Monday, April 11, 2011

What makes up a face?

I spent this past weekend working on my entry for the Expression 2 Challenge, which I will be posting here in a couple of weeks.  I am so excited about that project because it pushed me to do something I have been wanting to do --give faces more dimension-- and opened the door to something I had no idea that I could do --make faces that look like a unique person.

So, today I am sort of skipping a step that lead me here so that I can keep my entry to myself for a bit longer, and jump to making portraits.  This is a leap of faith because I only just started this and I have so much to learn, but I think figuring this out will make my die cut vignettes more real and more interesting.

To add to the difficulty, although that wasn't the point, I started with a picture I took of myself.  It helps that I don't really know most of the people who read this blog in my day-to-day life because I took a picture in our messy office, without makeup or my hair styled!  Lots of forehead showing too!

This is the process I took to figure out my face.  As you may know, we don't really know what we look like.  At least I don't.  We don't see ourselves nearly as much as we see our co-workers, spouse, child, and neighbors.  I know generally what I look like, and I certainly recognize myself in a reflection, but to duplicate my features, I had to take a picture.  What I did not want was a paper replica of a portrait; no, I wanted a unique piece of work that looked like me.
I took a picture of myself and then used a reject head that I had sitting on my craft table from my entry.  It is the head from the pie lady on Country Life with her hairdo cut off, cut at 11.5".  I needed a starting place.  I added jowls -too much - see I don't really know what I look like.  Ignoring that for now, I noted my chin, points for the dimensions of my mouth and nose, and added smile lines. 
I hand-cut features and then fit them back on the original photo to test them.  The nose, surprisingly was the easiest part.  Happily, I can say I thought my nose was much larger than it actually is, and I was able to shave some off to get to this point!  I bent the papers to get dimension.
Satisfied, I trimmed away the jowls at bit - this is a family feature that really will get worse, so  I was happy to get to remove some!  I added hair by cutting out a style from Everyday Paper Dolls and then trimmed it down.  And yes, I used a little artistic license and gave myself a hairstyle and covered up some of that forehead!  I mean, come on people, it needed to be done.  I also gave myself some new earrings and a colorful shirt-  next time I'll go designer for sure!
I played around with background colors to see what I liked best.  I have all that fun Circle paper to play with so that's what I grabbed for fun.
In taking pictures, I found that maybe I didn't need to add the cheeks and chin -- maybe just the dimensional nose and the shape of the face would convey identity.  What do you think?

I am excited to try more of these and already see changes that need to be made here to improve.  I just wanted to share what I learned.  Thank you for visiting my blog today!


Maria said...

That is amazing,(don't I always say that about your work?). It really does look like your picture!

Nadia said...

When my husband came in and saw this he was horrified that I used that picture of myself. Funny thing is, it didn't bother me but now you know why I am glad that people in my regular world don't read my blog! Lesson learned: next time do the hair and makeup and work on the lighting. :)

Brens Designs said...

Wow! You certainly thought outside the box on this one. I love it!!! You did a fantastic job! TFS said...

Very cool:)

Mrs. Green said...

Very interesting!

Got2BCrafting said...

Nadia, Nadia, Nadia... how do you do it?? Your creativity and thought processes astound me! I just don't know how you come up with these ideas. This picture looks amazing! :)

Charlotte said...

You did a great job with this - both look like your picture. It's a very interesting question you raise, and it seems to take less to make a face than I thought it would. I'll be thinking about this for awhile. Thanks!

Scrapper69 said...

WOW! The process is just amazing.... It really looks like you! You are braver than me... cause I can't draw! let alone make my face! I Love all the details you laid out... it looks great! TFS! and good luck with this challenge! :o)

Princess Poodle said...

I'm so in awe of your talent! The amount of detail in your projects is amazing. I'm now a follower and can't wait to see what you come up with next!

Jamie said...

That is really neat. Not something I would've ever thought of that's for sure. TFS. I love to see ideas that come to a person's mind.

DebC said...

How did you do the eyes? Just by drawing and coloring by hand?

Looks amazing!

Nadia said...

Hi DebC! Yes, the eyes were just drawn by hand and colored in colored pencils.

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