Interested in purchasing artwork? Please leave comment with your email address. I'll contact you.
CV & work availabel at "Stylefile."

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sadami's Drawing Methods of Faces & Figures

Hi, Friends, thank you for a great patience for my post and warm support! Also, thank you for a big interest in my recent post, "Networking, Illustrator's Essential Skills." I'll update a picture book illustration process and its useful information from time to time. Stay tuned. 

BTW, how do you draw a face (and a figure)? 

Where do you start drawing a face? I've realised my drawing process -- could be -- quite different from others(?!). "Being very flexible" is one of my most strengths in drawing figures.

1) Start from Eyes
I always start drawing eyes, never draw a face line. As my model is moving around all the time, eyes and a nose are more important than any other elements to capture a person's uniqueness and mood in composition. Often a model turns a face. Me, too, change a face's angle on paper, if necessary. As long as eyes and a nose are successfully captured, a face comes up well and lively. In my experience, to capture a model's uniqueness is essential in a portrait.

Below, I love a story time best in library activitiesIn sketching, I drew a daughter's eye first, just focused on a-daughter-and-a-mother and simplified a rest. "The sketch looks lovely and really captures the essence of reading and bonding with children over stories," is librarians' feedback on spot. Parramatta library will hang my sketch on a wall. What a great honour and joy! Probably, this sketch is the most beautiful scene we hope to see in a daily life. Particularly, it's a bliss for a picture book illustrator to see a family happiness in reading. Picture books and drawings bring joy!  
This sounds strange though, I "correct" my drawing mistakes in colour or value. Yes, for me, loose lines are enough as long as they are catching the most important elements = I do not care too much about incorrect drawings and really want to move onto colour. My mentor Ann James says, "You're a painter rather than a drawer." It quite makes sense to me. What about you, Friends?

2) End Up Drawing Face Lines
...and my finishing touch is drawing a "face line." The "strongest impression" helps me and it comes up. Or if my sketch depicts the most fascinating moment, it's successful. Otherwise, it becomes dull.  

Below, I sketched a sketch club member enjoying lunch. She mostly faced an opposite direction or faced downward to a table. Her eyes and qute lips(only for a moment stayed like that way) amused me. I patiently awaited her face expression most I had wanted for. Only a few seconds, she made it again! I snatched it on paper like a hunter in a jangle! It was a challenge and fun to paint her with a help from my "memory/impression." 

Friends, how do you finish up sketching a figure? 
Regarding a body, I start anywhere that interests me most. I do not have a specific order to draw a body. So, the sketch above, her "hands" fascinated me most and I drew them and moved on shoulders. The point was balancing between a head and hands in composition. Do you have any order such as from "top to bottom"? 

Well, "out of order" seems to my methods?!! I assume "being very flexible" is one of my most strengths in drawing figures. It's not methodical, very handy and free to capture people. 

3) Under a Heaven There's a Season  
Choose your most favorite medium and loving subjects, especially, when you get stuck. Listen to your heart. Without joy, no one can go on. 

I've started daily sketching figures at anywhere for these ?? years (you can put any number and have fun?!). Oh, believe me, quick sketching was so tough at the beginning. How many times I felt like giving up! Too slow to draw a person. How could I put colours, even I could not draw a figure? 

But I could not give up my wish. I wanted to sketch people in a few minutes and to capture movements. I kept on sketching anyhow and gradually speeded up sketching. It excited me so much = I saw my improvement on paper and enjoyed it. Now, today, you know how I sketch people. So, I'd say, "Friends, never give up and just keep up." 

Before starting this blog, you do not know how many "copy papers" I had wasted! Oh, I used both sides and kept on drawing, drawing, drawing! I did black and white for many years and moved onto colours. I used coloured pencils before getting into watercolour. Very interesting finding is "I'm NOW in the season of colour and watercolour." I feel like playing with colours more than monochrome work. I know once, I loved b&w more than colour! I feel it's important to listen to my own heart and to know what I really want to do and do it! 

When I'm lost in art, I always keep drawing, drawing, drawing. I go back to black and white sketching and life drawing. Drawing always pulls me back and gives me a new horizon to challenge. Although this sounds contradicted, I try something new all the time (life drawing members said so and I've realised!) I'm trying a direct painting on paper without drawing. Not easy, but these are fun and labour pains! I feel I've begun to emphasise a personality more in figures, too.  

Friends, please be kind to yourself. Step by step one goes far. Just keep on drawing and make tons of messes. Then, you'll get better and better! Don't forget to "enjoy" drawing. Otherwise, we cannot go on.
Also, if you do not mind, let us exchange a chat over how you draw figures. Chats will be fun and mutual encouragement, too.  

Now, the one hand is nearly healed. Thank you for warm cheers. Please let me be lazy more for blogging.  

Friends, Happy Painting!!! 



