Face No.1: Determined

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Face No.1: Determined

There is something so self-possessed and quiet about this face, it’s almost serene. But there is that glint in the eye and the flare of the nostril reveals a steely determination. He may seem passive, but he is going to get his way, quietly and patiently waiting for the opportunity. This underlying energy is revealed in the background.

This painting is based on a photograph, in a very old copy of Du, of a carved statue. My academic training makes me want to cite the source, but I am resisting. I love that art can be layers of invention and re-invention.

Determined is painted in acrylic paint on a 50cm x 50cm stretched canvas and is finished with a gloss acrylic varnish. It is not framed.

 

I’ve been silent for a while on this blog because I have been launching Better, a physical space for creative makers in Johannesburg. If you are in Johannesburg, come along and visit. If you are a creative sort, looking for a place to create from and a community, join us.

making faces

The new year has been busy. I am in the process of opening Better, a physical place for creative makers to hang out, and that has kept me from this blog. But there is lots to share.

Those of you who talk with me about my art know that I’ve been saying for a while that I want to paint portraits. I think that portraits are about the highest art form there is. To try and animate a human face has to be the ultimate creative challenge.

Last year I played with painting mandalas because I wanted something easy to practice with, but I’ve decided that if I really want to paint portraits, I need to practice on those.

So I have been sketching faces.

It’s interesting how compelling faces can be. I find myself staring at people in the street and tracing the lines of their faces in my mind. When I find an interesting face, I want to draw it over and over.

I’ve been sketching with watercolour too, as this forces me to work more intuitively and to focus less on accuracy.

So far, I’ve discovered that faces are fun to draw, once you get over the terror of how difficult it is. Sketching faces is far more about line and shadows than it is about colour, which is a bit of a new space for me to play in.

I’ve started work on some paintings of faces too and will share those in my next post.