Dubuffet’s painting below manages to be captivating, humourous and disturbing all at the same time. It also serves as inspiration for this project which is about exploring the face in a playful way. Formal proportions are set aside in favour of deliberate distortions, whimsical expressions and a simple desire to doodle faces.

Affluence by Jean Dubuffet, 1961. Image: http://www.squidoo.com/dubuffet


  • paper or sketchbook
  • pencil and eraser
  • pencil crayons
  • textured papers
  • blending stump


1. Have a look at the images provided above and below, as well as the people around you. Notice how there are variations in face size and shape, from one person to another; round, oval and square are all there. Now grab your sketchbook or some paper, and begin drawing face shapes/outlines in pencil as shown in the first photo, making sure not to leave too much room between them.

2. Next come the details by adding eyes, noses, ears, and mouths. Variations in their size, shape and angle will help you create different expressions. You can decide if you would like to add further details like hair, hats, glasses and so on.

3. It’s time to add colour to your doodles. This can be done using any medium you choose like paints, oil pastels, pencil crayons or markers. You can add some subtle texture by placing textured paper underneath your paper and gently rubbing with the side of your pencil or pencil crayon. Remember, there is no right or wrong when doodling. It’s simply a relaxed and informal way of exploring a theme, and expressing some of your ideas.

Other interesting groups of faces:

Colin Curd About To Play by Michael Snow. 1953. Image: http://www.ccca.ca/artists



Filed under doodling, drawing

5 responses to “Faces

  1. I confirm, thats the best excercise for “making characters”. But remember dear reader! It’s a little bit like a drug. When you start making charaters, persons, faces, you will not be able to stop so easily. I’m addicted. Yes I am…

  2. I agree. Same with doodling in general. It’s wonderful for generating ideas and highly addictive.

  3. Hi ! If you want look at my blog , one of my work is about faces 🙂 the name is AMAZULU , http://www.chiaraforesti.blogspot.it enjoy !

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