21 Secrets – Taming the Critic (Part 1)

So I’m back with another update from my ’21 Secrets’ adventure… this time I’ve been working on ‘Taming the Critic’ run by the amazinf Diana Trout.

The idea behind this workshop is to let your hands play without any input from your brain…. to just let your creativity run wild without any expectations. I wasn’t sure I’d like working this way, but I think it has been my favourite of all the workshops so far…

I then covered up the whole page (which was a wrench as I loved some of the underlying shapes and colours)- I never use gesso because I don’t really like it (don’t shoot me!). I prefer house paint. I also scratched into the wet paint with a coffee stirrer, which not only added a cool (if weird) texture, but also allowed a bit of colour from the collage pieces to poke through:

A layer of very watery acrylic (not in love with this bit…):

Now for the good stuff! I recently bought myself a little treat in the form of a charcoal sketching set, so I thought I’d test it out here. I didn’t really think about what I was drawing (but I must have had the most recent Quirky Crafts challenge in my head, as I managed to incorporate each element- a magical creature, stars, silver and glitter). I love the effect created by smudging charcoal across a colourful, textured background… this photo really doesn’t do it justice! I then decided to bled the charcoal witch using acrylic paint, which I think made her much more solid-looking:

Finally, I added a couple of finishing touches: silver gel pens in the eyes and stars and a quote written out in glitter glue (which says “Love can sometimes be magic. But magic can sometimes be just an illusion” – Javan):

I got so over excited by the whole process that I ended up making a batch of backgrounds using Diana’s method:


I’ll be back soon with some more arty bits based on ‘Taming the Critic’. Have a great week!

D x


7 thoughts on “21 Secrets – Taming the Critic (Part 1)

  1. Oh this is WONDERFUL! You took the idea and ran with it and made it yours, Daire! I love that you hated to cover your collage but did it anyway – letting go of the precious. The charcoal drawing of the witch is really well done. So glad you enjoyed the process of layering – it does seem to help to pull us into our own artwork. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Wonderful project. Thank you for playing along this week at Quirky Crafts “Magical Moments” challenge. Good luck and I hope you join again in the next challenge.


    CraftyGirl Quirky Crafts GDT

  3. Pingback: A quick announcement… | Doing it the Open Way

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