  1. Querida Sadami,este nuevo post lleno de ideas para pintar es una alegria,. Estoy contenta que tu mano este recuperada, y de ver que tu entusiamo por el dibujo y la pintura crece día día. Y nos comunicas ese entusiasmo.
    Que decir de los dibujos? llevan tu firma, No me extraña que pusieran tu dibujo en la libreria, es un homenaje a la lectura, viendo como inculca el amor a los libros la madre al hijo.
    Cuidate mucho.

    1. ¡ Gracias a, Tina! Todavía mi lebow izquierdo tiene un dolor pero voy mejorando. Me gustaría trabajar en pintura. Espero que mi trabajo será transmitir amor, esperanza y felicidad a los demás. También, por favor tenga cuidado y disfruta de dibujo más!!
      El amor y la sonrisa, Sadami

      Thank you very much, Tina! Still my left lebow has a pain though, I'm getting better. I'd like to work on painting. I hope my work will convey love, hope and happiness to others. You, too, please take care and enjoy drawing more!!
      Love and smile, Sadami

      >>>> Tina said...
      Dear Sadami, this new post full of ideas to paint is a joy. I am glad that your hand this recovered, and see that your enthusiasm for drawing and painting grows day. And we communicate that enthusiasm.
      What to say about the drawings? they bear your signature, No wonder they put your picture in the library, it is a tribute to the reading, watching as mother instilled the love of books to the child.
      Cuidate much.

  2. Oh what a lovely painting of Mum and Daughter reading, you have captured the tenderness beautifully. I just cannot paint faces and it is so interesting to hear how you go about it, thank you for sharing. Interesting that you start with the eyes. Take care of yourself.

    1. Oh, kind Polly, thank you! I know you love joking and you can draw faces. In my experience, a face line was most difficult, because a model was moving! So, I started an "upside down" methods and it works out for me. Find your own way!
      Still my left lebow has a pain though, I'm getting better. Thank you so much!!!
      Kind regards, Sadami

  3. Dear Sadami:) Long time ago! I wanted to thank you for thinking of me in your prayers. So sweet! I started to paint again. For now only with my left hand but soon it will be with my (better) right hand:)
    I enjoyed all the lovely paintings you have made last months and I will follow you again. Have a nice week! Big Hugs:)xxx

    1. Yes, you've been in my prayer. Yes, you've started drawing with a left hand. Renate, please take care and promise me to put your health first. Close a computer and take a rest well. Full recovering takes a lots of time. Let's encourage each other. Best wishes, Sadami

  4. Hola, Sadami. Dibujas y escribes maravillas llenas de ternura y sensibilidad. Dan ganas de coger inmediatamente los colores. Muchas gracias por compartir tu sabiduría y tu arte. Y muchas felicidades por este bello post. No hay un solo trazo que no transmita y se proyecte. Un fuerte abrazo!!

    1. Oh, dulce J.Paz,
      ¡¡Muchas gracias!! Su amable comentario me da energía positiva para seguir adelante. Sus simples, pero fuertes pinturas tienen un encanto y la comodidad de los espectadores. Tengo ninguna duda J.Paz, eres una dama de amor! Sigue haciendo un trabajo maravilloso y hacer feliz a la gente!! Besst deseos, Sadami

      Oh, sweet J.Paz,
      Thank you so much!! Your kind comment gives me positive energy to move on. Your simple, yet strong paintings have charm and comfort viewers. I have no doubt J.Paz, you're a lady of love! Keep up wonderful work and make people happy!! Besst wishes, Sadami

      >>> J.Paz said....
      Hello, Sadami. You draw and write wonders full of tenderness and sensitivity. Dan wanted to immediately take the colors. Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom and your art. And congratulations for this beautiful post. There isn't a single stroke that does not transmit and to project. A big hug!

  5. I always love seeing your drawings Sadami. You capture people so well. Wishing you all the best.

    1. Ann, thank u so much! I love sketching people!! I'm getting better. You, too, please take care.
      Best wishes, Sadami

  6. be kind to yourself and make tons of messes ! lots of sound advice and experience ... very informative post have a good w-e sadami ...

    1. Thank u, Jane! Yes, "b kind to myself=love myself properly" is most precious lesson learned from my psychology study. I do it in drawing, too. It motivates me to run this blog. I want anyone to appreciate each any achievement in daily life. In my process, a good work comes up from "coincidence." Cheers, Sadami

  7. The way you capture people is really beautiful, Sadami! Wonderful to read about your methods! I too like to draw only a few lines and turn to paint very soon, making ajustments in colour, just like you do. It is reassuring to me that you do that too. I am glad your hand is getting better!

  8. Thank u, Judy. "Work on your style," is my advice. Explore every direction in your style -- paradox, you'll find yourself "no limit" in abilities. I'm enjoying playing with colours now.
    The hands slowly get well. As long as I can enjoy doodle, I'm happy! Cheers, Sadami