top of page
Helen Capewell
OCA Learning Log
Student Number: 522802
Degree: Illustration
Current Level: 2

Exercise 2.6


What is interesting about this exercise is the lack of faces I was able to see when on a mission to find them. When you're not looking for them, I think that's when you start seeing them in everything! That said, I was able to find a few when on the walk for exercise 2.5. I also see a few in my home so I certainly wasn't short of material for this exercise!

To begin with, I wanted to take us on a trip to the underground garage, where I am unable to un-see part of a face in the wall thanks to the great grungy effect on the concrete walls. As something I'm obsessively seeing on a regular basis, this felt a good of place to start than any. I made this my warm up and perhaps an opportunity to waken the senses for seeing faces. It worked as now not only do I se the obvious half face, but just below I feel I've now spotted a little character!

Here's the original, can you spot the face? I'm almost tempted to finished it off as Shrek, as for some reason this is who I see!

Now for the digital doodles!

So because I see half a face quite clearly (above doesn't do it justice) the other half somehow looks a bit demon, skull like with the big eye socket. When looking at the whole wall, I somehow noticed a figure sitting, maybe twisting round.

Now feeling in the zone, I then noticed the character I mentioned above. Here is a crop to the area I am referring to:

And here is what I see:

After a fun start with getting the eye to see Pareidolia, I was ready to explore more objects both inside and out. However I was curious to learn more about this phenomenon, and wanted to see whether many artists identified under the pareidolia. Of course the example in the course shows the works of Keith Larsen, which after searching him I discovered more amusing illustrations that he had created. It seemed that he was probably the only artist did identify as a pareidolia artist as even with general searches, he was always in the top results! Surely there is more!

I found a blog from a lady called Carolina Maggio, who finds art in spilt coffee! Describing her personal experience in a Jungle where she first discovered a profound feeling and vision to create art in a coffee stain she had caused by accident. The series of works are incredibly intricate as she uses every mark left by the coffee. A video on the blog shows the process on how she comes to find the art and how it appears to be a mindful doodle from the imagination.

I then became acquainted with the artist Oleg Shupliak, a Ukrainian artist who's most famous for painting mind bending illusions. I'm not sure if this would be considered pareidolia, but Oleg Shupliak did a marvellous job in creating faces within his paintings. My question would be, is the face the main focus or is the scene you see the face in the main focus? What do you see first? Personally, I can't get away from seeing the famous faces. I find it more of a challenge to the see the scenery he manipulates, which is interesting!

I do admire how he has taken the phenomenon and, almost took advantage of the power people have for seeing faces within the everyday objects. As someone who can identify the faces more so than the scenery, I wonder if it was done on purpose, to play on the fact we can have this ability to make sense of an unfamiliar scene, almost pushing us to reverse the action and see closer to the small details of a landscape. What is clever about the series of paintings by Oleg, is the masterful technique of becoming the character he paints within the illusions. Adopting their famous and distinctive styles, Oleg not only creates portraits of famous artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, Cazanna, he transports you into their world through illusions. Giving us two paintings in one, as if Oleg is studying the artist and learning their technique. It's interesting, as not only is it the way pareidolia is used for the viewer to see the face, but the added detail of painting in the artist style make them feel even more familiar.

Pareidolia At Home

A few photos I had taken from objects around the home that I felt could create fun characters! Taking just a couple to the sketchbook, I first identified the face and then quickly looked at creating a character. A part of me would prefer to work on this type of exercise on the computer, but for basic ideas I was comfortable with using the sketchbook.

Pareidolia Outside

Sketchbook doodles!



bottom of page