Face study: Mayowa Nicholas

©2016, Emma Pittson. “Mayowa Nicholas Face Study”, Photoshop, 2016.

My first Superheroine painting went rather well, despite the fact that I never had an actual model in front of me at any point in time (this is all coming up in a future post, btw – I’m a little out-of-sequence).  The whole thing was cobbled together from images from vintage fashion magazines, the internet, etc.  A Franken-picture, if you will.  And because I wanted realistic shadows on the face, I used my own face as reference.

As I said, it came together nicely, but the gotcha! is that… I can’t very well use my own face as reference every single time.  I know that some artists do, but I want to paint and draw as many different faces as I can.  Once again, my old animator instincts are kicking in, screaming “Make each face unique!  Give each one it’s own personality!”.  If I were to REALLY let my animator instincts take over, I would also have to 1) name each face, 2) come up with a compelling backstory, and 3) write a mini character bible that outlines how each Superheroine would act in a variety of different scenarios, such as dining at the White House, trekking through Nepal, or dealing with tangled Xmas tree lights.  For now, I’m going to draw the line at naming them (although I will take suggestions for their superpowers).

Anyways, my second Superheroine painting kinda died on the vine because trying to paint a face using poor references is teeth-gnashingly frustrating, and very nearly drove me to drink in my darker moments.   Serves me right for trying to take artistic short-cuts.

So here’s a small face study of model Mayowa Nicholas, Nigerian Elite Model winner and total cutie-pie.  She’s a part of the inspiration/reference material that I’m gathering at the moment for the third Superheroine painting that may or may not have been influenced by the video below.

I don’t know about you, but I could listen to this tune on repeat all day.  I could also watch this video all day, not only because Darlene Love is awesome, but because the young man in the tree (at 1:06) seems to have gone off his meds.

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