46 Faces: A Painting Practice | Jenn Ashton | Skillshare

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46 Faces: A Painting Practice

teacher avatar Jenn Ashton, Artist and Author

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Welcome!

    • 2. Supplies and Prep

    • 3. Building The Booklet

    • 4. Beginning your Practice

    • 5. Tips and Ideas

    • 6. Thank You and Goodbye

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About This Class

Have you ever heard yourself say: "I can't draw faces/hands/people/cats"? In this class, you'll learn how to use a simple technique to create a daily art practice. Using Zen techniques including non-judgment, and being in-the-moment, I'll show you how to move past any uncertainty you have about drawing a specific body part. For me, it was: faces! By the end of your 46 faces, you will never say 'I can't' again;-)

This is an all ages, all skill level class with no previous painting experience required. In fact, the less you know, the better you will be! This class teaches you to let go of perfection and find beauty and humor in just a few swift moves.

3 things you will learn in this class are:

• How to make a practice booklet

• How to build a practice habit

• How to get past anything that sounds like "I can't draw faces"!


Meet Your Teacher

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Jenn Ashton

Artist and Author



Artist & Author Jenn Ashton has been teaching creative thinking and problem solving for decades, and now teaches art and the business of art from a Buddhist perspective. 

Working out of her North Vancouver studio, she combines art, writing and teaching with her love of Rat Terriers, and one particular guitar playing musician. 



