Friday, 30 May 2014

Painting process: Flight to Freedom

Sorry for the silence last week! I had some very important exams that I had to focus on.
I already made this painting some time ago but I still had the process pictures to share, so, why not do it now?

This painting was an assignment given by my therapist. Firstly she wanted me to draw my biggest fears and anxieties, which turned out to be incredibly confronting and difficult to me. I even left some at her office because I didn't want to look at them. Needless to say I was very happy with her next 'assignment'; to draw myself as the person I would like to be - free and happy, without anxieties, fears and depression.

This picture from an earlier outfit post on this blog was my reference. I edited a few things out and I made myself look thinner in the actual painting. Why? Because I'm in the process of losing weight and it couldn't hurt painting my goal at the same time, right?
I really liked the feel of this picture. I first wanted to paint myself surrounded by my loved ones, but then I realised I already am surrounded by my loved ones (and very happy with that!). So I decided to paint myself as a faery, rising from the dark into the sky, into freedom.

 I don't have a picture of the sketch alone, unfortunately. But here you can see I've started on the dress and the skin and hair. I first indicated the print on the dress with large blobs of paint, and then added a shading layer, then more detail to the print, then another shading layer, and so on.

I painted most of the painting in my garden with copious amounts of fresh mint and lemon balm tea. I wouldn't be Jopie if I didn't pick a matching tea cup!

I decided to paint myself with dragonfly inspired wings as I really like to paint the iridescence and I thought they would fit wonderfully with my dress. Here you can see the process from bottom to top. The key is to add lots of very thin layers of differently colored paint.

I started out with indicating the panels with a very thin layer of indigo paint, leaving the veins white. Then add some light blobs of a reddish pink, and then for the third layer, paint some yellow and green very lightly on random patches. When it's dry, paint a very light wash of indigo all over the wings. And for the last step - define the panels, edges and veins with more indigo and a small brush.

I already explained how I made the printed dress, but here's another picture that shows the process well!

I finished the painting at Bagels & Beans, one of my favorite lunchrooms. Here you can see some process on the background washes - the more and more different layers of colour I add, the darker it becomes. Here I used a bright foresty green on the first layer, and then added lots of layers of indigo and Vandyke Brown untill it was dark enough for my liking.

And here is the result! I hope you like it.

My website isn't up to date - working on that!


Thursday, 22 May 2014

Painting Process: Loki's Punishment

I wanted to do a post about painting for so long. Painting is my favorite thing to do in this world. It's relaxing and at the same time it helps me to focus and helps me to forget get my anxieties and depressive thoughts.

This painting isn't particularly a happy one but it is actually on one of my biggest inspirations - world mythology (in this case Scandinavian mythology). I've always really wanted to make a painting about Loki - the original Loki, not the Marvel version - and this image has always kind of stuck in my head.

To suffer for his crimes and mischief (for more info on that, read the Edda), Loki was tied to a rock wall with the intestines of his own son, while a snake was placed above his head, dripping venom. His wife, Sigyn, held a bucket above Loki's head. However, every once in a while when the bucket was full, she had to go and empty it, allowing the venom to drip freely on Loki's face. Whenever that happened, Loki would shake so badly that the Scandinavians believed this to be the cause of earth quakes. It is said that one time Loki will shake so violently that he will break free of his bonds - the start of Ragnarok.

I've been keeping people up to date with this painting on my facebook art page Rose Red - the Art of Jopie L. K. I wanted to wait until it was finished to make a blog post about it.  The first process picture I posted was on February 26, so I've been working on this painting for three months!

Most of the pictures in this post have been made with my iphone - my apologies in advance if the colours aren't exactly right. I've tried to fix things as much as possible in Photoshop and the final result shows the actual colours.

All paintings start with a sketch. This painting was originally meant to be a study of the male torso, something I'm not really experienced with. I used a reference for it but I didn't trace anything.

As it was a torso exercise, of course I had to start with the torso. Here are some progress pictures!

Here I started on his wife Sigyn as well. As you can see I decided to make Loki a redhead - fitting for a god of mischief I think! Sigyn is wearing a traditional Viking dress and apron and a Viking hairstyle.

Here's another picture where you can see what a few subtle layers of paint do to a face! I wasn't really happy with the face in the first picture and I wanted to make it more refined and aged (but not quite as much aged!).

