We all observe the things we see and make use of our sight but most people are not conscious of what they are seeing. An artist thinks of the texture of things, the way the light falls on a face, is it a shiny or dull finish, is it close or far away. An artist consciously studies the visual universe which includes the facial expressions of everyone we see every day. The living creatures in the world are the most interesting because they have changing facial expressions. Humans are most interesting because they react to other human beings who might be observing them.
An artist studies the human expression of another human being or, more exactly, their physical expression. Of course, the soul is in there somewhere, orchestrating the expressions, but how can an artist draw a soul? The physical expression is the only way to attempt to capture something that the soul is trying to express. I can be talking with someone and get so interested in their facial expression that the verbal conversation becomes non-existent. For an artist, a visual conversation has the power to consume a verbal conversation at any time.
Here below are a few images that are composites of people I have seen over many years of studying faces in the Southern United States. I call them “Louisiana Faces” because they were done while in Louisiana, where I was born and raised. They all come from my imagination and memory of faces I have seen or studied over many years. No one sat down for me to draw these faces. These characters may be based on observations of certain people with various titles or jobs. None of the drawings are of particular people.
The Louisiana Lawyer
Small Town Gossip
The Insurance Salesman
The Southern Partisan
Louisiana Faces Series by Ray Istre