As I mentionned before, I was lucky enough to be given a place in Jeanne Oliver’s online class The Journey of Letting Go (creating beauty from ashes). One of the projects is to paint on old paper ephemera. I was very much looking forward to doing this on a bigger scale that the upcycled wood project I mentionned last week. So I went through my stash and pulled out some interesting papers.

I had fun placing them on the canvas. I took a shot before gluing everything down. That way, I could refer to the picture if ever I couldn’t remember the way I wanted to place things.

Probably one of the best ways to spend a Saturday evening.

I wanted to take a few picture of the papers because I knew some of them would be covered. The corset advertisement comes from a Eaton store catalogue that dates from 1901 and was passed down in my family. I use it sparingly!

I really love this script which comes from a paper pack that I bought on Etsy (from LoveDoveTrading).

Once everything was glued down and dried, I sketched my charcoal figures. I based it on a fashion photograph.

You can see the photo on the left. I find that, when I use photos, I often end up making mistakes that I wouldn’t have made had I just done a sketch from memory. In this case, her right arm looks wonky and some of the proportions are off.

But, hey, work in progress right?

I really wanted her hair to be in the doily and I’m glad that turned out so great. I was also keen to make a circular, art nouveau style disc behind her head, in that white space occupied by the doily.

I also darkened a ‘flower’ in her hair. The doily gives it a perfect texture.

The figure in the mirror isn’t exactly the same as the one standing in front. I’m ok with that, they are alter-egos in my mind!

After looking at it, I felt that the space around her needed more definition. I started with a pink wash and hated it. So I put in some baby blue and that was also not to my liking. So in the end I went with this soft grey.

Because there were 3 layers of paint, I lost some of the transparency on the papers that I had intended to keep. So I may buy some rubbing alcohol and see if I can lift a little of that paint from the ephemera.

All in all, I’m really happy with the result and looking forward to making more of these pretty ladies.