NYFW Street Style
Well, this piece took a good while to finish. Precisely three months. It's okay though, I learned a lot from the process. Like just get over your fear and do the damn thing already! That's the theme of this piece. I spent a few weeks mustering up the courage to even start it. I did several sketches and then when I finally drew her out, it took me a few more weeks to start painting her. I was scare of failing. I loved the sketch and I was worried I was going to ruin her face because I was unsure of my abilities to paint glasses! Plus it's so intimidating to paint someone you've actually met and talked to! I wanted to give justice to her beauty and style!
When I finally painted her face (and those glasses!!!), I was quite proud and relieved that it was a success. However, that meant I had to face my next challenge: painting hands. I spent the nest several days researching how fashion illustrator and artist drew and painted hands. I came across some of Henri Matisse's paintings on Pinterest and I was so pleased to see how whonky he painted hands and that those paintings were still amazing (but that's probably because he's Matisse). I realized that I did have enough knowledge to do this and this was the time to apply that knowledge! I just needed to get over my fears and do the damn thing! I kept in mind that angles, light and shadow were key! It did help to "act out" the pose. So I spent a good time just posing in my studio, being aware of how the arm and the hand felt. I do have critiques about this hand, but I'm choosing to be proud of my first ever painting a hand!
Before I had even drew this lady, I knew exactly how I wanted the background to look. The plan was to color block the background with paper. What I love about this girl's outfit was her choice of colors and the array of textures she wore: a wool cream barret, cream knitted sweater, a brown faux fur coat, velvet sea foam green trousers, green shades, and brown patent boots. I wanted to stay within that color scheme and harmonize all the colors by pushing out the purple and pink tones throughout the piece. The placement of each piece of paper was intentional to draw attention to specific colors in that area. For example, I choose a red velvet Lokta paper to halo her head because I wanted the sea foam green and gold of the glasses to really pop.
When gluing the cut paper, I had a few problems. I used PVA glue because it was archival. However, because PVA glue is thick, it wasn't the right glue for the very thin Japanese paper. PVA glue dries pretty quick if not applied thick and evenly (which is hard to do on the Japanese paper). This resulted in so many air bubbles and edges that didn't adhere to the paper. When I tried to fix the unglued edges, unsightly lines appeared! All the cut pieces of paper was in place, but it was not pretty. Well, it was pretty enough and I was willing to accept that this was it; that I should take what I learned and move on. But I knew that I could do better because I did in fact know better. Lessons from my printmaking days flooded back into my mind and I went right back to my studio to cut new pieces out and to carefully cut out the lovely lady.
The gluing solution: a spray bottle of water, a brayer, and spray adhesive. I sprayed the pieces with spray adhesive, then misted it with water (I don't remember why I do this, this is just what I did when doing the chin col'e technique in printmaking), carefully laid each piece in place, and pressed each piece down with a roll (or several rolls) of the brayer. Voilà! It was an arduous process, both emotionally and technically, but I did it! I hope you enjoy and if you have any other glue techniques you recommend, do share!