Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Finding a face

Recently I've been wanting to do a lot more people sketching. It's just finding the time to do it. When I was a student I used to carry my book everywhere and sketch people all the time. But I think people would think me a little affected if I took my sketchbook out outside the school gates and started scribbling away ;-)
I've been wanting to make a paper chain illustration for a while, but I've found it's one thing sketching people and another thing 'designing' people. And what makes it harder, is all the faces out there that have seeped into my subconscious; I am such a stickler for not wanting to copy anything, that I really had to 'design' my face carefully. A face that is, of course, influenced by lovely mid-century children book illustrations but that doesn't resemble any one else's exactly.

I knew I wanted a wide face. And the first thing I thought about was heart-shaped. So I started by drawing a heart. The chin's pretty pointy but I like it, it's interesting and I hadn't seen pointy chins before.

Then I thought about eyes. I played with these a lot but nothing looked quite right, they were all too cartoony. So I went the safer route and had them looking down. Faces always look quite serene like that.

The rest of the face has a definite Matisse influence. When I was younger I was really obsessed with Matisse, and I loved his simple line sketches, how he would join the eyebrow to the nose in one fluid shape.

Then I wanted to add some cheeks. But there are so many faces with round rosy cheeks, so I thought about using something else, and stars were the first thing that came to me. Miro-esque stars.  But suddenly she looked to me like John Clappison's Aphrodite, so I'm not sure about that.

It's impossible to draw an original looking face. But this is what I ended up with.

Hair is easy. Bodies are easy. Dresses are easy. It's like dressing up a doll. And since I only have boys at home, this is how I'll have to get my kicks.

I don't know what this is yet. Just a doodle so far. But I hope you like it. I was ready to move away from the shapes for a bit!


  1. These are so beautiful! I love the colours x

  2. It's a great style! I love the pointy chin. x

  3. milly and i LOVE them and i would like to wear those dresses please! x

  4. love the colours, and the pointy chin!

  5. Loving these Fran, I know what you mean about 'designing' the faces - I draw faces a lot, and have loads of vintage kids books for inspiration but very consciously try to make my own drawings new and different - it's hard but you've definitely managed it! x


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