Foundations Mask Project

Beinfang Vellum, Charcoal, 11″ x 14″

My original mask was constructed to be reminiscent of medieval Germanic helmets, however it is a bit more form fitting than a true helmet of this style should be. In particular, the chin piece, as well as the nose guard are derived from the Germanic helmets. The polygonal shapes that appear serve as a pattern which gives the mask a consistent texture.

In photoshop, I composed four images of the mask taken from the side profile view, which were then arranged to create a larger face. This face appears because of the ‘pareidolia’ phenomenon, in which the eye recognizes faces in places where they don’t necessarily exist. Essentially, when people view what is truly a series of war helmets, all that they will actually notice is the distraught, skull-like face. This parallels what happens in reality, in which imagery concerning the ‘glory’ of war are overtaken by the concepts of suffering and destruction.

This composition makes use of positive and negative space to create a clear silhouette, as well as to direct focus on the subject. The shape of my mask is intended to encourage the idea that it creates a skull, however some flourishes appear which generate visual interest. All of my values exist exclusively on the mask itself to provide dimensionality.

Classroom Reflection: When I arrived at Alfred State, I was incredibly insecure about myself as an artist. However, I quickly gained confidence in my abilities, and my friends were very supportive. The biggest difference between the artwork I would create between high school and college is that nowadays, my compositions have a meaning to them. For too long, I would invest countless hours into drawings and paintings with no depth or purpose. I hope to never go back to my past bad habits, and in the future I aim to push myself, creating art that says something important. My overall goal is to make a name for myself in the animation industry and to be able to support myself while standing as a positive force.

 

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