Planes of the Face

The above is a work completed by a student here at the studio. Done from observation, it is an excellent example of linear precision and careful consideration of proportions, alignment, and tonal mapping. This sculpture is one of the most challenging works to draw here at the studio since there are so many complicated facets to describe and place correctly relative to their neighbouring planes.
So what’s the use of breaking down the smooth, curvilinear volumes of the face in this almost robotic fashion? Well, by turning curved surfaces into flatter planar shifts, the geometric position of the forms of the head become much clearer.
The subtle curving of anatomical form presents a great challenge for the representational artist. With everything appearing to flow seamlessly from one part to the other, understanding structure can be a confusing proposition. By flattening and creating clear partitions between the different shaped planes, planar sculptures, like the one represented above help to clarify underlying structure. Once one has thoroughly studied a planar breakdown of something such as a head, the task of seeing and recognising complex form becomes much easier.

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