Bearded faces – large


After drawing the miniature versions of men with beards I decided it would be interesting to explore them in a much larger format, but keeping the shapes simple and graphic. As I drew them, I found that my focus was drawn to the men’s eyes, and the beards became almost peripheral, although their moustaches remained an integral part of defining the character in each face. Too much detail of clothing, or even hair became unnecessary, so I put in just enough to anchor the face down without distracting from the main objective.

As I worked, I was surprised at the difference from the miniature versions, which are much more complete portraits, I feel these are more about capturing emotion – and this has turned out to be quite dark, no smiles.

The main tool I used was a Pentel Brush Pen, which makes wonderful, sweeping, almost calligraphic marks, and can be controlled to make marks as fine as a hair to a heavy, thick brush stroke. The shadow detail was made using an extra fine Rotring Art Pen for consistent fine hatching. Each drawing is roughly 33 x 25 cm.

Author: anna warren portfolio

I draw, I paint, I am a printmaker. Always searching for the interesting detail in the world around me.

16 thoughts

    1. Thanks Cathe! These ones actually are on paper (my less than professional photography gives a grey tinge to the paper!). I used a very smooth surface so I did manage to get the smooth flow with the brush pen that I got on the drafting film.


  1. Yes, these are darker than the tiny portraits. Especially the top drawing brings to my mind the big portraits chiselled (or blasted) into the mountains in America (Mount Rushmore). There is something solid and mammoth about some of your lines – hence I think of stone. Unsurprising for you, these men are a little scary; guys I wouldn’t want to meet on a dark night. Of course they could simply be deep in intellectual thought – or depressed – depending perhaps on the mental state of the viewer.


    1. I can see what you mean about the monumental quality of these. I have them lying on the floor of my studio and every time I look at them, they look back with an impenetrable stare. I don’t find them scary, but they are stern, uncompromising. I prefer to think of them as deep in thought, or even angry, rather than depressed but one of the endlessly fascinating things about art is the interpretations that different people make on particular pieces.


  2. So expressive and impressive faces, the beards make it indeed even more expressive and impressive! I love that these drawing have the impression of existing only from one line, such fluidity…does that make sense? xo Johanna


    1. That makes perfect sense Johanna! Its a really interesting observation, and I can see exactly what you mean. Its the pen I have to thank for the fluidity of line, its a real pleasure to use – I used to work in flowing line a long time ago, and have moved away from it, so I am really enjoying coming back to it again. Thank you so much! x

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