Mission Statement

This is a blog in which I intend to reach my goal to draw/paint a thousand faces! Welcome, and come along for the journey!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Face #302

This face, #302, is one of a fictional nature, not meant to bear a likeness of any one in particular. I picked away at this 18" by 24" pastel painting over the week; half an hour here, half an hour there. I wanted the painting to have a visual tension, but not so much tension as to cause uneasiness to a viewer. I wanted the woman to be very provocative, yet without being too revealing or perceived as distasteful. I wanted her to be realistic, yet other-worldly. I wanted curvilinear lines, yet wanted to retain a crispness in form as well. Did I succeed? You can decide. After all, I have about seven hundred other faces to render before I reach my goal (laughing). 
I have had some sketches I will post later in the week. Until next time, take care!

To The Rufus Sewell Fans

I want to thank the Rufus Sewell fans at:
for visiting, for their kind words about the painting, and for posting the link to my blog. Although comments here are disabled, I saw in my blog stats that people from all over the world (and a tremendous amount of them) visited my blog to see the painting of Mr. Sewell! I think it's wonderful that there are so many of us that love the work of this extraordinary actor!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rufus Sewell, Face #301

Rufus Sewell, Face #301
I am finally back to blog after an Easter holiday. While I was away, I did manage to get some drawing done. I planned to post a lot of sketches today, and then post this later in the week. But I changed my mind and decided to post this one first. I knew I would get around to a painting of Mr. Sewell (particularly after mentioning him in my James Franco post). As I said before in that post, I will go to see any movie just because Rufus Sewell is in it. Mr. Sewell laughs about the fact that people say he has dreamy eyes (and are they ever dreamy!) He is an extremely talented actor. As exquisite as he is to behold, (whether you are male or female) if he doesn't make you tremble just a little bit, then you haven't seen enough of his movies! Of course I imagine the reasons he may make the female viewer quiver, are quite a bit different than the men! (laughing) See him in the mini-series "Pillars Of The Earth" if you haven't already. Or for that matter, find any movie you can with Mr. Sewell in the cast, and it will have been worth your time to watch.
Until next time, take care!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Revision

I went back and revised the Johnny Depp painting. I felt the need to darken up some areas, and polish up other places. So here is the revised version. I think it makes him look a little more mysterious!
I am not sure I'll get another post in before Easter. If not, Happy Easter, and take care!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Face #300, Johnny Depp

I can't imagine having this blog of a thousand faces, some of which are famous people, without including the man dubbed as having a thousand faces, actor and rocker Johnny Depp.  I may do some minor tweaking to this painting at some point. I am posting it before giving it a resting period after which I normally like to re-evaluate. But for now, here it is.
Face #300, Johnny Depp
I am very patiently awaiting the next installment of the "Pirates" movies, due out on May 20th! It looks like it will be good from the trailers I've seen.
I will try to post again later in the week. Until then, take care!

Faces #289-#299

I heard a preacher say yesterday that very often, the closer a person gets to their goals or destiny, the more distractions come along. I don't know that I am close to realizing a goal or my destiny, but there sure have been a lot of distractions lately! My having gone away over the weekend made it more difficult to post here, chiefly because I didn't get much done to be able to show. The majority of these faces, I did yesterday while I was just trying to relax after my travels.
With Easter coming up, I'm not sure how many more faces I'll get done this week. But I do plan at least one more post. I was looking at my blog stats the other day, and see that there are quite a few people visiting my blog from both near and far. Thank you for dropping by! Until next time, take care!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


After hanging my painting of James Franco up on the wall, I compared the way it looked to the photograph on my monitor. The first picture is what was on my monitor. The second picture is a re-take of the photograph as it looks hanging on the wall in natural light. His face (too wide), along with the color (too washed out) is quite distorted in the first picture. I replaced the pic in my last post with the undistorted pic, but thought I'd post this for demonstration purposes regarding photographic distortions.
I'm off now, to get ready to leave town for the rest of the weekend. Until next time, take care!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Face #288, James Franco

Face #288,  James Franco
This painting was an absolute pleasure. Look at that smile! The first time I ever saw James Franco in anything, was the movie "Tristan and Isolde". It's not normally the genre of movie I set out to see. But nonetheless, I will see any movie with acting powerhouse Rufus Sewell in it. I really got immersed in the film's story, but at some point my mind wandered as I stared at James Franco. I thought to myself, "My God, this guy is really beautiful...look at those soulful eyes...the wild hair...the fullness of his bottom lip...the coloring of his skin. Absolutely beautiful!" Since then, he has turned up all over the place. My personal favorite movie with him in it, was "City By The Sea". If you haven't seen it, it is worth watching. He stars in it along side another acting powerhouse, Robert DeNiro. Mr. Franco has quite an acting range. He can be witty, but can also be very serious and seems to be able to do either kind of role with a very convincing ease. I think it is precisely that ease that translates well for anyone watching him, gripped into wanting to see what comes next! I think, "Lucky me, that I got to draw him!"
I'm heading out for the weekend, but will post again soon. Until then, take care!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Six Pack

I have to admit that even if nothing ever comes of it, the ability to draw faces seemingly from thin air without any reference pics or models is a source of some amusement to me. Choosing features on a whim is something I don't tire of easily.
Faces #282-287
I knew this would be a "light" week for faces, because I have a lot of other things happening. I will try to post again before Sunday. Until then, take care!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Face #281, Jodie Foster