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1. Welcome!: how you guys, I'm back. Okay, so I have been wondering what to make it class on. But I've been getting so much feedback on this, which looks a little ready and funny, but what it is is it is a booklet that I made where I do daily practice When I started painting, um, I had a huge list of things that I I thought I couldn't dio. I often said I can never I can't do faces there. I can t noses are I can't do hands and I cant do people anyway. So what I did was I just dove in and started doing it. So what I do now is ideo at least two faces a day and I've come a long way. Um So what I'm gonna teach you today is just how to put one of these little practice books together, and I wanted to just teach you how to kind of overcome here year of bases by just doing it . We're not even gonna use a paintbrush. I'm gonna show you my special way of doing this. So you have no control. We're not gonna think of voting faces were just gonna do it really fast. I snow his mouth, you know, as long as they've got those things for good. So anyways, it's called 46 bases because we're gonna make a booklet with 46 pages and we are going to have a lot of fun. And this doesn't just have to be faces. You can make these, you know, for hands and feet or whatever. Um uh and then at the end, I'll tell you some cool things that you can do with it. Um, and these books are actually going to be little treasures that you'll want to keep. It was kind of trying to think. What are we gonna do with this? But anyways, I'll tell you what I did, and I'll show you. OK, I'll be right back. 2. Supplies and Prep: eyes. OK, so this is the video where we'll talk about supplies. And also I'll get you to do a bit of that Prep pork. Ah, that needs to be done prior to building the booklet. So it's, um, very basic stuff, just something to spread Jessa with. And sometimes I use a brush for this project. I used this because it was a really super fast. And the thing is, um, we're gonna be using this Jessel, which I like, uh, liquid tex basics. And if you can get the medium thickness one, this one was really gloppy, and I can't really get the lid on anymore, But it's medium fact and the reason that you want to use maybe something just like a scraper, something to spread it, um, is because we don't want it on the paper perfectly. Eso we want to leave some spaces and just do it really fast. Um, the reason for that is that when you put the incontinent, it will make different. Um, you know, it will attach to the paper differently. The pigment will. If there's a bit of blank paper, it will saturate it if there's a you know, a big, gloppy pile of Jess, so it will look differently. And that's what we're going for. So we're going for lots of different variety in terms of texture on our paper, so use, you know, medium to thick, Jess. Oh, and something just to scrape it on. But you know what you can use a brush to, and that's fine, and you can get the same effect as well. Um, if you don't have one of these fancy straight for she continues on old credit card or a piece of cardboard. Um, I've used pastry tools, anything you can find in your kitchen that's washable. You know, you're going to need, um, pot for your water, because there will be sometimes when we use a brush, but very rarely, because we're not going to be using a brush for this. We're going to be a saying. The pipettes pit pats, whatever you call it. You still haven't told me. I think it's called the Pipat. Um, you might remember these from high school, um, biology class. Anyways, this is what we're going to use. And this is my secret tool of choice for making the faces, um, again, because you have the least amount of control. It's really irregular. Sometimes it comes out fast. Sometimes it comes out slow, you get skinny lines, wide lines, blobs, globs, and that's what makes it so special. Okay, you can need some twine or string. Um and that's gonna be kind of we're going to do a very basic binding on this, And I say that lightly because I know nothing about bookbinding. Um, we're basically just tying it together so it stays together, and then scissors will need to cut the paper and ink, and this is my very favorite kind of ink, but because it's just we're just using black. You can use Sumi Ink Japanese Inc. Um, you can use India ink. You can use any kind of ink that you like. Um, we're just using black for this project because it's ah, we're just gonna make for a black and white image. And I'll tell you why later, Um, so mysterious enemies and that's it. And then, most importantly, on also very cheap, and I can't really show you all in this, but just newsprint. Um, when I lived on Vancouver Island, I lived right. Besides the newspaper and I used to go on by Rowlands of newsprint and I was just so happy , you know, for a couple of bucks and this is really only a couple of bucks, you can sometimes get it for less than $2. This big thing, Um, and this is 18 by 24 that's the size we want again. This project. You could kind of do it with any size or any kind of paper, but we want newsprint because A it's cheap and plentiful and be again because the paper is kind of thin. And so when we're scraping our Jessel on and working with A this is a kind of paper we want because ink soaks in, um, but Jessel gives us a bit of tooth, and it doesn't sort through the Jessel so we can do both sides. Um, and that's it. Regarding the size, I really want to work with bigger paper instead of smaller paper because that really keeps it, um, loose. I find that when I work really small, I get more detailed and I want to be more careful. But when we're working on a big piece of paper really loosely, especially