Monday, June 8, 2009

Sculpture -Carving a Face

I cant be the only one who hates faceless faces. There is something profoundly disturbing about them. When I see a drawing, painting or sculpture with no face, it tells me the artist doesn't know how to make a face and is not willing to try. Same for hands and feet. Learn how or quit making figurative art.

Is that too strong an opinion?

No, it's not easy to learn, but practice will get you there.
When working on a small scale, you can't put in a lot of details. The big secret? Details are not necessary. Your art will be better with out them. What you must do is to suggest a face in a scale appropriate to the work. Think lights and darks, not eye lashes and pretty lips. Look at Rembrant's drawings. Given a good suggestion, people will fill in the details for themselves.

On this wooden figure, a straight cut with one bevel defines the nose and upper lip. Two opposing angels are all that's needed to indicate a mouth. A tiny bit of wood removed, but the newly defined face reads, even in profile.

1 comment:

MackTheKnife said...

You're right, Patrick. Psychologists have found that people will identify even the most rudimentary diagram as a face. After all, what is simpler and less detailed than an emoticon?