Abstract Face | Portrait of Lines and Color

This is an abstract face entitled “Portrait of Lines and Color”. The artwork is approximately 11″x13″ on card stock paper, drawn and painted with markers, pens, watercolor, and paint pens. A few wisps of silver and gold paint pens were also used to give the drawing a shimmer from different viewing angles. The shimmer does not show up in the digital reproduction.

The accompanying video shows the drawing and painting process in a time lapse format. The video recording process offers a clear reminder of how the drawing looked during various stages of creation. And I think some very interesting images appear throughout the process that lend a certain experience, age, and depth to the final portrait.

Abstract Portrait - Face of Lines and Color

29 Replies to “Abstract Face | Portrait of Lines and Color”

  1. The color palette on this one is fantastic. Really rich deep values. And your absolutely right. The face evolves from so many faces that come first. I love that the eyes look off – in contemplation. In the midst of the chaos of lines , the expression contradicts it’s make up by being soothing.

    Although I’m sure that each is different, what is the actual time span from beggining to end on a work like this one?

  2. Thank you Vikki!

    The Portrait of Lines and Color consisted of about 30 minutes of actual drawing/painting time.


  3. woaw your work is actually amazing i just so happened to come across your site and fell inlove with your pieces
    your colours are absolutely beautiful and very expressive indeed
    infact im using you for my written contextual artist cause your work is really inspiring
    you best get me a good gcse grade :p aahhaaa
    no, really keep up the good work!
    youre amazing 🙂


  4. Thanks nish! I appreciate your comments on my artwork and am glad to hear you are inspired! Good luck with your artistic pursuits, and grades! 😉


  5. hey, just looking on the internet for inspiration for my GCSE coursework piece and i’m so lucky i found your site!
    we have to develop our self portraits into a “final design” which expresses us, the way you use all the wild strokes and all the energy is awesome.
    I would love a hint as to how you go about starting a drawing like this as i think i’ll use you (if it’s okay) as my inspiration.
    cheers, look forward to reading any comment back you can make. i love this easy feedback box you have

  6. Hi Will,
    Thanks for your interest in my work! I’m glad you have stumbled upon inspiration!

    My initial response to your question is to say start wherever you want! 😉 There’s no right or wrong way, but I suspect some methods will be more fun or challenging than others.

    When I draw faces the eyes are very important to me. Initially, I would make very minimalistic face sketches. Learning how the placement of the eyes, nose, and mouth affects the final image is interesting, and the viewer is encouraged to “imagine” the rest of the portrait.

    Or you could start by laying down scribbles and blocks of color, and building a face out of that. Or mix the techniques, constructing something more organic and abstract. You may even find a method that works just for you. It’s up to your creativity, and what you want to explore! 😉

    If you’d like more insight into my own spontaneous and varied style, check out the portrait drawing videos.

    Good luck with your artistic pursuits!


  7. Michael your work is truly amazing
    i live in england and stumbled across your website months ago. i found that your work was insperational
    i am now using you as my artist study for my GCSE

    continue the awsome work

    and I got an A* for my final peice of which was based on your work so thank you

  8. Hi james,
    That’s awesome! I’m delighted to hear you were inspired, and congratulations on the A! If you post your work online, feel free to send a link.

    Good luck with your artistic pursuits as well! 🙂


  9. well it seems more than just me take inspiration from you. i’ve done a first draft and it looks okay, but i havent quite mastered covering the page in colour or adding the right blacks/building depth into the image. i watched the videos and they’re a great help.
    i’m sure it will develop, thanks for the reply

    keep up the good work, you have a great style

  10. one thing i did mean to ask… as in the above drawing… is it a marker you use to lay down the facial features or what? ive tried with oil pastel and paint, doesnt quite work as a base layer.

  11. Hi Will,
    I’m glad to hear you are learning a lot from your art making process. Sometimes when I lay down base blocks of color I use thick markers or colored pencils. They seem to be more flexible than watercolors/paint, there’s no drying time, and I can draw over the colors easier. The oil pastels repel water based mediums, which adds an interesting challenge to working with them.

    Thanks again for your interest, and good luck!


  12. I looked up green envy, doing a blog about jealousy in my show biz family (John Cullum is my husband). Saw your remarkable, powerfully active portrayal of the madness, pain, curiosity of it.
    Can I use it (small, interspersed in a paragraph) on a post I’m doing June 12?
    I suspect the answer is NO, but my compliment is sincere

  13. Hi Emily,
    Thank you for your interest in my artwork. I have emailed you privately about your request.


  14. hey, it’s me again, just posting to say i took your advice, used you as my main artist research because you inspired me so much and came out with an A* coursework project for my graphics GCSE. cheers.

  15. Hi Will,
    Thanks for the update on your coursework, and congratulations on the A! 🙂

    I clicked the link to check out your work, but the page says I need a password? Can’t wait to see your art.


  16. Thanks Will!
    I like the bold lines and colors, and the solid forms emerging from all the chaos. You took on a new style fearlessly, and I admire your effort. Your strength is visible. And I like your other sketches too, nice work! 🙂


  17. Hi , I have waited until retirement to take up art
    found your site by accident and have to say your work is just amazing , and allthough i am nearly 70 ,you are inspiring, keep up the good work.

  18. Wow! I really love the way you draw, and how you make the face emerge from all of those lines 🙂

    I hope you don’t mind, but I used your influence for an artwork (I must have an artist’s influence in each one) that I have to do for my IB art class.
    Actually, when I saw your work I got inspired and I finally got a topic for my work 🙂 I’m going to represent the Big-Bang explosion (all of the lines you draw made me think about explosions)

    Thank you so much for publishing you art here 🙂
    and good luch with everything you do.


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