Physiognomy

Due to an incredibly inconvenient virus, of which we have heard far too much about, I have had time to study something I find terrifying – drawing faces.  I have thankfully remained employed, but my education has gone digital.  I need not describe to you the trials of an online studio class, however, I have found that this time at home provides more opportunities to be creative.

I have attempted to draw faces in the past, but the results were far from flattering to the poor souls whose faces were sacrificed.  This time, I meant to make a serious study out of it, and I found a few faces that were interesting enough to hold my attention.

Physiognomy is the study of faces, but especially in correlation to deriving character based upon an appearance.  This is extremely important in portraiture, as it is necessary to get more than lines and shadows across to the viewer.  Because it is difficult to draw human character, I selected three faces that undoubtedly exhibited unique personalities.

I have no idea who this man is, but he seems to have seen a lot and had a quiet personality.  Almost as though he were the type who spoke only when necessary.

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This man had a very strong character and is here depicted peacefully, only because he is dead.  It is a drawing of Napolean’s death mask.

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This is dying Achilles.  While it is, of course, not an actual rendering of Achilles, the artist (who happens to be Ernst Herter) who sculpted the face obviously took great pains to depict the emotions he believed would be felt during one’s own death.

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