Friday, August 13, 2010

Willowing with my Maidens....

I recently wrote and shared with you an off the cuff painting I did of a can see it here. It was a painting with no objective in mind other than I wanted to paint a face.

Anyhow, quite by accident, I found a website that enchanted me.... filled with whimsical wenches, foxy females and moxy maidens. I decided to check it out and learn about the artist behind these fanciful and fun drawings. It didn't take me long to know that I wanted to learn how to draw like Tam over at Willowing and Artist Friends.

Sooooo here's several of my first attempts frolicking with my maidens.

Let me introduce you to Gretta....she was created from watching the first video of Tam's. Tam is a great teacher and I find her voice very soothing and her teaching skills totally captivating. In a very short time I was convinced I could draw like her. I was off on a mission!!! I set up a grid as was taught and proceeded to draw in the facial elements. I learned that the face is divided into several parts unlike what I thought in my earlier posting.

To me, Gretta looks tentative...hesitant...but inquiring. I was thrilled that with little effort I had created Gretta.

So pleased with my efforts I just had to continue drawing and creating some more maidens. With #2 portrait, below, I knew from the moment she emerged her name would be Peony....Peony has that look about her that reminds me of a young 20'ish girl all decked out with fancy makeup and wild hair. I can see her wearing pink hair!

Next lesson was to add colour to our faces. I was in a funky mood....besides they were my faces, my creations, so I could create any personality I chose! Meet Sassy Sally...she's a vixen in her own right....see that look behind her eyes? don't get her angry!

The technique was pretty interesting and the medium used was right up my alley.....watercolour crayons. Using a salmon/flesh watercolour crayon, I laid in the first layer of colour all over the face and neck leaving the eyes white. Then I applied acrylic white all over the first layer. Next was to start building shadows. Here I started with a light brown w/c crayon, juxtaposing with a brownish/red and the flesh. The technique is to build layers of colour using the acrylic white as the blender. I loved the made blending so much easier because the acrylic acted as a cream with the crayons. If you don't like what you've painted, another layer of acrylic and you can start again. With this method there is no demarcation between colours.

My next creation was Penelope....she works for Cover Girl as their Eyelash model!!! I think I overdid the eyelashes! Another technique was to add charcoal to the face and I played with that in Penelope. Gives another dimension to the painting.

Now because I had created all big eyes and big mouths in the previous portraits it was time to focus on creating smaller elements. Hence I scaled down to a 4"x6" size. By doing so I noticed that I was adding more detail to the elements. I call this woman "Miss Stuck Up School Marm".....perhaps she'll retire soon because her students don't like her. Everything about her is severe, detailed, sharp and dramatic. There's just one thing wrong with her, in painting her I left out a very important detail that would make her alive. Right now without this tiny detail she's dead. Do you know what it is???? All you have to do is leave a comment with your guess and my neighbor will pick a winner from the correct answers. The draw will take place on August 22nd and I'll announce the winner here on my blog.The winner will receive a free domino brooch which you can choose from this selection.

This is Cleo.....I love this girl. To obtain the hair texture, I laid down black w/c crayon, then cross hatched with black coloured pencil then another layer of black crayon. I didn't want to lose the texture so I didn't add any water to it.

So those are my results from the first two lessons with Tam. You can view Tam's work over at
Willowing. I can't wait until I see what the next four lessons are about.


  1. Hi Maer!!!

    Your portrait of "Miss Stuck up School Marm" is missing the "sparkle" in her eyes!! Maybe that's why she looks so mad!!

    I love all your faces!!! Great artistic work!!

    Donna Petit

  2. Miss Stuck Up does look like she is not alive. She doesn't have a reflective highlight in her eyes.


  3. Poor "Miss Stuck up School Marm ", her eyes are dead, perhaps that's why she looks severe? If she were to have light in her eyes , she would look positively charming!
    By the way Maer, I love all your maidens, great job !!
    Hugs, marlene

  4. Hi Maer...
    Admire your bravery to explore another style! Great job!
    I think "Miss Stuck Up" not only needs the twinkle in her eyes, but also some more color in her cheeks to perk her up. Right now she looks sad, a bit upset, and like she has the "blahs". Color and sparkle will bring her right out of the doldrums! (Only problem, you might have to change her name, teehee.)
    dotb in mo

  5. All your faces are great! But, you did leave out the highlight in her eyes. That would change her look and maybe her name :)

  6. White highlights in her eyes are missing. Saw that one right away my friend....

  7. Hey Marilyn!
    That was an easy one! You forgot you have a ton of artists that read your blog! And yes, it's the highlights in the eyes! lol!

  8. What a great blog post and what beautiful faces! I must check these videos.I love your Miss Stuck up School Marm..she looks a bit sad! I found out about the highlight in the eyes by myself (after a bit of thinking.... I confess) but you need not put me in the draw as I am already the proud owner of one of your brooches (that I love to wear)!
    Thanks for this post, a real highlight!

  9. Marilyn, love those gals! Maybe a little more color like blush in the cheeks, however little, would make her look more alive?
    I'm Jeanne over at A.R.T.
    BTW love your work and blog...I'll follow now and look forward to seeing more of it.

  10. Could it be that she needs a dot of white in here eyes? I think you have done a fantastic job on your ladies.

  11. I think the 'prissy' school marm needs little tiny white dots of light in her eyes! That's my guess. Didn't even cheat and read the other responses either. :)

    Great job on your faces! They're just wonderful. I just signed up for the course and will be working on it in the next few days. Thanks for sharing your lovely creations!