We are all drawn to faces, and we draw faces all the time in our art. You want to draw a pretty face, right? Me too. But it’s not as easy as you think, right? Wonky eyes, doll like mouth and no personality at all… You know what I’m talking about? Yeah, I thought so. But there is a way!
I’ve found the easy and quick way to learn a lot more about drawing! To me, the quickest way to learn is to watch someone draw that knows what they’re doing! Someone who is a real artist, who knows the facial secrets (like how many eyes wide is a face?), the measurements and proportions (where do ears start?) – and some good shadow techniques! That’s what I’ve done, and now even the cat knows how to draw (almost, at least he adores the sound of the scratching pencil against paper, both IRL and on screen!).
I’ve been following along at this awesome online class called Expressions in mixed media portrait painting. It’s four extremely intense weeks of learning from the great artist Regina Lord of Creative Kismet. I ♥ her art!
If you’re interested in the techniques of art (not just doodles), this is a great class that I’m happy to recommend. There are daily posts with stills, interviews, inspiration and a lot of video (a lot!) – including colour theory, sketching, drawing and painting faces!
I’ve taking a mixed media drawing class before, from Suzi Blu, and loved that one too. It was very different from this one, but still a face class so I recognize a lot of the ideas. Both SuziBlu’s class and this class are awesome because they are taking art seriously, but in a light hearted way! I’m totally fascinated by how easy drawing feels when you brush up on “the tricks” of the trade and slow down. Taking the time with the initial sketch seems to be key. I love looking at other people making art, especially when they’re talking me through what they’re doing and why (like a real class). And then I am amazed of what my hands can create when I really try. This drawing came out of me? Wow.
After watching Regina draw for ten minutes my hands are itching to get started. She is generous with her time, and her art and style is amazing. So, I’ve brought out my pencil collection and done some portraits in my art journal! Oh how fun it is to create just because it’s fun.
This is the second one I’ve done, and because it’s practice of pencil drawing (and shading) I decided to leave it as is (though I couldn’t help to add the blue watercolour background after I finished).
Pencils smudge the white paper, but you can clean out the outsides of the face with an eraser. And then remove the eraser leftovers with a big fluffy paintbrush! I got this recently and it’s useless for paint but okay for light erase brushing.
So, the quick way to learn how to draw a face is to find a good teacher and learn by watching and then doing. The class Expressions in mixed media portrait painting is officially over, but I think you can still sign up. It actually has a bit too much content for me to keep up daily, but I can’t complain because I got in for free, something I really appreciate. I’m still behind on the painting part but I want to catch up.
The slow way, as you already know, is to keep practicing. And to keep at it, to find your own style and become comfortable with your drawings – that is always the hardest part…
What classes/teachers do you recommend and what are the greatest art lessons you’re taking away from them?