Nicole Lilyquist



I’ve been drawn to faces lately. Portraits take years of practice and each time I explore a face I learn something new. I found myself drawn to one particular photo of a woman recently, so I revisited her twice with two different portraits using two different methods.


The first portrait was drawn and painted using charcoal and gesso. I added just a hint of color. Lately my color palette has been muted with gray and white, but that may change soon.

The collage was especially fun to put together. I used several pieces of collage papers I either collected or made throughout the years. I even found a place for some pieces of one of my art prints. Both of these methods I learned from one of Misty Mawn’s online workshop. Expanding the way I work and the kind of art I make has really opened me up creatively. I don’t believe I am the kind of artist that can stick to one particular style or method. I enjoy experimenting too much.

Using oil pastels is especially messy and fun, which led me to create this next portrait. Sometimes the faces are drawn from memory, like this one…


Photography is my usual method of exploring faces, but I get quickly frustrated. As long as I can use my camera phone I am more than happy to snap away. I’d rather not spend the many hours on my phone or computer editing photos because I don’t find the process as rewarding or as hands on as I would like. But I do like to use these self portraits to convey different moods and emotions, or sometimes just my feet make an appearance as a different perspective.

Plans to create more faces are in the near future! I am not sure if I will sell these works but they are wonderful for journaling and hanging around my studio.

There’s nothing more interesting than the landscape of the human face.
— Irvin Kershner
Who sees the human face correctly: the photographer, the mirror, or the painter?
— Pablo Picasso