Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Tutorials

Seeing the A – B – C shapes  in a human face is a good way to look at all faces to study.  Once the image of reference points of the A – B – C of a human face is embedded in the carver’s creative sub conscious, then the carver can see the face with both an inner eye and natural eye.   If the carver can see the face in the mind then the carver can carve the face in wood.   Study the face of the carving by John Burke and look for the A – B – C shapes  in the face.  Look for the shape of a letter A.  Then look for a separate shape of the letter B turned clockwise one turn so that the straight part of the B is at the top and the rounded part of the B  is at the bottom.  Then look for the  shape of  the letter C , either frontwards or backwards. 

The shape of the letter A has been super imposed on the face with the top of the A at the juncture of the bridge of the nose and the eye brow.  The side bars of the letter A follow along each side of the nose angling outward as it travels past the nose following the direction of the smile line.  The cross bar of the A is the line for the mouth.  Using the shape of an A the carver can look at one’s own face and the face of other people, in fact all human faces to see and study  the shape of the A.  Seeing the A in a face can then be applied to the face being carved in a block of wood.

The shape of the letter B follows the bone structure of the eye brows and eye sockets.  As an exercise of  feeling with one’s fingers, using the index finger on each hand, begin at the bridge of the nose and feel the bone structure by moving each index finger outward from the center of eyebrow, down the side of eye socket and then underneath the eye socket and then along side the nose to meet again at the bridge of the nose.   During this finger exercise imagine that the letter B is being outlined.   The concept of the letter B shape of the bone structure around the eyes and between the nose shape of the letter will once again help the inner eye of the creative sub conscious to begin seeing the structure of the face applied to the carving process.

The shape of the letter C can be seen in the basic shape of the ear on one side of the face and a reversed C on the other side.  The same holds true for the shape of the nostrils of the nose.  Of course one can now look for other C shaped curves in the human face and that is the idea behind this little exercise of  looking for the A – B – C shapes in the human face.  Seeing in the mind with mental imagination is the first step in being able to see into a block of wood what needs to be removed in order to match the mental image. 

Every carver should know their A-B-C’s of face carving so that carved faces will look natural and appealing.

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 at 5:43 pm and is filed under Tutorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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