when we're just using this and this, Um it just helps us stay. Lis and I I know I've said lose 100 times already, but, um, I think it's really important when you're learning something to not get too detailed. And for 46 faces were going to be making 46 faces. Um, and that's a lot of faces. And you want to do them quickly. And like I said at the beginning, I do to a day, Um, and you want to do them fast And what I was doing Waas High. Um, what I was doing was I was making just doing to break before I went to bed. And so it was really fast, like, literally. Well, Chris is taking the dogs out. I'll go and just work through two faces and you don't want to be precious. You want to be fast. Like I said, you want to get your eyes, your nose, your mouth. Um, these were going to turn out to be really special. Trust me, because it's just No, I can't describe it. It's something more that's going through you, and it's a more meditation than a thought process. Okay, so enough blabbering and I'll show you what I've done And I'll tell you what, I want you to dio I yesterday I tore out my six sheets so you're going to need six pieces and I quickly spread Jess Oh, on the front and the back of each one. I'm getting you to do this beforehand because it might take a well to dry where you are. And I don't know how big your spaces so you might not be able to dio, um, flay them all out on the floor like I did to dry. If you're stuck for space, um, you might only be able to do one or two at a time. Or you can get your hair dryer and dr, um come and that will help anyway, So that's the prep work you have to do. And again any thank you want, um, this Pipat pit that is going to be, um, integral in a lot of my classes. So I would suggest getting I got a big box off of Amazon of, like, 20 or 50 or something for next to nothing but a really inexpensive and so far I've only used one. I wish I could send you all one. But that's just how cheap they are. Um, in I'm losing my voice. I didn't sleep very much last night. The dog is it'll, uh, so many ways. And the brush You don't even really need a breath on something to scrape and some Jess. So even if you don't have, just though I have used white paint before, just anything so that you can put the income both, uh, will be doing because we'll be doing both sides of the paper anyways. Okay, that's thes supplies. And I have given you a supply list so you can download it. Um, and now we will get on with me. Human. Look. What? Okay, do you? 3. Building The Booklet: are you guys? I'm back. Okay, So one thing I forgot to tell you and I will actually add it to the supply list to is that you'll need an all and or you can use a nail. And if you don't even have a nail handy, you can use your scissors, Uh, which I need to get. Anyways, um, I just want to say that this is one of my favorite tools, and you might want to grab one anyways, because it's really good for moving paint around and scraping If you're painting on wood on just General Mark making its awesome Anyways, you could see minds covered in paint. So you have got with you. I hope you're six pages. Oh, excuse me. Oh, Jess. Oh, newsprint. So what we're gonna do, first of all, And again, let's not be precious about this, because I was definitely not precious when I made this. It doesn't need to be perfect. We're just practicing. Um, okay, we're just practicing. And some of the ink was even coming to to my front page. So I just put some, um, collage paper goods and closure people again. And I wrote the, um the month. These are all the faces I did in August. Okay, so we're gonna fold it in half width wise, and we're gonna cut alone that scene. Okay? Again, that's really hard to keep all these pages, um, perfectly together because hopefully you're just so is nice and thick in some spots and thin in some spots. And it's going to make a very interesting substrate for us to work on because we'll never know what's gonna happen. And I love that. Okay, so there you go. That's cut. And then we're gonna fold that in half again. Yeah. And so that's about how big your book is gonna be. Um, I guess that's about I think it's a little bigger than a for Okay, so there we go. Now, what we're gonna do is along here, And, you know, you guys can do if you're if you have any knowledge about bookbinding or whatever. Of course. Make make it nicer. Whatever you want. Um, but I do not have any knowledge of book binding. So all I've been doing is poking holes six holes and making three ties just with the twine just like that. Nothing fancy you don't even really need a needle. I think you can probably just push push the, uh, twine or thread through your holes. Okay. So be careful when you do this, that there's nothing you're gonna poke through and hurt on the other side, Like your finger or your hands. It actually goes through pretty easy. Especially if you've got this all too old, because it's pretty awesome. Minds even working pretty good. Even though it's got Quintana, they're super sharpened. LG's okay. I can't wait to get started making some faces with you guys. And I hope that you'll post up, um, your projects and really keen to see Okay, there's my holes. Now I'm going to get some twine. This is, um, hemp twine trying to use hemp products whenever I can. If I can find them cheap enough because I like to support Ah, that because hemp can be grown really fast, um, and replenishes itself. I think it's kind of like bamboo international pocus through here. Um, so I try and use alternatives. Teoh wood fiber. Whenever I can also vikan, you find something that's made with recycled products. I will always do that first, and thankfully as time goes by those products that are becoming cheaper and