Friday, June 1, 2012

Correcting a proportion mistake in sculpture

At the National Sculpture Society's Sculpture Celebration Weekend held in Loveland last week, I was so fortunate to meet some amazing, world-class and world-known sculptors. One of them, Victor Issa, generously critiqued my sculpt in progress, "Waiting on the #9".

The original sculpture was in good proportion and I had verified measurements with my calipers. However, with the severe damage incurred in shipping, I was forced to cut off her legs and arms and re-create them, as well as her head and neck.

Here's where the distortion came into play. I was sculpting from memory. I did do a quick measurement of the feet to be sure they were the correct (and both the same) size. But I got lazy when re-sculpting her hands and just set about sculpting them as I remembered them before the accident. That was a rather arrogant mistake indeed!

Luckily, Victor's practiced and keen eye detected what I couldn't see for myself. It's rather like when you write a paragraph and have "...the the" written twice and you can't see that simple mistake. Victor noticed that the wrists and ankles were too heavy (my own are exceedingly small and I think I over-compensate my own wrists and ankles) and that the hand on her waist was too small. He put it nicely and delicately but when I got home and studied the sculpt I found that the hand was WAY to small! So glad he caught that, because I hadn't. So off came the hand for re-sculpting. The hand should measure from the palm on the chin to the top of middle finger 3/4 up the forehead. We have established mine was wrong, so I won't fess up to just how short her hand was when I did the original comparison. Above is a photo of the now-correct measurement. Thanks, Victor, for that and many more lessons!

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