As part of my current course called’ Painting into sculpture’with The Royal drawing school at their west London studio our marvellous tutor Marcus asked ask to create a Giacometti inspired portrait head. He showed us an excellent technique and method that I would like to share with you.
- First he took profile photos of our model of the previous week A4 size reversing the image so we had a right and left profile. These were in black and white and he also did a colour version. In pen he then marked out the right side profile and cut it out. The profile was then placed on a slab of wax, drawn around and cut out.
- Returning to the profile photo a second inner profile was marked out following the line of the cheek bone and eye brow. The first step was repeated with another slab of wax cut out and attached to the first profile.
- The third step is to drawn around the ear cut out and create in wax. but do not attach.
- Cut out a central strip the width of your pole stand where the head will be positioned onto.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 but reverse the profile to the left. Attach your left side inner profile to the full profile so that you have the right and left inner profiles on either side of the central main profile.
- Slide your portrait head onto the pole and start building up your features to create different depths. Elongate the neck and add shoulders.
We created the portrait heads in one day with our model returning in the afternoon so we could work from life. I came home exhausted and slept for an hour.
The portrait heads were done in that familiar Giacometti compressed style.
Building up the features
The finished portrait head.