Face it



Last week someone posted a question to me on my Facebook fan page asking advice on drawing faces. I've since emailed her a few tips and a book suggestion but I thought I'd share one of my tips to here with you. It's something that helped me, so I thought it was worth it to share and maybe you'd want to try it as well. What is it I'm talking about? Copying.
Let me elaborate. It started when was hired by Timex to do a bunch of illustrations. (Previous post here) They emailed me their previous style guide and I was extremely intimidated by the illustrations of the previous illustrator. I wasn't sure I was right for the job and if I could give them what they needed. Like a lot of artists and women I guess, I tend to be my biggest critique and often have a lot of self doubt. So I decided to copy, or as we used to do back in high school, do "a study" of his work to see if I could pull it off. (shown above)

It really helped me and gave me the encouragement I needed and changed the way I illustrated. I really liked how the lips came out and have since changed my technique with them. It also inspired the necklace and turtleneck I chose for this Marie Antoinette sketch for Material Girls blog.

I'm not saying to flat out copy, publish, sell, or even fully take credit for someone else's idea and creativity. It's just an exercise that I've found to be helpful, especially when it comes to things that can be difficult to figure out such as faces, hands and profiles. You just may teach yourself something new in the process!

Leave a Comment

Erin @ SYL: Slipcover Your Life said...

I can't believe we're neighbors! Let's do coffee soon! I want to hear how you do these amazing drawings!

Email me: slipcoveryourlife@gmail.com!

A. said...

Hi - thanks for the advice. I struggle so much with faces. Can you let me know what your book recommendation is? Thank you...I really love your work. =)

Brooke said...

Hi A-The book I recommend that has a really great chapter on faces is Illustrating Fashion Concept to Creation by Steven Stipelman. I previously blogged about it: http://fabulousdoodles.blogspot.com/2009/06/book-time.html

Marie said...

Hi Brooke, found your blog through BYW. I love your blog! Your drawings are amazing :)

.:JoaNNa:. said...

thanks for the tips! i also have problems in drawing faces. i truly adore your illustrations ;)

rainbowinthegloomysky.blogspot.com

leslie said...

Really great illustrations -wow love the hair styles-I am so impressed.

Brooke said...

Thanks Leslie, I can't take all the credit though, I did after all just copy them! =)

Roci said...

Hi Brooke, I truly love your designs and illustrations! Thanks for posting tips like this; it is great to see different techniques and learning styles. You are a very authentic person.

hautetherapy.com said...

Excellent tips. I use this technique myself. I am a big fan of Alfredo Cabrera and used some of his techniques for faces on a recent illustration which I used later as a blog post. You might appreciate this!

his work can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6t6gHrqUJ0&feature=related

and mine at:
http://hautetherapy.com/rainbow-bright

I would love your feedback! I highly respect and admire your work Brooke!

Jeca Martinez said...

I absolutely agree with this :) I remember when I was a kid I liked copying drawings I liked, and I guess that helped me practice my drawing skills a lot :)