A big part of my motivation to travel, and to free myself of the dreaded 9-5, was to allow myself space and time for my own creativity to flourish. In the past I have had loads of involvement in art, music and other creative pursuits, however throughout the lifestyle of a middle class worker, I let a lot of those go.
Part of my experiment in creativity has been an amazing art workbook for mixed media artists, and one of the exercises in it has captivated me. It is called the 100 faces project.
Over time, you draw faces. Faces you see, faces you imagine, your own face – any face, and in any style that takes you, until you reach 100. I am fascinated to see my artistic style develop and change over the course of 100 faces, and I am using this space as an outlet to share, display and watch my own personal art project grow and take form.
For my first session of face drawing, I was fascinated with mixed medias.
Tools I used:
- Watercolour paper. I love the way it feels, and I used watercolours for some of these faces
- Patterned card stock. You will see me using this in lots of my projects, it comes in big squares meant for scrapbooking.
- Sharpies – I love sharpies, especially to create a bold contrast with watercolour, or for a cartoon-esque look.
- Oil pastels – work beautifully on top of coloured card stock, and things with prints that watercolours don’t adhere very well to
- Charcoal pencil – for shading, detailing and patterns
Blue Girl (face #1)
I used a patterned cark stock paper meant for scrap booking on this face, and for an easy start, began to mimic a cartoon face on the cover of my art book.
Very quickly this little girl took on some of my own style. I used oil pastels to create the face of my girl, adding colours beginning with the dark colours and ending with the light colours, highlights and white.
Me & Ryan (faces #2 and #3)
I then moved on to some character faces of myself and my partner, the one of Ryan I quite liked. The one of myself is a little too ‘cartoon-y’, and I suppose it is natural to be more critical of a representation of your own face.
I drew Ryan while sitting and looking at him, trying to pay attention to the shape of him. I highlighted with yellow to set off his blue eyes, and used all watercolour paints for both of these images.
The image of myself, I am not so pleased with. I drew from a photo, and it is quite stylised and out of proportion – but that is ok, all a part of the learning process.
Hawaiian Goddess (Face #4)
This woman is my favourite drawing of the day, a goddess-like lady, who I feel has some kind of Hawaiian influence.
Much like the little girl, I began on a patterned card stock meant for scrap booking. It was a beautiful red, with even deeper red patterns. Red on red inspired me, and so I began to create her shape with red pastels, loving the idea of building a rich brick red on top of the already deep red card colour.
Starting with a medium red and adding highlights and lowlights to her face. I decided to give her long flowing blue hair, and highlight her whole form with an aura of white and light highlighting. I am very pleased with how this face turned out.
Lady in Scarf (Face #5)
My third face began with me using a sharpie – much like the cartoon-like faces previously. I intended to have a lady looking back, with hair flowing down. It did not progress as such, and her ‘hair’ turned into a beautiful, detailed, headscarf of such as I continued on.
I learned my first important lesson about going with the flow here – this woman just wanted to wear a headscarf, despite it not being my original plan for the face.
I used sharpie to create the bold outline of her figure, and bright yellow watercolour for the background.
Her headscarf is coloured green with oil pastel, then the detailing & shading is done in charcoal pencil. For the pattern in the purple part of her body I used a purple fine tip ball point pen, and for the pink part I used watercolours.
I was going to detail her face, but found it more powerful to give her porcelain coloured skin and just a closed eye.
Art therapy is a fantastic way to counter-balance the stresses of life, business and work, and giving yourself a goal or project such as the 100 faces project is a great way to keep on track and explore your creativity.
Please join me in sharing a 100 pieces project of your own – whether it be faces or something completely different.