Monday, May 14, 2012

Pencil Sketches & 11-14

I am really enjoying 29 Faces in May. I am definitely challenging myself to draw or paint a face each day, but I am not going to have a daily face post. That is just not possible for me right now. These four little cuties were drawn with pencil over the past few days. I like how they look in pencil, so I am curious to see how they evolve with paint added to them...
if I even add paint. :)

Face #11 is the little doll in the top left corner. I like how her eyes look up into the distance. Someone (Hi, my fabulous friend Diane!) had asked me if I base my girls on anyone in particular and where I get the inspiration for them. So I really thought about that for these four portraits. I find that sometimes I start with a general idea of what I want...for this girl I was thinking sweet, stylized, and something I would paint in "springy" colors. For other faces, I sometimes start with a background - and then see what story or figure develops from the beautiful mixture of paint, ink, watercolor, & paper. The faces usually come straight from the colorful little land in my head. I know I also do not try to make the faces look realistic. I prefer stylized, folkish, doll faced portraits. :)

Face #12
OK. Number 12. What can I say? I was sad. Face 12 is a pretty literal interpretation of what I was feeling when I drew her.
Me sad = face with tears. 
The morning started out fabulously glorious and then 
Eeyore's black cloud came in and settled on me. Lol.
I don't know about you, but I am very sensitive. For some reason I think our society sometimes views sensitivity as weakness. I am not weak. I am just a girl who feels with her whole heart & can get crushed very easily. Not in a "can't get out of bed" way...but, a 
"Wow. That really hurt my heart" kinda way.
There are times when oodles & bunches of people (wonderful, sparkly, loving people) surround me...but, I feel alone. Like they just don't really "get" me or listen to me or how can they not see how wrong that was or shouldn't my feelings count. I am in no way saying I am perfection - far from it - but sometimes I have to wrap the bandages 
pretty tightly around my heart. 
 Thank goodness for a God who loves me (who promises to never leave me!), my little munchkins who chase away dark clouds, and art that saves. :)

Close up of  Face #13

Face #14
Faces 13 & 14 were my attempts to work on face proportion & shading. I curled up on the couch with my journal, pencil, eraser and caught up on some TV shows. After I had the basic sketch of the face, I added some details. I determined where my light source would be so I could start shading in the right spots. I shaded the faces lightly with my pencil, then I rubbed it a bit with my finger to soften the lines. I think I need one of those blending stumps. (Of course I need it! Add it to the list. :) Oh, how I love art supplies!!) I also used my kneaded eraser a lot to bring some white highlights back. I am still going to continue working on these girls then add some paint. 
I think they are pretty cute. :)

I know portraits can be done in many different ways...
  • sketched with pencil onto surface & then background created around it
  • background done first & portrait "pulled" from the background
  • drawn onto paper, cut out, & glued to another prepared surface
  • created with just paint
  • drawn with pencil involved
  • painted over collaged image
  • and the list goes on

If you like drawing faces, what method do you like to use?

Happy almost Tuesday friends!
I hope your week is beautiful and dark cloud free :)


  1. Jen... your sketches are adorable... and I just love how so often... these little faces express what we are feeling... I find the same thing... a beautiful, heartfelt post...

    Jenny x

  2. Cute, pretty, and just so full of emotions Jen. You really have the magical talent to capture them all.

    Belated happy mother's day btw!

  3. Creating the faces everyday like this is the best way to explore them--there are so many possibilities--I love your variety, and you can stop with them or keep going--either way it's just a great exercise.

  4. WOWOWOW! I am SO enjoying all of your 29 Faces work! Really, really impressive - and so many colors and expressions. Looks like you are rocking the event!
    Thank you too for your sweet Mother's Day comments - I hope your was perfect.
    Oh, and to answer your question: Laundry! Lol, xoxox!

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