I’ve said it before that drawing faces is one of the biggest challenges I have in drawing. I’m not even talking ‘likenesses’ – I don’t expect to become a portraitist – I just want to draw someone who looks like an individual. This is currently the bread and butter of my sketchbook routine, go to the coffee shop and draw people’s faces.
I opted to do the Marc Taro Holmes workshop at the Singapore Symposium to try and get a handle on how I could approach this task and I found it quite helpful.
Marc has very kindly posted the link to his notes for this class on his blog.
Here’s last night’s effort. A double-page of faces and gestures from our pub trivia night at the Hellenic Club in Canberra. They may not recognise themselves, (possibly better if they don’t), but I’m happy that at least these people look like individuals.
Faces are a trouble – yet I really want to get better at it too! So many interesting characters out there!
Oh but each face does look individual and you’ve captured so many details which is a challenge when people keep moving (how most annoying of us :)). Which brand of brush pen do you use? (I thought I had one but what I have is a pentel brush which I fill with water and use with watercolour.) thx for link to Marcs worksheet.
Mine is a Pentel brush pen as well, but it is the one that comes with ink refill cartridges. It has a solid black body and looks a bit like a fountain pen. Having looked online I see it is called a pocket brush pen. Here it is:
ooh thank you – I see a must-have shopping item coming up – one can’t have too many pens, surely 🙂
There is no such thing as too many pens, who’s been spreading rumours?
Had a look at Marc Holmes worksheets as you suggested – lessons of a very experienced sketcher and fast. Urban sketching certainly seems to be a distinct drawing skill set. I like the movement and narrative aspects.
I find that urban sjetching often does require a different approach. Most if the time you are working within time limits so it often gets to be a matter of getting what you can quickly – particularly if people are involved. Last year when I was in China our guide would say “you have 20 minutes of free time” and that was what I had. It amazed me what I could do when pressed for time. I had 45 mins in the Suzhou Museum and flew around it and managed 3 sketches as well (might have slipped into a time warp). I still can’t believe I managed that!
Of course when our sketch group goes out and we have two hours to draw I actually have to remind myself to slow down and allow myself to use more time consuming techniques such as watercolour. Ha ha.
Great sketches, Leonie
I couldn’t even tell you struggled with drawing faces. Each person is so well constructed. They are detailed to an extent that each has their own personality but the lines are simple which makes it easy on the eye even In large doses ( like the double page). Well done 🙂
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Thanks Chloe, that’s practice and a good teacher (MarcTaro Holmes) at work!