Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sculpting Portrait demo continued

 Today I worked on the likeness more and finally put some hair on her. The clay is very heavy- there is about 30lbs of wet clay here.

This portrait will need to rest and firm up a bit before I can move on. The next step will be to cut her open and hollow her out. There is so much wet clay that it can't support itself yet.

You need not do too much work on it at this point, because the chances of it getting crushed are quite good. Better to wait until it is leather hard.

So now we wait...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Portrait sculpting demo - Daughter

I started a life-sized portrait bust of my daughter this week. Below you will see the progression of where I started and up to this point.

First, I began by by crumpling some newspaper into a ball shape and taping it over a post. Next I added a generous amount of CT3 waterbased clay to form a general starting head shape. Then I made some lines to dived the head into proportion.

After that I began to carve out the eye sockets and refine the head shape and then began blocking the forms of the features.

Once I got that far, I added shapes and continued to refine the shapes. Up until this point I wasn't too concerned with getting a likeness - it was all about forms, shapes and proportions.

Now that I've gotten this far, I will let the clay rest a bit, allowing it to firm up. Then I will go back and begin to seriously define the forms, correct any proportion errors that I find and begin honing the likeness.  This portrait is just of 1/2 completed and has used nearly 1 full bag (25lbs) of clay. I will probably need another 1/3 to 1/2 bag of clay to complete the bust.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The page-turner - maquette (clay sketch)

I created a new maquette, or clay sketch, today. This little bust has been quickly fleshed out in Jmac Classic Clay and measures about 6" from top of head to bent elbow.

The general inspiration was my daughter, a confirmed bookworm and talented writer. She often looses herself for hours at a time in her books, sometimes absently fiddling with her necklace while absorbed in the story.

The sketch is a quick gesture and I'm in love with pose already. I'll refine this a tad more just because I really want to - I may even take the sketch to bronze in this state before working on it again in a larger size for a more finished version.

The working title for this new sculpture is "The page-turner".

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Award winning books and sculpture

Been busy running to Denver and Loveland getting molds made, wax castings poured and bronzes made. The two Ascensions are still having their patina's tweaked before being put onto the bases and I'm working on some new pieces. But I wanted to share a non-sculpting event too - one of my favorite authors, Nancy Lee Mervar, called to let me know our book "Nana's Silly Goats" won first place in the Children's division for the Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY awards for 2012! Loved illustrating her two books - Congrats, Nancy!

Will have new sculpting posts soon.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Beginning State of Grace final

     Starting the final clay for "State of Grace". This time I'm using Jmac Classic clay - medium for the body and firm for the head and hands. I did the maquette a while ago and now that I've finished a few things, it's time to start this one. I'm using the 1/4 scale (16") Truform armature for the first time. So far it's going pretty well. It's nice to have the hips and torso blocked in with the Truform, but I did find I had a few problems with the placement of the support bar. After working on it for a while, the weight of the clay pulled down on the lower part of the body and elongated it out of proportions.

Using my calipers, I was able to tell it was quite distorted, with the upper torso much too long. The weight have pulled down on the wire spine.

So I cut her up and removed her, shortened the spine wire in the torso and re-bolted her back into place. Hopefully I have it tight enough now that this won't repeat.

Because she's floating the weight is more of a factor - if she where standing and supporting her weight it wouldn't happen as much. But I won't be sculpting the fabric support until later. You can look back into earlier posts to see the maquette that I'm working from.

I'll be taking time on Friday and Monday to chase the waxes for my bronze Harriet Tubman and Waiting on the #9 - then back to working on this pose on Tuesday.