Water colour is a medium that requires a lot of skill. To be honest, I think it's more difficult to work with than oil paint, as you can't go over it if you did something wrong. It also dries pretty quick.
I made the snake resemble a viper (Vipera Berus) as it is, to my knowledge, the only venomous snake in Scandinavia. Of course I gave myself some artistic freedom (such as adapting the size of the snake a tiiiiny bit!), to add more drama.

I decided to make the background dark as to add more focus to the drama of the scene.

I like Viking art. I like borders. So I decided to add a Viking border, inspired by traditional Viking artwork - with my own twist on it of course.

I changed the sketch of the snake's head five times. I was never happy with it, so I finally started to paint. It turned out to be quite nice.

I finished the painting yesterday afternoon while sitting at a lunchroom terrace. One of my favorite small tricks is to order a ristretto (with extra glass of water for the paint ofcourse) and simply paint with the coffee. It gives a really nice touch of colour and atmosphere. Sometimes I only paint with coffee - it makes awesome and deliciously smelling sepia paintings!

And here is the final result! My website needs updating (working on that!), so if you want to see more of my recent paintings, visit my Facebook page.

I've already started a new painting!


Thursday, 15 May 2014

Recipe: Nutty banana-chocolate pancakes

Here I am again!

I just had the most amazing breakfast. I usually just slap on some cream cheese and tomatoes on rye bread for breakfast but this morning I had a little bit more time on my hands.

I've been seeing recipes for banana pancakes everywhere and I really wanted to give my own twist on it.

I really like chocolate and I recently discovered the deliciousness of raw cocoa. I've been putting it in all of my smoothies and well.. it's awesome. And it's guilt free! Therefore I wondered if it would be nice to put it in my pancakes. And oh boy, it is! The pancakes are dairy, gluten, sugar and lactose free. They aren't vegan but I'm sure there are some alternatives to the egg in it if you want them to be vegan.

Here is the recipe:

Nutty banana-chocolate pancakes
(for 3-4 small pancakes)

1 banana
1 egg
50g chopped mixed nuts (unsalted)
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tbsp raw cocoa

Mash the banana on a plate and whisk the egg seperately in a small bowl. Once you've done that, put the mashed banana in the bowl with the egg and mix them by hand. Then add the cocoa, the hemp seeds and half of the chopped nuts and mix them by hand (I just used a regular fork) until the clumps of cocoa are gone.
Take a small pan and spoon some of the mixture in and bake it on a low fire. When it's nice and brown on one side, turn it around and bake it on the other side. When you are done, staple your pancakes on top of each other and serve with the remainder of the mixed nuts. If you like, you can sprinkle some raw cocoa and hemp seeds on top as well. I'm sure they'll be delicious with some maple syrup or honey if you are looking for variations!


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Happy Outfit: Sunflower

Happy outfits make me happy. I've filled my closet with them. My most important rule is that everything I wear must make me happy!

This dress is one of my prized possessions. It's a beautiful vintage cotton swing dress from the 1950s with a swishy full circle skirt! I bought it at my favorite Amsterdam vintage shop: Tut & Hola. If you visit Amsterdam and like vintage clothing, I would really recommend! I've never ever left there without succeeding in finding a pretty dress. I don't really wear it that often because it used to be a little bit too small for me. However,  have lost some weight recently so now it fits quite well! I really love the print too. I wish I could find a similar fabric nowadays.

The shoes are a LE by Harrods (I wore them in my Little Red Riding Hood post as well). They are official replicas of the Ruby Slippers of the wizard of Oz. I bought them off a friend and I've worn them so many times that they started to fall apart. However, they're still wearable so that's what I'm going to do!

It was too cold to walk around in the dress alone so I added a jacket. The jacket is vintage as well, I think from the 70s. It's handmade and I found it at Vintage Per Kilo for a few euros. I think it's beautiful.

This is the first time this year that I'm going out with bare legs. This is simply because I ripped my last flesh-colored tights yesterday and didn't have any others in a matching colour. It feels awesome and you can see my ankle tattoo better. I hope summer is coming soon!

My headscarf is a leftover of the fabric that I used to make my curtains. Found a use for it after all!

