Face Line Effect

Commence on the hair with the crayon point No. 2, and put in all the

shadows and half-shadows, carefully preserving the lines of direction,

but avoid working over the lights more than necessary; then with the

crayon point No. 1 strengthen all the shadows about the eyebrows, the

eyes, the mouth, the chin and the ears. Next put the lines in the face.

The following illustration shows the lines before they are rubbed. It

ll be well to remember that only two sets of lines are used in the

face, as shown in the illustration, and the same number in the dress,

while there are three sets required in the background. The lines in the

face should be a little closer than those in the background, while

those in the dress are about the same as those in the background.

In the effect of the lines in the face lie the chief merit and beauty

of this method of crayon work. When properly drawn, the lines represent

and give the grain of the flesh in a very beautiful broken effect. They

are drawn so as to leave spaces shaped like diamonds, but in the

finishing should be so treated as to lose their regularity, and to have

the effect of "broken diamonds." If you will examine the back of the

wrist joint when your hand is bent slightly backward, you will see more

clearly what is meant by the term "broken diamonds" in the slight

ridges which show the grain of the flesh. Begin with the forehead,

using the crayon point No. 1, and put in one set of lines straight

across, but curving downwards as the forehead commences to round off

towards the hair at the sides; then one more set of lines in the

direction that will produce the diamond spaces, continuing these two

sets of lines throughout the face. These lines intersecting at the

proper angles will indicate the grain of the flesh, if the line of

direction be carefully followed. Remembering that the face is not a

flat surface, make the lines darker in the shadows and lighter as they

approach the lights. The high lights on the forehead, the nose, the

highest point of the chin, and around the mouth, should, however, have

no lines over them.

Having put in these lines take a small handful of cotton, and rub the

hair and face over both the high lights and shadows, the motion

following the line of direction; that is, being straight across the

forehead, curving towards the hair at the sides, and circular on the

cheeks. Care should be exercised not to rub too hard, it being a common

fault of the beginner to rub the paper too much, and produce a dirty

effect. The lines should be merely rubbed until they are somewhat

blurred and indistinct. Remember that the crayon portrait is made on

the surface of the paper, and not rubbed into it. After it has thus

been treated with the cotton, go over the shadows with the crayon point

No. 1, and rub again with the cotton.

The face of the crayon will now be about three shades darker in the

lights than it should be when finished, and not quite dark enough in

the shadows. Finish it with the No. 0 crayon and nigrivorine eraser,

using the latter wherever a lighter effect is required; also break up

the regularity of the diamond spaces, and whenever a line shows too

prominently subdue it with the eraser.

If you would succeed in making good crayon portraits, it will be

necessary for you to cultivate a light touch with the crayon in


The eraser is one of the principal instruments employed in making

crayon portraits, and is used the same as if it were a crayon pencil,

that is, on that principle, the difference being that you make white

lines with it instead of black ones. Keep the eraser to a sharp point

in the following manner: take a piece of emery paper about three inches

square, and place it in the left hand between the index and second

fingers, holding the fingers about half an inch apart, and bending the

paper to fit between them; then rub the eraser in the crease thus

formed, holding it at an acute angle. Sometimes it is necessary to

sharpen the eraser with a knife or a pair of scissors before rubbing it

on the emery paper. In working with the eraser on the crayon paper do

not rub hard enough to remove all the crayon from the surface of the

paper, except in producing the high lights and the white of drapery.

Notice in particular in finishing the hair that where it touches the

forehead there are no lines, as the light and shade should blend

together so nicely as to leave no decided line between them.