Sunday, February 27, 2011

Core Program Studies - "Tippy Casts"

The "tippy cast" studies are an integral part of the first year afternoon block-in class. We work on the "tippy cast" drawings for at least a few months, four afternoons per week.

A "tippy cast" is simply a feature cast (nose, eye, lips, ear) that has been turned on a strange angle, so that the the object has been reduced to a more abstract physical representation of shadow and light shapes. "Tippy casts" are extremely useful to learn how to see shapes, distances and other basic measurements accurately and rapidly. We are meant to finish each study in four hours, and I have personally found it to be an exceedingly helpful exercise. Most students find that their ability to judge tilts, shapes and distances improves greatly during the months that they spend on these studies.

Andrew Bonneau's finished nose tippy cast
and eye tippy cast in progress
If you wish to do "tippy cast" studies in your own studio, it is important to find a point behind the feature cast to line up with a point on the cast. For example, in the above image you might line up the top left corner of the eye cast with a particular white speck on the wall. Then, when you draw you must make sure that you always return to this viewpoint. That way the shapes always remain the same; even a small change in your vantage point results in great differences in the shapes, distances and tilts, which will confuse your drawing. The idea is to attain total accuracy in these drawings, which is hard enough to do without the shapes changing the whole time!


Anonymous said...

Where is a good place to obtain these casts? Please advise!
Thank you

Emilie said...