I so badly wanted to learn to paint faces. I hadn’t a clue where to start. No one ever told me I could learn. Growing up, if you didn’t pop out of the womb with a pencil or paint brush in hand, you weren’t artistic or creative.
I painted my first face in June of 2012 following along with rachellepanagarry who was known as Art Eye Candy.
I’ve never been particularly fond of this face. I keep it because it was my first. As you know, there’s always something about the first.
It’s hard to not compare. You know how it is. You follow the instructions, but it just doesn’t come out anything like the teacher’s. You completely forget that the teacher has practiced and developed their style over time. You completely discount that you’re just starting and have yet to put in the time. You’ll get there. You’re just going to have to put in the time.
In 2013-ish I signed on to take the very first FACEcinating Girls class with Andrea Gomell. The above photo is a girl I painted after the class. One thing I remember Andrea saying is that you have to practice every day. I believe this to be true of most things. Practice makes better. But sometimes life (or your attitude) gets in the way and before you know it you are as rusty as the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz.
Most recently I have been deep in a digital purge. I created a folder to hold copies of all my faces. A few are hiding somewhere, but as I flush them out they’ll be added to the collection.
When I look at all of my painted faces in chronological order, I don’t see a natural progression of improvement. I’ve made some faces I love in-between a wide collection of faces I do not love. I can see a variety of influences and little consistence. There have been several starts and stops. There are so many styles of faces, and so many ways to make faces. I love wonky faces, and I love more refined faces. I love whimsical faces too.
What I know for sure
I don’t practice drawing or painting faces nearly enough. I can sketch a face that delights me, and completely ruin it with paint. Ms. F. Quibbler says, “See. I told you. You can’t do faces.”
Faces are something you have to practice a whole freakin’ bunch. I know this is my downfall. I simply don’t practice enough.
Practice makes better.
I believe that wholeheartedly. We can learn to draw. We can learn to paint faces. It takes a commitment to practice. The key question I think we have to ask ourselves, “Are you willing to practice?” We have to be willing to do the same thing over and over and over. We have to be willing to see the same thing over and over. We have to be willing to listen, to explore and experiment more. We have to be willing to accept that our work isn’t going to look exactly like the instructor’s work and that’s okay. It’s not supposed to.
For now, I’m looking at where I’ve been and what I’ve done. If you have a minute and a half, I’ve created a slideshow of all the faces I have compiled so far. Because I believe Mistaeks are Mandatory, I am including all of them; the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you can’t see the imbedded video, you can view it here on my Youtube Channel.