Primal Air Elemental

I recently signed up for 7 Directions, which is a free art course by Hali Karla Arts.  The idea of exploring the seven directions, East, South, West, North, Above, Below and Within, was very exciting for me.  I hadn't even thought of doing that before and to do it all on one art journal page had me jumping up and down in anticipation, especially since I love a good artsy experiment.

Now, I'm going to break the painting down into the layers it took to create it.  Here we go!

  • Layer 1: I have to admit that I haven't tried anything this crazy or this fun before.  I grabbed 3 Prismacolor alcohol markers and scribbled all over the page.  Somewhere in the middle of this process, I started laughing maniacally.  It was awesome!
  • Layer 2: When I went to play on the page the next day, I saw an image emerging through the scribbles.  I was so surprised that I just stared at the page for a long time.  It usually takes a bit more layering for me to zero in on the focal.  I drew around the focal with my indigo Neocolor 2 crayon then activated the Neocolor 2.  I also painted the first layer of the background with Neocolor 2s in oranges and yellows.
  • Layer 3:  I have some old, crumbling sheet music that a friend gave me.  I really enjoy using it for collage, since I believe that all of existence is made up of sound and vibration.  It's the interconnectedness that brings us together.  On this page, I covered the hair and hair ornament in sheet music collage.
  • Layer 4: I couldn't resist taking the hair even further.  I kept imagining this pale, honey-colored hair framing her face.  I added five layers of Neocolor 2s and acrylics on her hair.  The first layer was ochre Neocolor 2, which went wherever the hair would appear the darkest.  The second layer was orangish yellow Neocolor 2, which I painted wherever the ochre wasn't.  The third layer was russet Neocolor 2, which I added in streaks everywhere.  For the fourth layer, I blended all the Neocolor 2s with zinc white acrylic paint.  The fifth layer was the most fun.  I mixed burnt sienna and titanium white acrylic paint together and painted lines all over the hair.
  • Layer 5: I painted swirling lines all over the background in titanium white then went over the lines with cobalt teal after the white acrylic was dry.  I love stripes and lines.  My favorite kinds of lines are curvy, because I think curves are beautiful, on paintings and on people.  I added another layer of Neocolor 2s on the background and finished it off with a lot of bright pink dots in acrylic ink.
  • Layer 6:  I added a few coats of white gesso.  I then painted the skin in several layers of Neocolor 2s blended with zinc white and shading/highlights in Faber-Castell Pitt marker, titanium white acrylic paint, and white Sakura gelly roll.  I love how her skin looks so translucent.
  • Layer 7: I painted the eyes with Neocolor 2s plus black India ink for the pupils and titanium white acrylic for highlights.  For the hair ornament, I did a layer of Neocolor 2s in various shades of blue then outlined the ornament in metallic silver Lumiere acrylic paint.  I used a size 0/0 round brush to run a thin line of metallic indigo Lumiere around the inside edge as well as around the little designs I painted in the center of the hair piece with silver Liquid Pearls.

I don't know how she ended up as a primal air elemental, but I love how she turned out.  I do have a very strong connection to the element of air, but nothing about this page is what I would refer to as intentional.  I was definitely vibing with the primal energy during the class, so maybe that has something to do with it.  If you're interested in taking 7 Directions yourself, please visit Hali Karla's website.


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