I wanted to share with you the process of working on a figurative sculpture. We have a lovely full figure model who is sitting in a nice classical pose. She is sitting pretty straight with only the most subtle contrapposto of the rib cage and pelvis, but in order to make the piece have a feeling of movement it still needs to be evident and maybe just a little emphasized.
Last week only the plinth and a basic block in of the body was built. At the end of the class we covered the sculpture with a plastic bag but did not tightly close it up so a little air would circulate so the clay would harden some. This stiffening of the clay will be helpful as the time goes on because it will be the foundation for all future additions that are more specific.
I am drawn to the way the model is somewhat leaning on her right arm, and how the straightness of the right arm is countered by the forward thrust of the left leg, where the right leg is relaxed in a skewed manner.
In order to keep the gesture in mind while I am working on various parts, I use a pointed tool to draw into the surface to remind me of critical parts and and directional lines. In the top photo you can see how I drew a box for the direction of the rib cage and a corresponding line for the top of the pelvis that is counter to that of the chest. There are similar marks on the back of the sculpture also.
I used the drawn lines also in the rounded form of the head, making sure I do not lose the sense of direction the model is looking, even if in real life the model adjusts some as she settles into the pose. And as you can tell with some of the rough edges, I try to only use tools to create the surface, this ensures a more defined contour and helps minimize the tendency that when working only with the hands a soft and somewhat muddled surface appearance.
We have a few more classes on this piece and I look forward to developing it further and then sharing with you.
Until then, thanks for stopping by, Liz