Norman Rockwell: Grown-up FacesThis is the age of the young adult- the pretty girl and the handsome man. I think I like to paint this age least of all. I would not mind painting them if I could be honest and picture the real young people I see around me everywhere, but the magazines believe that the public wants only glamour girls and matinee idol men.This is, of course, the age when nature is at its best and the great masters, like Rubens and Rembrandt, painted it magnificently. There is the perfect balance of round and straight lines. Another reason, I guess, why I am not crazy about painting this age is that it seems to be the age of beauty and perfection while human interest pictures are more concerned with pathos and humor.There are regular formulas to be used in painting pretty girls. The eyes should be emphasized and enlarged; the nose understated as much as possible; the mouth enlarged and perfectly shaped. The hair should be perfectly groomed and lustrous. There should be no wrinkles and as little shadow as possible. I love to paint wrinkles and character so I guess that is why I leave the pretty girls to the other boys. Don't get me wrong - I like them personally but not as models.¹
¹ Norman Rockwell, Rockwell on Rockwell: How I Make a Picture (Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1979), p. 61.