sketching faces //////[-…-]

i started to draw sketches for my stage set design. at this moment i am not particularly sure what sort of material i will use, it might be a paper or cloth, or even wood panels. i think firstly i will need to decide on exact design and then figure material based on complexity and handling.

this is my first sketch which i made some time ago. i think it is too explicit and reminds me of some concerned god-wanna-be. I think inspiration for this one comes from a roller-coaster head design which i saw in abandoned amusement park in berlin few years ago.

I happened to stumble upon an image which was an exact realisation of my idea but 97 years ago. The film is called Cabiria and it was directed by Giovanni Pastrone in Italy in 1914. This is an image taken on the film set:

Cabiria. [image online] Available at: <> [Accessed 16 October 2011].

[Egyptian Pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza, Cairo, Egypt, between 1900 and 1920]. [image online] Available at: <
886_egyptian_pyramids_and_great_sphinx_egypt.html> [Accessed 16 October 2011].

I imagine in historical times when people were building mythical god-like sculptures or faces it was for a crowd control. They would appear scary and powerful and very handy for emperors or other people in ranks to impress people and ensure they obey. They might have suggested a power of influence and some sort of spirituality. As people become more and more agnostic and scientifically erudite these huge chunks of stone doesn’t arouse anyone’s eyebrow today. Some might marvel a skill of craft making them but mostly they come like a monumental relics with slightly faded glory.

When i started to sketch the designs i realised the necessity to eliminate any quotations of godliness but here are some more sketches which do look like an entrance to the king’s wardrobe:

I started to think about how people do percept face. It is round and smooth, it does contain many shapes and lines, and holes and all these elements seem to interlock in quite perceivable cohesion. If i imagine myself being a visiting alien i would find people faces most outrageous creations on this planet because they look very weird . But i am one of these creations myself so i don’t stand a chance to look upon a face from different point of perception but the one i obtained and developed since my birth. It is something to do with pattern recognition and how brain processes shapes, how it knows it is a face.

Sharp lines doesn’t exist in nature as much as in man made things so i thought i should try to smooth out sharp corners and give my face more flexibility and curves. I drew this half/half head representing original footage and my interpretation in blocks:

Followed by few others soft circle creations:

I really like my last drawing. It is not particularly in my preferred style which usually expresses my love towards robots and cyber-shaped creatures. This one feels very tribal and unusual to me. I would like to explore more smooth shapes and come to an ultimate sketch for this project in this technique.


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