Saturday, October 12, 2013

How I learned to draw a human 7 steps!

dc118: Homage

My homage is to perseverance. Keep at it!! (note to self here)

My project for this drawing challenge with the theme 'homage' took a complete right turn as I was busily working on my original idea. Right in the middle of searching for some special papers, I came across a page that I'd tucked away specially so I'd not lose it and of course lost it in my memory of where I'd stashed it. The minute I spotted it, my idea for this drawing challenge took on a different theme.

Some years ago I owned a yahoo group with my daughter. For two years we traded flat paper art dolls every month, with players around the world. I had no drawing skills whatsoever and started with a pretty basic doll. All of my faces were cut from magazines and glued on to a head shape. After a few months I really desired strongly to be able to draw my own face for my art dolls.

One day I found a face shape that I liked a lot, and grabbed a magnifying glass to study it in minute detail. I tried to see it differently than just glancing, and studied the colour of the skin, shadows, angles, little things I'd never noticed before. I grabbed a pencil and my water colour box and a tiny brush and just started to try to copy to my best ability, what I saw through the magnifying glass. The whole procedure took only about 20 minutes and I am not kidding.

Here are the steps I took (I pasted numbers beside the drawing/painting for you to follow):
1. I noticed that there was a definite shadow under the chin area of a face and kind of noticed where about the neck might meet the face area.
2. Clearly, I wanted my gal to have freckles! HA! Now I'm noticing where shading might occur in the eye area and have left the upper lid unshaded. I'm also noticing more about mouth colour/shading, and have extended the eye lashes beyond the edge of the face at this angle.
3. Looking at overall shading of the whole face, and trying to figure out the angle/shading of the nostrils.
4. Now I'm figuring out a pouty mouth shape and more specific shading of the eye area.
5. My pouty gal is coming along. Figuring out eyebrows here.
6. This is a breakthrough. Her eyes have opened! Now she has better shading under the nose and above the upper lip.
7. BINGO. I put all of the above 6 elements together and this is her face and this face is the only face I know how to do and I've been doing it for years now. Her hair is kind of over the top, hey?
8. Studying better face angles.
9. Giving her some life with skin tone and an actual outline that I can use. I made a template of this and used to use the template for everything but now I draw it free hand.

In the folder along with the page of face practicing, I found an outline of the paper doll she was to become. I made a template of this also. The snippet of lace would be important in her dress.

Here is the finished paper doll (which you have seen before and may remember.) She remains one of my all time favourite doll that I've made:

THANK YOU to Kristen, dear art friend. As host you have chosen such a fun experience for me. For me to share my original experience of learning to draw something was a walk down memory lane. To view all of the entries in this drawing challenge pop on over to see Kristen's blog, highlighted above. Thank you for dropping in today and I hope to see you again soon! Norma, x


  1. Wow! Norma what a great story!!!! and so inspiring- I think a homage to perseverance is a wonderful tribute- for all of us and I love how your face drawing progresses- and the doll itself- totally cool hair by the by!!! Thank you so much for sharing and participating :) big hug

  2. I do remember seeing this beauty:)
    Hope you're doing great!

  3. Ditto on the WOW! Perseverance.... something most of us need to learn/experience. You certainly persevered and conquered drawing the face. She's beautiful. I hope your week is wonderfully fun and sunny. xo Carole

  4. a note to stick to my forehead, perseverance, keeping at it. you sure did, and look, you have created a very own-brand-like paper doll face, i suppose completely norma too, since you say you always draw this face. i find that fascinating, because there is so much, well, all of your ability, your willingness, and your personality in repeating the same face, over and over. she definitely loves the lace too!

  5. beautiful story Norma and even more beautiful doll to me now i know how you came to create her, perseverance, oh yes or as my mother used to say, 'you can do difficult, you can', i'm smiling and touched now by you, patiently explaining this to us,thanks, xx

  6. your homage made me smile
    and i like the pages with the process the best
    i can image you with your magnifying glass ;^))


  7. A homage to the process I would say and this is also a homage to "one step at a time"-attitude which is really great and we should honor more often.
    Hugs to you

  8. wow, what a homage! I love the doll, but even more your steps and hat you showed us. How wonderful that you took your time, I imagine you looking through the glass ;-) Thanks for showing!


Your comments make my day! Thanks for dropping by and we'll see you soon, I hope, *smiles* Norma


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