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Monday, May 19, 2014

Owlish Eyes make Smart Girls Look Chic

(I've been wearing glasses for about three years now. Before that, I wore contact lenses)
It wasn’t that long ago that people said “men never make passes at girl’s who wear glasses.” Pity the girl who believed that saying because her self-esteem was sure to plunge.

Now career women everywhere wear glasses whether they need them or not. Glasses give the impression that #1 (moi) is ready to be promoted! Wearing spectacles makes a girl look serious and hard working. Glasses are trendy and classy. Magnifiers like “Foster Grants” add a fashion flare; the more pairs the better.

In spite of the availability of laser surgery or lens implants, more people are wearing glasses than ever before. When I got my first pair as a child, I was mortified. I’d already been sitting in the front desk at school. Now what would they think when I walked in with a pair of these?

For awhile I got the usual “four-eyes” and “nerd” comments all of which I’d dreaded and expected; but hey, for once in my life I could see! 

I remember how clear the mountains looked. I could even see sagebrush! The clarity of my new world was breathtaking. I couldn’t believe what I’d been missing.

Still I felt ugly and self conscious. To make matters worse, the boy I loved had fallen for a girl without glasses; one that was athletic and well coordinated. I felt clumsy and awkward. In those days, my feet grew faster than the rest of me. I was called skinny, and big foot -- now this?

During the summer I worked in the fields for money like all farm kids did in my community. After picking beans all morning in the hot sun, we gathered around for lunch in the cool shade of -- you guessed it, beans. One of the older boys threw me a smile and said “You have beautiful eyes.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. “How can he see my eyes when I’m wearing glasses?” I wondered.
Instead of saying thank you, I ducked my head in embarrassment and wished I could swivel like a corkscrew through the earth. I still remember his compliment even today. Whenever I feel insecure or unworthy, I reel in his comment and savor it once again.

(My first ever portrait when my Dad was a younger man.)
Painting or drawing glasses is fun. It adds another dimension to a person’s personality. One of my very first portraits, a simple sketch of my father, shows him wearing glasses. Some artists prefer to show the person without glasses. But if that’s how most people are used to seeing that individual, you’d better know how to draw glasses realistically.

The following YouTube video is the best I’ve seen for how this should be done. It’s also in one of my favorite mediums: pastel. Expertly drawn by “Agnes” this short video is a treat to watch. When it’s over try adding glasses to your next portrait; go on, give it a shot!