Thursday, October 29, 2020

Facing the Devil

When I draw my faces, I usually post my progress to facebook, and have people guess who they might be. I recently drew John Oats of Hall and Oats where one guess was Al Pacino. Well the similarity was only with the goatee, but nevertheless, I added Pacino to my growing list of faces to draw. 

Before working on Pacino, I practiced a little more with proportions, and symmetry; particularly with the eyes. My drawing Anatomy book is great, but like a cook book, it makes it look so easy. Getting the face angle, the eyes looking the same way and looking in the same direction is very difficult. Replicating a twinkle in an eye, a dimple in a cheek, or a smirk that all form an expression is even more difficult. 

I was recently introduced to a famous portrait artist by a friend of mine who loves portraits. As much as I admired Lucien Freud, I really thought the artist himself had a very interesting face, so he is now on my list! To paint faces and capture real expressions like Freud did is a dream! 

Aspirations are important. Recently, I watched a youtube tutorial on drawing faces where the artists recommended practicing the features first and if you are a beginner, don’t start with faces. A small part of me deflated because I always try to run before I can walk. Practicing and learning along the way I believe is the only way. I practice features on their own and then build the face. I then refer to my Drawing Anatomy book which as a couple of methods on drawing faces. 

Sure I fall down a lot like I did with drawing Diana Rigg. We have to fail to learn. And I don’t even like the term “fail”. I see those not so good pieces as part of the journey. My work on John Oats led me to Pacino because of one guess. 

It just so happens that one of my favorite movies is “The Devil’s Advocate”... Al Pacino plays the character of the Devil, John Milton. Haha! Miracles of miracles, it just so happened that the Devil’s Advocate was on TV when I started drawing Al Pacino! After many times of watching that movie, I realized that the Pacino’s character’s name was John Milton, the poet who wrote “Paradise Lost” which of course is about the fall of man and the fallen angel Lucifer. The character John Milton is suave, sexy, and sophisticated who refers to God as an “Absentee Landlord”. I couldn’t agree more. I like the old devil.

I always think while I am watching John Milton, that if am going to worship anyone, I am going to worship someone who is sexy, gives me a lavish lifestyle, likes Frank Sinatra, and drinks good wine! What on Earth is evil about that? It’s his time, baby! 

Unlike God, the Devil aspires to create happiness where as God demands we suffer! The devil aspires too as explained in this line from the movie. 

 “ John Milton: Why not? I'm here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began. I've nurtured every sensation man's been inspired to have. I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him. In spite of all his imperfections, I'm a fan of man! I'm a humanist. Maybe the last humanist.” 

Well I know I am a humanist so, maybe that’s why I am attracted to the Devil aka as John Milton played by Al Pacino.

Seriously, I am an atheist so I believe in neither Satan nor God, but I do believe that practice makes perfect with drawing. And after all, the devil does not judge and accepts human flaws!

Al Pacino - Graphite pencils 

My photo Reference. 


Wiki has an excellent entry on the movie too. 


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