Sampling of Inner Spirit Portraits

Initially Inner Spirit Portraits started as a lark, as I wished to have some means of engaging with interested people at Art fairs and Healing fairs. These initial  portraits were quick and loose and fun. Still, they frequently captured some element of the person’s inner world that was not apparent to most people, but touched the person that was modeling.

An Inner Spirit Portrait captures the essence of one’s spirit, not necessarily their physical likeness.  This personalized art piece opens a door through which one may connect with their soul’s path and purpose.  I channel images, energies and/or messages specific to the person.

These quick and easy Inner Spirit Portraits could be started from a live model session or photo, and usually ended up referencing both. During the live (typically 1/2 hour or a bit more) sitting time, one would begin to have the opportunity to open to healing energy. Healing would continue to happen for the person at any time that they connected with the energy of the art piece. I always took at least one photo of the person, in case it was necessary to continuing the finishing of the piece. Generally speaking, I do not do fairs any more, nor do I rent myself out at parties, so I rarely engage in the small portrait creation any more.

Larger, more comprehensive portraits are a bit more time involved, and I am still open to creating those on a one to one basis. I will take several photos and conduct a short interview when one commissions a larger, and/or more complete inner spirit portrait. The portrait process can also be partnered with a Stones of Change reading for more healing and depth. Call to make an appointment to sit for a large portrait or to purchase other commissioned artwork.

Painting an Inner Spirit Portrait – Step by Step

Although I had a reluctant model (she loves being her age, but does not like to look like it), my brush and pencils did not wish to quit.  This Spirit Portrait was created as a sample of the process, as I explored the process.

Here’s the process of painting this Inner Spirit portrait layer by layer.

Step 1a – Sketch in watercolor pencil. Sometimes I use prismacolor pencil, or Utrecht/Blick colored pencils. However, the watercolor pencil seems to prove the most flexible and quick on canvas for the portrait work.

Layer 1b – Wet watercolor pencil on face. The time benefit of this pencil is apparent in this layer. I can wash around laying in the basic skin tone at the same time that I start defining the shapes and shadow very quickly.

Layer 2 – Watercolor Pencil. Here, with both pencil and brush in hand, I lay out the basic portrait composition, quickly.

Layer 3 – I lay on broad areas of  transparent liquid acrylic, then cover those areas with plastic wrap, while they are still wet.

Layer 4. At this point, I enter a deeper engagement with spirit. There is a lot of joy in the process of finding what/who appears with my colored pencils. Sometimes they are readily visible, other times a bit more reluctant. Always there are surprises, and those who appear for others to discover, not me. I started my art journey drawing. It is my natural go to. It feeds that part of me  that loves to do detail and define surfaces.

Finishing Layers

I also use more very thin washes of the liquid acrylics for defining large shapes and shadowed areas, as well as even more plastic wrap to reveal any additional lurkers willing to be discovered with the pencil.

I keep building up a portrait layer by layer until the painting says it is complete.

Here is the final version of the Spirit Portrait I was working on. I added a few more layers of both transparent watercolor and then also of prismacolor pencil. Then I played a few moments with the new acrylic pen (black paint, as well as another with white paint).

I tried to tone down the hair, however, there was no way that it would have it. Calls um like I sees um, I suppose. It’s not always what I see with the physical eye though. Sometimes energy’s brilliance wins out.