- Lesson details
Rendering the Figure
In this lesson, learn how to carefully observe and “draw” contours of the model in clay and how to check them for accuracy. Establish volume and proportion as well as balance in your sculpture.
About this Course
Depicting the realistic human figure in clay is one of the most complex challenges facing sculptors today, and one of the most respected.
Robert Bodem makes it as simple as possible with a powerful method he developed over 20 years called Drawing in Space, recorded for the first time for this online course.
In this course, you will learn a systematic and easy to follow approach to realistically depict the human figure in clay, while expressing your artistic intentions.
An impressive number of Robert’s former students who learned this method are now world-renowned artists – and now it’s your turn.
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And as we get into the next phase it becomes what I always refer to as
the long middle of sculpting. There's a lot going on, a lot of activity, and a
lot that you're considering. One thing that I want to let everyone know is if I'm
working with the model and I'm producing a project, and I encourage students to do
this, is I'm always in the studio in an hour before the model comes in
because I want to check things prior to the model being there and I don't think
of sculpture as something that you pick up where you left off,
you know you so what I do is I checked you know what I have found
on a previous day, see if it's still working or for that matter for days prior
to that and I want to talk a little bit about how I do that because
I primarily do that with these structures. If I've done my job well
and I've introduced the structures as theoretically they should be, I also know how easy it is
to let go if you're if you're not considering it as you move forward. So some
of the things I do if I'm trying to incorporate,
you know, balance within my internal units,
I’ll come in and check my center line. So how I do that is I'll put my
fingers on the center line and try to see if I'm getting a certain balance away
from the center line. So I'll check that from the front and what I'm finding
is I'm doing a pretty good job of controlling the borders at least that I have
here now because I have an equal amount of finger on either side of my center line.
And that can be done in the center as well.
This can be done as I turn my sculpture to the back to see how
my back center line’s working.
I mentioned yesterday also about how we put these,
you know, toothpicks or these sticks in the sculpture to check kind of how my centering
is working from the front to the back.
And also thinking about the theory, sometimes the understanding of the theory of how the box
and egg works gets - your observations can get into in the way of it because of
the anatomy that’s sitting on top of it often confuses you. So a lot of this
process once again is about the theory of the box and egg and how we use it.
Not just pure observation and what the model is telling us.
What I discovered as I was here earlier looking at my sculpture is that I had
some issues that I found that I already had to deal with.
So one of them was - well the principal one that I want to point out today
was how my spinal column or center line in the front works. And
I made a mistake. And essentially that mistake was the concept of how the lumbar vertebrae
and the spinal column are working
I have it coming out of the approximately the center of the pelvis,
but it keeps running up, keeps running up, but it changes direction at the solar plexus.
So I had to remind myself that that's not how the spinal column functions.
The spinal column is connected to the back of the rib cage.
So here I'm looking at the back of my little element that I used to help
control this and up in here
I have that - I have the trajectory changing in the front about here.
Which is wrong. In other words,
if this is to represent the movement of the spinal column,
it doesn't work. I've paralyzed my sculpture by breaking her spinal column. So in theory
what should be taking place is that this center line should be extending down farther and then beginning
to change direction about where the lumbar vertebrae are in here.
So that's going to turn back and then come back into here.
Something like that. That's going to send things a little bit off balance from where I
had them initially, but it's going to help me understand how the spinal column functions better.
The other thing I was kind of analyzing as I was looking at the sculpture, I
had wished that I'd given myself a little bit more room.
In other words that, you know, for me at least for this purpose of this video,
this box maybe a little bit broad for me to demonstrate as I would like
how to really kind of work with these contour edges in this information that are going
to be now set off from it.
So I may be too close to the proportion that I eventually may come to without
giving myself a lot of room.
So if I come across a situation where this is getting in the way,
I'll take things back. The dialogue that I have with my work I realized to me
is the most valuable way in which you can train a student. And I want to
talk a little bit about that because there's some age old - there's a phrase that I've heard
over and over again that as I began to think about it
I started to not believe and that phrase is when a student involves themselves in a
type of training like this,
what they do is they they're training their eye. And I don't believe that. Or they
sharpen their eye. When I talk to a student about sort of discrepancies in their work
imperative to their model and ask them
what do you think about this?
They go oh it doesn't look like it's the right size or it doesn't look like it's in
the right place or it doesn't look like it's in the right gesture.
I found by talking to students about their work, not telling them what's wrong with their
work, that they can find the answers and answer them faithfully.
After this happened so many times
I started to realize that it's actually that the fact that they didn't find that or
didn't get it to function
well in their work was that they weren't asking the right questions.
So I felt academic training in this has been proven to me over and over again isn't necessarily
about your eye becomes sharper the more you do it. If you see I'm wearing glasses,
when I first started working in Florence 20 years ago
I wasn't wearing glasses. My eyes have dulled over time. And we spent a lot of
time visually observing and visually comparing. That sounded like someone sitting at a computer all day.
Your eyes will tire, your eyes do get tired. You need to refreshen them.
So they don't get sharper.
And so what I've always done as an educator is to try to sharpen the minds of
the student and what that means is provide them with a dialogue that I work with.
In another words to questions that accompany the process, the discussion that I have while I'm looking
at my sculpture. That's done on an individual basis with students because it's unpredictable where
someone needs to think more or on what level they need to think more and I
would like to try to provide this for you in some way and I'm not here
critiquing your work, but I think we should play a little game.
So there's going to be a lot going on now with my sculpture.
I'm going to be introducing a lot of information.
I will guarantee you that I'm not just going to put it on there right ,that
there's going to be mistakes made that I'm going to be looking for and I'm hoping
to find and I’ll adjust them and I'll edit them and I'll keep the work
flexible and there's techniques that I'll do that with so I never worry about mistakes or
problems that I have in my work because with the techniques that I work with I
can change them quite quickly.
The game I want to play is this. As you're watching me put this figure together -
and now that I get into the rendering of the body type and looking for contours,
internal shapes, why don't you look for elements that you don't feel are going up there
as you're seeing them on the model.
This will give you -
this will be you critiquing my work as I'm trying to put it together.
And once again, I know that you're going to see elements that are wrong and this
will give you an ability out there to start an internal dialogue.
Stop the video, if you see something that doesn't go up there right stop the video
and then maybe ask yourself:
okay, why doesn't look right right
now. Does the contour edge look too wide or not flow in the right direction?
Is it too low - is the knee too low? And these things will be occurring along
the time but this video once again,
as I'm working can help start to get you engaged in the dialogue that I desire
to always provide to students.
Before we invite Aurora back out here
I want to talk to you about the conditions
I'm going to start to work with and just you know,
re-emphasize those. My points of departure. What I'm gathering information from. I'm going to be
looking at my model’s pelvic points and the pelvic girdle and also then the use of
the center line. So as I begin to render I'm going to begin to use those as
a point of departure. So where I’m seeing
contour is related to the bony edges.
I'm going to be start once again drawing down the figure in order to start incorporating
some of these external contours.
This phase of sculpting there’s, once again, so much occurring that it's hard to predict
exactly everything like this. This first stage was it.
The next stage is less theoretical on about just kind of what's a occurring in front of
us. So the first thing I want to do as Aurora comes out here is I
want to talk about what we're looking at when we see a model. So Aurora,
I'm ready. We're ready. As we're looking at the front plane of the pose,
this could be the side planes,
this could be the back of the pose, this could be any vantage point of the pose,
but I want to draw awareness to what we're looking at.
Essentially what is occurring when you're standing back at a distance from a model whether you’re a painter,
whether you're a draftsman or whether you're sculptor,
you're looking at the same factors. A sculptor doesn't work with color.
So, you know, I'm not concerned about,
you know, the skin tone or the colors that we're seeing at but essentially a
sculptor’s job is to understand how to render external contours.
So when you're standing back from the model, you know,
we're looking at movements of contour edges that are - where basically skin stops and air
starts. So when I refer text external contour,
I'm looking at these lines that are running out over there. People call them silhouette somehow.
I don't know I prefer the word contour.
So external Contours are something that were going to be constantly engaged with and they’re very crucial
to the concept of Drawing in Space and one of the reasons I refer to it
as Drawing in Space. So the other important qualities that we’re trying to incorporate as a
sculptor is actually really what the form - the internal forms are doing, which are recognized through
seeing value, shadows and light.
So you'll see here you're going to see shadow coming across the bottom of her stomach.
You'll see shadows in the areas of her rib cage,
you'll see, you know descriptions of shadow and valuing in her knee.
So essentially while you're sculpting, what you're trying to render or develop when it comes to
the model's body type is external contours
and internal shapes. So as I depart now and try to once again involve myself in
this type of information, I think the most important thing to realize is yet
I'm still trying to keep it simple.
I refer to it - you know a metaphor what I'm doing right now is getting into
a hot bath. We’ve got to ease into it and how I use into that is
I'm starting to explore contour when I'm going to be trying to analyze is break it
down into, you know, a more rational -
more rational manageable situation. So when I'm looking at the external contours that as I start, instead
of trying to draw these long sweeping organic forms that are occurring there.
I'm more looking and concerned to break down the contour into an apex.
I'm sorry the origin, the apex, and the ending of line.
I started to realize at a certain point that you know,
when you're looking at how the linear qualities of things are on the model,
you can kind of break them down into their essence and you can do that
by conceiving them within these three points or moments.
The reason I want to incorporate these a little bit in a more basic level and
not try to just go for it and get the organics to work is because I
know there's a lot of room for error.
As I begin to do this,
I won't feel as though that I'm going to hit everything perfectly.
I'm going to move these around for a while and I'm going to once again want
to emphasize about how I keep these things flexible.
And break them down into a more manageable system.
When you break information down into once again more simple things, when you look at it
and you know that your goal was to try to peg the origin, apex, and ending
of a line, you really try to analyze three elements.
So as you're looking at it and you're going okay,
I don't know if that worked or it doesn't feel right,
you've only really once again tried to establish three things instead of you know,
the amount of information up there which is way more than that.
So I’m going to get started. Talking too while I work, want you to recognize some of the
things I'm doing here. You've been seeing me set up a condition here of a high point.
So you've been watching me with my thumb basically lay
In a high point like that. Now you’ve just seen me draw an edge.
Once again, we're discussing here the idea of external contours,
which I'm laying in in clay because you know,
I'm expanding out and introducing those and internal shapes and value.
So what I'm doing here is when I'm reacting to where I'm seeing a shadow
or light, I'm going to be drawing it out on my sculpture.
So what this allows for me is when I'm going to stand back from a sculpture,
this becomes a lot more clear for me to look at which helps me see if
the placement is working or not.
Then if I don't have that value shift now in this quite dark edge
that's there to, once again, going to help me visually grab onto something.
And if I find that it’s maybe it's looking a little bit low,
I'll just pull it up.
I think one thing also to point out is that where does my eye go to first?
Because the box and the height of it, to remind you as well, has become
an immobile edge. In other words,
I'm not going to pull this forward
Nor am I going to raise it or lower it unless I get into a lot of trouble. But
the - my eye starts these observations and this is the process of how the construction method
is used here. So I'm saying to myself okay,
if that's not moving up or down,
then I can find where, for example, the bottom of her stomach is. So I'm not
looking necessarily, you know,
at arbitrary places that you know,
maybe I'm working a little bit down here and a little bit over there.
But what I'm doing is I'm engaged in my core structure, the one that’s not moving,
looking for areas that I can render, develop, and set up contour edges.
And then I'm moving away from it.
So this is a process once again that you - in the construction method of how
you read your sculpture. And it's always important for me to express this to people that
my eye goes here, I'm reading up and away from the center line along it,
and up-or-down away from the pelvic girdle.
The farther you get away from your core structures, the more room for error there's going
to be so, you know,
a lot of people are often concerned about the height of the knee.
I'm not really concerned about that yet.
One thing that I'm going to start doing also quite soon is I'm going to block
in the foot so I can get a little bit instead of that the bottom of
my feet are just sitting there as these little cylindrical things or I don't have feet that
is going to help start allowing me to start seeing some of these distances. And this
process I encourage people - I see a lot of the time with students that they start to
develop a knee quite quickly, but in this process because that given length, the foot isn't
going to move up or down nor is the pelvis.
That's the overall length here.
So there’ll be more security in placing a foot earlier than trying to find
the knee and in placing the foot will help you find the knee.
that you can conceivably do from the front but in these initial stages
it's better to get a more thorough looking around. Maybe as I'm doing this be turning
my model every 15 - every 15 minutes instead of taking a traditional 25 minutes before I
change her. So Aurora I'm going to turn you to the side
okay? Great. Here from the side now the - I’d like to point out as
well as to many - to all the students.
The conditions are little bit different primarily because you don't have a center line here.
So you don't see as you're looking through the sides sort of the concept of where the
spinal column is. Nor do you necessarily have a center of the box.
So the idea and the concept of working with structure from here, it’s important understand like
we were doing doing from the front, where my eyes going to and what I'm considering as far
as my departure points for rendering. I've set up that front of that pelvis and to
remind you once again, I'm not going to necessarily be moving this forward or backward anymore
and that was then allowing me to understand initially how the pose was the lower
area of the rib cage was set off from it.
So a lot of what I'm doing is I'm going to the pelvic point and I'm starting
to once again render contour down and away from it as much as I'm then also looking
at the high points that are occurring in the lower abdomen, coming up into her stomach,
running up into the pit of the neck.
So these are some of the ways in which I start to initiate some of the
information in the - from the side.
