Drawing a face

From the participant I have been given 3 face images of their choice to begin drawing. In this case, its a two dimensional image. I can not see the person in a physical space. Nor is blood running under the skin if i was drawing a live person. It is an image and it was not taken from the intention of drawing it out. It is a frozen image from some period in the past with the Sun light / room light making the face visible which would otherwise be invisible in the dark. The camera would capture nothing but darkness if it was complete darkness. So nothing could be shared of that moment.

As i look at them, i realise, that in only one of them the participant looks back at us. I didn’t know images did that. The other two the participant is looking somewhere else but i don’t know where.


i am assuming I have not seen you in person as of yet. So all of them give me a sense of what YOU look like
Now I have to draw. I know I will be tracing an outline, outline of everything. The eye contours, the over all peach like face line, then the lips, the nose, the visible nostrils, the tones of the nose which makes the nose and then the placement of the eyes. 


I don’t draw all at once. I draw one thing at a time, as i see it in the two dimensional photograph. When i draw, or when the first series of portraits begin, it is usually an expression of bringing out volume. The first few attempts of the face is to work with depth. I see shadows. They don’t leave me. How else will i get the face right?


In all these three images shared, i notice the change of colour in the skin tone, the tone of the lips, the darkness of the eye balls. everyone has hair on their head. I mean, someone might shave it off, or may not have hair but the human face does not have hair all over the face. So its a different approach to the draw the human hair. For me, drawing all in lines works the best. That it is not blocking the hair as a dark patch if the hair is of dark colour, but to treat the hair which is not visible like the contour of the eyes, lips, face, jaw line, like lines. Because I can not see each hair, like the eyebrows. And this is a photograph where the participant does not have a beard, so the hair is again seen to me as volume. So to identify it in tones. But is this the only way to see. No !

I have seen that from a photograph if i draw a face over a period of few weeks, days, months, the same face becomes lines with no tones. The seeing changes.

When I draw from an image, either sitting in a cafe through the mobile or the laptop, i use the zoom in and zoom feature. What do i get ? Blown up pixels giving me the invisible computer screen, something I am not aware of. The screen is always unseen. Just like space between me and the tree visible from my balcony because my gaze decided to rest on it. My gaze has to rest on something. So it mentally skips the seeing of in between elements. In this case the laptop screen. I do see skin tones. And i see that this is of my comfort level. The face does not move. I can draw it any time i want, again and again. I can take a sip of coffee. Read some thing on my laptop, and open the image and draw it out. The face will remain static. What did i draw in reality ?

I use micron pens, assorted pens from .005 to .05. whatever, which ever pen is working and gives me a good line, for the outline and the face tones to get a desired result, i use them. Micron pens are used in comic and manga drawings to outline. they offer no variations of the line. If i draw with them non stop. they would give an even line with no effect of struggle or change. It is a pen line without emotions. Its only when i turn it with my fingers to create tones, breakages in line, do they do something unique.

This is phase 1 of drawing. In the next phase, I will see the difference from Image on a digital screen to a physical space.

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