So here we are: Friday again. I have been diligently showing up and doing my face a day for 12 days now. The collage at the top of the page is the total of what I have produced this week. I reported on the first 5 days last week.
If you are mathematically sensitive you might be aware of a niggling feeling in your brain at this point – why?- Well, yes, actually the collage contains EIGHT pictures and not seven. That’s because I was feeling especially motivated, last Saturday and I actually produced two faces for that day – the mans face, top left and the woman with the scary expression (she sort of fascinated me and only took 5 minutes, so I let her join in!) Those two were from an hours gesture drawing session, courtesy of https://line-of-action.com/ a website that provides gesture drawing practice, on demand. I suppose I could have included the other 11 or so gestures….but, they are mostly 30 second of 1 minute efforts and not much to look at.
Then there is the girl with the cute, short hair and the warmly lit face. I painted her after a long, crowded, visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Sunday. Her inspiration was not directly from the Art Museum but, tangentially so, instead. The special exhibit at the Art museum, until May 15th, contains a number of (mostly water-color) works by Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent. It was Singer Sargents awesome work that I mainly went to see (sorry, Winslow, your work is cool too, but Singer Sargent is truly the master of light AND PEOPLE) …..Anyway, long story short, I looked at Singer Sargents work and came home wishing that I could’ve also seen the one piece of his that I love over all the others, “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose” (which resides in the Tate in London) and THAT is where the girl comes from. She is actually one of the daughters of an illustrator friend of his engrossed in painting paper lanterns, at twilight.
The next face, is from Pixabay. Something about this young boys liquid brown eyes and soulful expression caught my eye and got me busy with the old water colours, that night! I will say, I did not really expect to be using water colours all that much, in this challenge. I really didn’t – But, they’re a quick and effective way to add colour into the mix!
Tuesday I was really tired, so it was a quick, 20 minute, baby-face. Chalk and charcoal on toned grey paper. I notice that when I am tired, my judgement is usually off and things go awry, faces are very sensitive to such things and a small inaccuracy can make huge changes to how a person is perceived.
Wednesdays face is the biggest picture. The one I feel most pleased with, this week – you can tell I was feeling much more peppy and this was 50 minutes of intense “zone” time! Chalk pencil on black Shizen Pastel paper was just super effective for this boy with his wistful look. It is an odd sensation when you reach a certain point in doing a face and you look at it in its entirety and it seems to be almost moulded out of the paper, rather than a flat representation of a face.
I finished up the week with a quick 10 minute effort in Sepia and white chalk and a more leisurely old man face in pastel pencil of about an hour.
Phew! Part of me is really surprised that I have managed to do a face a day for 12 days in a row, so far. I have never done anything like this before! Though I have painted a drawn more than a couple of hundred faces, over the last few years. It makes me feel mostly really productive, happy, zoney, and sometimes tired and ready to give up! But, most of all it teaches me that even if I am tired, if I can show up and get started, something worthwhile will come out of it, even if it is only 10 minutes and when I say,”worthwhile”, I am not necessarily taking about the visual result on the paper, either 😉