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African Mask Lesson Step 3 - Designing the Nose

This step illustrates how to simplify and stylize the nose of your African mask design.

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.