Sunday, November 9, 2014

Fun With Faces

I am taking another class with Joy Schultz. She is working with us over 5 weeks on using charcoal to draw faces. In the previous course I took with Joy, our first day was all about drawing faces with charcoal. The concept I took away from that class was to focus on the shapes and intensity of shadows, and don't worry about the lines of the eyes, nose and mouth as we think they should be. That helped me as we did some free drawing of faces, working without any example, just putting down something from our mind. Our focus was on the basic proportions of the face as seen straight on. In addition to the placement of the basic 'pieces' of the face, I also tried to think beyond the lines of the components and try to determine where shadows and shapes might lie.

At the end of class we had all created at least two drawings. Here is a shot of the final drawings from some of the class participants. My drawing is the one on the top left of the photo. The lady with short, dark hair. We decided she looked like a flapper from the 20's!

Throughout the week I have made an attempt to practice several drawings a day. My intent is not to come up with a finished piece, but simply to practice placement and proportions of the components of a face. 

I've also made an attempt to try to get some expression in the face and to have it look less 'plastic', as well as to get some dimension. Below is a pencil sketch I made. I haven't decided whether I like one media over the other, but I do like that I can carry a sketch book and pencil and work without creating as much mess as comes with the charcoal. If I am going to sketch in charcoal, I need to go someplace where I have prepared the area to contain the charcoal crumbs and dust. Pencil can be used anywhere!

Whew! This fella's eyes need some work! (Funny how a photo gives me a different look at my work!) I know that our faces are not truly symmetrical, but I have noticed that the eyes I create are often far too dissimilar. I'll do some more practice on simply drawing two eyes, trying to get them to approximate each other. In the "Rogues Gallery" picture below, you can see where I had done some practice previously in drawing two ovals.

I am not that great on finishing the drawings. I lose patience with my people pretty quickly, and when I'm not happy, I just move on instead of trying to revise the image. I am thinking that perhaps I don't know what, exactly, is making the face not pleasing to my eye, and thus I don't know what to do to correct it. I wonder if it has anything to do with the proportion not being correct, thus making the face look freakish. Hmmmm…. That makes me wonder if purposefully creating a drawing with something askance might make it garner more attention. Viewers might be drawn to it because of it's subtle freakishness. 

This is my Rogues Gallery, showing many of this week's faces.

In our next class we will be drawing the profile of faces. Then, later, we will sculpt a head and use that to get the proportions correct as we draw faces from different points of view. 


  1. I really like the face in the second to last photo. He looks like a character who would be in a fascinating novel. I want to know who he is and what makes him tick. I keep saying how brave you are to put yourself out there in this way, but it's true. Keep sketching! You'll get there! Watching your progress is inspiring!

  2. Thanks, Fundy. I am having fun - and creating a rough face takes me almost no time. Now I need to focus on truly finishing the face.
    I love the character that develops as I draw the face. None of this is intended from the outset. I suppose I need to learn how to create a face with a specific emotion in mind, but right now it is always a surprise!