Tuesday, January 27, 2009


this is the first face that i painted in 2006... i didn't like her eyes or hair, which was a dilemma because i really, really wanted to draw faces that spoke to me.

i spent a couple of days learning from anne grgich and took a class from katie kendrick, but i still drew faces with hard stares and the hair! what to do about hair?! any and all hair i drew was a disaster.

finally in november of last year, about two years after '3rd eye girl' above, i 'got' that the eyes don't have to be eye shaped or even the same size. and the hair, well just leave it off!

below are some of the faces that i've painted in the last year. some of them i like a lot, some not so much. one thing's certain though, each one informs the next...

started this morning...

if you have any helpful hints or special techniques that you use when painting
faces, i'd love to hear them.



  1. I love seeing the evolution of your faces! and I'm especially fond of no hair ;-)
    It's after 3 a.m. here, so my brain isn't able to think of anything helpful at the moment, but quite honestly, I like the hints you've given more than anything I could come up with...
    xoxo K

  2. Your faces are wonderful. Unique, quirky and alive! I think you have found your way wonderfully.

  3. your faces have come a long way- they are very effective. from doll making for years the one thing that helped me was to use 2 white dots on the pupil. opposite each other. depending on where you put them completely changes the facial expression. clear as mud? lyle

  4. What fun to see how your faces have changed. I especially like how the "third eye" helped you see what your were missing!

  5. I find faces the trickiest thing to draw...ever. You've proven that just jumping into the pool reaps huge rewards. Leave the hair off? ...brilliant. Sometimes we miss the obvious answer. You've created a style that's your own. What more can an artist ask for?

  6. woman! i think you are taking yourself from the literal into a figurative place where the soul speaks of "earth" in symbols... you KNOW that!!!

    i trust you.

    what is hair? an ornament, a seducers curl, a ladder, warmth, connection to the animal self, protection, (some monks shave the stuff off) ... an aura hiding forest...

    the proteins of negative thought running out of us... :)

    i don't know.
    I do do do love the bone on her head... you are alive, and so too your faces, and your birds.


  7. Oh, Lynne, I love your faces so much. How original, merry, pleasant!

  8. Lynne - what a wonderful evolution to see - I'm so with you on the hair thingy - and as far as the eyes and other facial features, I've always felt that the two sides of our face are different - we don't have two identical halves joined together - personally?, my faces take shape by (and this will sound a bit woo woo) me feeling my face as my brush paints - in other words, when I paint the eyes?, I can feel the brush on my face - a hard thing to explain....I love the last one without the eyes filled in - it is really strong.

  9. i agree with lisahoffman (no relation), i love that you have created your own style. right now, that's my hearts desire.
    happy days,

  10. I love your faces Lynne - and it is true that they create a path... an on going conversation - they are so soulful... I did some mirror contour drawings a while back - nope - didn't like any of them but loved the process...

    thinking of you

    and a pellett in a "boat"

    xox - eb.

  11. Oh, your progress is wonderful. I wouldn't think of making any suggestions as the path you are on is so successful as it is. Just keep going and keep sharing with us. You are a wonderful inspiration. xo

  12. thank you *all*...

    lol, karin on the no hair thing. ; ) i think it's interesting that at first i felt i had to put *something* on the head, but now it's not seeming so important.

    thank you, zom...

    hi lyle, yes, i know exactly what you mean. and you're right -- they *completely* change the expression. i have much experimenting still to do with these white dots...

    just a plane ride... oh! i'd never thought about that! yes, i love that! thank you!

    hey lisa, well, if i need a role model for further jumping, i'll just glance your way. ; ) xo

    yeah, mansuetude, i've thought a lot about hair and come up with all of what you said (okay, except the proteins of negative thought running out of us ; ). as i said to karin, these days i'm not feeling the need to put *anything* on the head, and i like that. kowabunga, you make me smile... : )

    thank you so much, b & w.

    yeah, jeane, on the two halves being different. when i started making the eyes different the faces immediately came alive (well at least to me). i love what you wrote about how you paint and feel the brush on your face. i am going to try and take my awareness there the next time i'm painting and see what evolves.

    hi joanie, yes, that's so it, isn't it? just creating our own style...

    hey eb... yeah, the process... and i think that maybe the process involved with faces is unique and vital. it seems that way... and i'm thinking of you...

    thank you, judy... and likewise... xo

  13. oooh! it's a 3rdEye! ok, you have to know that I know it has nothing to do with me, but thrills me just the same. :)

    I sooooo ADORE your faces & have always thought they were exactly who you wanted them to be - they are so expressive and vibrant, often thoughtful and/or mysterious. I hope that you continue with these even as you explore other tricks & techniques.

    as for hair ... I remembering my delight when I realized that it doesn't just hang in panels, but drapes all around the head (no space visible between the hair and the neck) ... simple concept, but huge realization.

