SLort Lhat wi tk the deader

How fortunate it is for the huiiu&ii racc that ever)' man, woman, and child is tagged with an individual and identifiable face! If all faces were identical, like the labels on a brand of tomatoes, we would be living in a very mixed-up world. When we think of it, life is mainly a continuous flow of experiences and contacts %vitli people, different people. Suppose for a moment that Jones, the egg man, was the exact countcq>art of Smith, the banker; that the face across the table might be that of Mrs. Murphy. Mrs. Cold-blatt, or Mrs. Trotsky—you couldn't be sure which. Suppose all the faces in the magazines and newspapers and on television were reduced to one male and one female type, what a dull thing life would be! Even if your face has not been your fortune, even if it is far from beauti-ful, still, nature really gave us all a pretty good break, for at least we are individuals and can each l>e thankful for having a face, good or bad, that is undeniably our own.

This individuality of faces can be an intensely interesting study for anyone, and cspccially for anyone with the slightest talent for drawing. Once we begin to comprehend some of the reasons for the differences, our study becomes all-absorbing. Through our faces, nature not only identifies us but tells the world a good deal more about each of us.

Our thoughts, our emotions and attitudes, even the kind of lives we live, register in our faces. The mobility of the flesh—that is, the power of expression—adds more than mere identity. Let us give more than casual attention to the endless procession of faces moving in and out of our consciousness. Setting aside the psychological and emotional phases of expression, we can express in simple language the basic technical reasons for the smile, the frown, and all the variations that we call facial expression. We say that a person can look guilty, ashamed, frightened, content, angry, smug, confident, frustrated, and a host of other ways too numerous to tabulate. A few embedded muscles attached to the bones of the skull provide the mechanics for every expression, and these muscles and bones arc not complicated or difficult to learn! What a wealth of interest lies within!

Let me say at the l>eginning that to draw a head effectively is not a matter of "soul searching" or mind reading. It is primarily a matter of interpreting form correctly in its proportion, perspective, and lighting. All other qualities enter the drawing as a result of the way that form is interpreted. If the artist gets that right, the soul or character is revealed. As artists, we only see, analyze, and set down. A pair of eyes drawn constructively and in correct values will appear to be alive because of craftsmanship, not bccausc of the artist's ability to read the sitters soul.

The element that contributes most to the great variation of identities is the difference in the shapes of the skull itself. There are round heads, square heads, heads with wide and flaring jaws, elongated heads, narrow heads, heads with receding jaws. There are heads with high domes and foreheads, and those with low. Some faces are concave, and others convex. Noses and chins are prominent or receding. Eyes are large or small, set wide apart or close together. Ears are all kinds of shapes and sizes. There are lean faces and fat faces, big-boned and small-boned ones. There are long lips, wide lips, thin lips, full lips, protruding lips, and equal variety in the sizes and shapes of noses. You can see that, by cross multiplication of these varying factors, millions of different faces will be produced. Of course, by the law of averages certain combinations of factors are bound to reappear. For that reason people who are not related sometimes closely resemble each other. Every artist has

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  • Crassus
    How to draw animated facial expressions guilty?
    8 years ago

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