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African Mask Lesson - Designing the Nose

 

African Mask Design Lesson - Step 2 - Designing the Nose 1

 

  • Draw one half of a stylized nose on the light colored paper.
  • The nose should stretch from just above the eyes to roughly halfway between the eyes and the bottom of the sheet.
  • Stylized and simplified features are used to help express abstract qualities like nobility, integrity, courage, fear and humour.

 

African Mask Design Lesson - Step 2 - Designing the Nose 2

 

  • Cut out the nose shape and flip it over.
  • Place it on the dark sheet and align it with the vertical edge of the light paper.
  • This will complete its symmetrical shape and maintain the tonal counterchange of the mask design.

 

African Mask Design Lesson - Step 2 - Designing the Nose 3

 

  • This illustration depicts some alternative designs for stylized noses.
  • Note how each nose has been stylized and simplified into a basic shape without much detail.
  • Simplified features on a mask communicate quicker and are more visible from a distance. They also have a greater expressive impact than more detailed images.

 

Next: Step 4 - Designing the Mouth

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Mask with scarification marks from the Makonde people in Mozambique.

Mask with scarification marks from the Makonde people in Mozambique.
Photo: © Andreas Praefcke

 

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