This is a sketch of my clay face from the previous post. The paper is Canson Mi Tientes in some shade of buff with Prismacolor pencils in White and Sepia.
The color choices for the pencils and the personality around the eyes are pleasing. However, I’m less pleased with how the mouth and chin look. It’s obvious from this drawing (and another that I’m not posting) that the anatomy of the model’s mouth and chin are not correct.
Until now, I was confident (perhaps overconfident) that I had a good grasp of facial anatomy. Certainly, I can draw and paint the face and portraits with some aptitude, but that’s just not the same as making a 3D model. This has really shown me where I could use some more information.
So, that started me on a study of facial anatomy. First, I’m making a study of the skull and then the muscles of the mouth and chin. Look for those soon!
Several days ago I had an idea to make my own clay model of a face for drawing practice. The idea isn’t mine, it’s from Bert Dodson’s
“Keys to Drawing with Imagination” where he talks about modeling your own subjects then drawing them to achieve a more personal interpretation of the subject.
So, I went to the local Michael’s and bought some Laguna Self Hardening Clay. It comes in four colors, but I wanted the Terra Cotta for that natural look and because the lighter colors don’t show shadows and contrast as well for drawing features.
That’s my clay face up there and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out especially since I’m not accustomed to working with clay. It did remind me why I don’t work with clay – too messy! Things that get my hands dirty just aren’t my thing, but I wanted the end product enough to endure it.
Doing this did show me where my knowledge of facial anatomy needs work. Having to build it from scratch is a remarkable test of understanding. The nose and chin are purposefully exaggerated for character, the eyes turned out nicely, and the mouth could be more refined.
I’ll probably make another one or two of these to have on hand for models as well as giving me the chance to explore facial structure. No time yet to draw and paint from it but, look for artwork based on the clay face in future posts.