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Lesson 9

A Royal Face for the Queen Plate center

Gael Stirler


Student doing this lesson Young Queen Follow this lesson to draw a portrait of a royal man or woman in the center. Here is a simplified single page handout of this lesson you may download and print for your use.

Click on the little plate to see Viscountess Celecia's finished project. This took her about five hours in class and it was her third class with me.

To begin: Use three coats of maiolica white glaze to coat the front and back of a rimmed or coupe plate at least 10" in diameter letting the glaze dry between layers. Lay the plate face down on the banding wheel and center it. Paint your name and the date in the center of the plate. Use your banding wheel to paint a few concentric bands on the back for practice before working on the front.

Turn the plate over and center your plate again. Paint enough bands to create a wide border area and a slightly narrower border with thin borders in between. Leave a space about 6" in diameter in the center for the face. Using a No.2 pencil lightly draw in a grid in your outer border and sketch in one of the geometric border design from any of the previous lessons. Repeat for the narrower border. I recommend a ribbon or pearl border with a dark blue or black background for this inner border.


Royal Face

Step 1 Here is what we are going for. The drawings below are simplified for the sake of the lesson. Please refer to this picture for a more Medieval depiction or the "Young Queen" picture above for a modern interpretation.

Step 1:Using a pencil. Start by drawing two half circles for the top of the crown. Let it touch the edge of the circle. The width of the crown here is about the same as 1/4 of the circle.

Step 2 Step 2: Draw the rest of the crown. Add gems, fancy decorations and leaves as you see fit.
Step 3 Step 3: Define the outer edge of the hair by drawing two "C" curves beneath the crown.
Step 4 Step 4: Define the chin and the sides of the face and some of the hair. Make sure that the hair does not fall over the face too much or you won't have room for the eyes. If it helps you, draw an oval for the head starting at the crown. You want to make sure that the crown looks like it is setting on the head.
Step 5

Step 5: Define the the bridge of the nose with two lines in the center of the face.

Step 6 Step 6: Define the center of the eyes and the corners of the mouth. Notice how they are are lined up with each other. The distance between the centers of the eyes is the same as the length of the nose. Define the bottom of the nose and nostrils. Add the eyebrows
Step 7 Step 7: finish the eyes and add a line for the mouth.
Step 8 Step 8: Add lips. Here is the trick with the lips. Do not draw them all the way to the corners of the mouth. The lips look better if they are about as wide as the end of the nose. Add a little crease under the lower lip for the top of the chin and a little crease at the corners of the mouth for expression. Draw two lines slightly leaning for the neck. They should join the sides of the head about where the ears (if we could see them) begin. Slanting this line gives the face a little more graceful look.
Step 9 Step 9: Finish the shoulders, collar and neckline. At this point you can finish the face as a male by adding a mustache and beard, or changing the hair to a chainmail coif.
Step 10
Step 10:
Draw in more hair for a Queen.
Step 11 Step 11: Add two "C" curves for the stem of the olive branches in the background.
Step 12 Step 12: Draw leaves and olives on the branches.
painting Painting Instructions: Paint all the lines with detailing black or zaffer. Water down the zaffer and make a shadow outlining the Queen, crown, hair and leaves. Paint the background with three coats of red, painting over the shadows as you go. Paint the crown, leaves and gold decorations on the clothing deep yellow or some other shade of yellow. Paint the hair yellow or brown, not orange since the background is red. To make red hair, paint it yellow and give it red accents. Paint the clothing in colors that please you. Make a flesh tone by mixing small dabs of yellow and red in equal proportions with a little water. Only paint the shadows on the face with the fleshtone and leave the rest of the face white. Color the eyes and any decorations on the crowns.

Homework: Find a ceramic shop in your area or a friend with a kiln. Get your plate fired at cone 06. Take a picture of it and send it to me.


Go back to Lesson 8: Geometric Borders | Visit Gallery 1


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Unless otherwise noted all art is the work of Gael Stirler.
AKA Mistress Dairine mor o' hUigin, OL

This page was last updated Monday, 16-Mar-2009 15:37:50 CDT