  14. It is so great coming "face to face" with your process here. You have such a distinct and recognizable style and your faces all have so much personality. I have too many favorites among the group to list!!

  15. Lynne your faces "speak", and they are getting louder and louder. Love the progression...you are on your own unique journey here...just keep going. :)

    You are an absolute inspiration!

  16. Your faces are wonderful and unique Lynne and I love them!!! The nature theme that keeps recurring is obviously your "stamp". Just love the trees, grass etc. for hair and the beautiful colours.
    Dont think we need to give you any tips, they are great as they are. Love your individuality and spirituality.

    (loved seeing the older journal pages and your faces evolving).

    Jacky xox

  17. Lynne, your faces are amazing. What fun for me to watch them change.They are just so 'you', fantastic!
    I love horn headed fierce gal with oak leaf on forehead, what's her story?
    Smiling here, at all these wonders.xx

  18. These are wonderful faces...I love each one of them...so expressive. I just came across Anne Grgich's faces and I am fascinated by their emotional content. I admire your many efforts and willingness to see the natural changes. wow!
    I love the added teeth in the smile. I like painting hair but i don't have any special way...it's like combing and styling hair for me...it's the face that counts!

  19. well first of all I was going to say what was wrong with the original faces? One of my favourite Australian artists, early on, did weird hair on all her portraits, and I came to use it too.

    Anne Grgch is another of my faves too. Now I have had the pleasure of seeing your color work in the flesh, how do you get those amazing blends? Is it watercolor or pastel?? that is the thing that gets me... the blending.

  20. lol, michelle, i very much understand about the third eye! you have to understand how excited i was when i saw '3rdeyemuse' in the comments section on grrl's blog. ahhhh, i thought. a kindred spirit!! and yeah, about the hair hanging all around the head! it was a huge realization for me too! but i still didn't like the hair i drew after i got that...

    face to face, seth... that's good. : ) as always, thank you.

    thank you, jo... that means a great deal coming from you. xo

    hi jacky, thank you so much! yeah, somehow the antlers, grass, etc. are like antennae. i relate to them and the idea of antennae more than hair, although i suppose hair is a sort of antenna too...

    lol, annette, i don't know what horn headed oak leaf woman's story is! she's just what came out!

    hi mary ann, yes, for me too -- it's the face that counts... and do pour over anne's faces. they're wonderful and she lets them evolve in a very free and open way. i think that's what i took most from my time with her.

    hey grrl, oh it's not that i don't like weird hair -- i love weird hair, i just haven't found weird hair that *i* do that i like yet!

    the pages at the top of the post have oil pastels in the background, but the faces are painted with caran d'ache crayons. the rest are on watercolor paper and were painted with twinkling h20s. it's easy to blend the h20s, especially on good watercolor paper. the paper makes all the difference...

  21. i love those faces. unique and artistically done!

  22. Your perseverance, your passions have resulted in the evolution of your voice, your style, very uniquely yours. Fantastic to see this evolution.

  23. thank you very much, eliment! and thanks for stopping by!

    thank you, leslie... it was a bit scary showing them here... once i saw them all lined up i had second thoughts!

  24. I love them all sooooooooo much! Your painting is alive with energy and these faces just hummmm.
    thank you for sharing.

  25. Your faces are pure Lynne H. and I love them! They are transforming and as Jo says they speak and are getting louder and louder.
    If you do want a few tips my friend Dj at djsstudio.blogspot.com/ gives simple art lessons on her blog. She has done one on eyes and another on hands. You can suggest to her what you would like to do next.
    But the fact remains your faces are wonderfully whimsical. The little man with the red balloons is one of my favourites and looking at him I am thinking that if you changed anything it would be a tragedy.

  26. Hi Lynne, me again. Just wanted to let you know that you have been tagged on my blog.
    This is a bit of fun, and there is no obligation to play.
    The requirement is you post a picture of the 4th picture in the 4th folder on your computer and then ask four others to do the same.

  27. wonderful faces - it's good to see them altogether too

  28. I (who know nothing) don't think you need any help or techniques. Your style is fantastic and original. I love it. So there.


  29. thank you, leanne -- you are so kind!

    hi robyn, i'll try drawing eyes like DJ's... i like to try different eyes, noses, and lips to see how they affect the expression. it's fascinating to me!

    hey jacky -- okay, i'll do it!

    thanks kate... it was different for me to see them altogether like this...

    renee, can you see me smiling? i so appreciate your comments. xo

  30. I *adore* your faces, I have to say...I think maybe it was your icon that first caught my eye, actually!

    It's funny, I used to draw faces constantly...almost to the exclusion of anything else...but for whatever reason, I stopped.

    You may have inspired me to start back up again!


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