I don't often do faces in my journal, but I just love this one. I can see the progress I have made over the years, and I can see the difference in the faces I draw with a reference photo and those I just do on the fly. This one is the former.
Below are a couple of close-ups and then some of my earlier faces to show the progression. As I am in the process of sorting out which pages should be displayed in my upcoming SALA exhibition at Adelaide City Library, I am looking through a lot of old artwork and seeing improvement. In some ways it will be hard to display some of my earlier pages as I want to show my best work, but the idea is to show a journey.
This spread is from 2010, the earliest one that I will show. At that point I didn't have enough courage to draw in my journal. I used photos and magazine images instead. A lot of the writing is done using stamps as I was hesitant to use my own handwriting, as well.
Skip forward a bit, and this one is done using hand-carved stamps for the eyes. The features are basic, but at least I'm drawing at this point.
Another year goes by and now I can do this. This profile is actually done with my left hand. I found that by using my non-dominant hand I could silence the critic in my head. As I wasn't using my usual hand, there was no expectation of producing anything that looked recognisable. It was all a bonus :)
Skipping ahead again, now I'm confident enough to go straight in there with a brush. There is less control with a brush and no room to make 'mistakes' because once a line is there, there's no rubbing it out. There's still not much shading going on, but I'm bolder with my lines now.
And up to earlier this year. This is more than just a face - more progress. I'm also happier using my own handwriting now and rarely use stamps for lettering anymore.
Looking at other pages, not just those with faces on them, I can see a complexity that has built up. There are definitely more layers. I'm finding my own style and gaining confidence. I just hope that the exhibition might encourage others to have a go, too.