While experimenting with watercolors, Derwent blocks and Dylusion spray inks one afternoon, I used some white paper towels underneath my artwork to soak up excess color. When I saw the color stained paper towels afterward, I immediately thought they looked like 1960s tie-dye.
So, once it dried, I flattened out the “trash” and, using matte medium, glued it to a blank white page in my journal. I wasn’t quite sure where to go from there, so it sat in my journal, just looking pretty for a week or so.
While I was rummaging through my art supplies (looking for something else entirely), I spotted the Jane Davenport "coy" stencil and thought I’d give it a try on the tie-dye background. I used a black Sharpie marker since I thought I might add more color later, and I didn’t want the outline to run or smear.
The black face outline looked pretty good, but the head was just floating, which was kind of disconcerting, so I sketched in hair, ears and a neck with a pencil, then outlined it with the black marker. I gave her big hair—subconsciously thinking about the flower children and the 1960s big afro hairstyles popular at the time.
Flower power and tie-dye got me thinking about protests and social movements, and using the voting process to affect change. With that in mind, I added newsprint to the neck, cheekbone and hair. To me, newsprint represents information and knowledge.
To get the newsprint to fit just right on her neck, I traced the neck shape with tissue paper, and then cut both the tissue and newsprint at the same time to get a good fit. The newsprint section was randomly chosen, mostly for its spacing—the message in it was not intended to make any particular point. I adhered the newsprint to the neck with matte medium. I also added a few strips of newsprint to indicate a cheekbone and streaks in her hair.
The final touches were a tiny hint of soft pink chalk ink color on the lips, and the addition of some inspirational words in the hair and on the neck, which were printed on Avery peel and stick clear mailing labels.
The stencil is the one I used on my November 7, 2014 for my Artistcellar post called Lemonhead Art. Isn't it amazing how the same stencil has such a completely different effect when used with different materials and colors?