Aurora can I please ask you to raise your right arm
please. Thank you. One of the things I should probably mention is how I'm prioritizing things.
We mentioned earlier about I'm going to my structures and then making judgments about what's close
to it. So, you know what as
I'm looking through the side of the pelvis
I can see the abdominal ridges farther out,
you know, and I'm working up and away from it.
When I look at the pelvic point and I start to move down I can start to see
how the fullness of the thigh is extending out. So I’m - as
you can see it's a fairly straight line when I was talking about kind of origin
where I'm placing initially the apex and then I'm turning it down as it's going towards
the knee and I'll discover how It ends. You're also seeing me drawn this and so
we mention that as a technique.
So I'm looking for shadow and light shapes to help break up the space.
I would describe this to people short of there’s a
primary goal in this right now for me is basically setting up a general contour that
is going to help me more than anything at this point start to see proportions.
It's also starting to help me see if I'm drawing sort of the movements that are
occurring. It's going to kind of also to provide for me an idea if my initial
setup works. So for example,
if I was starting to see these gestural movements of contour but didn't quite kind
of run to where I needed them to go instead of - I would first start checking to
see if I - my judgment for my ankle, if the ankle need to move farther back or
forward. So many my block in wasn't quite going to where it needed to so then
my contour edges don't run to them.
I would mention this is the idea of there's kind of primary and secondary
information here. So secondary information,
which means it's relevant in order to help me discover.
what's more crucial?.What's more crucial for me right now is to get once again a
little better understanding of the outer contours on here because now is I evolve the sculpture
in multiple rotations, those are going to provide me with the proportions of the figure or
how the proportions of the figure are working.
But I'm also drawing internally. Now
I'm not concerned about locating these shapes specifically or trying to draw them specifically. We’ll be
getting to that later when there's going to be more nuance to how certain shapes of
light and shadow are running through here,
but it is going it does help me when I awaken with visual information the
inner patterns of light and shadow.
It is helping me with my contour.
So once again my primary information that I'm looking to locate are more to the
contours, because they're going to be more helpful to me at this point initially and the
secondary information is useful not in an order to establish it or get it to
function as it exactly is right now but to help me locate and work with
the primary information. I mean the sculpture at this point is kind of a sketch and it's actually
one of the parts of the process that I love.
I think it’, you know, we're going to discuss this as we kind of go towards
the end of this section before we get into the modeling.
But you know, this is also a viable way
I think that you know,
as far as the final execution of a sculpture. And what I'm going to do with
this demo sculpture is I'm actually going to leave sort of the techniques that are,
you know, I'm using to set up the sculpture while maybe I modeled the half. I refer
to this now is my goal is to make a Drawing in Space ecorche so
that the modeling techniques and how I modeled form are apparent but also the setup that
I'm using becomes useful for people as well.
I mentioned the word sketch.
I'm sketching in contour edges. Little funny story
about how people think of sketch.
I was working with a student one day who always wanted to go for the volumes
of form. So I'm not making forms here.
I'm looking for contour edges,
which is a neglect of how circumference of form turns around in here.
I'm not concerned about diameter,
but that's a desire, that's modeling form, that's getting more of the skin effects that
you're seeing on the on the surface of the model.
So it's a lot of people like to go there quite quickly
so I'm always encouraging people to develop an understanding of scotch and a student after I
set it to him multiple times that I still think it's a technique that would be
valuable to him, he said what do you mean make it inaccurate?
Which surprised me how he thought sketch was - he was applying sketch to being inaccurate with
your work, but actually when you get good at sketching you can be quite accurate with
it. So these contour edges even before I apply form to them,
I'm hoping to develop them accurately,
even though in some ways they look like a sketch.
So we'll see. Aurora I’m gonna turn you,
okay? As I initiated the contours in the front off the structures, turn to the side,
and now I'm at the back planes of her box and egg, the contours themselves are
essentially the same. I'm not looking at something different from the front in the back or I’m not
prioritizing something different from the front to the back. The internal
anatomy, the internal shapes are different but not the external vontours.
I say that because a lot of people are concerned, if I could take the front
of their sculpture they say well,
what about the back and I should have just critiqued it. Because when I'm looking at
the front of my priority or I felt the student’s needs were to evolve better their
external contours, once again, that's essentially the front - the same from the front what you're seeing
then as at the back.
I'm also here paying close attention to my structure. As we started today
I was mentioning to you that this issue occurring with the problem with the lumbar vertebrae
from the front to the back,
it’s still something I'm keeping track of to make sure that over the next few days
or few sessions or I'm going to be reconsidering sort of how I initially thought of
the center line. Not only just because there could be an error that I've made in the
setup of the of the box and the egg as I started, but also the pose is adapting.
So another kind of thing in the first few days of model sessions that I'm - as
I'm engaged in my structure,
you know, I'm thinking about how maybe the adaptation of the model is changing sort of
how I'm seeing this and I'm always interested in if there are - the pose is
settling and I can make it better that is going to than have me evolved sort
of the structures to accommodate for that.
So what I do is if I'm looking at this I'm saying
okay well maybe my pelvis is going to need to tip a little bit more so
that my lumbar vertebrae is going to come out a little bit more.
The se short hand techniques, and what I mean by shorthand techniques, the outer contour edge, I’m just setting
it up and I think of it as shorthand.
I'm just - I set it up in a fairly simple way,
but it allows me to see it.
I'm not making, you know, the thigh.
The drawing is well. It's a little bit of a short hand technique and another way
that these are useful is as you're moving through a sculpture in your thinking of change,
whether it's to the structure or whether it's to the placement of a contour edge,
I don't just walk up to my sculpture and just start changing everything.
What I start to do is start to think,
okay, maybe I'm going to tip my pelvis a little bit more.
And I'll draw it out up there without making all the changes to everything around it
and then I'll adapt sort of perhaps how the lumbar vertebrae are going to come out
of there to get a stronger tip,
readdress my center line here. I know that I'm going to have to as I'm conceiving of
some of these changes from the back, that I want only make them from the back,
that I got to keep that alignment that we talked about in the initial setup a
line from front to back. So I’ll indicate potential changes that I might want to make
and not go up and physically adapt
my sculpture to accommodate for them. As I go through multiple sessions,
once again, I have to come to a conclusion about where I want to go with
some of this information. So once again,
I don't encourage people as they’re working and trying to make adaptations to
their work to just go up there and make a singular adaptation and
change everything around it and then keep moving forward.
It's nice to have a full rotation or two full rotations with a model and then
as you come back here,
you've made a marked to indicate
maybe this is what I'm going to do and later on you may be able to
come to a more conclusive answer about how these that adaptations to the sculpture are going to work.
Ready for break? If there people out there that aren’t used to working with water-based clay,
something I don't know if you've seen me do yet,
but it’s important to keep it wet.
Always seems like a no-brainer to me,
but certain things happened. Obviously water-based clay loses moisture over time depending on the heat
of the studio or wherever you're working.
Sometimes slower, sometimes faster. As it gets dry people,
you know, get concerned and it starts to become rock hard particularly in those
smaller places if they're not - if you're not paying attention to how to take care of
it. So ankles and wrists are going to get drier than, you know, more larger masses
of the clay. Sometimes to the point where it dries out to the point that you can't
really work with it anymore and I just want to talk to you about a couple
of fixes for that. I'm going to show you at one point when I get more
of a sculpture here how to wrap it
well at the end of a session,
but it's not - what people have a tendency to maybe think something's getting too dry and
they start to get it really wet, really wet, really wet.
And that's not beneficial. It's going to turn into mud.
If you soak it too much
the clay doesn't really have time to kind of absorb that moisture and then soften
up a little bit and if you, once again, spray it too much it just kind
of turns into mud, gets too soft too quickly.
This has to happen slowly so I would, you know, I'm going to be
sparying my sculpture at this point probably every 10 minutes.
If something got too hard on your sculpture, one interesting way to help reclaim it if
you don't want to just cut it off and start over, because that would be one
option, would be to - you can take a piece of cotton like an old t-shirt and
soak it in water and ring it out so that it's not too wet.
So for example if these lower legs got too hard,
what I would do is I would wrap them both in cotton, wrap my sculpture for the evening,
I would leave the ends of the cotton coming out so that I would have maybe
two little small bowls of water on either side on the stand and I could put
the cotton in the water.
And then what's occurring in this situation is the clay is absorbing the moisture from the
cotton while the cotton is absorbing more water from these bowls so overnight
you'll find that it actually, you'll come back in the morning and it’ll almost be brand-new
like you put it up there to start.
So that's a way to kind of salvage some areas of the
project that maybe get too hard.
going to turn it, if you're approaching a model from the back,
make sure you tell them that you're going to turn the stand.
I've just seen too many times people approached them without saying to the model and they
turn it and it becomes precarious.
You don't want your model to fall off the stand.
A good point here to take a look at is why I leave the those initial
blocks here for the, underneath the feet, open.
Because if you decide that you need to adjust the setup from where the ankles are
going to, in the beginning when you're trying to make these placements and you’re looking at
those major angles, you're making a very general assessment of things.
And as you start to get more of a body type up there and start to
see some conditions forming, it may also once again inform you of what could occur with
your block in. This could be a situation where the models,
you know, adapting to the pose and settling into a pose but looked like
to me that maybe I'd like to push this leg a little bit farther back.
So having this flexibility early on is quite crucial to the sculpture.
I don’t want you to hold up your arm if it's going to hurt or are you okay
for a little bit? Okay. One thing that most people are aware about is that there's this
important element about your work which is called proportion.
You don't hear me talking about it very much and I'm realizing that. And the reason for
that is because I'm not being too concerned about it. I have my given height that I'm
working within. I just want to remind you of that. But also these techniques as
I'm setting them up, I'm hoping you notice that I'm placing these high points
but what I'm not doing is I'm not putting volumes of clay around it like this.
So for example, if that was the outer form of the gluteus,
I'm not filling form in around it.
This helps me not worry about proportions too much at this time
because if I happen to overbuild, setting up these kind of high points
it’s very easy to go back into it.
And so once again, I know that my work is quite flexible at this time. My needs
right now for what I'm hoping to do in setting up this kind of outer borders,
I'm actually getting to know the character and quality of my model’s contour edges,
you know for the first time.
Yes, everyone has - because anatomical principles guide what we're seeing here.
So everyone has, you know,
the same type of anatomy but it's all a little bit different.
You know, I worked on a lot of legs before but once again,
I'm just sitting here with my work, laying them in, they’re a little bit thin at this
point, and I'm using that to my advantage as we talked about earlier.
But once again, I'm not being concerned about proportions and as we get there
I'll discuss them a little bit more.
I introduced everyone to the idea of the balanced leg and that there's a pretty
extreme foreshortening in the pose. As I've been rotating the model today
and now I'm over to the far side before I move back to the front again,
I'm going to have an opportunity here to turn the model stand so that I can
start to address some of the contours from the perspective of it being least foreshortened.
Someone with experience working with a model and sort of the what they're providing for
you can have certain desires about how they would like things to go and I
believe in something appearing natural because it has certain contrasts,
you know lot of draftsman work with dark and light,
you know, the extremes between the two and I work with - to initially discuss this
in it’s gonna be a conversation that we're going to have throughout the remainder of the
video, the concept of tension and relaxation.
Now this is occurring in the balance leg and we talked about some of the movements
I believe that occur. So to remind everyone, Aurora
can you try to move that knee cap and turn it backwards and forwards?
Yeah, if you see that movement that's occurring
here, a model can - because that knee is not locked you know not only will they
waver over a period of time while they're posing,
which is hard to recognize in foreshortenings,
but once again, we're now seeing this beautiful curve that's occurring coming down through the center
thigh into the center of the knee and then the center of the knee and the center
ankle. How I begin to establish this because what's occurring here is that bend of the
knee cap, the direction that the patella is facing starts to get a little bit more
extreme like it is right now.
To me speaks of someone who's not putting weight on that leg.
So Aurora was to hold that knee straight out
it would look more like a marching pose if all the angles between the upper thigh,
through the knee, down into the ankle were all very straight.
That's how I initially set it up.
So as I'm addressing now this leg,
my interest as a sculptor trying to develop the pose to have a descriptiveness to it
would be to try to take away all sense of weight that's occurring in this leg.
So I'm going to start bending this in order to get sort of these -
that angle that's occurring throughout there. This concept of foreshortening is also interesting because I discuss
with you the idea that the importance of reading your sculpture in all these foreshortened
areas is gaining familiarity with it.
Which means right now in order for me to address the upper thigh, the outer contours
of it, I'm going to be setting up in a position to get to look through
the front of the patella.
So as I'm over here, one of the things that I'm going to try to do is
understand the direction of where that patella is facing.
If I'm addressing the lower leg,
you're going to notice that the patella is facing in one direction and the foot is facing
a little bit more over here,
and I'm also then going to work with where to place the foot so that they're a
little bit offset. Once again that speaks of a leg that doesn't - that is not
carrying any weight. So it sets it off when you're - when I'm getting more
into the descriptiveness of what a stand leg is doing and what a balance is
doing I'm beginning to set it up right now with these angles.
Thanks let's take a break Aurora.
Thank you. One thing that you can take a look at here is that you'll -
at the first rotation, I drew sort of a condition that would - I was looking at
the shadow that's underneath the stomach.
Then I turn to the side and then I put a high point on the stomach,
referenced from the front of the pelvis to the high point that I was looking at
in profile. Now what starts to occur is that some of these edges now become deep.
