I’ve seen the posts for 29 Faces in May all over — Tam recently posted an in-progress video, Gulfsprite’s posting a photo of each day’s face, and others are showing them on Instagram and Twitter. As someone who just learned how to draw noses and finally feels confident enough to attempt more portraits in her journal, this seems like the perfect group event to join in order to practice and improve my drawings.
But I didn’t do my first face until last night.
Sitting on the lightrail platform, waiting for the next train to come through, I noticed my cell phone battery was a bit low. Not wanting to use it at all, afraid of being stuck downtown at First Friday without any way of contacting the outside world, I kept it tucked in my purse and pulled out the little graph paper notebook from Jill Bliss that I carry with me every once and awhile when I think I may have time to write or doodle while out.
I thought, why not doodle a face? There’s nothing else to do here, really! My friend hadn’t shown up, and even though all I had was one of my mechanical pencils in the bottom of my purse.
So I started sketching.
The thing is, I’m a few days behind despite a few false starts. I’m still new to sketching faces with all their features and proper shading, and can take days to get everything just right. And even then, I’m not completely happy with the results. I doubt myself. Resketch features that look “wrong.” Start coloring them and get stuck (I’m much more comfortable shading in black and white).
And part of the challenge, part of the fun, is sharing what you draw. The journal pages or paintings you create. I’ve been so scared to do any portraits because I didn’t want to post things that look “bad.”
Yes, even I get these feelings sometimes!
But what I learned last night, drawing though the night as I waited and rode the lightrail, I realized that this isn’t about doing 29 perfect portraits. It’s about working through them to create that one lovely, pleasing portrait near the end of the month.
What a wonderful opportunity to practice and hone my new skills! And to share that progression with others so they may build up the confidence to try something like this themselves!
I’m hoping to “make up” the first few days’ worth. For now, meet my first portrait, drawn at night, using what I had on hand — no fancy supplies, no paint. Just me and my will to learn, discover, and improve my skills.
Who’s with me?
PS. I post a lot of in-progress shots over on Instagram. You can follow on the web or add me: samanthakira (the images are also posted to my twitter stream).