Drawing faces in my art journal


I am having a lot of fun in my art journal lately.  I love to add a quick sketch of a face to an abstract background and let some of the marks and layers show through.  This face was done in my 5.5" x 8.5" Strathmore mixed media art journal.  I always keep journals of various sizes on hand while I'm creating.  I like to work in several journals at a time, going back and forth between two or even three of them at a time!  It helps keep me going and creating without having to wait for layers to dry.

I start most of my pages the same way, by adding marks with pens, oil pastels and paint markers.  Then adding collage, spray ink, watercolors, etc.  I try to let some layers dry in between--you wouldn't want to try to collage over wet areas, for example (although, if you're in a hurry, you CAN use wet paint as a kind of "glue" and that always has an interesting look of its own!)

Next, I'll draw right over the top with my stabilo pencil and fill in the face with Shiva oil paintsticks (usually a little bit of titanium white, blend it with my finger and then yellow ochre in the darkest areas of the face--sides of the nose, under the nose, under the bottom lip, sides of the face and the hairline, and under the chin on the neck--and blend in again.  You can also add white again on top for the highlights: bride and tip of the nose, cheekbones, forehead, chin, eyelids, bottom lip--these are the parts of the face that stick out more.

Then I'll go in with my stabilo again and redraw any parts of the face that might have been covered up with the oil paintsticks.  I'll also add details to the eyes with paint pens (you can also just use acrylic paint--something opaque that will allow the eyes to really stand out).  I'll darken the hair with watercolor (or just add water to the stabilo pencil and let some of it drip down the page).  Collage bits are also fun at this stage.

You can view how I draw faces in my art journal by going to these blog posts or by visiting my Youtube channel.  Or you can join me in an in-person workshop by visiting my workshop page.

Thanks and happy creating!