I cannot paint faces. I gave it up long ago. Mrs. Blackmon, bless her, taught me how; it’s me. I just cannot get faces to look right, so all the people I’ve drawn or painted for decades have been boldly faceless.
Then came my daughter, and for the first time in a very long time, a photograph that inspired me to try portrait painting again.
(I’ll confess right up-front that I “cheated.” There is still some disagreement in the artists’ communities as to whether the use of a light projector is cheating. I say anything goes. I took the photo, I did the work to project and transfer the image to a canvas, and I have done all the work from there. There is still plenty of skill involved.)
So here’s the thing: I don’t really need to know how to draw faces. I just draw what I see.
Ears are hard. I have no idea how to draw an ear.
Hands are really hard. I suck at drawing hands.
But I can look at the photo of the ear and see that there’s a long triangle-y shape with a kind of curvy tail on the end, and it widens out to a kind of fan shape up here… and I can draw that.