I haven’t drawn a self portrait since my last art class in high school, but looking at Taylor Anne’s mood board the other day, I decided I would give it a try. I was really inspired by the colors, rhythms, and textures on the mood board, and once I thought about how I could “make it my own” I was off to the races.

I started by using paint.net (a free PC software program that can be used like photoshop to make and alter digital images) to take a cartoon poodle and mirror it and adjust the colors. How could I not put in a reference to my sweet Biscuit?  Then I used some dark brown patterned paw print paper to create a dark background. I knew the Prima flowers I had recently received from my friend Bev (YT: NewCrafterBev) would make the perfect 3 dimensional flower “grid”. I watered down some pink and aqua paints I mixed up with water and had fun creating some drips (making sure to use my heat gun to dry each layer — I wanted to make sure I didn’t get a muddy look for this project). Then I started laid in my gold embossed small paw print background structure, which I thought echoed the larger erratic paw print paper as well as the grid of the flowers nicely (bringing it all together).

Finally, all that was left was the self portrait. I did a quick sketch, using my cheap but reliable Uniball ink pen, standing in front of my bathroom mirror. I scanned the drawing into my computer, cleaned up the stray lines using paint.net, and printed it out on matte photo paper so that I could color it up. I love my little set of Derwent Inktense water color pencils. These are pricey, but I have done well, with a small 12 color set for years.

I really had fun taking my time, taking cues from a mood board as a sketch, and working on each layer and mini project on this layout. I like the results too, but the best part for me was this process.

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