How do you deal with unexpected characters showing up?

When making art, it’s good to let things happen. Going with the flow often results in the most stunning works of art. But that doesn;’t mean that the process always flows as easily as a river. Sometimes, when working on a mixed media painting we run into oddities that might stop us for a bit and wonder how to go on.

 

The past two days I was snatched by a character I’d normally never choose. People may have said in the past that my work reminded them of aliens sometimes. Even though some characters look odd, they are really human. Or rather, an essence of the human I wanted to portray. But this time there was no getting around this alien who insisted on being painted by me. While I was listening to Matt Haig’s audiobook version of The Humans, it was this character showed up.

I was immediately captured by the organic lines I saw in his body and the huge eyes, one bulging, one hollow like a scrying bowl. They’re seemingly unseeing, but the way he looks at you, you just know he sees you with those unusual eyes. And his fragile position… This boy brings stories…and he looks at you so…well, so…sigh…I just had to bring him to life in a mixed media painting…

By the way, I can recommend Matt Haig as a bloody good author, I can say. His book The Humans is well worth reading! And the audiobook version is even more worth listening to because it’s narrated wonderfully! The book gives you something to think about…or it could inspire  you to make a mixed media painting…

The top photo is an early sketch, a fresh discovery of Matt, my alien. The bottom photo is “Matt” finished, done after lots of hours of work…

If you’d like to try painting and drawing quirky characters like “Matt”, check out my online workshop Mixed Media Character Faces.