Making Faces

Dear Liza,

I have been practicing drawing faces. My first one was Frankenstein, who is pretty easy. I mean, he’s make believe, and already dead, so that helps.
Faces of people who aren’t make-believe or dead are harder.

I will show you my other faces, if only so you will see how difficult they are to get right!

Frankenstein, still my most successful ‘human’.

There are proportions that are supposed to be used when drawing a human face. The eyes are halfway between the top of the head and the chin, the bottom of the nose is halfway between the nose and the chin…. someone said these are ‘just guidelines’ but it turns out, if you don’t pay attention, things go really wrong, really fast.

Sketch of basic proportions

For example, Lips should be human sized, not muppet inspired. These are size 10 lips on a size 6 face, I think. Eyes should … well, I’m not sure what they should do, but these are clearly wrong.

Totally scary FAIL of proportions

I got frustrated, and took a few days to play with collage, and, following Ruth’s advice, made some backgrounds. I felt better and strong enough to try another face.

Okay, I said, this is better. The eyes still aren’t quite right, but she definitely looks human. There may be hope. I liked her well enough to cut her out and tried placing her on my newly painted backgrounds.

She sort of disappeared into the pink, so I gave her some more shading and tried her in a darker setting. She not only looks human, but also like she is in a place, maybe out for a walk or solving a mystery.

I feel like there is reason for hope and I will continue to practice and learn. Here is my lesson from this: Most things are really hard at the beginning. You will sort of stink for a while. But if you want to get better, don’t give up.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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