Marysue Shaw Marysue Shaw
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A person's life is written all over THEIR body. I'd reword this so it doesn't jar. The rest is great:)

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Summer Breeze Summer Breeze
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A person's life is written all over their body. Scars are obvious, it is the way the body is held that tells the greater story. Do the hands curl inward? Are the shoulders slack, or tight? Does the person sit at an awkward angle, or shy away? Having drawn a few portraits in my time, I see it more in their faces. 1 comment

Smooth, plump cheeks denote happiness, lines under them even more so. But lines around the mouth are not the same: How deeply are they cut? Is there reason for it? A dimple, that pulls them outward ever-so-slightly? Or do the lips tilt downward, dragging the rest down with them.

And the eyes, do they have crinkles in the corners? If yes, then joy has visited this person often.

How much do they droop at the ends? What shade is the skin, healthy-pink, or pale? Are there blue veins present beneath the surface? Is it as thin as rice paper?

Are there dark circles under the eyes? How dark? Do they carry an air of permanence or are they only temporary?

Grief is something you can't miss. Also fear, or wariness. It sits behind the eyes like a dull companion. Sometimes it shines--when it is too close to the surface. Always, it gentles my heart, makes my strokes soften and slow. It transmits itself to the portrait, as though the drawing becomes the person, underneath my hand. I must treat it as I would the one before me; I do not wish to cause more pain.

Full lips are a sign of excess--excess passion, excess emotion, excess generosity. If the person is pulling them inward they are trying to control it, are uncomfortable with it. If the lips seem more pronounced than is natural, they are flaunting them to the world. Thin lips do not mean a lack of spirit, but again, it depends on how the mouth sits upon the face in conjunction with the what the eyes are saying.

Sometimes I see more than the person wants me to see. This leads to anger, defensiveness, or discomfort. I used to talk as I drew, tell the subject what I was seeing as I saw it-- I couldn't help myself, my mouth was directly connected to my vision it seemed--but I have learned now, to feel them out first, to make a small comment and see how they respond, read the set of their shoulders, watch how fast their eyes move--even if they move away.

Generally though, people are flattered that you notice something. They want to know what you see. Mainly I see beauty. Young or old, they are beautiful to me. Each small detail reveals a piece of them. It's like discovering a treasure trove, it really is. And how can you not fall a little bit in love with each one? I think this must be how God sees us: so unique, so precious.

Once, I drew a portrait of a woman I could not stand in person. I was given an old photograph to go by. By the time I was finished, if I still did not have fondness for her I at least had respect. Her face told a story and it did not lie. It was her life up until that moment in time, true, and I had not known her then, but it showed me who she was before life beat her down. I got a glimpse of what others may have seen. It opened my mind up to the fact that she was more than just the end result...

and that was a gift unto itself.

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