I asked people to be meaningful with almost every piece of clay
they put it on their sculpture that it's meant to represent something, the movement of a
contour edge, a proportional consideration.
Except in one exception. As I start to find sort of the outer contours of the
model and I begin to set them up, depending on how thin - whether it be the legs
or in your torso, your initial block in, is you might find that you are setting these
quite big high points. Now in this case,
it's not so extreme. But for example,
this could be deeper, which meant that you’ve got this really big edge sitting off there
and this could occur in the legs. If some of these high points - if my block in
was really quite skinny then some of these high points that I've been putting on
become quite far removed from there. So in this situation what I do,
I know if I try to - I want to start to go in and engage in
the drawing again of some of the shadow shapes and lights that are in her torso.
And what I'll do is I’ll start placing some clay here,
which is bringing sort of some of these elements closer towards the high point that I
found from the side. Because what takes place is,
if you try to just have these big high points on here and you try to
draw through there again, you're going to draw, turn up, turn around, and turn back, and
then your drawn edge won't read very well.
So when I say that I'm - these pieces of clay that I might be putting there
is getting me closer toward towards the high point I found from the side,
But they’re essentially a non judgement.
They're not meaning anything. I mean,
they're not a conqueror edge,
they're not necessarily a form, they’re not a proportional note.
So basically it's like I'm pulling my block in out.
So I guess if it's something I'm evolving my block in at this point because it was
deeper. Becomes a problem when people work with the external eontours once again,
when he just got these huge edges,
you know, and right now you can kind of pick up here through the
side that you know, this contour edge that is sitting on top of my block in
doesn't have a great deal of space between what was there before and where it is
now. But in some cases,
for example, maybe you're block in was here and then you got this big long edge
in there, it then becomes quite unmanageable.
So it's helpful once again.
I guess you can call it doing a little filling in.
If I'm doing some filling in, which I'm doing right now,
I'm still trying to keep my contour edge exposed in other words.
I'm not trying to fill in and model the form
I'm trying to just pull my block in a little bit farther forward, still keeping that
contour available to me for changes moving backward or forward.
But once again, this is going to be helping me, if I pull it out a
little bit more, i’s going to be helping me when I draw it to execute a
more clear line that I'm trying to represent.
Once again, if I'm bearing up my center line or the tip of my pelvis underneath
more clay, I always want this available to me.
So any time this gets lost,
I'm drawing it in there again. Any time this gets lost,
I'm drawing it in there again.
Thank you, Aurora.
and where I'm at in the sculpture,
I have to I'm at a bit of a crossroads. And this is normal and that
crossroads are decisions I make which are going to be crucial to the final resolution
of the sculpture which are essentially which pose do I want to make? For all of
you keeping score at home,
you've been watching my model move and that's essentially occurring in the torso that she's going
a little bit in and out of a more strong contrapposto, more strong movements to little less
more like I found on the first day. I mentioned earlier that it I think it's
important not to keep your model in a frozen rigid position that might be easier just
to kind of study what you've got there,
but it's never going to allow your model to give you choices that may actually
further and better your own sculpture. The crossroads
I'm at - and this is what I'm going to be trying to tackle this morning - is
really where I want to go with my center line.
I did my best I could to set up kind of the initial conditions of how
I was seeing the spinal column function with the pelvis on the first day.
But as I've been watching it over these last few sessions,
you know, I've got a decision to make if I want to kind of pull it
over here, shifting it out over there and it to me gives the pose a
little bit more excitement. But once again,
I think it - one point I’ve said to students over and over again when I come
in and look at their work,
you know, there's something about making decisions accurately about your sculpture that may not
still always be the right choice for it.
And you know, if you're looking into create something and create it the best you can
you, once again, I myself am open all decisions that are occurring so I know I've
mentioned this a little bit in another way,
but I wanted to show you this. When you're looking at a model from minute to
minute, you don't notice changes. That may occur even from half an hour to half an
hour, but over a period of hours and days is your model’s sitting there in front
of you doing this. And what occurs is that
you are actually trying to make a sculpture based on decisions that this is giving you.
So once again, I'm as much as I'm trying to discuss to you and talk to you
about the process of Drawing in Space, trying to execute the sculpture
and once again, make sure I’m, you know, passing on as much as I can about
the process, you know, I've really been tracking the pose. And that's kind of what I encourage
people to do for the first few days,
See how the model is setting into the pose, see if it becomes more natural,
when do you think it's more interesting because once again with these techniques when you come
up with a fairly concise decision about where that should go, you're going to be able
to still capture it no matter that
these movements are still going to be occurring over time.
So we’re gonna invite Aurora back here and I'm going to look at the front and
once again we will be kind of considering what I'm going to be doing or potential changes
that I want to make to the - to the upper sections of the sculpture.
Where is I’m feeling fairly confident at this point the stand leg and how it's how it's
functioning in the work, there's not so many variables that I'm considering to change too much
in the lower sections of the sculpture.
So welcome Aurora. I alluded to this yesterday as well
and what I'm doing here is, you know, setting up an adjustment that I might make
for the spinal column to move it over a little bit to get the rib
cage set over the rib cage - or the pelvis in a little bit more of an
interesting way. The next thing I'm doing that you've seen as I'm drawing out on my
sculpture a potential reduction. So I'm using drawing to imply that I'm going to get rid of
that and then over here
I'm then building the edge that ought to keep the center centered and where it
might go. I always feel when you’re standing back from your sculpture
I'm thinking of change. It's based upon something that is not occurring on your sculpture yet,
but you're seeing from your model.
And then I think it's very important always, once again, with these short hand techniques of
them encouraging you to build on drawing with it pn this tool and then,
you know using a contour edge that's flexible to kind of pull that over because what
you can do is you can kind of see how the changes that aren't
occurring on your sculpture yet how they might feel - how you will you be able to
see them so you can see if the changes don’t seem validated. And this is going to
occur anywhere, you know, this could occur with proportional considerations, this could occur with movements and
contours. Because I feel fairly confident with my pelvic area that I'm not going to conceive
of change there, move it around too much anymore.
The process of Drawing in Space is we talk about kind of how we read the sculpture
also becomes a little bit redundant.
So another thing that you're going to start seeing me doing is you know I’ve set up my
change that I'm considering. I'm going to work throughout the day to see you know,
how these changes are going to affect the sculpture in the round and I'm not going
to commit to them right away.
I'll try to commit to them at some point today.
But the - as I go now to the pelvis and that's where I'm always starting my
observations once again going to my pelvis, coming down into my legs, moving up into the
upper sections of the sculpture,
is redundant activity. That's where I always start.
So when I - my thoughts right now is I go to the pelvis and feeling as
though it’s fairly locked in, at least this is how the tips and stuff go, I’m gonna start
to try to evolve it a little bit more.
So I'm going to be making some marks to kind of take the pelvic girdle and make
that a little bit clearer, more recognizable, more like my model’s pelvis. A box is not
a pelvic area. It's the conditions that we're setting up with the box that are certain
elements of it that are important for a sculptor,
but I'm eventually going to be going through this and trying to make a pelvic girdle
and get the - get the model’s pelvis set up on my sculpture.
Another thing you're going to start seeing me doing over time,
I haven't gotten to it yet,
but how I kind of apply clay. Evolving a little bit sort of the conditions of
the pelvic girdle, this is a really small, I mean, area of the sculpture and you
know, I'm going to be dealing with really small areas of the sculpture whether it be in
the knees, whether it be the head that I'm going to be putting up there or a clavicle.
If I'm trying to make small decisions with my clay, where it may need to go
or how many to function it's very difficult to them kind of apply it with your finger
like I've been doing with these contour edges.
So I - with the clay in my hand and with the same drawing tool, what I
start to do if I you know,
once again making a small consideration about,
you know, an edge or movement that needs to move out, what I do is I
pull clay off the - I pull a small piece of clay off the mass.
Not unlike a painter would be, you know, pulling some paint off of a a pallet
and then kind of applying it.
I just found that this is a pretty simple way to kind of control the observation
I want to make. Whereas a finger
always seems to be a little bit ambiguous about once again,
small little things. Hard to make a small half scale a head with your fingers.
So I say that because I see a lot of people naturally want to kind of
just work with their fingers all the time on their sculpture.
And so this is something that might be useful to practice,
but you'll be seeing me do it more and more again.
As I'm coming down my leg again kind of readdressing the contours,
you know, evolving them a little bit,
I'm still kind of thinking about movement in order,
you know, not so focused on proportions.
So if I'm feeling as though I'm lacking movement,
I'm looking for the descriptiveness of the stand leg.
There’s gonna be a long talk about the concept of accuracy that I would like to have
with you all. But what I want to point out here as I get towards the
bottom of the leg, I feel fairly comfortable with the position of the stand leg.
In other words, I feel my ankle’s in the right place. What I'm doing as I
get down to the ankle and I'm able to determine, I don't really think I'm gonna
move it anymore. I'm going to evolve the foot a little bit farther forward but before
I do that, I want to start dealing with the articulation of the ankle.
It’s always quite amazing when you just even come down and look at a model’s ankle
about how there's quite these nice beautiful movements that are not only coming into the foot
through the side but coming off into the ankle bony points
that you're seeing kind of from the front of the foot. So anytime
I have an opportunity to feel as though I can establish a bone to me
it's a little bit like putting another structure in my work.
So if we just equate structure with a bony edge,
it's to my advantage to once again come to a bony edge,
feel as though the position of the areas in the right place and start
to proceed into sculpting it like I've set up the pelvic girdle. At the end of the day,
you know, that gives me something to draw from too, you know,
two bony edges that are the top and the bottom of the leg. I started to
realize something not too long ago.
Based on the concept of kind of setting something up,
you know, the more simplistic way that I encourage people to do it.
We refer to it as a block in and here,
you know, I'm blocking in the foot.
What I realized recently is that in order to block in the foot to make it
kind of function well, even though you're trying to really simplify
it means that you have to have a lot of knowledge about it. So
to simplify something isn't as easy as sometimes I mention to people. It involves a
lot of thought so here I'm like thinking just of the concepts of the foot,
I can block in a foot and get it kind of sort of functioning quite well
without getting too particular about it.
But that’s because I know of the general characteristics that I can set up to
make it kind of look like a foot without once again having details or anything.
So what I'm doing here is I'm aware of that the high point of the
foot kind of coming through here.
And then also the shape of the foot. So it's as I’m, you know, trying to just
set up an idea for foot
I'm thinking of its general direction.
But once again, through my experience in working on multiple feet, I'm
able to discern, you know,
what are the primary characteristics that are important to use to simplify it?
So it's a little bit of a I think of a conundrum, the idea that you're
making something simplified. But yet it still involves a lot of knowledge about what characteristics that
you're doing that with. For me
it's the outer borders, you know, of the foot so the high point is coming down
to the big toe and then looking down upon the foot the shape of it.
For the first time I'm here
trying to get an idea of placement of the height of the knee.
I'm going to sit down and talk about a knee quite a lot at one point later
on because of its articulation and these are very important for people that work with the
human body to understand. But more so right now I'm just kind of looking for about
where I can place it as a height.
I've got a foot there now at least a little bit of an idea of a
foot so, you know, I can get a general idea.
I mentioned this idea of accuracy and that's another conversation
that is a long conversation that I could have with people what its importance is.
How it’s unimportant. You wouldn't hear me say
sculpting a figure 100% accurately is the most important thing in the world.
But once again, it has its importance.
I've never critique a sculpture and saw that maybe the knee is about this too
low or too high and made much of a fuss about it in the room.
People would have a patella maybe a little bit lower a little bit higher.
So I'm not a big stickler with people when they're concerned about did I get the
knees right? You know if I put the knee down here,
yeah, that might be a bit concerned if I put the knee up here, yeah,
that would be a big concern.
But once again, these are one of these situations that I'm - there’s characteristics of a knee
that I'm more interested in making sure I get right than just a mere placement.
And all I want to do is draw and indicate the knee.
Thank you, Aurora.
now that I've actually worked just a little bit on evolving sort of more particulars about
the pelvic girdle, I want them to be quite strong and active visually on my sculpture,
so if I can't get to do that with clay I kind of isolate it through drawing.
Because I, you know, once again a major part of Drawing in Space is to be using
these structural points to guide your decision-making. So as they go now to the side, once again,
I'm going back to the front of my pelvis,
you know, working up my contour edge up into the pit the neck and then working
down my legs and also into the back.
I’m gonna explain this just a little bit more again because it's becoming clear I think on this
sculpture. I'd talk to you about the initial
constructions that I'm doing for contour edges.
I'm looking for the origin, which was the pelvic point, the apex, which were the high points.
Before it changes direction and then it’s ending. So, you know, what I'm looking at the contour
edge here coming off the pelvis,
it moves forward, it hits a peak,
it turns direction and starts to turn in before it stops a little bit above the
knee. You know that's occurring all over the sculpture, that's occurring, you know the buttocks have these
organic movements so there’s not maybe the distinction that you're seeing here but then below the buttock
there's a you know a compression of form that creates this little angle. Aurora has quite developed
hamstrings back here so there's quite a large fullness that's occurring here and peaking. Then as
we get down beyond the knee without thinking about the knee, then we got fullnesses
within the calf before they start turning back into the ankle, and then you get fullness
in here. So what I have for my legs and what I'm looking at
on my legs are these high point so,
you know, I've got one, two,
three, four, and back in here a variety,
but that are moving quite small but maybe not as distinct. And this is what I
mean how I'm exploring sort of proportions through movement.
