I draw faces with a pen.
It helps me get ready for the life class. I like scribbling and trying to create the face evocatively, pulling it out of the darks. I love making the dark areas using hatching lines. I love the deep blue of the bic cristal pen’s ink and the way that you can smudge it subtly with a paper towel.
Then there’s oil pastel. Drawing with oil pastel helps me even more directly, helps me think about how I’ll use color in the life class. Copying the Victorian photos using fauvist colors provides practice thinking about color as a form of invention. And it’s nearer to what I do in the life class where I’m using dry pastel as my tool. The pen drawing above and the oil pastels below are more inventions based on Julia Margaret Cameron’s Pre-Raphaelite photographs.
These oil pastels are small drawings, on Canson mi-teinte pages measuring 9 x 12 inches.
Drew some faces rapidly with a pen for amusement
I made several versions of an image based on a photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron, the Victorian era photographer. (Above and below) Each one is different, but all are based on the same photo.
Other faces come from other historical photos that I’ve found on the internet.
They decorate a journal that I keep. They entertain me while I’m relaxing, watching tv, in my idle moments. And they are very freedom inspiring. You can’t undo a pen line (though I did use oil pastel to soften some passages) so I am swashbuckling in my use of the pen. It’s a wonderfully expressive tool. Built for exaggeration and impulse.
I like to be often scribbling. I love the appearance of even just the ink on the paper. Pen ink is such a beautiful thing.
When I was a child learning cursive, I loved the shapes of letters and the shiny beauty of ink. That love has stayed with me across the many years.
A gestural line, dense hatchings: I find them endlessly fascinating. The energy of cross-hatching can be exhilarating and yet also relaxing because it is both dynamic and repetitive.