Friday, August 17, 2007

Face Book


I collect faces the way a stamp collector collects stamps.

We just returned from a college orientation session. There were meetings and lectures and panel discussions, but I was never bored because I had my “face book.” That’s what I call my little pocket sketchbook, which is only 4 x 6 inches, small enough to be fairly inconspicuous. Above are two sample pages, with a 25 cent coin for scale.

At that size, all you can capture is the basic shape of the hair, the shape of the head, and the placement of dashes or dots for the features. But that’s all you need. In fact those simple elements are the foundation of what makes each person a unique and distinctive character. Can you tell which is the police captain and which is the chemical engineering professor?

8 comments:

Kristina said...

What a brilliant idea that is, bringing a little sketchbook along and sneakily sketching! I can't believe I had not thought of doing such a thing myself. Hope you don't mind me "borrowing" your idea and finding myself a "face book" of my own!

James Gurney said...

Let me know how the sneaky sketching works for you, Kristina. I often get accused of not paying attention when I sketch people at meetings. But the weird thing is, I actually listen better.

K_tigress said...

Yeah, I'm the same way. If I don't have something to sketch on while listening to a lecture of some sort, my mind tends to go into daydream mode. Haaha

Use to dive my teachers crazy when I doodled all the time at school. Drove them even crazier when I turned circled answers in to creatures.

Anonymous said...

Can I guess that the police-officer is the one on the bottom left?

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Your face sketches are so good! When I was in college, I used to sketch all of the students in my classes during the lectures. It actually focused me rather than distracted me, but my professors never believed me until I proved I was a straight A student. Then they wanted to see the sketches. ;)

James Gurney said...

Anonymous, you're right. The cop was the guy on the lower left.

Maggie, glad to hear of someone else who doodled while listening to lectures.

n0ireclipse said...

Awww, how adorable! I'm going to creep into one of your meetings to get drawn.

And in my experience, it's rather awkward when people find out you're drawing them.

Romina said...

whos the engineer?? third person bottom left-right?? I'm a huge fan of urs Mr. Gurney. Love illustration because of u. even do some copies off ur book. my dream is to meet u someday and get ur autograph :-D love from Brazil,
Romina