Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Final Figure Model

Today was the final session with our models Jon and Zenia in John Horn's figure modeling class. The next step is to cast the sculptures over the last few weeks of class.

This was the first bust of someone I have ever done from life and the first since I was about 10-11 years old, when I sculpted a bust of Jesus back in grade school. that piece was disqualified because they said I couldn't have done it myself and must have had my parents help me.

I did have some help on this from Mr. Horn, my fantastic teacher I will readily admit. All John had to do was look at the sculpt for 10 seconds and make a few pushes here or there, or take a tool and make a deft cut here or push there and suddenly the piece would have what it needed.

I have wanted to sculpt for a long time and finally getting to do it has been very challenging, frustrating and also fun. I still hope to be a sculpture minor and have some pretty cool ideas I'd like to make and themes to explore. PAFA is to my mind really the best place left in the country to study figurative sculpture and the cast hall is a fantastic resource in that regard.
This piece still could use a lot more refinement, but that's all the time we have, so this is as far as I could take it. I know with more practice I'd get farther, faster and learn to deal with things like the model moving around, doing eyes (which are friggin hard!) and the esthetics of the smooth surface vs the rougher sculpt where you can see the finger prints of the sculptor, which I really like.
The part I am happiest with is the hair as I think that adds a real nice balance with a cool texture and almost gestural movement.I had to fight this thing tooth and nail at times, the further along you get the harder the little things become. I think I sculpted and re-sculpted the mouth 5 times alone. My buddy Jeff who's taken several sculpture classes before was also a really big help at times, especially when John horn wasn't in the un-instructed classes.

1 comment:

alan said...

From some angles ie in profile) the eyeballs look a little too deep-set where they meet the nose-bridge (not having the model to check against, of course), but from others, the modelling casts the perfect shadows on them. You're right, the hair is nicely done, with real movement (hah, I'm almost getting a sense of them moving like Ray Harryhausen's Medusa in that rear-view); and the mouth you worked so hard on looks great - the shape in profile seems so right. ears great too. I wonder how you do eyes-open, and convey the iros etc in relief when real iris's aren't...

What a success for a first effort