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“Golden” Affirmation Portrait Process

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Today I’m going to walk you through a full-blown Affirmation Portrait. This one I made for myself while working through a Desire Map workshop (by Danielle LaPorte).

There are 4 general steps I use to make an Affirmation Portrait.

First is a meditation to get clear on the purpose or feeling the painting will represent. In this case I was currently taking a Desire Map workshop to develop what I needed. This painting was to represent how I wanted to feel in my life in terms of lifestyle and livelihood. I wrote down some thoughts in my journal and identified 3 words that evoked the feeling I was after. My words (or core desired feelings which they’re called in the Desire Map) were Golden, Invigorated, and Eager. The main word I focused on in this painting was Golden.

Next, I developed a color scheme. All I did was plug the information from my core desired feelings into my Affirmation Portrait system. My final color scheme was on the whole analogous – blue, green, and yellow. My primary color was blue and I used gold as my yellow for an accent to emphasize my composition.

Lastly, I identified weather this feeling of “Golden” felt round or angular to me, which it was round. And if the feeling felt rough or smooth, which it felt mostly smooth but with a kind roughness, but nothing aggressive. This helped me develop the form and texture of my composition.

Now I am ready to paint!

I used a canvas that I was painting something else on, but I didn’t like it, so I painted over it. I used water-based paints (mainly acrylic) as well as some scraps of paper, ink, various gel mediums, and many layers. I like using a hairdryer to not only quicken the drying time between layers, but to also use it to move the paint around, like instead of using a paintbrush. This works awesome with really thin washes of paint.

While I worked, I kept in mind my particular meaning of “Golden” (since this was my emphasis word) and to me it meant “like a sunrise or sunset.” In this instance, the gold color denoted this meaning and I used a centered composition to emphasize my form (which was round), almost like a whirlpool. My texture was a mix between rough and smooth. I started with smooth under layers of paint, then added localized layers of some scraps of paper and more abrupt painterly gestures to make the surface slightly more texturized.

So this is my finished product. This painting turned out awesome! Honestly, I was surprised of how well it turned out. It described my feeling very accurately and every time I look at it I feel the “Golden” feeling. It excited my desire to live an authentic lifestyle. 
Leave a comment and let me know what you think,


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