Saturday, April 29, 2017

Let's "Face it" inspiration from faces

Let's talk about Faces

As an artistic type, and a social scientist, and an actress, I am intrigued by faces. I really look at faces.

What makes a person pretty, approachable, frightening? What makes a gesture recognizable to us? A tilt of the head? an angle of the eyes? the shape of a mouth curling up on one corner? A crease under the eyes making us feel they are about to laugh?

I often pull out interesting faces from ads in magazines. I find Marie Claire to be one of the best for this. All the faces here today are from Marie-Claire. They are almost full page, so almost life size.

What do I do with them other than analyze them for inspiration and beauty?

1. Mostly I sketch them
this can be done by just looking at them or tracing a shape/line, practicing shadows and highlights. The very smallest change in an angle will change the faces meaning. I draw, and draw, and draw. I draw people at restaurants. I practice.

2. Reference for gestures. When I want a face for a doll or quilt, with a certain attitude I look through my file folder of faces to see which one makes me feel that attitude. 

3. When I started making original artwork I had little confidence. So I sometimes traced a face onto watercolor paper, or transferred it to fabric, as a starting point.  Either by using the line drawing as a pattern or a light box to trace it onto fabric. Just as a learning tool for myself

  This is for learning, and  making a piece for yourself, not to be sold or entered into competition. You must get written permission to use an image in that case.

Contact copyright lawyers for real information just to be sure.

 Of course this technique can be done with your original photos . Trace the lines and change the size according to your needs.

I love the shape and strength of these women's faces. The top image is one of quiet strength. The bottom image seems a bit vulnerable. I love her large dark eyes, and the line of her brows to nose to mouth

I have trouble drawing faces that tilt, or glance away from the viewer, so I collect examples. I'm in love with the bottom right image, the surprise! I just might need to know how to draw a surprise face one day!

And the EYES have it!

 there is an amazing amount of expression in the angle of eyes, the amount of iris showing, the nose shadows. 
consider this face! 

wonder if his modeling coach said, "smize! "

Smile with your eyes! 


easyweimaraner said...

yes... the eyes have it :o) sometimes they can talk to us :o)

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

We all love the eyes but LeeAnna, I've read it is the nose that defines the face. What do you think?

LA Paylor said...

oh how interesting. I know I have the most trouble drawing the nose in relation to the eyes. It's all defined by shadow. I'll have to read about that!
Your comment will lead me to new knowledge J. I love that connection don't you?

LA Paylor said...

plus, when a celebrity gets a nose job it almost always makes them less attractive to me... very interesting.

Norma Schlager said...

What a great idea! I can use this for my sun faces.

Unknown said...

That dog's eyes are definitely smiling!

Tails Around the Ranch said...

The eyes certainly do 'have it!' 🎨

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

I understand sketchers start with the distance between the eyebrows which has to be right and then draw the nose and you are right, tho a triangle the nose is shadowed. Meanwhile the wider the distance between the eyes, the more attractive we think the female face. A little fact...Jackie Kennedy had such a wide space bet. her eyes, she had to have her sunglasses specially made. Interesting, heh.

Judy Hansen said...

FYI - Since Judy Laquidara is no longer doing "Design Wall Mondays", I talked to her and got permission to continue Design Wall Mondays at my blog:

I hope to see your posts on future Mondays, Judy Hansen