Portraits + Henna

I’ve practiced two things this past week: portraits and henna.

I’m finishing a Memory Project portrait http://www.memoryproject.org/ for a child in Vietnam. It’s a fabulous way to practice drawing people and donating to a great cause.

Last year I finished a portait for a little boy in the Dominican Republic, and this year I feel even more confident in my portrait skills.

Henna is a pretty facinating form of body art- but it’s tricky. Henna is a natural paste made from a plant and stains the skin due to a chemical called lawsone. A girl who practices it often for fundraising taught me how to hold the tube of paste and draw some of the designs. Holding the henna tube is not like holding a pencil or a chopstick- you hold it with your index and middle finger and provide constant pressure with your thumb.

I’m still pretty awkward with the ink and making sure it is thick enough to leave a rich color behind after the paste is washed off. I practiced a little lame geometric design (since I didn’t trust myself with drawing flowers) on my own hand last Friday, but because I didn’t use enough paste, it’s already fading. I’ll get the hang of it eventually.



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