I certainly had fun drawing older faces like my “Old Man in the Hat” and “Old Woman with a Shawl”. I continue to be fascinated by faces, and I appreciate all the comments and suggestions I’ve received. Right now my mind is in a whirl — a good, exciting one — over all the new artists, books, websites, and ideas I’ve been introduced to in recent days.
I’ve also been working on two more faces, this time choosing photo references of the younger generation. While the older faces show so much of life reflected in the lines, wrinkles, and expressions, what do younger faces show?
I like to think that the faces from the younger generation show hope, promise, and possibility.
First I did the face of a young man. I tried to keep my shading marks a bit rough. I wanted a sense of rawness about this young man. I drew him looking straight ahead — although I’ve read that it’s best to usually show people looking slightly off to one side or another. I wanted to suggest that his future is before him, that he’s bold enough to meet it head on.
Maybe that’s the thing about faces… the thing that makes them so fascinating to draw.
They speak to me. They tell me a little bit about who they are, how they look at life.
So, having drawn my young man, I next set out to draw a young woman. She is, as you can see, unfinished.
I wasn’t happy with my results. One eye looks all right; the other, not quite right at all. Her nose needs a lot of work.
Her hair was giving me problems, and even the subtle shading on her cheeks was difficult.
I’m not sure why I found her so much harder to draw. Maybe it’s because of the uncertainty I felt in her expression. She seemed hesitant, and I therefore became hesitant in drawing her.
I think it’s inevitable that who we draw affects us more than what we draw or how we go about it. At one level, I’m drawing faces. I’m putting pencil to paper and making marks. But even these simple portraits are more than pencil and paper. They represent people. Although I don’t know this young man and young woman, I feel that I know a little about them. I know they are young. Their lives have not yet been lived.
As I draw, I find myself wondering about them, about what the future will hold for each. Of course, I’ll never know the answers, but as I look at our younger generation I have hope that despite any uncertainties they face, they will move ahead with confidence and determination.
And maybe one day I’ll go back to my unfinished young woman. Maybe as time passes, she’ll speak to me again and tell me who she’s going to become.