How to Hook a Face Workshop

May 23, 2009 0 comments | Updated March 12, 2018

Written by Cindi Gay

Southern Woman

In March, I taught faces at Southern Teachers’ Workshop. The difficulty of the assignment was that I only had one day to teach and whose face was I going to hook? I wanted to hook a portrait of my grandmother, but the students in the class would not be excited about that.

I decided to teach the class as a face structure class. The subject matter would be an imaginary woman who would be assembled by the student.   I drew up several different face shapes, different eye shapes, noses and mouths.   I put my face together and called her “Southern Woman.”

As students made their choices, I began to hear things, like “this looks like my son” or “I think I know this person.” When I studied portraits in art class I remember that the instructor told us that our first portraits would look a lot like us. We are most familar with our own faces and those of our family. One profile that I drew in Jr. High art class looks a lot like my husband. After I had been married for several years, my mother gave me a box of some of my old artwork and there he was.  I drew his profile several years before I met him.

The next task was to determine where the darks and the lights go. This placement varies with lighting and with the shape of each face. I supplied three textures: one light, one medium and one dark. At this point it became hook by number.

As we worked on each facial feature, I gave tips on how to hook them. Many of the students left with a completed face by the end of the day leaving only hair, neck and background to finish.

Hooked by Maddy Fraioli
Hooked by Maddy Fraioli

This piece was finished by Maddy Frioli. It is hooked front and back.

Here is the dollie…She is hooked front and back of the head and neck…Found a great old lace collar and some green velvet drapes a la Scarlette O’Hara, pearl buttons and earrings…had fun, and, thanks, Maddy
Thanks for sending the photo, Maddy.  I always like to see photos of the the pieces students start with me.   I’m there in the beginning and often wonder how a rug turned out.  If you changed direction after the workshop, I still want to see it.  The rugs you hook are yours.  Never feel obligated to follow someone’s direction if it is not working for you.

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