Studying the Planes of the Face

Plaster Cast Models

Plaster Cast Models

Learning to draw the human face can be a bit of a challenge whether you are just getting started drawing or have been drawing for some time.  Why is it so difficult?

The very first recognizable drawing you did as a young child was actually a face.  It looked more like Mr. Potato head than anything else.  A large circle with dots for eyes and a happy face smile.  Often stick arms and legs protruded out of this monstrous sized head!  As you matured, you reigned in the big head and the features got a little better.  But chances are pretty good that the features were nothing more than your stored up left-brained symbols.  Symbolic features, even more advanced ones, still don’t carry the feeling of life.  I teach my students how to move beyond mere symbols to drawing more realistically.

Once you have a better understanding of what the features really look like, then you have to begin to study the planes of the face and how the light and shadows affect those planes.  The slightest shadow in the wrong place will change the plane and change how the person looks.

The plaster cast shown on the right, shows a more distinct look at the planes of the face.  When the light hits it, you can actually see the different values.  The model on the left is more representational to the human face and after studying the model on the right, the student will be better able to recognize the change in the planes on the realistic model.

There is so much that can be done with these models just by changing the lighting and seeing how it changes how everything looks.  These handsome dudes will be our class models in my First Saturday of the Month Drawing Class at Splatter Art Studio 4160 S. Lone Pine, Springfield, MO starting March 5th 9:00 – 12:00.    Students will work on their individual lessons or work with the models.  All instruction is individual and open to students of all abilities.  Class fee is $35 and includes the studio fee.  Contact Audrey Bottrell for more information. 417-848-0894

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Best of Missouri Hands juried artist, c ommissioned artist for ESPN, Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, Promega Corporation, MSU West Plains, PGA golfers and a host of others, Audrey brings years of professional experience to the classroom. Earning her Art Education degree in her home state of Wisconsin in 1979, she has taught publicly and privately for more than 30 years.

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