Wooden funerary mask from TT 65, represented on mylar using pencil

May 30, 2020

Creating an informative and stylistically accurate object drawing that also looks aesthetically pleasing, building upon rather than taking away from the photograph, is not an easy task. The most important questions with the visual interpretation of any artifact are:⠀ ⠀

  • which angle(s) should the object be drawn from (side, front, top or multi-angled) and what should the drawing scale be?!⠀
  • how much modeling (if any) should be added to the drawing, what would the perfect detail vs. surface ratio be in order to maximize the information value;⠀
  • how objective vs. subjective a drawing should be, especially when compared with the photograph that is regarded as the most objective representation of an artifact;⠀
  • finally what kind of drawing technique should be used to best capture the essence of the object. ⠀ ⠀ 

As one might safely assume, drawing is never fully objective but rather a highly subjective matter, where success or failure is largely dependent on the knowledge of the person who does the visual interpretation. A wooden funerary mask such as the one found in the late Ramesside private tomb, TT 65, can be interpreted in many different ways. Nonetheless, the drawing presented here is concerned with the black painted details around the eyes and forehead, the texture of the finely carved wood, the indication of its eroded state, and the subtle smile characterizing and impersonating the face.⠀ ⠀

Traditional pencil sketch on transparent paper.⠀

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