Euclid Art's November Meeting Featured Augusto Bordelois - Structure in Portraits

Our 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.

Augusto 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 see shapes.  He said “learn to draw simple, oval, square, triangle, rectangle, trapezoid, ellipse, 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+ years!

In 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 heart....”  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.

Our December 4th meeting is our annual Holiday Christmas Party Pot Luck Dinner and Chinese Auction Fundraiser, held at the Henn Mansion.  Members and their guests are all invited.  Cost is $5.00/person.  More information will be in our December Newsletter and on our website,

Euclid Art Members

Euclid Art Association purpose is to stimulate an interest in the visual arts among our members and to provide a focus on the fine arts for the community.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 10:03 AM, 12.08.2017