November meeting featured award winning international artist,
Augusto Bordelois, demonstrating Structure in Portraits.
Augusto was born in Havana, Cuba and graduated from the University
of Havana with a major in English Language and Literature. He also
studied sculpture, ceramics, costume design for theatre and cinema,
classical drawing and painting. He came to the United Sates in the
fall of 1999 at the invitation of Cleveland State University. He
fell in love with his host, got married and stayed in Cleveland.
demonstrated how to draw a perfect portrait, where all the features,
eyes, nose, mouth, ears, are proportional. Unlike, as an example,
Angelina Jolie, whom he said “may be beautiful but not proportional
and disgusting for me to look at”....a little Cuban humor! We all
chuckled and basically agreed with him. He was classically trained
to see a person’s face in proportion....to see shapes. He said
“learn to draw simple shapes....circle, oval, square, triangle,
rectangle, trapezoid, ellipse, parallelograms....as everything
divides into shapes.”
Augusto started by drawing a straight line right down the middle of
the brown paper on the easel in front of him. The line represented
the top of the head to the bottom of the chin. Using his favorite
measurement tool, the proportional divider, Augusto divided the line
in half, marking the midpoint for the eyes. He divided the line in
half again representing the bottom of the nose, and again in half,
for the placement of the bottom of the lower lip. Now he said “you
can start anywhere.”
Augusto started with the mouth. ”The mouth finishes in the middle of
the eye.” Where the center of the lips crossed the midpoint, he drew
four circles and then connected the upper and lower lips. He pointed
out to us that the upper lip is always darker than the lower lip, as
the light comes from above.
The eyes came next. He said “the distance between one eye and one
eye is one eye.” He suggested that you measure everything in the
portrait in “eyes”, versus inches or centimeters. He marked more
lines....parallel lines above and below the center line. After
placing angled lines, representing the center of each eye, and
adding an oval shape, the eyes appeared on the paper.
The nose was next. Drawing a trapezoid shape between the eyebrows, a
parallelogram and another smaller trapezoid, a few oval shapes and
voila a nose!
Before placing the ears, Augusto finished connecting the jaw line.
He pointed out that the mandible is different between women and men.
A woman’s jawbone angles in and a man’s is wider. For demonstration
purposes, he drew the left side female and the right side male. For
the ears, he explained that ears come in angled to the face and are
wider on top and narrower on the bottom. Adding a few
elliptical and oval shapes, he made drawing ears look so simple.
Now the last
steps....adding hair. Augusto suggested drawing hair in
layers, starting with the underneath layer. Lastly, using his
eraser, he removed all the unwanted lines. “The face took a
shower and it’s clean”, he quipped. Using his charcoal stick,
he added soft shading on the women’s face. He added a bit of
highlights using white charcoal. “Charcoal is fun as
long as you like to be messy.” Then, by just adding a few
different kinds of shadows, he aged the portrait by a good 10+
conclusion, Augusto gave this advice....”If you can’t describe it,
you can’t paint or draw it.” “This is what you must learn by
Check out his website:
There were 42 people in attendance, including 4 guests. “The Falling
Leaves of Autumn” was the theme for the evenings refreshments,
served to us thanks to Sue and Ray Lokar and Mary Ann Gambitta. We
enjoyed lots of delicious treats....mac & cheese puffs, Ray’s
homemade chocolate cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpernickel pimento
sandwiches, hard salami and olives, veggies with two dips, including
homemade Lawson’s French onion and much more.