This is a 9″x12″ drawing of a human face created with oil pastels and watercolor. I originally saw a similar face in a dream, but the expression was agitated. Most dreams fade after waking up, but this one didn’t. I couldn’t get the image out of my mind because the face was so vivid, detailed, and there were lingering emotions attached to the piercing stare. So I decided to draw the face and personify what I saw. The process led to some interesting insights about myself.

As I drew I was able to attribute the irritability in the face to events in my life. The more I began to explore my feelings, the further my anxiety dissipated. Simultaneously, the expression on the face lightened as I smeared and smudged the pastel and watercolor around the paper. The entire experience was an interesting exercise in self awareness, and pulling subconscious thoughts to the conscious mind with refreshing results.

People spend roughly a third of their lives sleeping, with a daily transition between the two states of being. In what ways do you relate your dream life to your waking life?

Impressionistic Drawing of a Human Face

Impressionistic Drawing of a Human Face | Dreaming Awake

21 thoughts on “Impressionistic Drawing of a Human Face | Dreaming Awake

  • October 27, 2008 at 8:39 am
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    Hi there,
    Am an artist from Kenya and I enjoyed reading your blog.I like the way you use the line to express form.Am working on a similar style but in total abstraction.I’ll be posting the paintings soon.Check my site any moment.Thanks.

  • October 27, 2008 at 1:34 pm
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    Fantastic piece. My dreams are so ephemeral – so hard to hang on to once awake. I sometimes hold onto images – single things – like Saturday night – I was being chased, somehow, by a scorpion that looked more like a plastic toy than a threatening beast – and yet I knew it for what it was. The image I have stuck in my mind is one of that scorpion twisting over to one side, with one claw in the air, like a puppy would, being playful.

  • October 29, 2008 at 9:16 pm
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    Hi William,
    Thanks for your interest in my artwork. I tried your link, but it appears your site is “not found”. I would enjoy seeing your work if you post again with a working link. πŸ™‚

  • October 29, 2008 at 9:20 pm
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    Hi Lou,
    The contradiction of a playful scorpion in your dream sounds really interesting. And the I like the imagery it evokes! I’ve never heard anything like that before. A creature normally feared, but presenting itself playful as puppy. I like it. πŸ™‚

  • October 30, 2008 at 11:39 am
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    It feels so gud to dream, esp when we r deep asleep! though im really bad in recollecting them !!!
    There r cetain dreams which u want to recollect, cauz they say dreams do have a meaning….cauz we all dream of wats in store for us…or rather wat destiny has in store for us…..
    The dream which you have had here,….reflects the movements of life,….its highs and lows,…how you have emerged out…. and wats destined to happen, somehow…
    But they say , our destiny changes wid our thoughts, we shall become wat we wish to become, do wat we wish to do,when our habitual thoughts correspond with our desires.
    Here you have put your thoughts in ur creation n have further destined yourself, n emerged out as a wonderful artist once again!!!
    Great,work!!!!
    God Bless !!

  • October 30, 2008 at 6:06 pm
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    Hi Michael,
    The image is really cool and interesting. You’ve actually created something that looks almost like the fractal imagery we’d render in 3D objects- with the light and shadow and angular shapes. It looks like it could move to me!

    As far as dreams go, I really can’t remember anything that stuck with me recently. Although when I was a kid I had recurrent dream that used to terrify me and I still remember it very clearly. I was in a small room with no way to get out. In front of me was a large ball of yarn that was spoiling it self into a larger and larger ball. It became so huge that it was crushing me. Silly huh? But it scared me to no-end as a kid.
    Vikki

  • October 30, 2008 at 8:45 pm
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    Hi umesh,
    I know exactly what you mean, and I think you have eloquently expressed a gift of life. πŸ˜‰ Thank you for your thoughts and the reminder of the power of intention!
    ~Michael

  • October 30, 2008 at 8:53 pm
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    lol, “cohort in crime”!

    You are amazing… what I thought was only visible to me, you can see! (And this isn’t the first time.) The fractal imagery you mention was the EXACT movement I saw in the dream, extruding from the face with motion. I never thought anyone would see that… I’m speechless, and from a certain perspective feeling a bit more vulnerable than I anitcipated.

    Thinking about your dream though, I really find the contradiction of a soft, generally playful object intensifying itself to an overwhelming degree to be very interesting. The imagery is powerful, even as an adult.

    ~Michael

  • October 31, 2008 at 3:28 pm
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    I love dream based art, are you familiar with Jim Shaw’s project? He draws his dream every morning when he wakes up, very interesting + strange drawings. You can see his work at Metro Pictures Gallery in New York City, they have a website if you google it.

  • November 3, 2008 at 11:01 am
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    Hi Bill,

    I had not heard of Jim Shawn before. I will check him out. Sounds like a very interesting concept for the impetus of a body of work! πŸ˜‰

    ~Michael

  • November 3, 2008 at 7:57 pm
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    Hi Michael,
    The fractals are the first thing I saw. ‘Me thinks’ we’ve got some cyber psychic connection going.

    Isn’t my dream weird! ? And I’m sure you’d guess I do tend to be a bit claustrophobic as an adult. Has to be related.

    And BTW- I’ll send you something on what we’ve been talking about before the week’s out.
    I still have your notes.
    Vikki

  • November 4, 2008 at 8:08 pm
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    Hi Vikki!
    I think that’s really cool! The connection and your dream! πŸ˜‰

    I’m off to visit your blog now. πŸ™‚

  • November 14, 2008 at 6:55 am
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    This drawing is very lovely. The artist make good drawing. The picture of men.

  • November 15, 2008 at 10:10 am
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    Thank you Nazia. πŸ™‚

  • December 15, 2008 at 10:00 pm
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    love it good work.

    and people i want feedback on my art i think is alright just tell me what you think ;)))!!!!!

  • December 27, 2008 at 3:51 pm
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    Thanks kelly! πŸ™‚
    I visited your blog. You have amazing work! I like your vibrancy, brave compositions, and fearless exploration in art. A path less traveled. Good luck on your artistic journey! πŸ˜‰

    ~Michael

  • January 15, 2009 at 11:16 pm
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    I think that’s really feel goodl! The pitcher and your dream

  • January 17, 2009 at 11:57 pm
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    Thanks chandan! πŸ™‚

  • July 15, 2009 at 3:45 pm
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    hi. im a artist my self n likes ur work alot.ur a g8 artist but ur drawings shows confusion.will u plz tell me the exactly feelings u were facing in the morning of ur dream?plz im also a psycologist

  • July 16, 2009 at 2:15 pm
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    Hi daju,
    I appreciate your compliments a lot, and am happy to meet a fellow artist. I drew this many months ago, but I remember a deep feeling of paralyzing anxiety mixed with empathy. The face was agitated at first, but I didn’t want to look away. I wanted to understand everything about it.

    Thanks for your questions. πŸ™‚

    ~Michael

  • September 29, 2009 at 11:54 am
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    This one has alot of posts, your face drawings are very unique.

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