Coming back after the summer holidays we started Term 2 with a 2 day lying pose. No measuring on this one and we got to choose what scale we did. I decided to try and block in the whole pose and learning from my previous experience mad sure I built up this pose so it wasn't too flat like my last effort. This is about 8 hours sculpting.
We then moved onto a 3 day pose about 12 hours. Again I decided to go fairly small and block in the whole pose. No measuring with this one just sighting like we do when drawing. Having the opportunity to do this laying down pose has been great as I so rarely get to see this kind of pose so it becomes very challenging to work out the gesture,proportions and the forms of the anatomy.
The last half of term was spent working on a standing pose, and what a great pose it is. This has to be the most exciting pose I have ever seen. The gesture is great and so powerful. I have spent 8 days so far on this so about 32 hours. We started of taking height measurements of the major anatomical bone points. So sole of foot to patella, sole of foot to illiac crest, sole of foot to super sternal notch, Sole of foot to acromium process. As I type this I am trying to remember the anatomical names, not so easy, but sculpting is a great way to learn anatomy I think. We also took widths of hips and shoulders. As we are working to a third scale all measurements are divided by 3 and then the lengths and widths are added together and extra added for a base. This is quite maths intensive for me as numbers are my weakness so I was pleased when we finally had our armature wires worked out and built.
This is a page from Edouard Lanteri's book Modelling and Sculpting the Human Figure which should give a better idea of how the armature was built. Ours were more simple, without the hand wires and butterflies. I think measuring and armature building is something I will have to do a lot of before I really know what I am doing and get it fixed in my brain. An error I made when nailing the wires to my board was that I had not really sighted the back iron in relation to the feet. This meant my armature looked like it was falling over so I had to take them up and do it again. This made me realise that I should have looked at the position of the super sternal notch, which is a fixed position on the model and does not move. From this I should have dropped a horizontal and taken note of the feet placement in relation to this. The sighted horizontal then becomes the back iron and you can place the wires with better accuracy.
Once the armature is attached to the board the wire is bent into the shape of the gesture and we applied small amounts of clay which we squeezed on in doughnut shapes all over the wires. This was left for a week so that it would provide a strong structure to build on.
My progress week to week was fairly slow mainly because I do tend to be slow but also because I was conscious of over building, something I want to try to avoid as this means you have to scrape of and can loose the texture you get as you build. I would like to try to keep some texture on this sculpt rather than smoothing it all down.
I am quite happy with it at this stage and I shall continue to progress slowly as I try to work out the forms I am looking at which is very challenging with such a well muscled model. Doing this sculpture really makes me realise how important learning surface anatomy is for artists and also how to simplify that anatomy into planar forms. Hopefully I should get to spend another 5 days on this. Not enough time to finish but I shall just get what I can done. Having the opportunity to spend so long studying a pose like this is great and has been a real highlight of my year.