day 17 – just face it

If someone gave you a pencil, sat in front of you, and said, Draw my portrait, you’d freak out. It’s really hard. The pressure is enormous. You will not believe, then, how easy and carefree the prospect suddenly becomes with just three little words: close your eyes.

Something about not looking at the drawing releases you from all responsibility for the outcome. And once you know you have to close your eyes, most people will happily draw faces, even yours if you can rig up some sort of box to keep the drawing hidden.

As you practise, you’ll learn to put the fingers of your other hand close by and take your bearings from them. Even if the faces do not improve they always seem to have interesting expressions and strong lines that make them appealing. Try it. It’s a great activity to do with kids because it puts them on an equal footing. All you need is scrap paper and a pen and they’ll be laughing at the funny people you’re producing.

Published by Dr Toni Risson

Dr Toni Risson is a storyteller and a cultural historian who has penned everything from children’s picture books to a PhD on the Magic of Lollies. An expert on the Greek cafe phenomenon, Toni curated Meet Me at the Paragon for the State Library of Queensland, and her latest book, Brisbane’s Greek Cafes: A Million Malted Milks, was a finalist in the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards. Having encountered the elegant Paragon Cafe in Katoomba as a child, Toni developed a fascination with silky oak panelling, bevelled mirrors and Art Deco wall lights long before she understood the stories behind Australia's iconic Greek cafe. She continues to document our lost café culture.

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