This lesson studies the origins of African tribal culture and teaches what the masks traditionally represented. You get a glimpse into a culture far different from our own through the masks and their legends. This project asks you to represent your modern identity by translating it into the style of an African mask.
Study a few of the masks that interest you and identify what it is about the masks you like. What do those aspects communicate to you? Consider the colors, shapes, and exaggerated features and how they effect the personality of the mask. What do you want your mask to be about?
Begin your sketches with a light pencil outline so it will be easy to make adjustments as needed. If you really like your mask design, then you can do other sketches to test color choices.
Your sketches are a space to try out ideas and to consider them for your final artwork. Perhaps you want to create a mask that reminds you of a relative, pet, or animal?
This mask is also a relief sculpture. It has been done with cardboard and paper mache. The contrast between the earthy brown and the bright colors of the design give it a rich vibrant feel.
This project can be done as a painting, drawing, or sculpture relief. Remember to always choose a media that feels like it is in harmony with your life. Does cutting and glueing sound fun to you, or rather working with markers or colored pencils? The choice is up to you.