E is for...

True artistic expression lies in conveying emotion.

- Angel Hazeuote.

E stands for Expression, Experimenting and Emotion.

Today’s mini project follows on from the letter D. The difference is that the drawings purpose is figurative and not design. By using the alphabet we will be drawing the faces of people, pets and other creatures.

The project has a stronger element of fun. I am not a figurative artist, but find this exercise really useful for doodling and creative problem solving, and I always find surprising outcomes (especially with regards to facial expressions). I am always on the lookout for faces in places on walks and often find them in unusual settings.

Mini Project

The emphasis is on experimenting with all the letters of the alphabet to create some sort of face. Again, the letters can be in different directions and some might not work at all. Don’t force it, if you end up with only four or five that you like, that’s good! Maybe try random letters as opposed to lines, and in a variety of directions to add options.

Some letters such M and N work better for faces in profile. Others for eyes, noses, glasses, mouths or hair. Have fun with this and if you get stuck at some point just move onto another letter. By playing with the shapes you will discover some wonderful expressive faces and creatures. Remember to be resourceful and remember some shapes might work better upside down or sideways.


  • Make dots in round letters such as (lower case) A, B, F, O, P and Q to link them to eyes. Try creating a symmetrical mirror image with shapes such as A, B, G and K to give options.

  • Keep it simple.

  • Humour is good, especially with regards to faces - they need not be pretty. Make them quirky, interesting and expressive.

  • If a shape is not suitable for facial features, turn it into a hairstyle or something sitting on a head, or part of the character.

You are free to improvise, it’s part of your own discovery. This exercise is also fun to try with children and it leans itself to cartoon style faces.


This exercise may prove frustrating to some, and that’s actually fine. Not all the letters will work. Creative problem solving and adapting the shapes to suit the exercise is an alternative option, adapt letters to suit your style. If you are really finding it hard, concentrate on the ones that instantly work, then create more faces linked to this letter and come back to try others. Maybe with letters drawn in a different direction to add more options. Have fun!

Here’s a Pinterest board with some facial inspiration:


You're welcome to share your outcomes in the group’s Facebook page. Please don't post course material or outcomes to to other public Internet sites or to social media.

#creativeleap #eisfor #expression #experimenting #emotion

© 2020 Esté MacLeod

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