Building Character in a Face
I have been busy cutting away here recently. This is my favorite part — cutting and fusing. It’s meditative and yet the puzzle is still challenging.
I do have to say, however, that my decision to choose different colors has resulted in an even greater sense of realism than I have had before. Because of this, presenting the face in layers feels more odd than ever before. By the time the face is fully shown at the end of this post, without hair, it feels like looking at a naked face. It’s a little unsettling.
I also confess that, after taking several pictures of my model, I chose not to go with one that you would choose to go on your mantle. I think this is a more playful picture that shows her personality better. She’s actually looking up a little at the viewer.
This is the first layer. I’ve learned the hard way not to go any lighter than this.
And this is the second value. I know that my model is screaming at me right now. I promised not to show any wrinkles. The truth is that because she is looking up into the camera, there are lines of personality here. They seem stark in this picture, but bear with me. In the end, especially once all of the hair is fused on, they will only add to her character and will not be seen as age lines.
Here is the third value. It’s always important to remember that eyes are set INTO our faces so even if the picture doesn’t give us darker values around the eyes, it’s best to put it there for our rendering to give a sense of depth.
Here is the fourth value. I was surprised that this stony gray worked so well in this gradation.
This is the sixth value. There isn’t much of it here.
This is the seventh value. It’s actually a deep navy blue.
The eighth value is black which is mostly in the neck. I’ll revisit that in a minute.
These are her lovely green eyes. You can begin to see her peeking out of the fabric.
And these are her teeth. They don’t make a lot of sense yet without her lips. These are the only pieces that I put on in reverse order — dark to light.
And here she is with her mouth. She looks a little stark without her hair — but I’m working on that now.
At this point, I step back and think about how this will work with what I have to do next. Her neck is too dark given that her shirt will be black, so I decide to pull the values back and re-do the neck.
Here they are re-done. You see a lot more of value six, which I prefer, but you still get the sense of the jawline and the recession of the neck.
Hopefully I’ll finish her hair before I leave for Houston next week.