So I'm trying to achieve proportions through the gesture of my - these smaller gestures that are
occurring on the figure. And as I’m engaged in looking at them visually and I'm thinking do I
have the strength of the movement so - or am subdoing it, are
my lines too straight. If your lines are too straight
you're often - then you know, things are going to be a little bit too thin so,
you know, here what I'm trying to do more so is add to these high points
if I feel that I want to get a little bit more movement occurring you know, to and
away from them.
Thank you, Aurora. I’m gonna turn you,
okay? Ask you to raise the arm just for a minute or two.
Thank you. In order to get used to these techniques,
I've been working with them for a long time and I can you know,
work kind of quickly with them or slowly depending on where I am in the sculpture.
To reiterate the importance of these techniques once again is keeping my sculpture flexible.
I'm not worried about making mistakes,
you know, I can come back in with some of these contour edges if I
overbuild and it's very forgiving and it's always nice as you're working on something that's kind
of complex like this to be able to feel that sense of freedom that, you know,
making mistakes is going to occur.
But if I keep my sculpture flexible,
you know, I can take care of it quite quickly.
One of the advices that I would give to someone as they’re, once again, trying to
practice them, I think they're fairly unnatural because you're they feel unnatural to start practicing them
and I when I'm introduced students to them,
I find them - it's hard for them how to get milk particulate contour just too too
kind of run and move like I'm doing here.
Although the idea of kind of drawing this internal line where you're seeing a shadow and
light change direction, you know,
that's pretty straightforward. But in order to get used to it,
you know, one of the things I'd recommend as you're standing back from a model, you're
making certain decisions about it and you're then going to be approaching your model to execute
them. And, once again, I would try to ask students as they're getting accustomed to this
you know try to keep your decisions from a distance to not be too many so you know
I'd say, you know as you're standing back make,
you know, spend some time, find places where you can include you know a couple,
you know, internal edges that you're going to or shadows of light that you want to
introduce when you approached your sculpture and then maybe a couple of contour edges.
So generally what occurs is when I'm introducing these and I'm too close to my sculpture
I can't really see how they're working.
So the first thing I do is I step back to see if they've sort of
been set up the way I want to and if I find that they're not, the
next thing I do is approach my sculpture and readdress it in order to
evolve it a little bit more.
Drawing on the clay, what I'm doing right now,
I call it trying to see something before you actually make it. In other words,
you know, you're not making the transitions of form that are occurring here because there's changes
of direction. The reason we're seeing shadow and light on the model because there's a changing
of anatomy and I'm not building the form right now,
I'm just setting up and trying to locate it and get it to move in the
right direction. And as you're seeing there's lots of it all over and that's the complexity of
sculpture. So once again, I say to people,
you know, if you can see it before you make it you can discern if it's
in the right place or not.
The idea would be to keep kind of exchanging these movements and kind of keep working
on them until you can feel fairly comfortable okay
that looks like it's in a good spot.
Then you can start committing to this information.
Soon enough here. I'm going to start committing to some of this information.
I'm going to show you then how I then continue to evolve it beyond
it's just a linear edge.
I'm going to change you just a little bit of okay, I’m gonna move the stand.
I'm just - to remind you,
I'm turning the model a little bit offset to the planar system.
I've been working and because I need to now be addressing the stand leg - oh I’m sorryon
the balance leg - in a non foreshortened manner.
So I'm going to start including this in my rotations in order to get more - move a little
bit farther forward with my balance leg. You can put your arm.
I'm sorry. So that you know,
I'm not sure how you can see this but I’ll indicated this way.
I'm trying to determine where the front of the patella is facing and that's going to
help give me the plane to understand
where I'm addressing contours here between the pelvis and the upper thigh.
And I'm also trying to establish then the direction, the general direction’s the foot’s facing.
So they're offset. They're not - they're not moving in the same direction.
I mentioned that earlier that it gives this nice sense of relaxation,
which this leg has because it's not the weight bearing leg.
Where's the other leg, I'm looking for attention.
Where is in this leg,
I'm looking to how to find the information and develop the information so that it can be -
look relaxed. The other thing that I need to start doing when I get more involved
in sort of the lower legs in the descriptions,
and that would include the knee, in order once again to take away the foreshortening.
I'm going to set it up and start looking through the front of the foot,
but I'm also going to change my observation point and I'm going to get a little lower,
so that I can look through it instead of down upon it.
Thank you, Aurora. Couple things I generally do on break,
besides take a break, if I want to keep working on my sculpture.
I start getting these - I know I talked a little bit about this yesterday in the
front with the stomach - but towards the back of the sculpture now
you start to see the high points that are now representing
the outer contours of the buttocks are getting quite high off the original block in of the
box that was underneath it.
And I don't want to leave these long edges there.
They're - what occurs there's information
I have to find below it or draw on it as I described yesterday.
So try to draw a line through here or around here becomes quite complex.
So I usually spend some time,
you know, if I'm becoming more certain about where things need to go trying to pull
out the clay so I can get a little bit closer to those high points. So I’m
gonna do a little bit of that.
I’m gonna turn you again, okay?
I feel the need to kind of explain what I just did there.
We haven’t quite come across it. I’ve essentially been standing back from the figure almost,
you know, for almost every observation
I'm making. And I'm gonna to still be doing that for a while.
What I'm setting up is my ability to model forms or resolve the sculpture and I
want to get the forms and the relationships of forms and contours in the right space.
So I work on that for a while.
I know there's no need for me to start modeling forms.
If they’re not in the right place and I'm working from life, in other words trying
to determine the quality of form that my model, has that if it's not
working or the relationships aren't working together
the forms aren't going to work together.
But there's also kind of - if if one practices that exclusively, they're looking at something
and because they're standing maybe too far back at a distance and reacting to form just
in shadow and light they may not have quite a clear idea of what's occurring.
So for me when I'm teaching students to get kind of used to this general layup of
sort of the outer contours and locating internal shapes and they get used to how these techniques
function, I encouraged them instead of departing from the figure for too long that it's helpful
to start locating some of these shapes that you’ve just been looking through shadow and light
and then maybe approach the model to get a little bit of a better idea of
what's occurring there. We will eventually be getting closer to the model to look at how forms
move and how things turn from shadow into light to get an idea of the topography
of the body. So this can preempt that. I'm setting up my ability to model forms.
Once again the first goal of that is just get the form relationships working
together. But once again, it's kind of an abstract idea.
So if you're only standing back from a distance for too long,
you maybe not quite understanding how the topography that you're going to capture works.
So familiarizing yourself with it as your drawing it or as your locating it can be
helpful. So my recommendation it is to once again stand back at a certain distance and
that's going to help you locate where they go,
but getting close to the model and then getting a sense oh that's turning in this direction,
this is turning in that direction, may also help you get a sense of how the
setup is going to turn into modeling form.
Thank you, Aurora. So this next session of asked my model to take a little bit
of a longer break because you know,
I'm just going to start to commit to where the upper torso is going to go
with the changes and what I've been seeing throughout the day.
I'm going to go for not quite the extreme but a little bit of a comfortable
medium and I want to adjust it.
I don't need my model here to do that because what I'm going to be doing
is I'm going to be recreating that shape that you know,
I did from the very beginning and that involves quite a bit of work and I
don't really need to see the model to do that.
So I'm going to get involved with that up into the section.
So I've got my guidelines, you know I’ve explored this contour edge over here.
I may pull it over just still a little bit more.
You know, I've got a reduction over here.
I've got the consideration of the center line where I might put it from the
front. I got my consideration of the center line where I might put it from the back.
But because I'm moving - I’ve been moving around the back and front of my spinal column,
they're probably out of alignment right now and so once again,
I'm going to spend my time trying to get this alignment back in and then
get the that sort of generic structure of a rib cage set back up.
So I got some bending of armature to do so
let me do. Some questions I’ve been asked a hundred times is about armatures.
There's - a lot of time the minute you lose sight of your armature
underneath your clay, don't have a clear idea where it is and you start making
some edits to - and you start to expose it.
You know, I would tell people you're making changes to your sculpture to make your sculpture
more interesting or you know more gustural or more dynamic and now your amature is coming
out a little bit. If you couldn't really remedy it by - because there's ways
to do it - you can - and if I come across and I'll try to show this to
you - you can hit it with a hammer. An armature is this kind of very manufactured,
you know, at least this one they could be
circles or you know, or this one happens to be a square with this wrapping wire
around it. If I had exposed armature on my sculpture at the end of - at the end -
once again because I exposed it through making changes to better the sculpture and increase the
gesture. I'll just leave it
there as an exposed edge. When you make a casting, that - the edge of your armature
that may be sticking out of the clay a little bit
becomes quite obvious because this looks, when you when you make a mold of it
actually, you'll start to - it'll pick up that that exact sort of,
you know, shape that it is and it - and you can file it down.
So they're quite easy to remedy in the casting stages.
So I think it's important to know.
So as I'm doing this I'm going to basically set up a border of an approximation of
how, you know, how the unit functions theoretically.
And I will step back eventually here and start to see sort of the gesture that I'm
hoping to capture. I'm a little bit hesitant to work on the upper torso knowing that
these this change was becoming apparent that I would make.
I don't know if I’ve talked about it too much
but you know, I've also been looking at sort of the general direction that she's
also pivoting to from the side.
So I can get that set up. So I’ve got, you know, some of these considerations of where
the high points are, they’re a little bit also not may be running. The structure of
the rib cage - and let me go find my my generic rib cage again.
So what I'm thinking about here is not only just how this was turning in this direction.
So you know, re-establishing these planes that are here coming off the front plane.
But I've also been kind of tracking and maybe haven't talked too much about it, about how
it's turning in this direction.
Because those are just you know the torso
is wavering is not just going to waver this way,
it might be turning backward or forward a little bit.
And so what I was mentioning is that some of these high points where the peak
of the rib cage occurs because it's the peak of the rib cage is generally occurring
towards the middle of the rib cage from its you know width here from the side.
So now I'm going to go work through the side and try to get an approximation
of where these high points are. Yet
again, this is a generic.
This is theoretical stuff about how to work with these units and I do have
this desire in sculpture. And my sculpture was maybe starting to represent this a little bit
more. I mentioned earlier that I find things that appear natural
are because they have certain contrasts or extreme contrasts,
you know, you can just think about it.
We have flesh and bone, hard and soft.
You know, a painter often works with concepts of dark and light and they're trying to get
extremes. Another extreme of contrast that I look for in my work is not just to
say I'm looking for internal balance and that's enough.
The Greeks had this very distinct internal balance in their work,
but they also had a very distinct balanced anatomy on top of it.
So you look at the deltoids
they all look quite similar.
You look at the pectorals, they all look quite similar.
You look at the quadriceps,
they all look quite similar on Greek sculpture.
And so there was a balance that ran from the inside and then also extended
to the outside. I'm more interested in trying to create these extremes in creating an
internal balance and essentially was going on on top of it is chaotic.
So to me that’s, you know,
the internal balance and harmony in your sculpture,
you know, gives it a presence of eternalness.
But I also feel that the sculpture appears to be quite natural because if you're taking a
look at my sculpture-in-the-round, you know,
a lot of this, what’s going on up there, looks quite chaotic. Meaning it's a natural
type of body type, it’s a -
so I do think of these concepts theoretically as you know,
internal balance and external chaos.
Now I'll go back and use those sticks to try to
discern how lined up the front and center or to help me line it up.
So essentially place one in the solar plexus and about close to where the pit of the
neck is. And I'll use that then to try to determine the placement of how those
are lined up in the back by once again,
I think I showed you this before, using my fingers.
So if one finger’, ance again,
when I'm standing at the side is too close to me,
my front and center are out of alignment.
I could put this on the ground, that could be another way to check it.
Still a little heavy for me so I don't often choose to do that.
Can you get on a chair and look down on it?
You can check with your fingers again to see if one side appears to be too
big from the other. Why this is so important right now is I can't -
I don't feel - it wouldn’t be responsible for me to show you moving farther forward
with the legs. In other words,
you know get more and more involved in,
you know, modeling forms or setting things up before I got more going on in the
upper sections of the sculpture.
My goal right now is I need to, as I've been describing, I need to plant
the pose. I mean, I need to make a decision to move forward.
Because you know this is lagging behind a little bit too much as far as, you
know, getting a little bit more of a whole sort of
sculpture here. I mentioned earlier that there's a concept of, you know, how optical impression plays
an important role in sculpture and that's kind of the sense and feeling of the
large of this, not just this kind of construction method that I've been largely using right
now. So, you know, we need to start talking about the optical impression and how it
plays an important role in seeing the overall harmonies of your work.
That's not going to really occur until your whole sculpture’s kind of there for you to
be able to engage in it as a whole.
Now that I've kind of stabilized the torso, I want to get involved
in the information up in here.
As I go up into the torso, one of my biggest priorities
is to start really trying to locate the bottom of
the ribcage. Aurora's got a very delicate ribcage,
let me take a step back so we can take a look at it.
One way you can see it is there's some slightly reflections of shadow and
light in here that represent sort of the,
you know, where the abdominal muscles change and then there's just bone in there.
You can also locate it coming up through the contour. You can see in the outer
contour where the flesh of the external oblique's changing direction
then the bony edge of the ribcage starts so
that's my next priority as I move forward
to try and place that well.
