It’s amazing that despite growing up around human beings, I still find myself unable to properly place anatomical features on a simple sculpted face. I look in the mirror every morning, I look at other people while talking to them, yet I still have trouble figuring out where to place the eyes, nose, how to shape the mouth and more.
Which is why I am especially excited about the Green Man Project as I continue my polymer clay journey through fairies gnomes and trolls.
As with the other projects, I added some significant modifications. Instead of sculpting these faces a few inches tall I chose to stick with a 1-2 inch height. The size is larger than the faces of my fantasy critters and so gives me more opportunity to focus on the details.
The project on Page 43 suggests starting with spring, and following up with the other seasons. I opted for 3 faces hoping to see improvements with each iteration.
Face #1 – Practice Face Starting Point
The first is a simple reference face to get a feel for the placement of facial features. I used Super Sculpey right from the box preferring to experiment with a soft and easy to manipulate face.
I started with a simple flattened foil core, on top of scrap clay to keep the armature from skidding on my work surface.
After covering the core with clay I marked the different regions for eyes, mouth, nose and chin. I added rough shapes for the features and blended them together.
I’d love to read your critiques for Face #1 in the comments below this post
Here is what I notice so far: Eyes are too high in the head, there’s something missing with the nose and mouth, musculature and just the general bumps and curves that should occur on the face.
Old Man Summer
This project is intended to be surrounded in a halo of green leaves and vines, but I stuck to just sculpting the face by combining Dark Flesh Living Doll with Super Sculpey Beige
I thought I learned my lesson about the eyes, but no, still too high. Especially when I decided he has no chin and added more clay to the bottom.
Overall I am more pleased with these results. I think the facial features have improved especially the nose and mouth, 2 areas always giving me trouble.
I’d love to read your critiques for Face #2 in the comments below this post
Face #3 Old Man Winter
Color created by combining leftovers from Face #2 with green scrap Premo Polymer Clay
I considered following the ‘eyes in the middle of the face’ rule for old man winter, but I think his demeanor and expression requires the eyes closer to the forehead. He’s an old guy, wrinkled and frozen… reminding me of days snuggled under blankets with lots of hot chocolate, counting the days till spring.
My focus here was to continue improving the look of the mouth, nose, and cheeks.
With his features built up I decided his forehead was still too high, and chopped off a decent portion of the visible clay. After smoothing the features I used a rough brush to create his frost-bitten lined skin.
I’d love to read your critiques for Face #3 in the comments below this post
Overall I think I have a long way to go, but this project definitely helps me see certain features in better perspective. I’m excited to work on the remaining projects in the Fairies Gnomes and Trolls Book so perhaps I’ll bounce back and forth between practicing faces and completing projects. Who knows, maybe I’ll even try a self portrait.
Now for the challenge. I sculpted these faces for practice but can’t figure out what to do with them, so I didn’t bake them yet. What do you do with your practice faces? And what do you think I can do with these faces? Let me know in the comments below