Rise to the Occasion

May Theme
Touchy Feely (Texture)
May 16 – Week 20
Art Challenge:  Modeling Paste
Journal Prompt:  Rising to the Occasion


Modeling Paste can be a tricky medium to use and I am not a big fan . . . typically I use it on canvas when needed and have never tried it in my art journals, so let’s see how this goes!  I prefer heavy body gel mediums to get texture on my pages, but I love a challenge so I’m willing to give it a try!

If you don’t have modeling paste – you can try drywall spackle or look online to find recipes for homemade pastes. Another great product is Texture Paste by Ranger.  I use that quite a bit when I want to get some dimension in my artwork.

Most of the time, I start out with a rough sketch like the one below – I’m just looking for placement when I do this – everything will be fine-tuned as the work progresses.

Layers, layers, layers!  Using colored pencils -my favorite Staedtler Ergosoft – I started “coloring” using layer after layer.  Using a tortillion and odorless mineral spirits, I blended the pencils to create a soft, dreamy look.

Using water and several shades of blues, greens and white, I slapped on some acrylic paint in the background.  I also scratched some lines into the wet paint with a bamboo reed pen.  You can see below that I didn’t blend well – I wanted to see all the marks and brush strokes.  I think it is a nice contrast between my sweet, dreamy girl and makes her stand out.

I used a foam sponge and some white acrylic paint to rub on some clouds.  This can easily turn into a disaster trying to make them look perfect, but the trick is to rub on the white quickly and leave it alone!

Because the prompt is “Rising to the Occasion,” I made up a little statement about this piece.  Rising to the occasion is to overcome difficult situations; to stand up and meet them head on.  This girl, though bruised, is strong and capable of standing up and facing the day!

At this point, I felt the piece was finished, however I wanted to embrace the art challenge and add in my modeling paste.  Because the paste will dry opaque white – I decide to smear it over my clouds with a palette knife.  Modeling paste can also be tinted with paint before applying, but I used it straight out of the jar.

Once the paste was dry, I used a baby wipe to apply some watered-down acrylic paint and then popped some bright white on top of the blue.  This gave the clouds a three dimensional fluffy look!

I’m looking forward to seeing how many creative ways you all use modeling paste this week!  I am also thrilled to announce our featured artist this week is the amazing Heather Santos!  See how she uses modeling paste in her challenge Here.

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For more information on this week’s challenge you can find us here:

Instagram: #documentedlife #documentedlifeproject

Looking for previous challenges? click HERE

Visit our blogs: Sandi Keene, Roben-Marie Smith, Rae Missigman

Join us on The Art to the 5th™ Academy™ – a thriving “community” and classroom for “The Original” Documented Life Project™!  Find us on Instagram: #documentedlife

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  1. Avatar

    I love this Lorraine. She’s gorgeous and I love your clouds. I would never have thought of using modelling paste in any way except for through a stencil or as background texture. Thank you so much for this new idea 🙂

    1. Lorraine Bell

      It’s funny you say that, because that is the first thing I thought of with the modeling paste – stencils! But you know me – I have to be "different" LOL!

  2. Avatar

    Delightful pages, Lorraine! Thank you for sharing your process!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      It is my absolute pleasure Marsha Sue – so glad you liked it!

  3. Mary W

    Love how your girl is standing up to the windy and cloudy skies yet is beautiful. This really illustrates your journaling and she is weathering life just as we all must do but you have shown a beautiful day and she is beautiful – to illustrate how life is difficult but so beautiful at the same time. I was so surprised at how much difference it made to her face when you added the cheek highlights – magically the face shape seemed to change. I always think it’s amazing how one line or brush stroke can change so much.

    1. Lorraine Bell

      That is so true Mary and thank you. I have spent so many hours in portrait classes where I’ve been told that the face only comes to life with those last few strokes – and it is so true! The pops of light at the end bring the high points closer and set the rest of it back! You have such a keen eye!

  4. Avatar

    Your girl is beautiful, strong yet she looks so serene. I love your pencil coloring and the way you shaded her face. For someone who doesn’t care much for modeling paste, you’ve used it quite well! This page is really beautiful. It would make a nice inspirational canvas.

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you so much – I love a good challenge and I am glad you found some inspiration!

  5. Sabrina K.

    Beautiful Lorraine! A sweet, gentle spirit comes through…. 🙂

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you so much Sabrina – I am really happy you liked it!

  6. cindy arrington

    Lorraine, every week your work is more beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Oh my – thank you so much Cindy! What a sweet compliment!

  7. Avatar

    She’s wonderful …. and the clouds…. well, they are heavenly. I really am drawn to this page. It’s so soothing….

    1. Lorraine Bell

      I’m so happy you like it Sara – have fun creating yours!

  8. Rae Missigman

    oh she is just lovely too! I am happy to hear I wasn’t the only new user to modeling paste. I am happy I tried it and think that if I find a brand that is less chalky I will love it! I want gloss lol! Your girl is lovely, just like you! xo

    1. Lorraine Bell

      I know you like your glossy, sassy paints! Bet you could add a little gloss medium to it! 🙂 Love you!

  9. Avatar

    STOP IT!! I love what you did with the clouds! Genius! Here I am starting to stress out about this challenge because I too dislike molding paste. Now I’m totally inspired! You’re the GREATEST!!!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      I’m so happy you are inspired – that’s the best comment I could get!

  10. sandi sakowski

    BEAUTIFUL!!! I LOVE it!! She is so sweet, soft and graceful!!!
    I also love the gift card cover class!! FABULOUS!!! Where do you get the deli paper??? I
    have used velum, is that similar??

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thanks Sandi – I’m glad you liked both! Here is a link to find deli paper: http://tinyurl.com/lytg8hz
      It is thinner than vellum, but you have to buy it in large quantities! I go through a box every month or so!

  11. Avatar

    That turned out so really pretty! I love the colors and the sweetness of the girl!

  12. Avatar

    This is really beautiful! Touching, as well. Thank you for sharing it.

  13. Kathy Perry

    Very cool ideas here today, Lorraine! Love how your clouds turned out!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thanks so much Kathy – I really appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment!

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