One thing I've often recommended to students is I think everyone
is coming to the realization of how important external
contour edges play into drawing in space. But it's not good
enough just to sit here and look at flow and movement. I mean that's kind of what I've been doing to set it up
When you wanna get descriptive with your contours I think it's also important to be talking to
yourself about what you're running over with them, meaning
what you're setting up. So, you know, I'll be asking myself
this is the flesh of the external oblique, this is a muscle, here the bony edge of the
pelvic girdle is sitting quite close to the contour edge
Here I'm starting to hit bone with my contour edge so i think it's important to talk
to yourself about sort of what the contour edge represents
not just think of it as oh it moves this way, it moves that way,
that was more of a simple way that we were thinking about it from the beginning just to get it set up but
as you're desiring to get your figure more and more descriptive, once again
we have to think about what word describing up here. It's a little bit
why I mentioned earlier today about why we're sitting here drawing these
shapes of shadow and light at a distance and they're just kind of this abstraction to you
they're just moving a certain direction, they're a certain size, they sit in a certain spot by
getting close to them to start to have a realize of actually what they are
So this is something similar in that
as we're setting up contours being aware of, once again, what you're representing with them.
As I initially did with the legs
putting in sort of, you know,
the contour edges with a simple consideration of
origin, apex, ending, you know in order for me to be able to engage in this
section I need the information present for me, which also includes the trapezius
so what I'm doing here is just getting these very
general guidelines up there to kinda see where things go. I'm not trying to make
shoulders, once again I'm gonna keep it flexible but I wanna see
once again a little bit of a pattern. I think that just, once again, what's so nice about a simple
contour edge, you know, you don't have to go in and make the trapezius but you can kinda
explore your proportions with it.
Now I know there's been some time removed but I also talked about the flexibility of the
that occurs up in here. I don't worry about this section a lot because, you know,
I can move it up and down quite easily. Once again where as I talked
you know I think on the first day about how the core of the pelvis becomes this
area like if I found that I had to move the core of the pelvis here I got a really bad
problem. You can take a
break Aurora, I'm just gonna explain this for a second. We're almost done.
It's a bit of a funny thing
to say but, you know, as a teacher, you know, in Florence for 20 years
and you know in the workshops I'm doing, you know, my students
have to become aware that this is not like putting a piece
of Ikea furniture together. That there's
gonna be air and, you know, you get people nervous, they don't want to make problems,
they don't do anything to their sculpture because they're afraid it's gonna be in the wrong place and
they're kind of frozen. You gotta get them working kinda flexibly and just try things out
Until you put it there you can't judge it.
thing that you try to keep away from
I've always found isn't that you will make error
you know but hopefully they're gonna be in areas where you're flexible because, you know, I've always
felt, you know, there's moments when you come and give a critique to a student and they've got the
kind of pretty major problems. You know their pelvis may be
you know way too low, their legs are down here, they're, you know, torso's are up there.
They don't have a body type that's even in a ball park that makes sense.
And that's coming by and telling these students these really bad things
that you know that dejects them and they wonder how could this possibly be
So, you know, I've always felt like being a teacher of this subject you don't wanna
walk into a room and have to be like a doctor - and I think this is horrible analogy so
forgive me for saying it but the idea of telling a patient they have a
terminal disease compared to they have a common cold. The common cold
is very easy to remedy so I'm, once again, I work with this kinda mindset
that I'm trying to stay away from having enormous problems at this point.
And I wanted to reiterate that with this upper section, you know,
I'm gonna get a head up here, a block in for a head up here pretty soon, I'm gonna get a block in for arms
pretty soon, you know, so I can see my whole figure. I don't wanna hesitate on that anymore.
yeah, so pretty soon we'll have a pretty big
sketch in front of us.
to kinda continuing working on the sculpture I'm at a little bit of a
crucial point again that I think I feel I need to describe.
You've heard the word a lot out of my mouth a lot which is drawing
and that's essentially what I've been doing, besides setting up the internal structures.
So up to this point, what I've done with the sculpture is I've set up the
box and the egg, my block ins for my legs,
which allowed me to start seeing the pose. As I start to get a little bit of a sense of
body type up there through the use of drawing, the external contours, and the legs
and watching in that period of time how the model was adapting in the pose
you know, I made the sort of bigger change
to evolve the direction of the spinal column,
shifting my ribcage over. If I was just to say
something about that I think that advice for everyone is that people
get satisfied early about maybe what they got up there but then there's something better for you to
explore but I just would always encourage people, you know, if you can
take a decision that is gonna make aesthetically your sculpture work better, move better,
flow better, be bold with it. Don't be satisfied, you know,
with your initial considerations. But I wanna talk about
drawing right now because drawing is kind of one of the basis
of Drawing in Space. And that's why I named it Drawing in Space.
And I wanna tell you what I've been doing in drawing and I've said it over but I just wanna
kind of clarify. I've literally be taking my given length
from the pelvic point that hasn't raised or lowered
to the bottom of the feet, which are not gonna raise or lower, and I've been
looking for rhythms that are occurring in the standing leg.
I mentioned to you I initially break them down through the use of
origin, apex, and ending, so the origin
once again is always my pelvic point. And I'm looking for the major
When I'm looking in those in relationship to my model
my only concern is if I have an adequate movement.
So I've been applying clay to high points
if I don't feel that the ensuing angle towards the ending
of that edge is strong enough. So they're really been
exclusively gestural considerations. I haven't been asking myself about
proportions too much at this point So I'm allowing my gestural decisions of
the work kind of determine how my proportions
are working. Now I've been fortunate, a lot of the time,
I have to work harder on this to get my proportions also to work
but, you know, at this point I'm feeling fairly comfortable, I'm in a
pretty good ballpark with the proportions of the legs. So that - which meant
my initial width that I set up the pelvis for worked out
to help me then produce also singularly
looking at movement, a proportion
base for my legs, which I'm once again feeling fairly comfortable about. But I wanna talk
as well because as I get more involved when Aurora comes back and
I start working again, my life is gonna be getting more
confusing, the decision making is gonna get more complex.
So thinking about line there's a lot of things about it
and the conversations I've had with students
over the years who are studying sculpture for whatever reason
sculptors seem to want to not take a lot of heat in drawing.
They think well I came here to sculpt, I didn't come here to draw on a piece of paper
or drawing is something that's more associated with the activity of
painting. I want to think about form and I want to think about the
natural qualities that a sculptor sort of admires.
So I've had to spend a lot of time discussing drawing and its use
for sculpture over and over and over again.
And I wanna draw some awareness to a couple of things
right now. When you stand back from a model or from your sculpture,
drawing is a description of
what's occurring at the external contours. And when you draw your external
contours well they help describe what's occurring on the model.
So in a stand leg,
coming down, and the movements that you're seeing, the tighter patterns
compared to maybe looser patterns, are describing tension.
So a contour edge, when it's set up well
helps you convince a viewer of your work that
there is something occurring with this body type in pose. It's a narrative.
Not just to be thought of as a line. I mentioned
earlier as well, as you're going through line there's considerations of
am I drawing a muscle, am I drawing a tendon, am I drawing a bony edge, and so there's certain
qualities to these also dependent on position so when you
are encountering the edge of a ribcage
bones seem to have a little bit of a flatter, more geometric pattern to them
than maybe some of the softer tissues that are in the thigh.
The other thing drawing is
is when you're focused once again
on external contours, they're the eventual outer proportions of your work.
So beyond just trying to use it
as an expressive element for your sculpture, when you're
achieving drawing and it's coming along well,
you will be satisfied eventually with your proportions, and once again this is why I keep the
these high points in order to move in or out.
I used to - I always try to show people how a sculpture's made
and I do that in this way. We start with the internal core, there's nothing on the
armature yet. And so we do the building of the box and egg and the block ins for the
legs so we're kinda moving out with our sculpture. Then at a certain point, then you start
incorporating contour and then there's this kind of activity that takes place,
in other words, those contours are kinda moving or out and
you know my hopes and what's gonna occur over time is that this movement, meaning
my editing of my contours and the moving around, is gonna slow down and
stop and then basically at that point my sculpture
will read well even before form qualities are introduced.
So drawing is an expressive
thing for sculpture in order for you to, once again, use it
which to help to describe what body type is doing. The second thing
drawing is is you can become satisfied with your
proportions by seeing how your external contours work.
Do I have to build them out? Did I overbuild and have to pull them in?
That's the decision making that goes into that process. But it gives you
a point where you can freeze and say okay I feel fairly comfortable with the width of my thigh.
I am not gonna now as - whether I'm modeling my sculpture
or conceiving of, you know, a different character of line
that I have to work with, you don't pull it outside of that anymore. So
you're freezing sort of the borders of your work, giving yourself something
to work within. And when you're modeling forms, which we're gonna get to,
it's helpful to have these external contours as kind of these
to be satisfied with them as far as
proportions go because once again you contain your work inside of them.
And this is gonna be a conversation I'll describe as we move forward
because this is gonna happen and occur in portraiture and many other things. How we determine
space to work within.
Another thing also relevant to the idea of modeling
as I become satisfied with my contours, we're gonna
not think of them and I'm not gonna discuss them as contours anymore.
But they are the peak to form. So in other words
instead of just thinking of it in draftsman terms
we can think of contours in sculptural terms
because once again they are the peak of form, they're where form ends.
And you look and the nature and quality of contours that this is actually what
you're looking at as a description of form. They just happen to
be running up and down. Something I may not have mentioned
also to differentiate between the activity of drawing and modeling forms
is that if you were drawing on a
piece of paper with a pencil, your hand would probably be moving up and down
to try to capture the contours and you wouldn't think about that too much if
that it feels natural. Clay is sometimes your worst enemy
because clay is not a medium or a material that kind of has this sense of
it tells you what to do with it. You can do all kinds of things with it.
And I think it's been obvious as I've been now working with
outer contour edges I'm pulling my clay up and down. So I've been
using my clay up to this point, largely addressing
my work only through contours and using
it as a pencil work. So I think it's also helpful
to understand that if I'm drawing I'm moving my hand up and down, if I'm
making decisions about drawing I'm moving my hand up and down with clay
and if I'm modeling forms you may be working in a different way
with your hand. You may be pulling across more as the circumference moves.
So the relevance of contour
in your work for a sculptor is quite extreme. It's
quite vast. Another concept that we're gonna get to earlier
is the idea of we're sitting here looking at the front of the sculpture
looking at specific contours
that we're seeing from that one perspective based upon m observation point of
looking at the front plane of the ribcage. If one
becomes satisfied that their contours start to work well
keep in mind that you're only getting half the equation
of what you need to do as a sculptor. Soon
enough, we're gonna get into the concept of three dimensional line quality. In other words
I don't want to thoroughly describe this yet is
all of these contours, once again which I'm leaving quite clear is these high points,
they have a spatial movement to them.
We can't discern how these move yet but as I turn the
sculpture you'll see that there's these high points running up and down.
So for example this one right now is quite straight moving up and down.
What I am gonna be doing over time is introducing you
to how these work three dimensionally. So in other words
that, you know, these high points are gonna be moving backwards and forwards
within the thigh to locate them not just on the level
as I'm seeing them here because that would just be being a pure draftsman
conceiving of your work on a piece of paper, but a sculptor
who's paying attention to drawing and trying to get it to function well in their sculpture
also needs to conceive of how these high points move through there.
And I'm gonna work with my model and draw attention to how to find this
so you can, once again, learn how to organize
spatial contour. But I wanna
talk to you about what I'm doing right now in the sculpture as the next
phase of sculpting, where I'm at. I made a change to the gesture
recently that I've become more satisfied myself
by looking at it because the sculpture moves a little bit more and has more gesture to it.
This is always in the back of my mind,
you know if I'm seeing something that can kind of accentuate the composition of my pose
I'll take an opportunity to change it.
At this point, have one lingering issue
that I might decide to work with and that's kind of where the placement of this balanced
leg patella goes. So I may change that.
And if I change that I'm gonna just tell you right now why. I was
attempting through adjusting the ribcage over here
to get this kind of movement coming through the pelvis out here and get that
flow to occur. But what's occurring now, I'm realizing
is that there's quite a straight edge coming down through the thigh so
to me that's a little bit of a deadened area of a sculpture, you know, being
a straight line. So I may decide at one point to shift this
patella over a little bit in order to get
also then a movement occurring from this balance leg thigh
up through the ribcage. So if I push that over you'll see
it and hopefully it will ignite the sculpture a little bit more compositionally.
Now what am I gonna do when I invite
Aurora back up here? I have indications of where
my high points are and I'm gonna try to draw them really clearly on here
in the round. Where line peaks, changes direction, and ends.
Something you can do to your sculpture is exactly what I'm doing
to my sculpture. If you're reading a particular vantage point
of a model, working from the front plane of the ribcage or pelvis,
talk to yourself about how many line changes
that you can determine. You know there's one here,
one moving up, it changes direction here. You're not gonna
find two thousand, you'll maybe find 20, maybe find
14, maybe find 17, it depends on body type, but
to get drawing to work well, there has to be this
exchange that's occurring because there's overlapping anatomy on the model's
body type which is why there's the exchange
the contours are exchanging directions.
So I'm gonna try to clarify this here.
I've tried to draw out here certain high points and
I'm turning my sculpture in the round because I'm gonna continue to do this because they're all over.
That's probably enough. I wanna have you look at this for a
second. We're gonna try to get a pan
of going down. Hopefully you can see these
quite decisive drawn lines we got in there.
