I sent my first ever proposal to a participant, something which i have been exploring for a very long time. And that is to draw a face. A face can come to me from different ways. The easiest way is shared through the phone. A selfie, or an image which tells me what you look like. And now i get busy in tracking its outline. Why do i do it ? When i say why it means, why do i trace the outline do toning of the face, to make it look like the photo, to say, i have reached some where in image making.
What did i achieve in image making. and do i draw the same face again and again, or keep asking for more faces, faces which are of the next moment, when that person re shares the face ?
What occurs when you draw in reality, in the physical world. Now it is no longer a two dimensional face. It is a 3d space and again i approach the texture of the face, the body, the portraiture or the full body drawing where the person sits, walks, poses.
Images differ when shared on the mobile phone. It is an image where i zoom in to get the face right. I keep pixelating it till i dont lose the contours of the face. I am still comparing it to the real face. The real face is what the camera has captured and i perecive the other to look like this only, if i have not met them in real life. Many drawings have been through images where I have not seen the other in physical space, but only the screen of the laptop or the phone.
The proposal starts a beginning into this project, of drawing faces. Where and how will the participant work in sharing what they consider to be an image of themselves and what occurs when the drawing is shared back. Sharing triggers a chain of events of exchanging the image with a drawn image. But how much is actually seen on the digital screen. And it is different from saying, this is a photo of a chair in my home, versus, this is my photo and this is how look. This is what i am doing now, this is a funny face, a sad face, an angry face, a face without expressions, or a face before going to work, or I am working now and this is how i look.
I receive information, and i can choose to draw, or draw whenever i want. It’s different when you do life study, portrait study. It requires a focus for the model to not move. In this case, it is an image on the phone. There in the physical world, the meaning of time is different. and you know you are being drawn. But not on the phone. you have shared an image, or you could be drawing the image.
How much and to what extent do you distort, change the face, use your mind as a software to make the face anything. or create new interventions into it ? Will you then draw the body as an animal, or change something in the image?
The participant can now propose anything, interject any point, any new direction into the project. As their perception is different from mine and for them drawing is approached in a way which is unseen for me. Their path is being forged as they read the starting from my side. Which is to draw a face.
(9:34 pm, Wednesday, Aug, 18, 2021. I’m in my room before dinner, writing and thinking)
I am in a Cafe in delhi, and this cafe is near my home. I do browse through the selfies of the friends from whom I have asked to draw a face. I pick one and start to draw. Often thinking where am i getting stuck. Is it. the fact that i draw this face as an exercise? an exercise of a draftsman, who decides to sharpen his skills of seeing. And not just seeing the face but experiencing the face as something unique which lets say a tree does not have, or eyes which a dog does not have. This is something i have noticed, dogs dont have eyes which human beings have. Neither does the snake, the monkey, the alligator, the lion or any other species. They are consciouly dead which human beings are not, hence the head, the face. And the body which moves with this head. A landscape, my landscape with homes, building, a metro running in the skyline, the clouds do not have a human body, the face, head, eyes, laughing, smiling, creating expressions. train tracks dont do yoga, dance, start laughing, run away into the horizon line. No, they are straight lines, parallel straight lines in physical space.
A Draftsman is being defined as someone who is working on all aspects of drawing. Not just the outline contour study of a form being seen. Lets say I draw an airplane, but as a draftsman i am indulged in sketching out everything and anything of the airplane, its engine, its movement, its materials, a new design of the airplane, a detailed, realistic drawing of the plane, its landing, take off actions, its movement on the run way and in the sky, and not just a cartoon of the airplane.
Same applies in drawing a character, a face, a head, a body, a cartoon character with features. The draftsman will approach the head as a universe, the figure as not just skin, bones, muscles, blood, veins, but as a structure which is dependant on how the time of the day goes, and how the day changes and so does the person’s outlook. the experience of having the body, and how everything radiates from the face – ie: through EXPRESSIONS, whether they are said or remain unsaid, but are being felt. Like being upset, feeling upset and that is an image. Or being surprised, that is a feeling, it could be an expression also, and or it could be a state of the mind which is not being expressed outwardly but experienced within. But all of this constitutes a change, a change which is occuring at all times.
If I talk about myself, then i experience a change at all times when i sit down to draw, to draw the faces as an exercise and i am fed up of drawing them from a mobile, but for now i will talk about the mobile drawings only. On the laptop i see too much of the face, and in the mobile the scale remains small, no matter how much i blow it up. also when i draw in a cafe, it is that comfort space of drawing which is not being visible to the whole of the cafe.
I face the same mood situation, the mood of wanting to draw a face, a mood of not being able to draw, or a state of mind which experiences a satisfaction after drawing a a face, which looks like the person, and in my case captures that emotion of that moment and looks like the person, like animating a laugh, a mouth which is slightly open, only a bit, but drawing it out everytime to get that state. Like someone has given me clay, and i am claying it out everytime and i do this for a reason. One reason i saw is, that it diverts me from everything and i get involved in the process of achieving something for some duration. I am, like enjoying driving. So i am now driving to a point which i do everyday, or a jog in the park. Its a short duration but i want to run and see the same park. You know, the trees in the park have not changed. same park, same trees but i run there everyday. So same face, same expression, or same face but a new image and i draw it out. or like cutting, peeling the cucumber. Once a cucumber has been peeled, it will never be the same cucumber. No two cucumber are alike but the process of peeling is the same. and repeat this. because when i am peeling, i am involved. I am deeply involved in this process. Same with the face.
(8 am writing, aug 19, 2021, i just had coffee and 3 small rusk. each rusk is 2 inches by 1 inch, dehradun rusk)