If I knew a Picasso (On faces,eye contact, and faceblindness)

I’m trying to get over a fear.

A fear of drawing/painting faces.

Attempting to draw realistic faces is daunting because there is so much information in a face, especially around the eyes that if its missed, it just looks wrong. and I hate it.

I wonder often if it is somehow related to my inability to look someone in the eye and have a coherent conversation.  I will not speak for everyone with an autism diagnosis, but for myself, It’s a blinding amount of information to process AND communicate at the same time.

I also wonder if then that is why I am face blind when seeing a person outside of their natural context because I look at them so little.

Yet I love looking at pictures of faces, and faces on different media with no difficulties.

Faces are so very beautiful.

Though I have been making art almost my entire adulthood (some periods have been dry) I do not draw faces.

I’ve set myself the challenge of 40 fifteen minute contour face drawings, and 40 one hour pastel pieces focused on  shading/specific face parts. I am not making myself stick to every day, but I hope to complete it by the end of the summer and “level up” my drawing skills a bit.

I’ve been doing the quick contour drawings for a few days now, its really rough, but it’s helping me notice detail.

and this afternoon did my first 5/7 pastel try..

Tessa (5) watched me draw for a bit…
“Why is that eye green?”
“Everything looks better in green”
How come theres only one eyes???”
“Well I’m not very good at faces, they intimidate me really, so i thought, i should practice doing parts of faces, and i’d feel less worried about it.”
“Ohhhhhh mom. I know how to do faces! Look…

(she grabbed my oil pastels and a piece of my paper)

first, you need two eyes, and a nose….and a mouth…
Now we’ll color her in…”
Later she patted my cheek and told me to keep practicing.


Simplicity.  her name is miley. I like the rosey cheeks.


2 thoughts on “If I knew a Picasso (On faces,eye contact, and faceblindness)

  1. h4rrish4wk says:

    WOW – your drawing is really good. I’ve done a few sketches of people but I’m never completely happy with them.

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