How Many Lines Does it Take to Draw a Pretty Face?

Fewer than you think. Although they have to be the right lines.

Picasso was famous for simple line drawings of animals.

But drawing a human face is more complicated, correct? Ever tried? I have never gotten proportions right, a murderously difficult job.

This detail is from from Starwatcher II, a 1985 work of Möebius, Jean Giraud. It’s a beautiful face, in fact, Möebius said it was “wonderfully evocative” and he could “see how someone could fall in love with that face.” But why?

Giraud didn’t say if this was a man or a woman. Those arms belong to a major league football or rugby player. He admits the legs aren’t right, either. And despite the complexity of Star Gazer’s outfit, there’s an amazing economy of line to the face.


The eyes don’t seem right, however, upon close inspection. The pupils seem pointed in different directions. Yet, that doesn’t seem to matter from the viewing distance normally taken.

This reminds me of Bardot, who had faint lines to her face. No strongly developed aquiline nose or prominent cheekbones. Stargazer doesn’t have either. Maybe those are more Aryan preferences and not universal. Is there something to this?

Hmm. Picasso, Giraud, Bardot. All French. More later.

About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer specializing in outdoor subjects, particularly rocks, gems and minerals.
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