cheaper. Okay, my serious I, um My Anyways, this might be easier if you have one of those big needles, Okay? And then I'm just kind of tying it because it really doesn't need to do anything fancy, which is good, because a really great fancy. Hey, and again, like I said, this doesn't just have to be 46 faces. This can be on dogs or cats. Their hands or feet or noses or fears or eyes would be a good one. Um, eyes. Yeah, and I just do one of eyes also, um, and the other thing I was going to say was the reason I was doing I said in the last video that I was doing to a day is because I wasn't using a hair dryer. So I was doing in them at night. Uh, with my page is open and then just loving them dry overnight. Naturally. But you could Well, you can use a hair dryer to dry your ink. But you know what? Um, hair dryers air have a pretty strong blow. So you don't want to be moving your ink around too much. You know, once it's down because it could be really thick in places. Um, on that would be a drag if you kind of like to something that you did. And it got messed up because of the hair dryer. But of course, it is an option, So I can do that for sure. Um, I'm happy. It's autumn here. Autumn is coming in the raise in September. Why I am and more. Thank you. And we've already got our fires on, so I'm really happy to be able to just put stuff on the mantel, and it dries pretty quickly, okay? And I never throw anything away. So you consider your strings and you can use these little bits for put them in your collage bag or something. And there we go. Nothing fancy, that's for sure. But it is perfect for what we're doing. Just look at all your lovely pages, and hopefully they're like mine. Um, thick and spot spin and spots uneven. That is going to make for, um, some really cool work. Anyways, here I and that's it. So in the next video, we will get started making some faces, and that's gonna be fun. Okay, I'll see in a minute. 4. Beginning your Practice: Okay, so here we go. Um, one thing I wanted to tell you that made you a playlist. Um, actually, I think six playlists. So if you go down there, I think somewhere and click on the pdf s that I've given you there's, um, a pdf that you can download and the links air clickable, and they'll take you to Spotify. And if you don't have an account, you consign it for free, and it's free to listen and just sign up and a listen away and thes air examples of what I listen, Teoh, when I'm getting into that meditative state to do these things, I'll just pop on something even just on my iPad at my table and just listen to the music. And it helps me to not pay attention to what I'm doing because that is the key. You don't want to be paying attention. Um, you just kind of want to try and get into that meditation of putting the ink on the paper and making a face. And now I'm gonna show you how I do it with my pipette pit pat, You should just give this a name because I don't know how to say it or should look it up. Could say how toe see how to pronounce it. Anyway, I'm gonna turn this around and but you guys down here so you can see what I'm doing. Okay? So again, I said this in my last video, Um, regarding your ink, make sure the cap is on tightly and give it a good shake, because once with a bottle of 1000 islands dressing, the cap wasn't on, and my grandpa got really mad when it went flying everywhere. That was 100% my fault. I was just little, but I did not put a cap on. Okay, so you got your think and you've got your pipe at Pitt. Bet so, basically, what we're gonna do is we're gonna load this up, and we're just going to start making a face and not think about it. Okay, so here I go loading it up and you'll find as you're doing this, that you'll find different techniques and things for making thin or thick lines or whatever , but just watch how fast this is. Okay. It's kind of you wanted to be scribble e and just kind of hold it really loosely. So basically, you know, and I I like to do things where I don't lift it off the page. You know, you can do little things. Um, give yourself a little tests. How maney can you do without lifting this off the page? You know, one continuous line and there you go, and that's it. You can get more detailed if you want our or not. Whatever. Doesn't really matter. We're not judging. That's the great thing about this. You can be messy and we're not judging. We're just learning how to do faces. This is night making muscle memory for you. Um, even you probably don't even notice it. But it's helping you. Your muscles remember where the eyes go. I spacing how far down the nose goes nose to mouth. But Meltzer Chin, this will all get put into your memory bank, and when you need to pull it out, it will be there. And after you do 46 of these, trust me, you're gonna feel more confident. And that's what we're going for. Really. Is building the confidence Teoh, um, to be able to pull this out of your bag whenever you feel like it and feel good about it, even if it's messy and scribble e because we're not judging myself that enough. We're not judging. We're not judging. Okay, so the next thing I want to show you, I can't because I didn't bring any water, but one second and I will magically make some okay today I have some water here, and this isn't, um necessary. But it's just a kind of a fun little extra if you just get your brush wet. Whatever brush. I think I did my last book with huge hunk and brush, but you can just kind of move the ink around to I was doing this because I was practicing. Ah, shading. Which is also another really good practice because I'm not very good at it. And I would like to be able Teoh, um, just kind of know how to do that. Um, so maybe you do know that maybe you can