So see these edges I just drew I'm trying to
point out. These are the peaks to form I found. Now
what's gonna occur is I have, you know, I've tried to locate them,
tried to find where their movement comes from and goes to
but my job as a draftsman at this point becomes more
complex because what's gonna occur, and this if
there's these moments that I talk to students that I think are some
of the most valid ways in which to help you because I know that
a lot of this stuff is quite complex and difficult because so much more is coming at you,
the sculpture is becoming more complex.
Cross comparisons of these lines are
crucial. In other words, if you can see
this in the front, we've got a line changing direction
as the external oblique runs into the ribcage,
stops, and then changes direction up into the ribcage.
And then there's one over here on the other side. In other words, this
is the same muscle, or the external oblique
extending between the pelvic girdle,
moving up to the ribcage area,
in other words this is the same muscle on either side. This one
just happens to be a little bit longer and this one happens to be a little bit shorter
and it's not good enough to be looking
at your sculpture and thinking okay do I have this line worked out
and maybe someway you place it a little bit low. And oh do I have
this line worked out and maybe you place it a little bit high and then
these two lines across from each other don't have variety.
And what you'll find is if you can locate these peaks that I'm drawing
out on my sculpture, what I'm gonna do now is I'm gonna be
working with Aurora and I'm gonna be looking for these points and I'm
gonna see how they relate now to the points that are on the other side and I'm gonna be
adjusting them probably up and down depending if they're worked out or not.
So this becomes a little bit more of a juggling
act when it comes to drawing your sculpture. And the thinking
becomes more complex. There's this
idea that as you begin to introduce line I talked about the
sort of the singular comparisons your making and what they means is
I've asked you to conceive of line as
finding origin, apex, and ending, on a simple level.
And what you've done is you've looked at your model, you've
found that passage, and then you introduce that passage on your sculpture.
And this is, once again, just the very beginnings of how to render these forms or contours.
You weren't able, because it was more of
a singular thinking, meaning you've looking at one edge on a model and you've looked at one
edge on your sculpture or introduced it on your sculpture, there wasn't enough there yet
to compare. And now the comparison is you get
a more vast set up of these line qualities
then become more complex because what I'm gonna do now is I'm gonna be comparing these from
one side of the leg to another. So I'm gonna be looking on my model,
making a judgment of how these cross comparisons relate.
So instead of the thinking goes from
more singular, meaning one edge on the model, one edge of my sculpture,
and that's gotten you to a certain point - to
now my concerns are trying to compare
two things on my model, one side of the leg to the other side of the leg,
and then try to get them worked out on my sculpture. So I've gotta start juggling more
information and this is where manipulations are gonna happen.
And if you watch me work, the manipulations that I'll go through to try to locate these better
and get them set up better are small, so they'll maybe be hard
to pick up on camera, so
that's the next phase of my sculpture when it comes
to drawing. Feeling
fairly satisfied at this point with at least where
I'm gonna put my ribcage, I need to start getting quite active up here
as well. So there's really nothing here. It's really
important for me, as I'm moving forward, I'm not gonna try to execute the legs and make them
perfect and then leave this blank. That's not the best way
to develop a sculpture. So I need to - because I've
adjusted this, I've needed to wait on incorporating more information but
I now need to start including breasts, I need to start getting more
involved in the pit of the neck, I need to start getting more involved in the trapezius
edges, I need to start getting more involved in setting up the head because it
is my need to start seeing the whole sculpture up here.
Florence, we ran a three year program.
The discussion that I just went over here about line and
its importance in the peak of form and the concept of apexes and
then how to balance them from one side of the leg to the other. I want to
make you aware, sitting there watching this, that I would have in segments with
students over literally a three year period.
That isn't a lecture, I'm trying to help you draw awareness
and giving you a pretty, you know, all encompassing
concept of this. But depending where you're at in your sculpture, if you're
watching this and hopefully you're trying to improve your sculpture and glean certain things off of it
you know there's, once again, sort of this
what I hope is a manageable way in which to work through all these concepts.
Because to get them all to work together the quote unquote drawing of your sculpture
is a difficult discipline. It's not gonna happen on your
first sculpture if you've never done one before and if it's a new concept to you
as a sculptor and you feel that it's in your interest to work with it
you know, try to be practicing these things in a
way in which you can learn how to manage them. One of the complexities
of working with sculpture and I always try to think about, you know,
my advantage of being able to work
happens to do with my experience. Once again not because I see better than
anyone or my eye is sharper than anyone else's,
and I talked about that, the advantage is I know what I'm doing.
In other words I don't have to think while I'm standing back from a model about oh I
do this now and oh I do this now but when you're practicing a new
technique and it's thorough and there's a lot about it
and there's a lot you're trying to organize and you're trying to get it start working on one level
and then take it into a more complex level, it's hard to
manage that all the time. It's like learning a language. You know you learn a language through
learning certain vocabulary words. So you wanna go to the store
and you know order something in Italy you have to, you know,
get used to the vocabulary. Learning a language
which I believe drawing in space is, you start to learn it
through learning a couple vocabulary words. You memorize those
then you're able to start speaking sentences, then eventually you can
start speaking a language without having to think about it because as you're learning a language you have to really
think about what you're wanting to articulate it and what vocabulary words are
available to you in order to let people know what you're looking for,
what you're expecting, or whatever the conversation might be. So
if I was to give people
assignments and, you know, I think this is really crucial to understand
as I mentioned just going back even a little bit farther
is this armature that you can use over and over again isn't mean
necessarily for people who are getting accustomed to drawing in space to kinda just do
a sculpture from start to finish on it. So my
biggest advice to all students that I work with, and I incorporate this
in my workshops as well, is
the one day study is an enormous thing. Because
your one day study is you start it first, it could be six hours
working with a model, is let me get used to the box and egg.
The next day you do a one day study, you're a bit more familiar with the box and egg so you set it
up better. The next day that you work with a one day study
you got your box and egg functioning quite well, quite readily,
and you're ready to go and block in the legs. The next one day study you do, you're getting
that all the function better and then you're able to start introducing contour on a more
simplistic level. So my advice to everyone is if you're
looking to practice sculpture and develop your skills is to
limit your time with models. And you'll be
surprised that the one day study is, I've been instituting this into my current workshop,
how much father
even in a four day period to a five day period of doing this, how much farther
from the first day they're getting into the project than into the last day.
It's been remarkable to me. So that's my big
suggestion and we're gonna invite Aurora up here and I'm gonna get into
the nuance of contour that I was talking about
and I know on camera as you're watching me kind of manipulate things, the manipulation
are an extreme so they're hard to pick up which is why I
wanted to give you a little bit of the idea of the mindset that I'm working in right now.
So Aurora, whenever you're ready.
A little test for everyone. Where did I start today?
The same place I start everyday, or after every session.
Go into my structures, reading
information, cleaned up some stuff, reintroduced some more obvious
edges and then constantly working down and away from my structure,
up and away from my structure. My eyesight's once again always going to
the pelvic area, which is where my solidity and my immobile
structures lie and once again I'm maybe cleaning up
some edges to make it a little bit more legible but yet again working down in a way
and initially closest to my structures.
Thank you Aurora.
I'm gonna have to take care of that
but when I get a - I'll find a hammer on break
and show you how to knock in some armature with a hammer.
Can I ask you to raise your arm
real quick? Thanks.
I'm gonna turn you okay?
To remind you
that, you know, you've been seeing me kind of lay in these pieces of clay,
I mentioned this earlier just about how the fact that sometimes these contours just get quite
high off the initial block in so you've got these depths in there
that are too deep and what I'm doing is
I'm just gradually building those out always to the contour edge that I have
Thank you Aurora.
Something I forget about saying a lot of the time
and you know the significance of it - so
a poor use of drawing in space would be you make a side and then you
make another side, then you make another side, then you make another side,
that would probably negate this concept of internalness and
things as you're working in the round wouldn't relate.
Remind you your spinal column is helping you as you use it to find the information
according to it. And if it's a line from front to back that's helping you develop information
in the round. As I'm
working in the legs though which is a little bit different because we don't have a concept like a spinal column in the
legs. So a lot of this drawing that I'm doing
and one of the points of keeping it clear not only is just to locate it and feel
confidence that you've located it from that one perspective
but I can seen them and read them when I turn. So generally what I would say to
people, you know, if you're doing a model session for 25 minutes, part of your
job is to kinda render contours as you're just seeing them from one perspective because
it's important to just get them right and working from one perspective.
But the other thing is also to set up your next session. In other words
making sure that you're making clear marks so when you turn
your sculpture, you will start to read I saw this from the front,
I placed it there, now you can start using it to work in the round.
So I just do this naturally without - well do this naturally
I do this and sometimes I'm not thinking about it and I don't articulate it
so much so there is a system in place and how I'm working in the round
is once again I'm not just making a side on a side on a side, I'm pulling
information through the sculpture. So anything I'm marking out from the front
I'm pulling into the side and then looking at the
information I have from the side in order to tie it altogether because obviously it's
important to tie this information together. As I go to the back
then I'm looking also at some of the conditions that, you know, I'm
looking at the information in the back and how it relates to some of what I was maybe setting up in the front.
So before Aurora comes
back I'm just gonna try to knock in this armature a little bit. Generally what I do,
I help people with this all the time, sometimes it works well, but
basically hold the back you know the core of my armature's pretty strong because I've got the
compact clay in there. So what I do is I just
kind of knock that in and that pushes it
and might wanna leave that
like that, it's kinda nice sometimes. So it's not in my way
anymore. So Aurora whenever you're ready.
Okay we'll stay in the back.
One of the concepts
I described earlier in the -
on the first day of this shooting is working from the planar system
and I know that at times can also be a stumbling block so when my model gets
back on the stand, you know, I'm adjusting it a little bit and
if you out there have some trouble finding - how you're finding I'm gonna show you how I do this.
If I'm standing back from a model and I'm
unsure if I'm looking at the back plane of the body, I don't wanna be
over here and I don't wanna be over here looking at three quarter views and all that stuff;
So what I do sometimes is I approach the model and I try to sense that I'm
parallel to her ribcage and that gives me
you know as I step back some confidence that I'm looking at the right vantage point.
At this point what I'm
doing is I'm just mapping out in a fairly geometric
way I was doing that before the break and I'm gonna continue to do that, just to get a sense
of sort of, you know, I just my torso as a blank piece of paper and
you know draw on it and try to once again locate where my forms are gonna go.
So as I'm trying to get up to the shoulder area so I can start to insert a neck and a head into the sculpture,
this is helping me see how
the relationships of, you know, edges of shadow and light are working up in here.
So I begin to put clay here that would represent the shoulder.
It's a little bit more like for me not trying to
make a shoulder, I'm just trying to see things.
If I can do some drawing on it it's just a little bit like
I need a little bit bigger piece of paper here to work with.
If I come across a little bony point I always try
try triangulate it.
There's not a ton of bony points that you see
in contour. You see ankle bony points in contour.
As I wanna place those I wanna quite see them. So if you have bony points
in the actual external contour of the sculpture, you know, these are important
landmarks and I try to keep them you know.
You'll see my drawing is quite simple and straight. I'm trying to keep, you know,
also these landmarks. I wanna be able to read it quite clearly.
So sharper edges
whether it's in an external contour or internal shape
is you begin to set them up, it's easier for your eye to grab onto.
We're at another moment where I think it's kind of important to discuss what I'm doing here. I'm doing something
a little bit new but it's important
Perfect time for a break.
because it’s, you know, how to evolve sort of the drawing you're doing. What you’ve been seeing
me do with these internal shapes is to try to locate them,
you know, and yes the sculpture gets quite distracting because depending on the model's body type
if they have a lot of bony edges, if they have a lot of anatomy that
you're trying to discover, you’re drawing and you’re relocating it. You say okay it
many to go higher it may need to go closer to here.
So you're getting all these exchanges and so all these kind of incisions are occurring on
your sculpture. At a certain point that gets really confusing. Even if you have it right,
the concept, if you drew everything on the model
like a clean piece of paper,
you would have the bottom edge of a shadow, the edge of light where it changes direction
then turns into another shadow,
you would have almost too much drawing.
And then you’d be standing back looking at your sculpture looking at this series of incised
lines. There's a point of what we're trying to do,
once again is try to locate as best we can the form but at a certain
point what you're supposed to discern is
have I founded the adequate spot?
Once again, it could be a little bit of hard just with a drawn edge to
know exactly if there, you know, confusion is enveloping you about this moment.
But its’ shadow and light that you’re drawing. And so what I do is if I
got so much drawing going on up here and I'm having a hard time kind of
like drawing, just moving line around isn't going to help me anymore.
What I start trying to do is turn it into shadow and light with a planar
system. And you'll see me do more and more of this on the sculpture.
And so essentially
what I was doing was I was adding masses of clay and then turning it, pushing
my tool on the clay away from light,
which you'll see instead of now just being a drawn line there,
there's a shadow. And I'll just show you if I cut an edge here,
it's now going to become a really clear light.
As I did before, as I cut an edge into there, it becomes a really clear
shadow. So as I'm trying to evolve my sculpture out of a drawn - just drawn
in size lines on top of my clay, there’s this
planar system that I I work with and instead of once again,
just seeing an in size line,
I now start seeing shadow and light on my sculpture.
But there is a shadow at the lower sections of the floating ribs back here, that
drawn is a line. Once again,
what I was doing is I'm putting clay to turn away from light and that,
instead of this drawn line that was not representing the floating ribs
it's now representing the shadow shape that is occurring in there.
So that's moving the shapes a little bit farther forward.
They become a little bit more visually clear about how you’re reading them and a little bit
more representative of what you're seeing on the model.