Face #281, Jodie Foster
I would have to say that Jodie Foster is my favorite actress. I think she is luminous, sophisticated, and any movie she is in becomes better for even her mere presence there. The woman can act. And direct, too! 
Because the lighting in the photo I worked from was so "high key", it was difficult to find all the subtle value nuances in order to create the dimensionality of her face in this pastel painting. It was a fun project to dabble with, on and off on an otherwise lazy Sunday.
Not too sure how much I will get done this week, there's a lot going on. But I know at the very least I should be able to get another post in by Thursday. Until then, take care!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

From The Drawing Board, Faces #267-280

These latest faces are all fictional characters,not from pics or models.
The remainder of faces are done in pencil. I think they may actually be my favorites of this entire group of 14 faces today. I really enjoy the immediacy of a number 2 pencil sometimes! It's a "drawing" thing. I have been trying to determine a schedule for myself  where all one thousand faces are done by the end of October, a certain percentage (maybe 20 %) of them are rendered from real life, and still leaves me time for day dreaming! 
I hope all of you are enjoying your weekend. Until next time, take care!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Face #266, Eddie Cahill as "Don Flack"

Face #266, Eddie Cahill as 
"Don Flack" from "CSI:NY"
This one is just in pencil and was a study for me. Now that "CSI: NY" is on TNT late at night, and on Spike Network in the morning, I've been catching up on episodes I hadn't seen before. I love Eddie Cahill's character on the show. Of course, Mr. Cahill isn't hard to look at...not at all!
Until next time, take care!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Face #265, Natalie Portman

Though some found the movie "Black Swan" disturbing, I thought it was visually stunning. Natalie Portman did an excellent job in it. Without spoiling anything about the movie to anyone who hasn't seen it, I think if you bear in mind the underlying symbolism of good and evil in the movie, it is more enjoyable what you will gain from the film.
Initially, I thought drawing this face from the photograph would be easy, because it was cropped and because of the angle of her face. I also thought most of the skin tones seemed to mesh with palettes I had used before, also making it easier. But I was overtired when I first went to draw Ms. Portman, and had a lot of trouble getting the initial drawing down. In fact, I had to finally put it down, and wait until this morning to work on it again with fresher eyes. What I find with these portraits, is that there is a lot of re-drawing while working in the pastel. The better my original drawing, the less corrections happen along the way...but nonetheless, corrections with pastel are fairly easy to make. My methodology for working these portraits is to continue layering the pastel and manipulating the image until the face staring back at me is a familiar one!
I will post again later in the week. Until next time, take care!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Healthy Dose Of Un-Reality

 Faces 255-264
I can draw these fictional people so much faster than the real people I draw from life...I keep thinking maybe I'll put together a graphic novella, and do the drawings in charcoal like these first few done below...the charcoal gives such a great effect...
I'll post again later in the week. I'm off to go get an iced coffee. Take care until then!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Truth, Distortion, Improvisations, and Colliding Shopping Carts

I'll start with the story of colliding shopping carts. I was in my local grocery store pushing a cart in front of me past the magazine section, when I got to the book rack. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a magazine apart from all the others at the top of the book rack... a magazine with a gorgeous face on the cover. So of course my neck snapped around, and I did a double take to look closer at what was Cigar Aficianado Magazine with Matthew McConaughey on the front. Of course my jaw dropped slightly as a reaction to Matthew's disarming smile. Of course, I wasn't paying attention to anything else but that amazing face...and SLAM! My cart went right into some poor old guy's cart (laughing). And sheesh, people say that it doesn't hurt to "just look". It's a good thing I wasn't behind the wheel of a car.
Face #254, Matthew McConaughey
So now that I've bared my soul with the story of the grocery store incident, I can get on to the more serious. Things that anyone in a visual arts field ought to know about. I will start by making an analogy. Does everyone remember the game where children sit in a circle, and one starts with a story, whispers it to the next person, and so on until it gets back to the beginning of the circle... except the story has changed by that point? We equate such distortions and perceptions that are made, with verbal matters. But the same holds true with visual matters. But allow me to elaborate:
A photographer takes a photograph of a person, taking into account his/her preference of lighting, angles, etc. Click, the picture is taken and the once 3 dimensional person is now flattened into a photographic likeness with a photographer's biases. The image is photographed at a high resolution camera setting, and printed thusly. But then, it is scanned and uploaded onto the web where the basic resolution needed is at much lower 72. Then it appears on different monitors all over the world, some monitors calibrated for colors better than others. Then let's say an artist such as myself downloads it, and prints a copy (a copy that is now distorted). And I draw it...with my own biases but otherwise exactly as it appears from the picture I printed out. I then photograph my painting (with my crappy camera and its settings, in poor light), and upload it onto my blog, and it gets to your monitor. But will it still bear a likeness to that person? Not exactly...I can tell you that Matthew McConaughey does not have black hair or skin the color of a merlot. The moral of the story is that it helps to know your subject and not rely on merely a photograph. Particularly a picture you didn't take yourself. Because you will be dealing with any number of distortions along the way. Sometimes you may have to improvise to get the likeness you are after, to extract the truth from a distorted image, to get a good likeness. My portrait of my sister last post is probably a better likeness of her than the crappy photo I worked from. Recently I was reading the remarks from a judge at an art show that had commented that too many entries artists had relied on photographs and the resulting art work was "stiff".
Do you realize where your own face is concerned, all you ever get to see is a likeness? You will never get to see your own face, but only a reflection or a flattened photograph or painting. Something to think about! But they say "The best mirror is an old friend", anyway!
Enjoy the weekend!