Friday, June 1, 2012

"Ascension" Oil based figure sculpture of nude woman rising

 I'm very excited about my first oil-based clay figure sculpture. It's the fist time I've used a wire armature. This is loosely based on a life pose from the Art Student League class that I took under Rik Sargent recently. I'm still getting used the the Classic clay - rather sticky feeling in comparison to water-based clay.

You'll notice that some the hands, feet, hair and cloth are a darker color. Rik showed me that you can mix casting wax with the clay to make a much harder claymix that can hold smaller detail better than the oil clay alone. So even though I had fully sculpted her hands and feet, I cut them off, re-sculpted them using the wax/clay mix and reattached. Because I wasn't really basing this sculpt on any particular pose from the model, it changed as I aggressively manipulated the figure for more drama - thereby exposing some of the armature wire in the process. In addition, the pipe supporting her is also in the way. I will be taking a mold and casting this piece in wax. Once I have the wax, I'll be able to sculpt out the imperfections caused by the wire and the post support. 

When she's complete, the flowing cloth will be her only support - she'll appear suspended in mid-air- cause in the moment of Ascension. This is the first piece that I've considered taking all the way to bronze. Rik has generously offered to help me through the steps. If you ever have the opportunity to take a class with Rik do it - he's a very giving and inspiring sculptor and teacher!

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