What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

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I often ask myself the same question and come up with different answers depending on the situation. But often times, I ask this question when I am doing art. I do not know why I still ask this question since I have long accepted that the only way I can improve is to practice daily, experiment and share. Yes, I said share. I was afraid to share my art ever since I started with scrapbooking. I was afraid that people would see through my insecurities and my inability to make pretty things. Then one day, a very close scrapbooker friend gave me a gift she made with a message that I should be the one validating myself. From that time on, I made scrapbook pages only for myself and the exercise of doing it became more enjoyable. I carried that torch in my heart with every craft project I got myself into. Even when there are days that I could not produce great results, results I’ve envisioned, I did not falter. Last year when I jumped onto the mixed media bandwagon, I carried the same torch and carried on. Though it was not easy at first and it is still not easy, I am enjoying every ups and downs in this new journey. I see things as challenges and if I cannot get through it right away, I go around it and try my luck. As my husband always says, there are so many ways to skin a cat.

So, to answer the question, what would I do if I am not afraid?  I would definitely make beautiful,colorful, crazy pieces of art to satisfy my heart’s desires.

What would you do?

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Inspirational Artists – March week 4

The one month period I gave to learn from two wonderful artists have come to an end. One month is not enough to study, put into practice and play with all of the insights I gained from them.

Here is my final week portrait from Juna’s videos.

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This portrait made me panicked and excited the whole time I was doing it. I am in that place where I am tormented to follow my comfort zone, do a clean line sketch using my tinted charcoals or just like Juna, be carefree and do a loose kind of painting. In the end, I opted to really do what Juna was doing in her videos. I told myself, why not give it a try since this will be the last week I dedicate time learning from her. My inner critic who was good today gave me a pat in the back and said, save the best for last and so I did.

I started the portrait with sketching in graphite and once done I used dark and medium charcoal on top of the graphite. Then I added shadows and blended with a blending stump. Then I mixed white acrylic paint and glazing medium and used a flat brush to apply the paint. When I was applying the paint, I noticed that the charcoal lines I made were getting lighter so I added charcoal in between painting just like in Juna’s video. Then in the video that I was watching, Juna made use of dye inks which I don’t think I have. So instead of making myself more panicked as I already am, I added more charcoal and my mixture of white acrylic paint and glazing medium. I went on with it until I noticed that my watercolor paper is beginning to tear, so I stopped. I added more of the charcoal but instead of putting paint, I dry brushed it for more blending. By this time I have already veered away from my original sketch. I don’t mind as it is something to be expected when one is experimenting, learning and adapting.

You might have observed a lot of things wrong in the portrait. I too have observed them and there are a lot to be worried about. But I did not do anything with them anymore. I am quite pleased with how this painting turned out to be. I felt liberated and more brave with this last exercise.

And here is a compilation of my charcoal portraits.

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I will definitely explore more and do more charcoal portraits. The next time will be more enjoyable as I may not be achieving for a perfect, clean look.

Here is my last colored girl from Petra’s videos.

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This last girl was so fun to make. I’ve had the opportunity to play with different shades of color on her face. The exercise was very very freeing as I do not have to make a girl with a light complexion or a dark complexion. She is, as Hubby said, united colors of the world. Since she is my last girl from Petra’s tutorials, I also saved the best for her. I did her eyes following the technique I use with colored pencils but with acrylics. I was in heaven when I was able to do it. I also saved the best hairstyle for last. I love doodling and so, a doodle hair is inevitable. For the background, I used molding paste over a peacock stencil and added dylusions inks using a brush.

And here is a compilation of my imperfect colored girls.

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I will surely pursue this united colors of the world facial shading. The possibilities are so limitless.

Thank you sooo much Juna and Petra for the opportunity to learn from you. I have had a great ride for the past 4 weeks. Taking with me your unending support and most especially the best practices you have selflessly shared.

More from Juna here. More from Petra here.

The Documented Life Project – Week 12

March Theme: Making Your Mark (mark making and doodles)

March 21 Art Challenge: As A Focal Point Journal Prompt: Coming Into Focus

I’ve had a lovely time doing this page. For the longest time I have been meaning to use my inktense pencils and blocks and try my hand at detailed water coloring. Today prompted me to bring them out and try my luck.

Though I am using a non water color journal, I am amazed at how resilient the paper is. I got the journal from a local novelty store (Typo) on sale. Lucky lucky me!

Since the journal prompt is about coming into focus, the first thing that pop into my mind was to evaluate how have I been managing my life in a new country ( Philippines is my home country and now based in Malaysia) for almost six months now. I am very happy to share that I have grown more mature in so short a time. I do not have to remind myself to be brave everyday. I am brave just like all the women who uproot themselves and follow their family to another country. I have adjusted quite well and I am very proud of it. I have shed my prima-donna self and went with what my heart was telling me to become. I think I like myself more now. Though on hindsight, a big change such as this had to happen before I change. But no regrets, none at all. I am more than happy to be here, living a simple life with Hubby and focusing on the people/things that matter the most.

My page is all about the things that I have been contemplating on for the past six months – my mini and big realizations with each category. Now with my narrowed view on where to focus, I am more determined to grow and live life more awake and not cruising.

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It would be wonderful to see you at the Academy. Come and join us!