To begin our self-portraits, we were first instructed to start with our noses. Being that it is the center of our face, it makes sense that we would begin there. It makes a lot of sense, but sense didn’t make it easy =(. My nose took almost 2 hours to draw and nearly another hour to perfect. The formation of a nose without lines was extremely difficult. For my nose, in particular, it reflects a lot of light and has a smooth surface that would be hard to define without line work. It was hard to turn those light areas into a nose without making a definite shape. Professor Ruby saw that this problem was going on for a lot of people, so she asked us to stop looking at what we were trying to draw as just a nose but as a multitude of forms that happen to look like a nose.
After noses were established we were instructed to work downward forming the lips jaws and chin. For me, the most difficult part of this session was forming my lips. I am so use to drawing very animated characteristics, so in my error I kept drawing very dramatic features that were not true to me. I was drawing my lips very curvy and unusually full, which my lips are not at all. Also I found it very hard to make natural borders between the area just beneath my nose and the outline of my upper lip. I could see that the line that separated the 2 is hardly noticeable in real life because in reality our faces are 3 dimensional so the merge is not so much defined in line but in space and dynamics. But on a 1D drawing I had translating this difference without running my upper into one. I naturally wanted to display the separation by drawing a concrete line, but that would have ruined the entire image. Trying to get past this urge and really look into the shapes of light and dark and eventually find a way to display lip like forms was the point of the session where I feel like I really started to get a hang of the idea of making the light work for me.
Those EYES!!!! Those eyes nearly drove me to my grave! Getting the shape of my eyes realistically right and attempting to get both eyes proportionally equal in distance and girth took a good 2 hours to correct. The cartoonist side of me came out again. I really wanted my eyes to look dynamic and lively but I couldn’t find a very good way to bring the 3D feel to them. On the other hand I had a great time making my eyebrow and lids feel more touchable and real.
Thankfully, my face details were finished and I was able to work on some fun extracurricular features such as the shaping my face and adding my hair. I was not AT ALL sure how to go about making my haur. I did not want o have strange chunks of light forms or to overlap features of my face, so I decided to do small lines of light and dark to control the free flow look of hair.
Day 5 and Final Critique
In our final critique, I was able to come together with my classmate one last time to discuss this project. Overall, the task was EXTREMELY time consuming and frustrating, but I really did enjoy the project for all the valuable lessons it provided. The project posed challenges for not only me but many of my classmates of finding proportionality and developing form rather than making shapes. This project forced students to abandon the technique of lines and boarders to having light and dark scales create images. Many of my classmates, as well as myself, faced challenges in hindering our art, in fear of showing a flaw in ourselves. I personally made my nose too small my eyes too shape or my lips too plumped and curved in hopes of not looking…well ugly. I attempted to substitute my unique characteristics for more socially common and acceptable, but when I reflected on my work, I realized that my drawing no longer looked like me, but like a stranger. In the course of this project I learned to stop depending on lines and shape to create image and to find the reality and embrace the uniqueness of things that make that particular feature or person who they are.
For a Final Project, it was a great experience. This semester has been a real eye opener. I can’t say I enjoyed every minute of it, but it was a great learning opportunity. I was able to expand, not only, my way of making art through multiple techniques and mediums, but how I define Art. I came into this course with a single mind set of what art can be categorized as, but I have had the privilege of being exposed to a world of new definitions and levels to Art. Though my future career is not in Art, I am excited to use what I have learned in my own free time doing my own personal art work.