Mixed media – messy face

imageimageimageI see a lot of people scared of drawing faces, using only stamps or cut outs of other people’s drawings in their mixed media work. I think this is a real a shame as faces can at their most simple be a circle with two dots, a dash and a stripe for features. It’s amazing how much the human eye is trained to spot faces, and even the merest glimpse or suggestion of a face-type shape will be recognisable. Give it a go! The more you play with drawing faces the more comfortable and less stiff your work will be, and the more you will play and experiment. Sadly you can’t get there by wishing alone, you have to make marks on the page, even if you feel awkward and self critical at first.

I made this face by painting right over a busy mixed media page in a collaborative journal (using white gouache), them drawing the face in a red copic marker. Drawing quickly gave me the free, kind of messy lines around her face. I used white paint pen for eye spots and lashes (also taking advantage of some great bronze polka dotted tape underneath down her nose and taking care not to completely cover that with paint). I added colour to her face with oil pastels; orange and peach on her cheeks and face, green lips, nose and around the eye and aqua down her nose and neck, a touch of duck-egg blue on her neck, and similarly used oil pastels to add purple and blue squiggles to her hair, and red to her flower.

The small ‘flap’ on her eye I made with paper and aqua geometric washi tape, and the closed eye I drew with white thick nibbed paint pen.

I love how she turned out messy and textured, and kind of serious in her expression.

I’ll be sharing more faces soon, including really really simple ones to get you started if this is something you haven’t tried before.

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