebel thing!  LOL.  We lived there for about five years and enjoyed it very much, but we couldn’t stand the heat.  In the summer it was impossible to enjoy the outdoors because of 115 F heat, so we moved to Las Cruces, NM.  Our family was in El Paso, TX, just a short hour away. Unfortunately, my dad, hubby and I all got Cancer and we decided to move back to El Paso to be closer to the family and closer to the hospital where we had our treatments.

Anyhow, we are having a blast here, the weather is pretty much temperate – we have hot summers and cold winters, but loooong Springs and Autumns.  Love it here.

Now on to  Life Book!

Week 11 – Roots & Ground, Wings & Light with Tamara Laporte

This week Tam gave us a lesson on mixing colors for dark skin girls.

I managed to use my Caran D’ Arche and Tombow artist’s markers to come up with a fairly dark skin girl.  I wanted to make her a cool angel so I gave her a rainbow hair do.  i really like how her eyes came out!


Here are some details:

A closeup of her cute sunburned face and green eyes.


For the background I used some napkins with birds and flowers and this birdie wanted to come out, so I outlined it.  I also used some zentagle stamps to fill in all the open spaces.


For these flowers I used a stencil and modeling paste and outlined them with a black pen.  I also added white and black stars and gave her wings the same colors as her hair.


Here are more stenciled/modeling paste flowers and more stamps.  I mostly used the crayons and some acrylics for the background.


I added more zentangle stamping on her dress and a heart to fill in the blank space here too.

Angel dress

Here you can see more zentangle stamps in between her wings.


Now on to:

Week 12 – The Simple Things With Angela Kennedy

If you go to her page, she has some sweet-faced girls done very simply, but beautiful!

This was a bonus lesson to give us a chance to catch up with our projects and time to breathe in between.

All she used on this project was a stabilo pencil and a few pastel colors and a quote that has to do with grounding.

Here is my interpretation:

I didn’t have a good Stabilo pencil so I used the black Inktense watercolor Block, but it came out a little bit purple and brown, but I still like the effect.  I used orange and red for the flowers, and two shades of green pastel pencils for the leaves and branches.


Sorry about the light, I was fixing it up in my loft at night, hence, the sepia color. I found out I misspelled the quote, so I typed it using one of my favorite fonts and glued the paper to cover up the misspelling.  I was thinking about my daughter, a masseuse, and how she really heals through her hands after grounding herself on her feet.


Here’s a closeup of the flower in her hair.  The trouble with pastels is that they come off easily on your hands, so I applied a fixative when I was done.


A closeup of the face.


and a closeup of the left hand side flowers,


Alright friends, thank you for sticking with me through this process of sharing my Life Book projects.

Until next time,

Happy painting!!



And It Begins: Life Book 2016

Hello again, crafty friends!

I put together my projects for Life Book 2015, but there were so many pages, I had to make two albums.

I made the covers out of hard white mat board and covered them with the designer paper.  I didn’t want to make holes in my pages, so instead, I made some corners where the pages would be inserted, and glued them to the 11×17 paper I found at JoAnns.


This is when I found out I couldn’t put any more pages in the album even though I used three inch rings.


As you can see, I made a lot of art last year!


Life Book 2016 – Week One

Now, I start on Life Book 2016.  I’ve been working on my projects as fast as I  can so I don’t fall behind.  This year I want to conscientiously make all the projects because I’m still learning and I’m finding what I like.  I don’t want to get into a rot, so I feel that if I try all the different classes, I can learn new styles and more techniques.

The Warm Up

Tamara Laport, the genius behind Life Book has been conducting this series since 2012.  This will be my second year, and I enjoy going to my craft room and playing with all my crafty stuff.  I’ve also been able to take out different tools, paints, and stencils I haven’t used before.

Tam, is a very gentle, gracious, and giving person.  You can tell by her lessons and the details in each that se really enjoys teaching others what she knows.

The first week she did a warm up lesson about our word for the year.  I am struggling with overworking my art and so I figured that imperfection is better than getting frustrated.


A closeup of the lotus:

I used a variety of stamps to make it imperfect.


I stamped the word beautiful and the lotus with a Unity Stamp kit.


These two are also part of the kit.



Main Lesson, Happy Traveler.

I chose a lamb and an eagle to be my traveling companions.  I gave the eagle a little bit of attitude!


A closeup of my little lamb.  Yes, she’s blue, but she’s happy.


A closeup of the eagle leaning on the tree.


A closeup of the the traveler’s face.  Notice the doodling I did on her hair to add some dimension.


I also did some doodling on the bottom left corner with a white marker and other doodles with the black one.


And used a stencil on her cape and on the upper right hand corner.


Tam added a pouch to her traveling companing, but I didn’t add one to mine because I fuzzed too much over my lamb and I just wanted to finish.

I’ve been working today on Week two, and will post the homework tomorrow.

Until then, happy crafting!


Life Book 2015 Week Eleven

I was waiting for this lesson from Jane Davenport because I took a Whimsical Girls class through Interweave.  If you click on the link, it should take you to YouTube’s preview of her class – Fantastic!!

The lesson included collaging the watercolor paper with our favorite things  – Drawing on the Outer and Inner World.  When she used flowers, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

I used one of my former piece of art I created a couple of years ago and I transformed her into Frida Kahlo.  Haha!  She doesn’t look like Frida, but I did her uni-brow and now she can pass for Frida.

Here she is:


Frida, for the most part, wore flowers in her hair and her braids up on her head, so I cut out a cluster of roses, and an iris and set her on top.  She had a high forehead, but when I placed the flowers without the hair on her forehead, it looked like a helmet.  I think she looks much better now.  She also wore beautiful shawls, so instead of having her hair flowing, I made the shawl flowing in the wind.  I used Dye-Na-Flo ink to color the shawl and love the way it made it look like silk. I added some flowers to the edges and gold threads throughout.  She liked dressing in traditional Mexican attire, so I just gave her a bouquet of flowers to compensate for not giving her a “Huipil”  (A peasant dress).  She was such a rebel, so I used one of my Unity Stamps “The Rebel in me will never die.”  How appropriate!

The print out of the girl I used had light violet eyebrows, so I just darkened them a little and added a more hair to the middle of the bridge of the nose and of course, a few wisps of hair on her upper lid.


She loved beautiful jewelry, so I gave her some gold earrings with emeralds. She also loved parrots and had a pet monkey, but opted not to add it.

I had a lot fun creating this project, and will make lots more withe the techniques I learned this time.

Thanks, Jane!!

And, thank you for stopping by to see my work.

Happy crafting!!