Friday, October 17, 2014

Sculpting the Bas Relief Tutorial part 4

Here I am continuing to to add clay and build up the forms. It's very important to remember to turn your bas relief as you work, just as you would a sculpture fully in the round.

It's tempting to spend a lot of time in an area - but if you fail to work on all areas in equal amounts, you'll stop for a cup of coffee and come back to discover vast amounts of distortion caused by overworking a single area.

By turning the sculpture from side to side, you'll see where areas will need to be built up or pushed back. As the work evolves, you'll need to constantly reassess the depth of each area. This is where a discerning eye and artistic license will come into play. This isn't a canvas with a drawing or painting and it isn't fully is somewhere in between. You'll need to employ drawing-like techniques to give the illusion of depth to some areas and that fine line can only be found as the sculpture

As you can see here - I have determined how far out I want my high relief to protrude and as I work, I swivel the work from side to side to see it in profile to determine how far to build out the torso and the arms.

Don't be afraid to cut into the work. At this stage I cut off both her arms to allow access to the torso when I determined that it needed to be filled out more and brought further forward in the relief. That is part of the process.

Again, as you work, keep bones and flesh in mind - this will help keep your forms fresh as you work.
When taking a break from the work, as this is water-based clay, it must be wrapped up. I have found many ways of wrapping, but my favorite has become to simply mist the
sculpt and cover with plastic drop-cloth that I purchase by the roll. I like that I can cut it to size for the project and clings to the edges of the wood securely and helps to maintain the moisture until the next session.

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