Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Color Love Bonus #32

Hello my Color-Lovin' friends! This bonus lesson is taking it's lead from Joanne's Lesson 14 - Art Girls. I'm calling this "Fakin' Faces". This technique is not mine, don't give me any credit for it. If you do know who came up with it first, let me know because I'd love to give them credit. I've seen a couple of my favorite online art journalers do this and knew it would be perfect here.

This is a sneaky technique for those of us who shudder whenever anyone says the words "draw" and "face" together in the same sentence. Thankfully, for our class the face was more of a cartoon or caricature - but what if you want a more realistic looking face or are just too afraid to start off on your own...


In this lesson we are going to go looking for faces we can use to art over and give us a not-so-scary place to start. First grab up a bunch of magazines and start looking through them for faces. I find that ones right around the size of your palm are the easiest to work with. Not too small that you can't really make it your own, and not so big that - well, where you gonna put it?

Once you've pulled out a bunch of pages, cut them up. I left some hair on a few of mine that would have been much easier to work with if I had just cut it all off, but that is something you won't really know until you play around some.

Now, grab some paper and glue. I used bristol for this, although watercolor would have been fine. You are going to be using wet media on it so make sure it is something that will hold up to it. 

For gluing down the face I tried 4 different adhesives. The glue stick worked the best and left my page the smoothest, no wrinkles at all. The quick-dry adhesive was spread as thin as I could manage and only had a few wrinkles. I'd heard that gesso could be used as glue, and it might be true with other brands, but not this one. I thought I'd be saving myself a step but it overworked the magazine page.  There were quite a few more wrinkles, and I had to go back and hit it with the glue stick anyway. The fourth one was my matte gel medium. Lots of wrinkles, but it worked.

Now that your face is glued down, go over it with the lightest coating of gesso you can manage. You want to add that texture for your pens and paints to grab onto and lighten up the page a bit, but you still want to be able to see the person underneath.

Lightest possible application of gesso
Next, take one of your waterproof black pens and start drawing a face - right on top of the one that is already there! You can duplicate it as much as you'd like, or exaggerate and expand a little here and there.
you can see where the upper lip is drawn fuller
Take your drawing off the magazine page and start exagerating it even more. I added in some hair like Joanne had us do for our Art girls.

And the fun part... grab your colors - paints, markers, Inktense, etc.!
started out with tombow markers
Watercolor added to the background

Finally finished off with a cool quote
That's it! There are more samples below, including my massively epic fail! Playing around with this technique will teach you spacing, placement, shading and shapes. How many thousands of looks can be achieved with just two eyes, a nose and a mouth.

For those of you who don't automatically flinch when someone says "draw" - why not use this technique to go outside your comfort zone? Find pictures that are more ethnic than you are used to drawing, a wider bridge of the nose, fuller lips, Asian eyes instead of almond shaped or even ... *gasp* a man! 

More examples...

Should have either stayed with her own hair or cut it off altogether. 
And finally, the epic fail I promised you.... I tried twice and both faces now show up in my nightmares!
She starts out cute enough
and then The Joker gets to her....
trying to cartoon her up didn't help either! EEK!
So, even this technique isn't totally fool-proof! :0) One last picture before I go.. while looking for faces I came across this McDonald's add:

Isn't she awesome!! And notice - one eye is covered, so if you can't get your eyes to match, do hair instead. Just pick which eye you like the best and remove the other one altogether. Notice too that she has NO NOSE! I didn't even miss it at first, so going without is always an option if you are ripping your own hair out over an obnoxious honker. Love these lips. She is simple and I think the colors have a lot to do with why her face can be so minimal but still great. 

I hope you had fun! I have been enjoying everyone's process and all the additional classes and support. You guys are amazing! Now, get off your computer and go PLAY!!


  1. Oh my...this will be so much fun!!!!

  2. Wow - this is fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love your faces. Thanks for being brave enough to show your "failures".

  4. Thanks everyone for stopping by and leaving a comment! I had fun putting this together and hope you find some success with it!!

  5. I'm only just finding this and am right in the middle of a b-u-s-y schedule (teaching a workshop tomorrow, to Orlando Sunday for a trade show and on to South Carolina on Monday for 10 days) but when I get home at the end of the month this will be on the top of my to-try list. Thank you!!!

  6. Hi, I love this bonus lesson but, I think I am dense because I can't seem to figure out what you mean by "take your drawing off the magazine page. I thought I was supposed to glue the magazine page to the paper and then gesso over it. What am I missing?? Thanks for your help.

    1. Thanks for commenting - what I meant is to not just stay on top of the magazine page - but draw around it as well. In the picture above, that's where I leave the magazine and start drawing her hair on the paper. I just didn't want you to think you were confined to the magazine image and couldn't expand around it. Hope that makes a bit more sense! :0)

    2. Oh My Gosh!!!! Of course....duh...If I had just looked at the picture better, I would realized that's what you meant. Can't wait to do one of to my Style magazine! Thanks again