Practicing faces…

I’ve been working on learning how to draw faces for a few months now. The challenge being to get past the blocks and the loud voice of my inner critic telling me I can’t draw portraits that will look anything at all like the real person.

I’m doing my best to ignore her or put her on other duties while I work.

Page 4 Reference Image Florence Colgate

A picture of Florence Colgate I found online to use as a reference for my drawing.

I think the completed picture came out fairly good considering I have only been practicing for a few months and not every day, sometimes going weeks without drawing a face.

Page 4

This is my final drawing done in pencil on light yellow card stock.


The thing I find interesting is how scanning a drawing can show discrepancies in a drawing more so than just looking at the real drawing.

I didn’t notice the slight tilt in her mouth until I started writing this blog. That’s okay though. I’m learning and improving and that is what counts and what makes me happy.

I decided to use my handmade journal that is pictured in an earlier post which contains different colored card stock for its pages and some pocket envelopes. I may use the envelope pockets to store copies of the reference photos to keep with the journal.

I  can’t find the words to express how this drawing makes me feel. When I first started drawing it this evening I had many moments of my inner critic chatting away at me telling me the eyes were off, the mouth wasn’t right, the nose was all wrong and that I’d never be able to draw her with any semblance of accuracy. Instead of telling her to shut up, I listened to her critiques, made some erasures, redrew the mouth (several times), fixed the eyes, and so on.

I’m finding that my inner critic isn’t there to just get in the way but is also there to help me learn and challenge myself. Without her I may never have made the changes I did tonight to come up with the drawing that I now post.

I didn’t use any special pencil. I have a mechanical pencil (Energize Pencil by Pentel) with .7 lead. I use a paper stump to blend and shade and a white eraser. That’s it. Drawn on 65 lb card stock from Michaels. This is my cheapest form of art I could possibly do and what makes it nice is I can carry it with me anywhere I go.

I won’t be painting my drawings in my journal because the card stock won’t hold up well to the wet medium. I will at times use other dry mediums like colored pencil, charcoal and pastels but for now, graphite makes me very happy.


9 thoughts on “Practicing faces…

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