29 Faces – Feeling the moment

29 FacesTonight I felt like expressing exhileration or high end positive emotion. Not that I’m feeling particularly exhilerated or anything, but I felt the need to see if I could communicate any of those like emotions in my faces. So I gave it a go.

I had intended on doing three, to start catching up those early days I missed before I entered, but only managed two, which covered today and yesterday (which I used for my mermaid painting project instead).

For my first attempt, I wanted to see if I could portray a moment of feeling the moment. This is what I came up with.

Just breatheJust breathe

Sorry about the poor scan, the picture was bigger than A4. I wanted her to be releasing that breath of relaxation, yet feeling the wind on her face and hearing the sounds of her environment. And her hair just dissolved into swirls because I’m a swirls addict! I was quite happy with this. I haven’t done many (if any, I can’t recall) side views and as the one rule I’m using for myself in this exercise is that I’m not allowed to use reference photographs, I was quite happy how her shape turned out. She does have faults, but I made a solemn promise not to pick my art to bits on this blog a long time ago, so I’m going to try to not overly criticise (I’m a perfectionist and never satisfied with anything I do…it’s a habit I’m trying to break).

Items noted in this exercise is the complete slackness of the cheek muscles and the detail of the lips being just the right shape and apart just the right amount. Not sure how I’m going to add the colour of the lips, if I develop this sketch into a painting someday, without turning her into a clown.

The second sketch was aimed more at exhileration than the first, but again a moment of feeling the moment.


This one has some serious technical issues, but overall I’m very happy with it. The fact I did it using no reference material at all (other than sticking my fingers in my ears to remind me of their shape :D) surprised me considerably. Apparently I know more about facial structure than I thought. All of it was completely out of my head.

I did struggle with the perspective, but then I always do. I do think the basic emotion is there and there is some movement in the sketch. A good exercise that taught me quite a bit about myself.

Noted regarding facial features to achieve this expression – mouth must have a very slight turn up at the corners to create a positive emotion otherwise it becomes painful. Eyebrows must be relaxed back from the centre of the forehead – avoid a frown at all costs or the expression once again becomes painfilled. Drawing open eyes is easier than drawing closed eyes. Cheeks under eyes must tilt slightly upwards towards the outside of the eye to give that positive crinkling of the crows feet ideal – too relaxed again tends toward a negative emotion.

And hair can make or break a portrait as it can contain as much emotion and movement as any other part of the face…sometimes more.

It should also be noted that my Sis, who visited tonight while I was drawing, considers ‘Feel’ to be an alien and ‘Just breathe’ to be part of a hair shampoo advert. Well, at least she is honest 😀 Love you, Sis 😀

Don’t forget to visit all the other 29 faces out there. There are some wonderful works to be discovered.

Best wishes,