Posts Tagged ‘Liz Taylor’

121108StillLifeHeadGabyOf all the things you can draw, the face will grab you the most.  We must have special wiring in the brain to make us respond so powerfully to faces. A baby, three to six weeks old, will respond with excitement when looking up at a mobile that shows faces.

12Faces2incompleteLinneOne of the reasons we like drawing faces is that they’re emotionally engaging.  The emotion is the fuel that keeps us working at it, but it also gums up our perception of the larger picture.  The tendency—tell me I’m wrong here!—is to overdraw the face, to add too much detail, to want to make it appealing and “perfect.”

So, yes, draw the face.  But, try to see it as  one of the elements in your composition. The whole is greater than…

Here are some examples of how my students have been drawing the Almighty Face, but with a twist—or a line through it, or in shadow.  This is hard to do, emotionally.

12GabyChildManAqua1Look at the little girl sitting on dad’s shoulders. The artist found it hard to pull the hat over that endearing face and then to scribble a shadow over it.  There’s a natural resistance to do that.  But without the shadow, the face would not be tucked in and the hat would not have a convincing brim.

In a still life that included the customary drapery, a silk flower,  a garden hose and a plaster cast of an academic head. Linné restrained himself from overdrawing the head, which  is always a temptation.  This is probably not a 121108StillLifeHeadLinnecompleted drawing, but the battle against the dominance of the head is already evident and it’s admirable.


Gaby, “Head in Planes.”  Plaster cast of academic head in a still life set up.

Linné, “Liz.”  Two studies of Elizabeth Taylor.

Gaby, “Girl on Dad’s Shoulders.”   Drawn from magazine cover.  Aquarellable Pencil

121108StillLifeHead Linné, “Still Life with Head.”

Click images for enlargements.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.




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