Using photos as reference for a theme

I’m not particularly good at drawing or painting faces, but as an artist I am fascinated by all the possibilities we have from a face. You can take a theme for example, such as a woman applying lipstick. I first got interested in this idea when I came across this art online, of a woman applying mascara. (shown below)

I really like the style and attempted to do my daughter Nicole in this style, using a photo of her as a reference. It wasn’t going the way I wanted, but I went ahead and completed the small painting (reference photo and my painting shown below)….this was done in 2008.

As I was going through my photo files, I also came across a photo of a dear friend, Moana. I also like this idea of doing Moana in a sepia tone drawing or painting. (Photo of Moana shown below)

I’ve also used my sister Marty as a reference for experimenting with a certain style. I took this photo of Marty when I was doing my “creativity” workshop for her ladies church group. (photo and painting of Marty shown below)

Another idea is taking the photo and cropping. I’ve always thought that doing a large piece of art using just a portion of the face can be very abstract and interesting. Remember you can always be your own model, you are available anytime!


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