Process: Play Like a Girl Watercolor Word Search Portraits


I’m loving my patio art time at The Echo with Play Like a Girl!  Although my art/share setup is outside, I make my way to the indoor stage as much as possible to catch the incredible bands all live and in lights and raised on a stage, and so I can be next to people who are also enjoying these elements and the music and the music!


It’s an amazing environment full of creative and interesting people who all want to enjoy the sick talent of an event organized by and booked with women.

Edith Crash bought a zine from me that my mom, brother, and I wrote about the French feminist Suzanne Voilquin!


This month, I shared the patio with Sandra Markarian‘s body painting and Arielle Salsa’s tarot mashup fashion, as well as with some amazing women from Gal Palace, a Los Angeles based storytelling hub, who were featured on the outdoor stage.  It was great to talk with other writers, artists, performers.  Great to draw them.

I have so many ideas from that event.  That’s part of why I’m a few days late in posting.  **Sound of Lorna taking a deep breath** I don’t have to figure out everything in a single post.

My process posts normally talk about how I move from conception, to lines, to fill, to filter, to publish.  That format initially hindered this post.  That’s not how I made these.  The process had a lot to do with pre-paper parts.  I didn’t have much paper/screen time. Time that seems increasingly unfulfilling the more I interact with people who move without a cursor.  Bigger rooms.  [This paragraph still confuses me, but I think I’m onto something…so ima keep it…and this explanation.]

Last month, I began a new series where I asked people to write down the first three words they found in a word search that I had made.  It came to me on the spot that I should paint portraits of the people who had found those words:


I dig these, and might go back to them with a pen/paint approach to add more shapes and windows.  I put a zine together based on the event.  I’m calling it Found Words Art & Notebook.  It’s in beta and looks promising.  I made a new word search and put in on the back of the zine.  I practiced water coloring on its pages.

coloring book painted_Page_1


Here are some portraits (and words found in the new word search) from the show this last Saturday, June 25 2016 :

word search portraits 20x30 w

Definitely a shift from the paintings the first go around.  The process was similar, but more organized:

These portraits started with a hello and an invitation to search for words.  I mention that, “the first three words may or may not mean something about you” and that’s cool, but not a rule with the search, and how would that even be checkable?  I’ve done the search a bunch, and I try and stick to the real first three, for the sake of the game.  I enjoy how everyone plays.  People highlighted their words, then recorded them in a notebook with their name.  I snapped a pic of them, individually, and then went to water coloring.

These portraits are in different stages of done-ness:




I’m getting better manipulating watercolors.  I’m getting better drawing/painting freehand.  I don’t have a formula, though I’ve enjoyed watching YouTube videos of how other people paint.  Draw Tip Tuesday is lovely, helpful, and relevant in that it’s neither too specific nor pragmatic.  It’s also nice to see someone else paint and explain their painting in a voice I can relate to.  I enjoy painting with watercolors.  It’s like painting with acrylics, but the water has more say than the paints.  [I wrote about my shift from Photoshop to painting a few months ago.  I’ll have to update my ideas about the two and their connection, too!]

The process for the art of these started with a line drawing, then water coloring, then drying, then more lines (with these great pens my artist friend William R Brun gave to me).

I did a few portraits after the initial group (the last three in the above gif).  I started with watercolors and then went to line drawings.  I’m not done with those yet.  I’m not sure which way I prefer.  I’m thinking the latter, but we’ll have to see.  I might need to use some pencil in the beginning.

I did go back to one portrait of Merilou Salazar from last month that was just watercolors.  I added lines.  Looks cool to me:

word search portraits animation w I’d also like to pay more attention to the words people find.  I make mental notes at the patterns, but I’d like to find a way to share them in the art.  At this point I’m just coloring over them in the portraits.  I did hide the words in my line drawings of my Found Words zine.  Work in progress.  Practice.

You Can Find Me…

Facebook: @LornaAlkanaArt and @LAWordSalon and @AffectComic
Twitter: @LornaPhone and @LAWordSalon
Instagram: @Lornaphone and @LAWordSalon

I update my Exhibition Page with events and galleries Lorna Alkana Art is featured in.

I post twice a week in two sorts of ways:  Around Monday I share new art/discussion about the process of works in progress.  Around Friday I post segments with Comic Lorna in my audiobio comic series called, Affect.


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