Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
CLICK ON THE RABBIT ( yes, those are cabinets) TO SEE MY PORTFOLIO, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT MY SERVICES...theartofthehome.com

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Come into the drawing room

I have to admit that it pleases me that my studio is in the room originally designated as the "drawing room", in my 1906 house, Belle Ami.  That was actually shortened from "withdrawing room", as the ladies' parlour was known in previous centuries.  You thought the formal living room with separate family room is some modern invention of the 1970's?  Nope.  During the war years and the years shortly after, American homes were built pretty modest, and often had just a "front room", but prior to that, homes had a formal parlour for entertaining guests, and a family parlour (called the drawing room), for more casual activity.  These days, Emmaline Conlin Whitlock's drawing room is full of pretty casual activity, indeed, but Whitlock women were champions of art, education, and women's right to vote, so I have an idea they would approve of the Artgirls. 

This week, we worked on learning to draw faces.  I've included a diagram here, so all of you who say drawing is a magical gift, bestowed by the gods upon only a rare few, can see how simple it actually is.  The trick is to start your drawing with the general outline of the face, with the measurement lines lightly penciled in, then go feature by feature on a photo you would like to reproduce, and notice how the subjects' features relate to the placement lines.  We found this actress is pretty typical, which you will find on most model faces, because that's what makes them conventionally "beautiful", though her eyebrows are closer to her eyes than some.

Faces 101:  Eyes sit on top of the 1/2 line on an adult head.  The most common mistake people make is positioning them too close to the top.  Top of brows, and tip of nose land on about the 1/3 marks.  Divide the bottom third in thirds, and there you have the placement  of the mouth and chin dent.  Faces are about five eyes wide, typically with one eye width between eyes.  Nostrils flare about this wide, and corners of mouths fall about straight below pupils.  Ears stick out between eyes and tip of nose.  Start with this, and then learn to notice the variations. 
You can click on this photo to enlarge. 
Faithie, a beautiful bird painted on her cheek, particularly noticed the things the makeup artist tried to downplay, especially around the nose.  She has taken to carrying this notebook, and drawing faces every day.  This really pleases me, as the drawing part of art class is not her favorite.  She prefers building and sculpting.

Kadence, on the other hand, is working on the same project we started months ago, because she would rather spend most of her class drawing.  She's the fashion designer from my Valentine's Day post, but has already nixed that profession.  She's planning on something scientific, now.  The formula for face drawing appealed to her, but her fashion loving side still showed, I thought, in her willingness to focus on the features as they were played up by the make-up artist. 

Faithie's finished drawing.  This is a nine year old, after just a couple of weeks of practice.  Don't tell me you can't do this.

Kadence's nearly finished drawing.  She chose to add color, as any crayon loving eight-year-old would.
 And what did I learn from the Artgirls this week?  Nothing new.  Just a reminder that we all see people from our own unique perspective, and we can choose to see what's camouflaged, or we can choose to see them as they wish to be seen, and either way is right.  Now, go get a pencil, and grab a nice big clear photo, preferably one from a magazine that you can draw lines on, and try this yourself.  Really.  It's not a test.  No one has to see.  It's fun.  Just try it!  Okay, I'll stop here, before I start sounding like Sam-I-Am from Green Eggs and Ham...would you, could you in a ...!

When I'm not teaching Artgirls, and trying to convince clients to test out their artsy-craftsy talents, I paint and sculpt some pretty nice walls for folks, and your walls could be next.  You can see my portfolio and services at theartofthehome.com.

Need anything clarified in the instructions above?  Email me, and I'll do my best to answer any questions.  dawnmariedelara.@gmail.com

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