Here's a new Louise Brooks painting. It's the 6th I've done, and I'm already looking for more b&w photos to paint. In my dreams, I'd have enough time to paint every single photograph taken of her. .. and every frame of every film. <3
My mom is a bird-nut. She loves birds--especially raptors. In my hometown, Hamilton Ontario (very blue-collar, steel-city), there exists the Hamilton Community Peregrine Project, dedicated to charting the multi-generational families of Peregrine Falcons taking up residence in the city. So there are live cams, and family trees, etc.
In fact, Madame X, the matriarch just had chicks! You can see her raising them via live cam here:
Here is the most recent portrait of Louise Brooks I've finished. I still have to draw a grid over the photograph and then enlarge by drawing a grid on the canvas. At any rate, I wanted to challenge myself with shading and depth again.
So when I was a child, I had these books that scared the bejesus out of me, called "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark". The book has since been re-released, WITHOUT the scary pictures!! <gasp!>
My friend also used to read the same books, so when he asked for a painting for his birthday, I thought I would commemorate a book that we probably will never get our hands on again by painting him the cover. Here it is--it's a copy of the original work by Stephen Gammell.
Hello Craftsters! It's been SO LONG since I've posted!
This is my newest obsession: Louise Brooks. She was a silent film star from the 20s, a roaring twenties "bad" girl in hollywood that ended up making two beautiful films with Pabst in Berlin. She was a dancer, an actor, an icon and (I believe) the most compelling and addictively watchable actress I've ever seen.
So, I wanted to paint her. And I began experiementing with Acrylics in December, when I painted cartoon characters for my siblings. I haven't had formal training at all--and I haven't taken an art class since high school. This means I'm not the greatest painter or drawer, and I kind of cheat by enlarging the pictures I wanted to paint by drawing a grid over the original, and then enlarging it using a grid I've drawn on the canvas.
For the last painting, I completely cheated (because I wanted to get to painting her, fast!!), by using a pencil to blacken the backside of the picture, and then tracing over the front.
This was the first, and it seemed to come out of me without almost any assistance, LOL!! It took two days.
This was the second one. I used dollar-store quality gold paint to make her POP! As you can see, the hands are awful, but I really like her face. I also confess that I don't think I could paint anything this good in colour. I changed the picure on the cover of the magazine to show a early early 20th C starlett, and then contrast her with the quintessential Flapper and Icon that is Louise Brooks
This is the last one, with Brooks looking like a Byzantine Icon. I think this might be my favorite in a way.
I'm working on another one as we speak--questions and comments aren't just welcomed, they're NEEDED! Please help me to improve my painting!!!!
Here's the last of my three siblings--my brother. He's 17 now.
I loooove the way his eyes came out. I feel like his hair looks a little too much like broccoli--any suggestions? Or should I leave it as it is?
And here he is, up with my sisters: Laura (21) and Mary Ellen (31)
But yeah--criticism, comments or advice re: broccoli hair are welcome!
UPDATE: How to:
Thank you so much, everyone, for your comments--I really appreciate them! I wouldn't know how to go about doing a tutorial, but I'll try to go through what I do step by step:
you need: thread, embroidery hoop, fabric (any kind will do--I cut up pillow cases from the dollar store!), carbon transfer paper (which you may not need), pen, photograph and computer
1. I take a photo I like and fiddle with colours and tones on a basic photo program--I usually heighten the contrast and play with the colour after 2. Print out your picture (all mine are 8.5x11) 3. Tape your fabric onto a smooth surface, then tape down the carbon paper for transferring, and then over THAT you tape your picture 4. Using a pen, outline the picture (use your discretion re: how much detail you want) 5. Or, you can put the picture up on a window, and tape your fabric on top--tracing your picture onto the fabric directly (will save you 10 dollars on carbon paper) 6. Once you have your picture, start embroidering! I *always* start with the eyes--no specific stitch type--just go with the flow. I tend to use satin stitch, back stitch, split stitch, running stitch, and brick stitch for the larger areas. Sometimes I consult the original picture for colour gradations, but I feel free to mix things up
I hope that helps--have fun! and thank you again for the comments!
I LOVE hearing stories about these guys! Keep them coming!
I have 3 kingston bug related stories to share:
the first: not so gross. I was lying in bed and saw one on our ceiling (we have SUPER high ceilings in our apartment) and I felt like it was holding me hostage. I called for my boyfriend to come and save me, and he had to get a super long pole with a flat thing on the end (for cleaning the shower) and he stood on the bed and crunched at it. The remains are still there. But it was hard, because he would smack it with the pole, and it would just keep crawling--faster and faster! Eventually he mashed it really good... it died.
Another time I stepped one one by accident and it felt like a pile of dried leaves... and the mo-fo JUMPED! and ran away!! (I was just looking online, and apparently these brats can run 16 inches per second!). I never found it again.
The third is the most gross story. Before my boyfriend (now fiance) moved in with me, he was visiting my old apartment. He called from the bathroom, stating that there was something floating in the toilet and that he didn't know what it was. Horrified (did I forget to flush a "feminine" product before jumping into the shower?) I ran in to take a look. It was (no lie) a 7 inch centipede, floating in the toilet, with its body submerged, and its head sticking out of the water, wriggling about! After getting a mad case of the jiblies (when you feel all creepy crawly and gross and have to jump around to feel better), I flushed it.
Oh! Now I have the jibblies all over again!
Here is the framed painting (the ONLY place I feel comfortable looking at a centipede)
And here is the original photograph I worked from (wikipedia)
To make everyone who has encountered these creatures feel better, you should know that centipedes eat other bugs, like spiders, bedbugs, termites, cockroaches, ants and silverfish (from Wikipedia). So they're actually kind of helpful in that way.