On my eyes I'm wearing a combination of Lime Crime, Sugarpill and Coastal Scents eyeshadows. The lipstick is Lime Crime Centrifuchsia and My Beautiful Rocket. If you mix them they make the most gorgeous coral red.

If you feel down, look in your closet and put something on that makes you smile. It will help to brighten your day!


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Happy Outfit: Thrifted with upgrades


I wore this yesterday but didn't have the time to post it. So here it is!

This outfit was thrifted! I bought the blouse at Vintage Per Kilo, which is, as the name suggests, a second-hand shopping market that's often held around the block with vintage/thrift clothing for €15,- per kilo. They have large scales to help you stay within your budget and it's awesome! It's often a search through all the crap but I've bought some really beautiful things there.

I made the hair band myself. I originally made it to fit another dress but it gives a nice touch here too, don't you think?

The skirt was bought at a flea market for 2 euros. My mom made the pretty flowers on it with felt and beads! I sometimes bring boring clothing to my mom or my grandma to embroider. I can do it myself but they have more time on their hands :) it's a great way to upcycle clothing that you are bored with!

I dyed my hair again yesterday so it's all shiney and purple again!

I used 2AM by Sugarpill for my crease and eyebrows and I used Tako on my browbone. It broke yesterday and I'm so sad! It's the best white ever. I must buy a new one when I have money. To highlight my eyelids I used a cute little eyeshadow by Mon Ennui Cosmetics called Cyclon Dream Girl. I requested a pink highlighter with a green shift on her facebook page and she made it! It's subtle but very gorgeous. The lips are Matte Me liquid lipstick by Sleek in Party Pink.

And here a pic of me with my cat trying to photo bomb!


Sunday, 11 May 2014

Happy Outfit: Little Red Riding Hood

Fairytales, myths, legends, and well, stories have always been one of my biggest inspirations. I have read so many pages that you could fill a whole house with them. I live for stories and my favorite subjects to paint are myths and legends as well. I like to incorporate a bit of storytelling in my outfits too!

I made a flatlay picture for a contest on Facebook a couple of months ago but I still wanted a picture of me wearing it.. So when I heard about another contest, with the theme 'out and about', this was my chance!
This is the original flatlay:

And this is my recreation! I asked my boyfriend to take a picture of me. I changed the hat because I found the other to have a better fitting colour (it's a slightly more brownish red). I wanted to make the picture cute but add a little bit of sassiness :) The contest is currently closed and the winners are announced tomorrow! I'm so curious!

Breakdown of the outfit:
The hat is vintage (the hat on the flatlay is vintage too!). The dress is by Black Milk Clothing and the petticoat is vintage as well. The shoes are LE Wizard of Oz collection by Harrods (I bought them off a friend last year), and the blouse is a hand-me-down from my mom. I believe she bought it in Italy somewhere. The knife was gifted to me years ago by my aunt and the basket is from a thrift shop.
The wig is by Gothic Lolita Wigs.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to bring some cookies to granny!


Thursday, 8 May 2014

Happy Outfit: The Ultimate Floral Dress

I woke up this morning by the bell. The postman!
I had been performing (fire breathing to be exact) the night before, and I rolled in bed at 1:30 AM without taking off my makeup. He must've gotten quite a shock seeing me like that!

The postman brought me this beautiful dress. It's vintage and from the 80s. I already have one that looks similar but it doesn't fit me that well so I simply could not resist when I found this at Intrigue You Forever Vintage on Etsy for a steal. I really love the quality and it fits me so well!

Once, I have made myself the promise that every morning after I get dressed, I have to look in the mirror and get happy. This is probably one of the most important decisions I've made in getting better. Wearing brightly coloured, beautiful things make me happy, so my closet is filled with them.

Every time I find something like this dress I think it's the Ultimate Floral Dress. However, a few months later I'll usually find another Ultimate Floral Dress. I have quite a few Ultimate Floral Dresses in my closet by now!

I made the hair flowers myself. The shoes are from Ebay and were used in my Cinderella costume. The necklace was my mother's!

I kind of had the feeling that I had to cover my face in makeup as it looked so horrible this morning. Glad I didn't! I really like this soft look.

The eyeshadows I used on this look are Spellbound and Love Potion no. 9 by Lime Crime and a teensy bit of Dollipop by Sugarpill. I used Sleek Matte Me matte gloss in Party Pink on my lips.


