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African Mask Lesson Step 5 - Designing the Face

This step illustrates how to simplify and stylize the shape of the face for your African mask design.

African Mask Design Lesson - Designing the Shape of the Face 1

Draw a simple shape for the outline of the face on the light sheet of paper.

  • This shape could be oval, circular, rectangular, elongated, heart-shaped, animal-shaped or human, or any combination of these.

  • Different outline shapes will give you different expressive effects.

African Mask Design Lesson - Designing the Shape of the Face 2

Cut around the outline of the face but leave the face shape in place.

  • Now take the leftover background shape, flip it over to the other side and align it with the vertical centre line.

  • This will create the background for the negative side of the face. The remaining space will become the background for the positive side of the face.

  • This example is designed to form the shape of a heart - a symbol often used in mask design.