So that's a technique, once again, about the evolution of how you're finding shapes and
working with shapes. Still yet again it’s a little bit simple because, you know,
I talked about the simplicity of seeing things, the simplicity of a clear straight line
or the - I talked about the a sharp edge to represent a clavicle. Clavicle edge may not
be in contour sharp edge but it's important to grab onto it and I used to introduce
specific assignments to students about how to read certain things.
So on the human body, you know, we talked about external contours a lot. External contours a lot.
That's just where skin strikes air.
That's what you're reading. It's kind of easy for your eye to grab onto. But when
you're looking and getting involved more in internal shapes that we're introducing first as, once again,
as an in size line for the means to locate
It, we’ll come across all different types of patterns. Certain patterns in the human body, shadows
and lights, are going to be clear and decisive. Others are going to be kind of
diffused and each of these situations are a little bit more challenging to read and execute
than some others. So for example,
like a - well we don't have the model here right now.
This was the crease kind of being formed in the pose.
And right now you can see on my sculpture
it’s really clear. I've got a very sharp edge in there.
It's not a form yet.
It's just these two planes that are executing shadow and light but because there was kind
of this crease below it and a crease above it,
it's quite clear to read. Whereas in this area it was a little bit more diffused, the
shadow edge, meaning the bottom of it kind of bled through shadow into light in
the - unlike a form over here.
This is all as a means, once again, to kind of read your sculpture better,
you know for that help of placement, for the help of the evolution of it.
And so once again I wanted to stop and point out what was starting to
occur here. I need to use this technique to help see how my placements or my initial
judgments and placements work. So - and it's a little bit - it's a little bit
like if you were making a relief,
you know, someone who's a relief,
you know, spends time sculpting relief, is not worried about the complete three dimensionality of a
sculpture. They're trying to actually get the vantage point that they're producing on the relief read
in shadow and light. So yet again that's more of a drawing principal than a
modeling principal. But you know,
if you're standing back from your model and your sculpture’s kind of
in the same light as your model, that you turn a plane towards light,
it's going to catch light. If you turn a plane away,
it's going to catch shadow.
So I practice this once again once it’s evolving my sculpture moving it forward
as if I was just trying to get shadow and light patterns to read on my
sculpture. So I'm not, once again, trying to model form or capture the information in its
entirety yet. It's moving there.
Okay, so whenever you're ready.
My goal here is, I’m sitting here working for a bit and not talking, I need to
concentrate on this stuff. I'm really encountering this information for the first time.
So, you know, I'm just making my best attempts at placing the drawn edges
well, I'm just making an initial sort of generic setup of light and shadow.
You know as I come through this again and again on multiple sessions, you know, this will become
clear and I'll reorganize it.
Before you have,
you know, before you have like kind of a shoulder here and now it's a little
bit blank in here, you got nothing really to compare to anything else.
But as I get more,
you know, I'm starting to do this cross comparison.
I was mentioning that was one of the most valuable. So I’m,
you know, getting it up there first to look at it and, you know, kind of a
generic way. And then as I do that,
I'm either making it clear or adjusting lines because okay I didn’t get that line where I
wanted to in the first go so then I'm going to be using this to compare
from side to side. Could you raise your arm please Aurora. Thank you.
Thank you. You ready Aurora?
One of the things I need to do now is I need to kind of complete
just sort of this generic set up that's occurring up here.
I've already got the neck and I think one - because we haven't included in this kind
of connection through the box and the egg,
but the neck is an extension of the spinal column. Meaning the spine runs up
to the base of the neck. So as I'm trying to look for that,
what I'll do is I'll just give myself - off the condition that I've already got set -
the idea of maybe how the spinal column still runs up in there.
There's a lot of confusion with you know just even establishing the neck, the head turns in different directions.
So the contour edges that you're going to see here,
you know, one might be sticking straight up, one might be coming in here. It all depends
on the situation. So it could lead you to this kind of idea that it’s offset
in particular ways from the spinal column.
So as I get up in here, the only thing I'm going to be aware
of is the kind general way in which the spinal column might run off of my
initial tip, turning up into there. As I just get a little bit once again of
a generic head up here,
my only concern is determining the position that her profile is facing. So what I'm going to
do is kind of get a simple wedge shape up there.
She's turning off kind of looking down here.
There's a lot you can do with the head, you can kind of place it almost
anyway, whether your model’s in the position or not.
So I like the head to look down a little bit more
maybe. I don't know look a little bit down.
Yeah, so once again, I'm just getting some clay up there to kind of see,
I’m gonna keep it small because it's a block in.
Probably little strange for a bit but… More than anything it's just a useful element in
a very simple way up there right now to help you
deal with the shoulders and the proportions and everything going on up here.
More than anything with the head and the shoulders, the trapezius muscle, the deltoids,
what I'm really trying to do here is come out with some confidence about where to
locate the pit of the neck.
The pit of the neck is one of the crucial moments of the sculpture , you know,
to remind you basically on the first day
we found the trajectory that it was lying upon.
So this center line that we established from the first day,
we've already found, once again, where this is going to lie upon the directional and I
mentioned to you that you know,
there's an idea is it down here,
is it up here, is it up here,
is it up here, is it up here,
you know, we're looking for this range in here.
Now that I got, you know,
some shoulders here, the beginnings of them, and I'll work on the shapes and the
spaces little bit more, we’re going be able to better determine now the connection of this.
But the connection of the pit of the neck and why don't start with it because it's a very
crucial landmark because there's a lot that goes on outside of the pit of the
neck. We got the sternocleidomastoid, which is running to the mastoid in the skull,
we have the clavicles running out to the shoulders,
we have the connections of the scapula in the shoulders.
So this becomes, once again, if you get it in the wrong spot I would be
more concerned- I would bemore concerned if you got on the wrong spot more
so in this concept of centering. If it was a little bit lower, a little bit
high, that wouldn’t be necessarily much of a problem for your sculpture.
But if you place it somehow over here offset,
then you're going to be one kind of long clavicles, one short clavicle,
you're going to get all these kind of imbalances and distortions into the bony
structure of the body. And that's when I think ,once again, misplacement of the pit of the
neck becomes a crucial problem.
So I keep this quite clear, what I'm drawing this kind of U-shaped here with
the clavicles on either side.
The clavicles are a little bit disguised on Aurora.
they're not so clear. But what I'm doing is if I'm placing the pit of the
neck, I want to kind of runoff to give myself an idea about where the clavicles
are going to run to. I made those little triangles, that most obvious point of her clavicle
is not necessarily where they start near the next the pit of
the neck, but where they kind of wind up.
So the most visible element of the clavicle on the model is going to be -
is these little peaks that are occurring in her counter edge.
I feel as though particularly here from the front, my torso seem to get quite chaotic from
the changes occurring. I would actually, it's probably best for me to clean up some of
these former markings that were done part of this. I had a colleague in Florence that would
recommend for students to clean up their bedroom.
I think it's important to know to o,for all of you who keeping score at home
at home like I recommended, you're seeing you know, this axis is not always consistent.
It's going from here, it’s going over here,
it's going over here. I've chosen this to be my sculpture.
And I'm not going to let, you know, the variations that I'm seeing in front of
me confuse me or have me keep changing this and say okay now I got to
make the straight, now I'm going to tip this over here.
I said early on that these choices you're making about the tip for the pelvis and
the center line become - they really become your sculpture in that,
you know, when you're using it, the placements that are going to be occurring from the
internal shapes also to the external shapes, that will produce your sculpture.
Now there are confusions. You're looking at this and if your model’s axis of the spinal column
is sitting up like that,
the angles that are from side to side are going to change. So,
you know, a clear example of this is if someone straightens out the the breasts aren't
going to have - or the pectorals - that tip to them anymore.
So you have to - so as I'm working,
you know, one of the first questions I'm asking myself as I'm looking
at my model before making observations is what's going on on the model here.
So I can say okay,
they're in the position. So now I have this opportunity to reference some of the information
or at least the angles that are occurring from side-to-side.
Whereas sometimes I'm not worrying about it, going
okay she's not in the position
but the spacing, for example, so as I'm using it as a construction method, meaning this is
here on my sculpture. So this little tissue is there. The spacing, when your model’s turning
and pivoting this way, doesn't change. Only the angles that are occurring amongst them.
So I think it's important to point out because I've asked you all to keep score
at home here.
in Southern California and
important pause from the work so, you know, I haven't been able to engage
my sculpture for a couple of days and the reason I'm saying this is because I think
it's very valuable that it's hard to kind of sculpt it every day, every day, every day
keep active in it and it's, once again, a good
having a pause from the work to come back with a little bit of a fresh eye is
crucial. So I always get to the studio early before my model arrives
and I think I discussed this a little bit earlier but I go over things, I go over
how my box and egg functions, how the center line functions,
before they go in because it can give me a fairly directed first session, you know,
if you're maybe unclear about what to do, if you find that, you know, your box and egg
has been manipulated in ways you which you don't want to, you know, there's immediate kind of
corrections or edits that you go through. When I came in this morning I
looked at my sculpture and I was first asking myself about the front plane of my pelvis
and realizing that actually the front plane of my pelvis isn't in alignment
any more the way I set it up. And sculpture is difficult in that. You're working
in the round and you're noticing and recognizing things, so you know it could be
fairly easy to push a pelvis point back for whatever reason at any given point in time
so you start to kind of disrupt the core
that you were setting up from the very beginning. I mentioned
when you start making decisions from the very get go about your sculpture, whether
that's the tip of your pelvis or the trajectory of the spinal column, if you get it right
from the first trajectory and that's the pose that you wanna develop, that
becomes - that needs to become a part of the ending of your sculpture, which
means the decisions you're making from the first moment become part of the
resolution to your work. And once again I noticed that this
pelvic point seemed to waver a little bit farther back. Some of the other
things I was just looking with a fresh eye at the sculpture I noticed that
perhaps maybe the pelvis is maybe needs to be
widened a little bit more and there's things, once again, when my model gets back
on the stand I'm gonna start to look for. Because at this point in the sculpture, all
kinds of things are starting to come my way. There's the, you know, holding
on of the core that we've set up,
there's the further development of the legs, there's
getting more involved in here because you'll start to recognize the legs
and the pelvis area seem to be a little bit more farther forward than the head obviously at this point
so, you know, there's all kinds of areas of the sculpture that I can gravitate to
and work to. I'm gonna tell you how I do that in sort of a responsible way.
Not just working piecemeal and saying I'm gonna work on a head.
But before we do that I'm eventually gonna invite Aurora back out here because I
want to go over one of the last fundamental techniques of
drawing and how it's used for a sculpture.
The drawing in space was named because
of the recognition of three dimensional contour.
And the idea that - and once again I know I've mentioned this but
I'm gonna try to clarify this and show you on the model what I mean by this is that by
getting contour edges to function well from one perspective is only half the job.
That we gotta turn the sculpture and start
to understand where these high points are and how they're moving
through the widths that are occurring in the side. So
I'm gonna draw out these patterns on the model and I'm gonna show you how to find them.
I've mentioned that one of my goals as an educator
has always been to simplify this subject and that still just is something being
said without an understanding of how that occurs may not be the most valuable thing.
But beyond simplifying the work that you're kinda moving
through or the decision making as you begin a sculpture, because
it does always get more complex,
I also feel that this method is very practical, meaning
if you can determine, through self awareness or through a critique that your teacher is giving you,
that there's ways to find how something
doesn't function and why. And this concept of three
dimensional contour, there's a way to locate it, a very
practical way. So I'm gonna invite Aurora back out here and she's gonna
get into the pose and I'm gonna do some drawing on her legs to show you how I
locate these contours and I'll - little bit of a disclaimer here -
I've never done this before but I realize this is gonna be important on video
to show you. I would talk to students about this and I would point out to students
that I worked with and I'm there so that they're understanding this
but I also realized something very important as
we've been going through this that I think is interesting for me,
perhaps for you as well. This is the first time in
25 years of being involved in sculpture that I think anyone's ever
actually seen me put together a figure. So anyway I hope you're enjoying up
to this point. So Aurora, anytime you're ready.
So I've got some body paint and what I'm gonna do is
describe to you how I locate the high point of
contours. And essentially what's taking place here and I'm gonna draw them on the model
so you can see them hopefully clearly. Because
we are observing in this planar system, so we're looking at
the front plane of the ribcage and the pelvis of the model.
That when I stand back from my point that you've seen me do over and over again
and I'm parallel from to the front plane of the ribcage, what starts to
occur, when you approach your model, the high points that
you can find in the legs, which is what I'm gonna use as an example,
are then the contour edges that you're seeing when you go to the side,
when you turn the model. And that continues. So essentially
what this concept involves is that we're locating basically
a cross section of forms that
are from all the major four points of perspective. So what
occurs is how I show people how this works is I'm gonna approach the model from the front
plane and I'm gonna find the high point, which is
what is closest to me. And draw those
out on the model and get an idea of this. A familiarity with how anatomy works
in the human body is also quite helpful. Where the calf muscle's placed, where the
quadriceps work, where the great trochanter is in relationship to the pelvis,
these are things that also, you know, with the knowledge of anatomy that can help you
work through these concepts. So essentially what it
means - I'm parallel now to my model. And so I can go over to her leg
and see that this point is closer to me than areas around it.
So I can sit here and I can draw down through
the model, where these high points run.
Pay close attention if you can see me get to the knee because there's quite
an extreme movement that occurs in the high points of the knee as they come
into the lower leg.