Monday, 5 May 2014

Recipe: Vegan Pea Soup with Vegetables

This and varieties of this recipe is the thing that I usually make when I am really broke, as it's cheap and very nutritious. I sometimes make lentil soup instead of pea soup, but that depends on whether I have lentils or peas in the house. I usually make a big pan and eat it a couple of days for breakfast or lunch.
I usually stock up on lentils and peas when I have money so I can always make this soup with whatever veggies I have in my fridge! It fills you up like crazy.
Healthy food gives me more energy and makes me feel better so this is definitely 'happy food'!

This is what I made today:

Needed for a pan:
- 250g dried peas
- a zucchini
- two bell peppers
- tomato paste
- 3 tomatoes
- an onion
- Spices. I used cinnamon, chilli powder and yellow curry powder.
- Herbs. I prefer fresh herbs from my garden - I used oregano, rosemary and thyme.
- Optional: hemp seeds and rye bread

Chop the onion and add it with the peas to a pan of boiling water and let simmer for 45 minutes. Chop the zucchini and the bell peppers and add them to your pan. Let simmer for fifteen minutes, then add the (chopped) tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs and spices. Blend it all until nice and smooth.
Serve with rye bread and sprinkle with hemp seeds!
The soup is gluten and lactose free. The rye bread is not gluten free so if you're following a gluten-free diet, use a safe substitute! :)


Black Milk Clothing

This is an appreciation post for a clothing label that I've been following for a long time - Black Milk Clothing.
If you have seen my previous outfit posts you'll probably have figured out that I love printed dresses.
Even though Black Milk is mostly known for their leggings they make a lot of beautiful dresses too.

I personally prefer tights over leggings as they have attached feet which looks better with heels, so I like their dresses more.

I don't have a lot of money so I can't buy everything but sometimes I can allow myself to save up to buy one of their dresses.Their skater dresses are great for a pin-up styling and their brightly colored prints make me happy. Their prints are of excellent quality and their dresses are hand-made in Australia by people who actually get an honest pay. This is my major concern with buying clothing from big fashion labels and the reason why I mostly buy vintage clothing. They look more special too!

However, Black Milk Clothing is more than just a clothing label. It'a clothing label with a huge community built around them, of fans all over the world. They call themselves 'sharkies' and they usually group together into closed facebook groups to chat about the new releases but it's also okay to talk about your personal problems in a safe closed environment with unbiased opinions.

I especially love the Dutch sharkies group. If you put together thousands of girls you are bound to get some drama, but the Dutch sharkie group virtually has none. At least, no major things. It's a great place to socialize and chitchat but also to be heard if you've got an issue in life or with yourself.

Some of the sharkies buy clothing for hundreds of dollars every release. Since I'm having enough trouble to get my bills paid as it is I'm not doing that. Clothing, a much as I love it, is an extra. But it's nice to enjoy!
Luckily, no one will judge you about this :)

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Sunday, 4 May 2014

Back to my roots!

Yesterday me and my boyfriend Ramon went to visit my birth city: 's Hertogenbosch (or Den Bosch for short). I've been there a couple of times but I've mostly just passed through quickly and never really took my time to wander around for a day. I've moved out there when I was a baby and never really lived outside of Amsterdam since. I love Amsterdam but I love to visit other places as well!

I was quite impressed with Den Bosch! It has a very cute old city center with canals, portals, small shops, cafes and trees.

I was especially in love with the small canals and the way some of the houses were built over them, and the little gardens that you could see hidden between the houses everywhere.

We went for a coffee in the afternoon. We visited one of the most beautiful fabric shops I've ever seen and bought some new buttons for Ramon's vintage blazer jacket. Replacing the buttons is a great and subtle way of upgrading your boring piece of clothing! Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the fabric and habedashery shop.

I do have a picture of this shop. It looked so cute with the chalk drawings! I wanted to have everything they sold, hehe.

We also went for a stroll on a beautiful promenade with a lovely view.

And as I like attention for details - I loved the colour and the texture of the lichen on the wall!

At the end of the day we drank a beer. I don't usually drink beer because of my intolerance for carbonated drinks. But this 'Tasty Lady' was certainly worth the stomach ache today!

We had a blast! Den Bosch is certainly a city that's worth a mention in my passport!