So I'm sure someone out there, who pays attention to my feed and actually glances at the pictures, is wondering "why the heck do you always draw faces?"
Well, the answer is simple: I don't. I typically UPLOAD drawings of faces, but that's because my other stuff makes less sense out of context or are rougher doodles or sketches, or loose works.
But the faces are very important to me because, while I'm still learning, they represent a level of talent I've been aspiring to for fifteen years and probably my whole life in one way or another.
For the first big chunk of my artistic life, I had a very specific style and I was happy with it. I kept with it until high school and while my ability with it did mature, it was very limiting. All styles I think are limiting in that way, you look at Simpsons and things can only look like the Simpsons, and now we've got shows like Phineas and Ferb (which I love) that can only show the characters at 2 or 3 angles, which is terrible for a visual medium (although I will admit style sometimes has advantages, Adventure Time can get really graphic and freaky because it's in this saccharine veneer that makes psychotic looking monsters acceptable). Needless to say, I reached that point with my art where I was hitting walls and couldn't progress any further.
I don't know what exactly happened, I'm sure being back in the states was a help but about then I was old enough to leave school campus at lunch. There were a couple restaurants around for us to go to but right out of bounds was the comic book store, so every week or so when I got a free period before lunch I would go down and pretty much waste my money on comics. I was getting exposed to more art styles and I started emulating the artwork i saw there. My friend Matt got me into anime and I started picking up Animerica Extra (still love Video Girl Ai all these years later) and my style changed to be more anime and manga inspired. Although sometimes I would do a hard attempt at drawing a face from a rare piece of photoreference-- usually black and white dotmatrix printings of low-res photos off the web... a start, at the least.
But it wasn't enough. What I've always wanted was to be able to recreate what I saw on paper. I could start to do it with places and things, but people... forget it. They still looked like the same head with different wigs on top. This went on throughout all of college, although I got extremely good at recreating locations, cars, props... it was my first time with an always-on internet connection, lots of free time and lots of hard drive space, I could search for photo reference and organize it and doodle from it.
I already spoke on here about the paradigm shift that happened when I started dressing my characters in real clothes, but when I was looking back at my art, the Kia Asamiya faces I was pretty much stuck with became more minimalist, they actually now look like Adventure Time adults. VERY few features, they looked a bit more realistic but it was still hard to tell people apart. But combined with everything else, it looked a mix between anime movies and watching a DVD. I called it "simplified realism," which is a mentality I continue to hold.
And about five years ago, 2007, I forget what instigated it but I started doodling a lot with pen and filling pages with lots of little doodles and I somehow changed the way I put faces down. They looked like lumps of apples... and there's plenty of them in my gallery, I was already on Deviantart at this point, but over the years they became smoother, more varied (I hope) and began to look like the people they were intended to.
I still have a good way to go-- my faces still look similar (to me), I can't do exaggerated features, wrinkles, and jowls very well-- so no Harry Dean Stanton for a while, and I also want to get it down to a point where if I see someone in the wild whose look I like, I can memorize it or doodle it down fast enough to capture their essence without them posing for me-- I keep seeing people I'd love to turn into characters.
So, the reason I draw so many faces is because I've waited decades to get to this skill level, and I'm intent on reaching the level above it, and the only way to do that is to practice. And the only way to know if I'm getting any better is to open it up to feedback.