Saturday, 16 April 2016

Show Your Face on Friday - A Gift for Corrine!

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. Last week I was unable to link up with Kim Dellow's Friday blog, 'Show Your Face on Friday', but today I'd like to do so with a little face brooch I've made for Corrine Gilman. Corrine's left a comment on my 3rd blog anniversary and her name was selected from the hat, so I've been creating a piece of wearable art for her. If you would like to share any face art at all that you've been creating, please do link up with Kim's inspiring blog here. The brooches I create are collages using my own hand-drawn faces. I begin by sketching a face with pencils, pigment pens and some acrylic paint, some water-colour. Often I'll take an old book page, cover it with an acrylic wash in a neutral shade and draw over the text; other times I'll draw a simple face on cartridge paper.
As I draw, a story or a character usually comes to me and I begin to imagine the kind of house my little character might invite us into. Once my drawing or drawings are complete, I scan them into the computer and create a sheet of faces on Word. Once my faces are printed out I can enhance them with a little more acrylic paint - PaperArtsy Fresco Snowflake for the white highlights and Inktense for shadows and touches of subtle colour. The faces above are a larger print-out. I printed a smaller sheet for the little MDF house, which is only 2" tall. Saving the original scan in Word means you can play around easily with re-sizing.
Here is the face I selected. As you can see, I added shadow using a soft pencil and Micron pen. Before I stick anything down I play around with different elements, positioning them and listening to the story they have to tell. This little character invites us into her cottage, reminding us that love can turn the humblest of homes into a castle. Her roof/hat is a tiny scrap from a vintage playing card.
Here I am, still playing around with adding different elements to my design. I use a liquid Matt Medium to stick my papers to the MDF. The little door is painted copper foil. I stamp a design of a door - there is a lovely PaperArtsy Hotpicks stamp featuring little doors - onto the back of the foil and draw over it carefully with a pencil. I use a mouse-mat to rest on, so that the springy surface will enable the etching to stand out. So much I've learned about making these little houses has been due to the workshops I've done with Mary Jane Chadbourne over the last 2 years, at The Artful Gathering.
Once I'm happy with everything, I stick down the non-shiny elements. I leave the details like the door, the bead door handle and embellishments like the sequin to add at the very end because I like to spray the brooch with a wood finishing lacquer and this dulls the effect of anything iridescent or shiny - and Magpies like their shiny things really shiny!
Finally, this little character made it clear that she couldn't live in a house of wishes and love without a companion to care for. This tiny wooden wren is from Calico Craft Parts and he is about the size of my little finger nail.
I do hope that Corrine will like her gift. Thank You for watching as I put it together. And Thank You to Corrine and to all of you who have become my friends through this blog. I've learned so much from all of you. Have a lovely, creative week.


  1. Another amazing gem of a piece. I feel so lucky to have won! Xox

    1. Lucky you Corrine! Such a fabulous piece of Julie Ann's art created just for you!! I am green with envy!

  2. And extremely well they are put together too. I can vouch for that as my beautiful brooch survived a washing experience while still attached to my top! Enjoy your treasure Corrine! X

  3. So beautiful. Corinne is in for a treat, for sure. Lx

  4. I'm sure Corinne will adore her work of art. I was a childhood fan of those rather kitsch Pierrot paintings. This face reminds me of them, but has so much more depth to the expression and always with that wonderful extra layer of meaning from the text beneath. Delightful as always.
    Alison x

  5. I enjoyed reading about your processes, especially how you do your faces...the drawing, the scanning and embellishments. So nice of you to gift one of your pieces. I don't know Corrine but she will be delighted.

  6. Corinne will adore this charming little piece of your beautiful art Julie Ann! xxx

  7. A charming piece - very beautiful!

  8. Julie, loved reading about how you create these wonderful pieces. Invaluable information for a newbie! Thank you!!

  9. Its a beautiful little house and lady! I see you have added hinges to recent houses...did they work to your satisfaction? Lots of love!!

  10. So beautiful, a work of art.

  11. This is beautiful and Corinne is sure to treasure it! I have only just caught up with your posts and as ever Julie Ann I am astounded by seeing your fabulous art! I was lucky enough to meet up with Patty in Paris - you would love her! Do you think it's time you and I met up? We are hoping to come South later this year! No dates yet, but I am keen to visit Essex where my Mum grew up! Hugs, Chrisx


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