Friday, September 30, 2016

About Face

I really love sharing my creative efforts and learnings with my two daughters, ages 7 and 8.  I always tell them, "It's a good day when you learn something new," and I try to let them know when I am working on learning something new myself.

A teachable spirit is one of the greatest assets a person can possess.

This past Saturday morning, we sat down together at the breakfast table, and I showed them the "proper proportions" for drawing a human face.  Even though I am far from mastering this, the three of us drew together, and learned together, and had a go at face-drawing together.

I thought it would be fun for you to see the difference a little information can make.

Just a couple of weeks ago, my 8-year-old drew a portrait of me for school, citing me as her hero, and labeling her picture "Hall of Fame Mommy."  Now, make no mistake: I love every single thing about this portrait she has drawn! But I am using it as a "before," in the sense that she had not been taught facial proportions.  The drawing next to it is what she drew after learning some of the basics: 
(Never mind the tree growing out of the top of his head.  That was her imaginative addition later in the lesson!)

My seven-year-old was also learning facial proportions, and here you can see her results on the left, alongside her sister's on the right:
I think they did a phenomenal job for their first-ever faces based on new information!

Here is the "cheat sheet" I was using in my sketchbook--some tips I picked up from various sources about drawing realistic faces:
The basic guidelines we worked from include:

  • The head is shaped something like an egg (whereas many children are inclined to start with a circle).  
  • The eyes are placed about halfway down the head.  
  • The face is roughly the width of five eyes across.  
  • Eyebrows are a bit wider than each eye, and tend to grow thicker toward the nose. 
  • The top of the ears are just above the eyes, and go down to the halfway point between the eyes and the bottom of the head. 
  • The hairline is 1/3 to 1/4 of the way from the top of the head to the eyebrows. 
  • The bottom of the nose is around the bottom of the ears, at the halfway point between the eyes and the bottom of the head. 
  • The bottom of the lip is at the halfway point between the earlobes and the bottom of the head, and its width is about to the eyes' irises. 

I'm pretty sure the girls thought I had lost my mind with all these guidelines, but they were troopers, and pulled through with amazing first efforts!

What they really enjoyed, though, were the cartoon faces from the book I had checked out from the library and played around with myself.  They found it a little hard to work through the cartoon faces on their own, but had no problem when I talked them through the steps while drawing my own examples.
My 7-year-old's cartoons
My 8-year-old's cartoons
It's a good day when we learn something new.  

I love challenging myself to try new things, and I also love watching my girls doing the same.  What will you try to learn today?


daisy said...

I need the same lessons your girls did! Looking at this post showed me I can't do faces mainly because I use the same proportions as a 7- or 8-yr. old!! A fun way to spend the morning! (Bayla's darn good at cartooning!!)

Jewels said...

Your right - they did GREAT - what fun