02 BEN SHAHN – Drawing with Simple Lines

I lived too far away to spend much lap-time with Dougie, so I wrote him these letters.

Hi Dougie,

Here’s another picture I thought you’d like. It’s by a man named Ben Shahn. He’s really good at drawing with only a few lines. See this face.


A picture of a face is called a “portrait.” Do you see how Ben Shahn used simple lines to draw this portrait? The nose looks like a carrot. And there is a hook on one side of the carrot for a nostril.

The mouth is only one line. But look carefully. That line has a part that is darker? Do you think Ben Shahn did that on purpose?

Let’s draw a nose the way Ben Shahn does.

Start by making a carrot shape. Keep the bottom flat.

Now add a hook for the nostril.

And now make the curved line of the nostril darker, the way Ben Shahn does.

There it is, a Ben Shahn nose!

Did you notice that in Ben Shan’s “Portrait” the face has no hair, and no ears, and no chin and no cheeks, and no neck and no shirt or body or anything. Isn’t that strange? But can you still tell it’s a face? 

Just a few lines can tell you a lot. Remember that.






About majchr

Majora Christo
This entry was posted in Art, Children & Art, Drawing, Painting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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