Sharon Makes a Face

I have been quite drawn to drawing faces, lately.

I wouldn’t put it in the obsession category, as such, but my attention keeps being pulled in that direction. I’ve been asking myself questions, at odd moments, such as “How can I approach creating a face besides drawing it?” It occurred to me that I should try painting the main details in first, because my sister and I had been discussing how using diverse materials creates different results, even quite distinctive styles. For instance, when I draw with a pair of scissors (free cutting) I get a design that is simpler and freer than when I use a pen or pencil.

So I was very happy to “happen” upon Sharon Tomlinson’s face painting and sketching videos.

She uses Golden heavy body Transparent red iron oxide and Titanium white for videos one and two. Her substrate is cardboard, on which she had collaged papers and added a light layer of gesso.

In part three, Sharon finishes the painting and starts sketching over it, with a chocolate Derwent watercolor pencil. She covers this with matte medium to render it permanent, after which a mechanical pencil fills in even more fine details.

In videos four and five, the face is treated to some Violet oxide, and finally an array of other colors.

Sharon says, at one point, that she loves to share and inspire. Thank you, Sharon, I really enjoyed watching you in action. I was inspired by your method of painting first and sketching later, which seems a very good way to go: start loose, then tighten things up.

Face by Sharon Tomlinson (used with permission)

Finished face by Sharon Tomlinson (used with permission)

Even if one uses a face as a reference for painting, from a magazine for instance, it is still helpful to look at the underlying muscular structure of the face. Then the shading and contouring make sense.

About.com has  articles on human anatomy under Drawing/Sketching. Anatomy Drawing: The Head and Neck were most relevant to this discussion, especially facial musculature.

Webshots offers an anatomy album (by gillestrep), with another facial muscles diagram.

The classic 1918 publication Gray’s Anatomy (now famous as a TV program), is available online! It includes a search function, and subject index!

Michael M. Hensley displays  drawings which are “dedicated to the spirit of the human form and intended as an inspirational tool for the aspiring art student and artist alike.”

Wet Canvas has a free Basic Anatomy for the Artist, which includes the muscles of the face and their actions.

Dataface is a fantastic resource. Here are the muscles of the upper face and lower face.

If you have any favorite anatomy sites that are valuable to you as an artist, I would be thrilled if you left a link–especially if it shows the female form. Most of them are male.

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About CarolWiebe

Art entices, inspires, and delights me. Art is a vehicle for laughter, tears, wonder, enlightenment--taking me on a constant path of discovery. You can't say that about housework (except, perhaps, for the crying part).
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