Monthly Archives: January 2011

a fresh look at faces

Today a friend of mine posted a photo of her mother on Facebook, and I commented on how much they looked alike. Faces, like all 3-dimensional objects, contain geometric shapes, and when those shapes are positioned at similar angles and have similar proportions, you get similar faces.

This is usually the result of familial biology, but sometimes two unrelated strangers are mistaken as twins or siblings. (This happens to me frequently, as I live in a city wherein another woman my age has similar coloring and facial structure. We’ve been mistaken for each other for decades).

As a portrait artist, I’m fascinated with faces. When I’m out people-watching (a favorite activity), I see the ovals and cones and spheres in every face. I weigh the angles and proportions of the underlying bone and muscle structure that gives each face its unique appearance, and imagine how I’d draw each one.

The most common mistake made by beginning artists when attempting to render the human face is to draw what they think they see instead of what they really see. For example, we all consciously know that there are two tiny facial holes called “nostrils,” yet those holes are often drawn by beginners as black circles, giving the face a porcine-like appearance.

BEFORE: Disproportionate Features

In reality, nostrils are neither circular nor on a vertical plane. Look again. Nostrils  are typically an asymmetrical oval (though the shape varies widely) and, when looking straight on, lie on a nearly horizontal plane (depending on the nose shape).  From a straight-on perspective, nostrils are hidden almost entirely, and might only be rendered as subtle curves or indentations along the bottom edge of the nose.

AFTER: Proportionate Features

But that is just one example. Each part of the face requires a great deal of observation before putting graphite or paint to canvas. I urge each of you – especially those who say “I can’t draw faces!” – to spend some time really looking at the human face. What a fascinating and diverse subject.

Cheers!

Marie
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poll: how do YOU overcome designer’s block?

Many of you in the T-shirt design world find yourselves looking for that one perfect concept – a design with that special something that catches on globally and launches you into extravagant T-shirt-selling wealth.

For those of you who’ve watched “The Making of ‘odd guy art’ Part 2: The Designing,” you already know what a mentally-challenging and physically-taxing process T-shirt design can be. Sure, it’s fun; but sometimes “fun” can be fleeting when you’re faced with mounting bills and, in Graham’s case, an ongoing tea addiction.

Plus, there are as many potential T-shirt options as there are people on the planet (6,894,185,175 as of press time). When faced with a blank computer screen or canvas, where does your inspiration typically come from?

Take a second to click below and add your voice to this universal question!

Thanks!
Marie and Graham

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T-shirts now available at…

As we enter 2011, we are excited to feature two retailers who are now selling our T-shirts and caps.

The photo above depicts our “odd guy art” display at Paradigm Coffee and Music (on 8th Street in Sheboygan). They are currently featuring our “Bike Me” design as their “Shirt of the Month.” Our 1970’s vintage banana bike adds more fun to the display and has been attracting a lot of attention. For those of you with an eye for old bikes, this is a Columbia Tripper.  Paradigm Coffee and Music is a very popular coffee shop (with great food, too) that attracts nationally known musicians to its stage.

When you venture down to the Blue Harbor
Resort along the Sheboygan River, you will discover “Aras, Beks and Pottiers,” purveyors of fine gifts. They currently stock three of our T-shirt designs. We are very happy to have our shirts included in this high quality gift shop in the centre of Sheboygan’s resort and conference area.

Stop in at both when you are in town. You  won’t be disappointed. Buy a shirt!

                                                                                                              Aras, Beks and Pottiers

We have several more outlets who are planning to stock our shirts in time for the spring season. We are excited to increase our growing number of retailers as we head into the new year. If you would like to see our shirts in one of your favourite apparel stores, gift shops, coffee houses, or bike stores – or anywhere – tell them about us (or tell us about them) and we’ll do our best to make it happen.

Graham

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