When drawing or painting a face, I have always felt that I have struggled to find the balance between creating a realistic piece and a piece with an artistic touch.
And by artistic touch, I mean that a lot of times it is difficult to create a drawing or painting of a face that makes sense to the viewer, (Meaning that the subject is depicted somewhat realistically) but that also acknowledges that it is art and that not all art has to make sense.
With that being said, artists often have many different goals that differ from one artist to the next. While one artist may be practicing on creating a realistic or life-like piece, other artists might be focusing on the emotions behind the piece that come through the work.
Before beginning my studies at Marywood, I struggled to draw a face from life because drawing a portrait from a photograph makes it easier to see the subject within a two dimensional space. I have since then began drawing portraits from life after being pushed by my professors to do so.