Hairdos, Noses, Ears—You Know: Everything about Sketching

May 19, 2012

Above: Pentel Pocket Brush Pen sketch with gouache layers on blue paper (see left side of image for paper color).

Have you ever noticed how on TV some shows, even shows that you believe must have a large budget EVERYONE has the same hairstyle? Sometimes all the actors, regardless of gender look as if they've walked through the same wind tunnel.

I know some of this is related to what's in style in the broader culture at the time. But part of this phenomenon is also simply "the" style of the leading stylist. Sometimes instead of giving everyone a haircut based on what their character would do a stylist gives the hairdo he or she thinks is needed. It's not the same thing at all. 

I'm was watching one of those shows the other night and when I started sketching yet another man with the same hairdo I couldn't stop laughing. 

But then I guess it's working because the spiky hairstyle is what got me to stop and want to sketch in the first place—that and noses and ears.

In our final memory drawing class we did a slew of stuff, but one thing we did was play a "parlor game" where you have a folded sheet of paper and someone draws a nose on the first panel and passes it left. That person has 30 seconds to look at the nose, fold over the panel and redraw the nose from memory. Then the sheet of paper gets passed along again. This time the only reference for the next participant is the previous participant's interpretation of that nose. And so it goes. (There were 9 of us each starting a sheet and passing it on.)

Well when asked to draw a nose, any nose, of course I asked, "should there be any context? any part of the face?" It was left up to us.

So when asked to draw a nose of course I drew Adam Goldberg's nose. (At the link scroll down to the final images of him in profile, that's the nose I drew.) After passing through eighteen 30-second interpretations the nose derived from the nose I drew didn't even look like the nose on the park ranger in Yogi Bear!

It's a fun thing to try.

But I'd rather draw real noses—speaking of which Adam Goldberg is on a new cop show "NYC-22" which is on Fridays I believe. I'm not sucked into it yet after only a couple episodes (and too many characters for me to care about) and it's nothing like the fabulous show he was in called "the Unusuals" that was cancelled (where all the characters were immediately interesting), but I will continue to watch. I love opportunities to draw noses with character. Or ears.

Get a long, long sheet of paper and fold it into panels so that all the folds peak on the same side of the sheet (and therefore each panel can just be folded away out of view). Have everyone start a sheet with the leftmost panel and pass it on. After 30 seconds the "reference" has to be folded out of view and a remembered nose is drawn on the next blank panel. Then pass it to the next player. Keep the drawing simple, with bold lines. (A thick pen or the PPBPB would be ideal.) See what happens. 

  1. Reply

    I’m not a TV buff, but if you haven’t already, rent the series ‘Da Vinci’s Inquest’. I think Nicholas Campbell has one of the most interesting faces on the tube. Ian Tracey ain’t bad either!

  2. Reply

    Jill, I will check it out. (and before I forget, I haven’t been to the post office—too many disruptions—but soon!) Thanks for the heads up about fun faces!

    • Margo
    • March 26, 2013

    If you like to draw noses and ears, you really want to watch some British tv shows. I had a blast sketching my way through the Vicar of Dibley and countless others, plus there are some crazy cool eyebrows on some of the men. Too too fun. Vera, I had lots of fun sketching people from Vera, and the shows were interesting to watch too.

  3. Reply

    Margo, you must not have been reading the blog very long. I love British TV. And love sketching the Dibley folks

    Especially, no, no, no, uh, no, ah, Yes Jim

    Don’t know Vera though. I’ll have to watch out for that.

    I do a lot of the British Mysteries on PBS. Inspector Lewis is one of my favorites as I love sketching the two main actors.

    I’ve got at least one British face coming up in the next few posts!

  4. Reply

    Margo, after I wrote my response to you I went to read my current book—Crow Trap—I think that’s it, by Anne Cleeves, and it said Vera on it as a TV series so I’m thinking you must mean the show about her detective named Vera. I haven’t seen that shown anywhere, but thought I might try to get the DVDs because I love Brenda Blevin (sp?) and I think she’s the actress who plays Vera. I thought it was funny I was read that book where her character is introduced.

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