make a big deal for me, but that's what I've been doing. So that's not, um, again super necessary. But it's fun. It's just another option. So that's it. And that's all there is to it. I'm trying to keep these. I'm relatively short. But maybe I'll just do one more for you just again. And you know what? If you have any questions, please just ask me. I'm always around. Um, so this time I'm gonna start with the mouth to the nose. I am on the eyes, and I just love it because it's just somebody different every time. And I love that. And in fact, the more faces I do it's funny that, um, my friends and families you to be showing up in my face is even people I haven't met who are my friends on Facebook. I'll be like, Oh, my God, That looks just like so and so, um and so that's a kind of a cool thing about it, too. You never know who's gonna show up. Okay, so let me go. It's just that easy. Portrait's mullah. Okay, so that's it. I will let these dry and then I'll show you, and I'm going to come back and tell you and show you what I have done with, um, which is some kind of cool ideas. And maybe you've got some ideas to that you want to share with us. That would be awesome. because I really think the sky's the limit and as many people as there are who watched this . There's probably just got many ideas to you probably will have your own ideas. So let's share. OK, I'll be back in a minute. Did you love that? I hope you did. I just love it. 5. Tips and Ideas: Hello. Okay, so now that you have done some faces and you're on your way filling up your flock, um, I was stumped, and I was like, What am I gonna do with these? Kind of have the same feeling about art journals when I'm going to do with it after? Because I like to think that I'm a practical person on. And I guess that's why I have never made an art journal because I didn't want to just have something that's not being used for something Um, you even see, even know that was awful. You know what it looks like? Me Great, great grandma. And so I just love it cares if it's blobby Anyways, you can tell from the what's the progress? That's what I like. You'll be able to see your urine progress. Okay, So what do you do with that? Well, the first thing I wanted to do with that waas I thought maybe I can rip it all up and put it in collage works, and you don't need to disturb your book. Just little copy, sons. So I just took some pages and I photocopied hm. Now I can use this for collage. I can use this, like, unglued it onto a piece of wood or Camas and work on top of it. I can print this off on, um, T shirt, stencil iron on paper and put it on a T shirt. I can do all kinds of things. And Colin, So it. So what I did was I got a piece of this. Um Oh, my God. What do you call this stuff? I don't know. Because I never use that planet, Um, architects, you that anyways, So I put it together with one of my pages, my photocopied pages behind it, and I just take it to my sewing machine on, and I just free handed over it and sketched it. And I am, like, so happy with this. So I'm going to make a bunch of thes on. I'm gonna do a, um, kind of a free zone project with all of my faces. So that's gonna be an exhibit. Um, so you know, you can make a pillow, you can make anything. This guy's the limit. I'm still curious to see what you're going to make. Um, And again, you can go back and use these just even as, uh, guys to flip through and get ideas. Especially if you have a whole bunch. I'm gonna do one with just eyes. I think, um, just I practice and you can fill a whole bunch of these with body parts. Not some goes, you know what I mean? Anyways, so those are some ideas for you? Um, I'm happy to hear what you think, and that's it. So, um, if you have anything that you would like me to make a video about or a little course about let me know I could do lots of different things. Um, And that would be great, because I think they're so much fun. And hopefully you don't mind me. Just some bobbling on, but I like it. So there you go. And I will come back whether Goodbye. I hope you're enjoying the music. Let me know. 6. Thank You and Goodbye: Okay. Hello. So this is your formal goodbye video? Um, I kind of made some notes here, but I wanted to say I hope that by doing a practice like this a daily practice, you lose your fear of drawing whatever it is you're gonna put in these booklets. Um, for me, Like I said at the beginning, I always said I can't draw faces, and I just I had a list of things I said I couldn't draw. But I actually can draw faces. And I love my faces. And just doing something like this simple practice really helped me push through that, and I don't say that anymore. Um, the other thing I wanted to say is that I'm doing 46 faces because if you do to a day that will take you to 20 two days, I think Is that right? 23 days and, um, 23 days. And, you know, they say it just takes 21 days to make a habit. So I'm hoping that this will be really good habit forming for you and muscle memory building. And there you go. Um, and I hope that this will be maybe even a jumping off point for something else. Sewing or, uh, anyway, you can imagine to use thes cool faces. Um, anyways, and that's about it. That's me done. And I look forward to hearing from you and I look forward to see what you make and I look forward to hearing. If you like my music choices, um, feel free. Teoh. Play the Moloto on him and or maybe even tell us, what's your favorite music to put on to get into that meditation mindset when you paint or create. Anyways, I hope you have a great day and thanks for joining me again on this course, and I will be posting up more if I can come up with something clever to show you. And that's about it. See you later.