Carving a Nose
as with the previous tutorials, i will try to present a basic approach, which can be applied to carve any nose… we begin with
STEP 1 getting reference material
you might think noses all look same, but that is not so. there are wide noses, noses with thin bridges, noses which are crooked ( maybe they were broken ?) noses with nose tips going up, some have nose tip going down, some noses almost hang off the face completely, even though in generality they sit on the face about half… and, a nose on a given person also not always looks the same ! it changes with expression ! just think of someone showing disgust, the nose wings go up and sometimes creases appear over the bridge of nose, or when doing a big smile the nose wings are pulled wider apart and go up too … so, expressions change the basic shape of a nose ! … so, you see, even with an object that seems so fixed, we do need reference material to carve it well :
in this tutorial i decided to again put emphasis on my statement, that women are not harder to carve than men, and so i choose a female nose. and a wonderful example is the sensuous portrait bust of constanza bonarelli, carved by bernini. as i want show you how to carve her nose only, my reference consists of different views of the nose only of that bust, but i recommend you to look this beautiful bust…. (please click images to for a larger view)
do choose now your own reference material too, best is, if you can get different views from one person or statue, and you need at least a front view and a side view of the nose, or views very similar to those, since we need to see for example how wide the nose wings are compared to the length of the nose (we read that off the front view foto) and we need to see how far on the face the nose sits (that does the side view tell us)… bottom views would be nice, since we could see the shape of the nostril openings, but they are hard to get, ,,, i will discuss in the following how we use the fotos to gather the information we need for carving…
again, i decide to use the fotos only as guideline, and not carve an exact copy. i will try however to find out which things are important, and get them as close to the reference fotos i can. and this is how it should be done in my opinion, to obtain a good result…
now that we have the reference material, we need study it to learn the forms we want carve. first, as a technical remark, note that i have scaled all fotos so that the nose has on each the same height. you can do this with your fotos too, it will simplify the measuring later, but you can omit this step if you want. it is just for convenience later…
ok, lets study the forms : her nose fits into a triangular wedge form, the bridge of nose is angled well back and not straight, but with a gentle curve down from the brow line to its deepest point and then from there in a slightly curved line towards the tip of nose. there is a slight bump in this line (see side view) and the small valley separating this bum from the fleshy roundish art of the nose tip is where her nasal bone ends. there we see also in front view a slight depression of the bridge of nose… her nose wings are well rounded and well separated from the rest of nose. … go ahead, and study your reference material in the same way, find what is essential for the nose you see on your fotos, you will learn the forms from that, and carving the nose will become thereby easier… as i said, it tremendously helps when you try to draw the nose from your fotos too, or parts you want understand better, or even make a quick clay or plastilin model of it … do everything you can to know your subject before taking up a chisel.
now we are ready for beginning to carve the nose ….