Finishing this felt like a best effort at making the dead resemble the living: there is no light left and the face has a flat, painted Barbie Doll quality. A last ditch effort with gauche felt like busting out the “full coverage foundation” to camouflage serious skin tone issues. Over the last week, this gal’s gone from:

  • car wreck victim
  • to corpse
  • to mixed media reanimation.

The question in my mind:

How many mixed media pieces are intended as mixed media at the start, and how many become mixed media in order to work through skill set issues and new visual problem solving that requires the fire power of different media? Depends on experience I’m sure.

For me it was the latter: watercolor, then colored pencil, then gamsol over colored pencil, then gauche, then black micron ink, and finally, more gauche.

The messy middle:

  1. Lifted watercolor, added colored pencil – looks like near death.
  2. Gamsol – does not magically create a flowing encaustic effect; does degrade paint & paper. NOTE to self: wait to add colored pencil over entire picture until you know it will work.
  3. Gauche – flat, but evened out my experiments. Reduced the vulpine quality I accidentally created with under-jaw shadowing.
  4. Micron – returned the cheekbone curve as best as I could as it bulged out-of-bounds with the gauche fixes. My only regret is that I spent a lot of time trying to draw decent eyes, but the paint went down as it did and I have an exaggerated, almond-y, insectile eye. Alien Barbie is one I have not yet seen at Target. Stepford Wife Barbie?


The original inspiration:

  1. Catalog photo that reminded me of Elizabeth Peyton’s subjects
  2. Elizabeth Peyton’s Sarah 2002, as inspiration for the color palette

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Satisfied, but so ready to move on!