Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Santa Carvings, Tutorials


The Rule of Three for facial proportions is applied to a carved Santa ornament to illustrate how to visually keep proportions in perspective in a face with a mustache, beard and long hair while half the forehead is covered by the hat.

The three divisions of the length of the face are: Hairline to Eyebrow; Eyebrow to Bottom of Nose; and Bottom of Nose to Bottom of Chin. When carving a face with a beard, the carver visually imagines where the chin is located under the beard. When carving a mustache, the carver follows the Rule of Three for the area between the nose and chin with the mustache fitting into the first third proportion between Nose and Top of Upper Lip. The middle third includes both lips down to the groove between lips and chin. If the mustache is carved as big and bushy so that it extends and covers the lips, then the lips are not carved. Rather there is an indention carved under the mustache to indicate that underneath the bushy mustache there is a mouth hidden from view.

If the Rule of Three of proportions is not followed and a bushy mustache is carved on the face of Santa and the carver carves in the bottom lip then the end result may give the appearance that the mouth is located where the chin is supposed to be located.

While the length of the face is divided into thirds proportionally, the width of the face is equal to two thirds of the length. A carving that is carved following the understanding of “proportions” will result in a carving looking right. On the other hand, when the “proportions” are out of proportion, then there is something about the carving that will not look right.

Caricature carving is “exaggeration of realism” which does exaggerate proportions for a caricature effect that is done on purpose. In order to “exaggerate realism” the carver must first have a clear understanding of correct proportions of realism before any on the proportions can be exaggerated.

To learn more about the Rule of Three facial proportions, look under the section of this blog entitled BEE HIVE and click on “Face Eye Study 2” which can also be printed.

This entry was posted on Friday, November 28th, 2014 at 9:33 pm and is filed under Santa Carvings, 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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