Now I'm gonna do this from the side and
draw the high point contour. I'm not gonna exaggerate with this but I just want to describe to you the
principle. When you have willing models like Aurora, you can use body paint to
evidently it comes off really easily.
I think an important thing about this concept is if you can read the
blue lines on the model and they'll be there throughout this session,
from front to side. And that will occur in the back, you
can draw the high points in the back so on and so forth and we can keep going with this but I'm not gonna mark
my model up everywhere. I want you to see how they move.
If there's one thing that I like to make clear to people about
how I ask people to engage in sculpture it's through gestural movement.
Large and small. Keeping track of the large gesture
that is your sculpture, that's what people view when they walk into a room and see it, then
breaking it down into small gestures is these are small
gestural patterns. So you've seen the movements that are occurring in the legs just as the
peak of skin strike, you know, air. The outer
silhouettes, the outer contours. But these outer contours have this quite
beautiful gestural movement that's occurring where these blue lines are
moving. If you don't get them worked out
you would maybe place them straight up and down. So if you
misplaced the idea of where external contour
is working on your sculpture, you might not
understand it and deaden the gestural response
people may have to it. So I think this is quite a crucial thing to
work with because once again you can get the contours working well from one
perspective but not organize them spatially and not
organizing them spatially would often mean then you've deadened the gestural
movements that are occurring. And I'll show you on my sculpture.
My high point is
existing up and down. So if this is the blue line that I'm drawing
on the model. It doesn't move very much. When you see it on
the model it starts from over here and then keeps kind of cutting through
eventually to the high points of the knee. Then when it hits the knee
it has that strong bend to it.
It's even more apparent if you look through the side of my sculpture.
A lot these contour edges are straight up and down.
My high points, except when we get down to here.
Now why is that?
I am aware of these gestural movements because I've studied them
and I have an idea where they're placed because they're anatomical
high points. So when you have a - when you've been engaged in it you learn about them.
So the patterns, because they're anatomical high points, and the anatomy
of each person's body is similar if not
the same, it just looks different, the patterns you'll find
they keep repeating themselves, they're in the same areas.
So it is something that you can learn about but then once you learn about it you can kind of apply it.
And I'll work with the movement with my clay first but I'm making a point here.
I wanted to set it up straight but that's also inevitable
because I can't
place a contour - so a couple of days ago
the widths of my legs were two fingers thick,
which meant I did not have enough proportion
in order for me to move these contours and adjust them. So
initially I put them on there straight
because I didn't have proportions in order to move them backwards or forwards.
So now, as I start getting involved
with the model and start making adjustments and edits to my work,
the widths of my legs are becoming fairly, you know, rationalized
in that they're not gonna move out too much and they're not gonna move in too much
anymore and that's how I think of proportions, you know, how much clay could possibly go up there
or how much clay could possibly come off. So at this point in a sculpture
if I'm not discerning a bunch of clay goes up there
I'm gonna cut away a bunch of clay, I'm not too concerned about the proportional widths.
I'm in a good ballpark at this point. Which then allows me
to make some of these adjustments, to develop
what I would think of as, you know, a more accurate resolution to
what's occurring on the model but which would inevitably
produce a more interesting model. My point was that these are
straight up and down and if this was happening on your sculpture, if your sculpture was backlit
what you would get is this pretty straight up and down shadow edge.
And people would react to it. Instead of when you
adjust them moving back and forth, that shadow edge is then gonna start to look a lot
more natural instead of being straight up and down.
So I'm gonna start working.
But before I start working there's one more thing I want to tell you.
How do I adjust these lines?
The high points that I put on here
once again are becoming fairly reasonable for
what I'm looking at on the model. Which means that
from the perspective that I found them, whether it's from the front or from
the side, you know, the contours are starting to, you know, work from
one perspective. So - and
one of the reasons that I leave this high point without form around it
is because what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna pull over this edge
to here because from
the side that contour edge and that high point seems
to start to read pretty well. So I'm just gonna replace it and
kind of adjust it over. It's a little bit like a draftsman would erase a line on a
piece of paper and move it over. So I'll show you if
I'm keeping this high point now as I'm
pulling it off to the side, which is then gonna more accurately place
that high point. I keep it flush
with the high point that's there.
So now my - that
movement that you're seeing on the blue line on the model now starts to
come from over here and then starts to move towards
the high point of her knee like it needs to.
The problem that occurs right now is that this little area of the sculpture becomes
a bit flat. So what I start to do is
I remove like a draftsman would erase
the original high point. I cut it out.
So now I've adjusted spatially this contour.
by pulling it over.
Okay now I'm gonna work.
If you can see my lower calf -
I'm sorry my lower leg -
this is an area of the sculpture that I find that I'm pointing out over and
over again to students because there is
these quite beautiful, elegant movements occurring, so once again as you saw that
function on the model, that blue curve
kind of coming into the inside of the foot, before the foot starts down into the
ankle also something I'm always
pointing out on the stand leg is the high point of the calf turning into the ankle.
There always seems to be a little bit of stronger movement there
that I find people missing. They make it a little bit too straight.
But this is a little piece of information that helps a
stand leg look like it functions like a stand leg with this movement.
So a lot of the times I point out I'll put a straight edge on the model
and try to point out how much negative space when you drop a straight line down
is between the high point that's in the calf and then the foot.
Yet again, I know I mentioned this earlier, this is a little bit
about, you know, in a standing point, or also how the
beautiful movements are occurring in the lower leg with the shin included,
something to look for. It's really hard
to try to look at a model and copy it. It becomes a lot
easier to produce sculpture when you start to learn what to look for
and this is just one of those moments where I think
I'm pointing out to people and as you're maybe working from a live model be looking for
Thank you Aurora.
viewers out there to draw awareness to this that
I'm making a technical sculpture
which is meant to describe the techniques of drawing in space so
as I move through it and talk to you about what I'm doing here and try and make it as clear as possible
I'm purposefully gonna be leaving
my initial considerations, my secondary considerations,
and probably, for example, the whole
stand leg set up not only to describe to you how with these
short hand techniques you can begin to see the character of your sculpture
before it's being modeled or before I move into modeling,
but once again as a learning tool for people in the future.
So I am not gonna go and adjust
everything that we go through in the sculpture and model this from head to toe.
So if you're wondering where this goes, we're gonna get into the modeling techniques eventually here
and show you how I model work but
I'm being hesitant about completely changing everything
so once again it can be a living example of these
techniques. So Aurora, whenever you're ready
Here let me turn the stand.
Okay can you please
raise your arm just for a little while, thanks.
Some of these
placements that I'm making right now are - as I was looking from the side my
shoulder area was quite thin so the shapes that I was looking at on Friday here
in the back, I was looking for where those high points
were as I was looking through the side in the last session to start to get an idea
of maybe some of the volumes that are coming in here.
So this is a way in which I work in the round, you know, that I'm looking for
can my high points that I found on the previous session I knew that
ended kind of the last session with locating this area in
her back and discovered now that okay I gotta pull these
out so I was once again placing these high points so then some of the
work that I'm doing in here right now is by
this is an indication of how much space that I'm being able to pull
some of these, you know, forms out towards me. So I'm
doing that now from the back.
But once again that's kind of a concept of how to work in the round.
Well that is a concept of how to work in the round.
Not kind of.
We're gonna take a break -
so why don't you take a break, I'm gonna explain something here again.
I've - a lot of questions
that people ask me about the back. It's a complex area and I'll
just, you know, draw awareness to some things that you're dealing with.
When you look at the high points in the back, which is once again what you're seeing from
either side in profile, the depth relationships between
those high points and what's deepest is really almost literally nothing
but yet at the same time there's a lot going on.
So people - my students that have, you know,
engaged in the back came to a point of confusion, didn't know really how to
manage it, asked me, you know okay
what do I do with the back to try to keep it descriptive
and how to manage sort of these high points. As we get more
now into the sort of later stages of the techniques
that I'm gonna be, you know, talking to you about
that concept of drawing I've mentioned is that we're gonna replace it with
a concept of instead of just thinking of an external contour we're gonna think of a
peak to a form. And as you get more comfortable with being able to understand
yeah my high points or the contour edges seem to read well
that includes a working proportion, it'll give you
a basis to start making decisions. So once again I was able
to kind of pull out some high points in the back, based upon the work that
I had done from the side and I still have a ways to go here with the back.
I haven't encountered it too much and we have a lot of complex forms. Aurora's got a really
strong back. But once again a lot of my work that I'm doing
here in the back is - when I'm looking at the back, I'm looking at the
character of shapes. So my question is, you know, do the shapes in here
look relevant, do the shapes in here look relevant. I guess one thing - the idea of
trying to keep a naturalistic, figurative sculpture looking and appearing natural
is this concept of internal shapes and now we're gonna start dealing with those
more and more again and also different levels but
all these shapes, if you just, you know, take a snapshot of these moments become kind of a pure
abstraction. They don't look like they're almost something that's believable from life as
at least as far as we're recognizing it. So when I'm looking at the shapes
from a distance, what I'm looking for is to try to not only organize them
in relationship to each other, but I'm looking for what makes them look unique, what makes
them look natural. So, you know, when you're looking at Aurora's back on
film, you're not seeing circles and triangles and squares. You're seeing these
things that you couldn't even acknowledge it as far as a general
shape that you're working with. So it's one thing in getting the shapes
you know outlines or drawn to function as a natural shape and then
once again, my work from the side is informing me about how far I need to
pull some of this out. I'm gonna save a lot of the talk about modeling and how
to manage these on a different level for later but I just was
recognizing that what I was doing I don't think I've covered so much yet. So
we'll keep coming back to it.
The sculpture's not done yet.
Whenever you're ready.
Okay I'm gonna turn you to have
your patella facing forward.
To describe to you a little bit
about what I'm doing, I've left the balance like a little bit far behind.
And I need to get it functioning
well how I want it so I'm studying the contours
and placement of ankle bony points. But what you're seeing me doing is I'm going
down the leg, dealing with the top leg I'm standing
crouching down a little bit because I wanna look through the leg, non
foreshortened. Then as I come down through the knee
the placement of myself is getting lower to be able to look through the knee
and then as I get down to the lower leg I'm getting even lower to be able to
look through the shin bone and the lower leg.
The only problem with that is when you get a little older
and your knees start to hurt. My knees are fine.
A little tidbit of history as far as
my involvement in sculpture goes. I had an opportunity to
choose to be a painting major, a sculpting major,
or an art education major at Boston University.
We had our core program so for the first two years we involved
ourselves in all aspects of the education. So we had to paint, we had to sculpt,
and then as a junior we had to make a decision.
I admire painting a great deal and
I have spent more time in Florence involved with painting
faculty as friends of mine. But when they put a palette in my hand
with color on it, as a 20 year old it wasn't nearly as
exciting as giving me a chainsaw and a tree trunk.
Sculpting is a dynamic activity
which attracted me. So, you know, it's physical. You're moving around, you're
coming back and forth so I say that because
I find a lot of people - one major mistake I find people are making
is they're standing back -
well we're not set up quite here yet but they're standing back from their model
and they keep engaged in what they're looking at at eye level
and I'll come by their sculptures and I'll see that this area
or could be this area seems to be the farthest along and in some cases
that would make sense if it's the pelvis but then as I go down the sculpture and start to critique
it gets less and less observed and more
rough and more inaccurate and I find that a lot of people as they're engaged
in this they're not moving around, they're not making the subject or how
they're approaching it dynamic. But yes, you do have to move around. In this case it's
for a reason, once again, taking the foreshortening away so you're looking through it
gaining familiarity with the contours.
that I've expressed to you sort of a concept of how to locate high points
so what I'm doing is I'm drawing out on here where these high points are
and instead of drawing it on the model, I'm going up to the model parallel from that non
foreshortened position you see my kind of scanning a little bit where that high point
is and I'm going by and I'm developing it on my sculpture and then into the lower leg.
That's setting up my work as I turn the sculpture then through the side that I'll have a better
idea of where the placements go as I work on the contours as I'm seeing them from the side.
I've mentioned briefly a little bit about
the concept of what I'm doing down here in the feet.
As I'm, you know -
the first thing I did with the foot is try to recognize the direction it's facing. So
to set it up as a block in for the
relevance of position. As I start to work on the shape, you know,
what I'm recognizing now about the foot is a little bit more about the outer
contour here and then I'll come by and kind of look through the top, trying to
recognize the general shape of it.
Which you'll notice is what I'm doing at this point, I'm gonna describe
this very soon, how it becomes a little bit more of a thorough activity and a continual activity
in the process. You know I'm working from my pelvic point down to my
knee and then from my knee to my ankle, from my ankle into my foot.
This is what we refer to as the articulation map
that's being set up here for me to read my sculpture. So
Aurora's gonna take a break and then we'll get into how thorough that that's gonna become
through the whole figure. So thanks.
and I've talked about a lot but
what's gonna start to occur right now is gonna become more of the routine
that I want to describe to you right now that I think is one of the big benefits
of this process, not just in working with a posed model and learning
how to execute it but in also then
being able to develop a pose that models can't
take and being able to actually create a naturalistic sculpture
in those circumstances as well. We refer to it as
an articulation map. And what's
occurring and I've drawn attention to it is that we've starting with
setting up a pelvis using a pelvic
girdle and the pelvic points to start developing a contour edge.
I've just referred to it on the balance leg that I'm working
between the pelvic point to the knee, then
from the knee to the ankle and then often to the foot so there's different sections
that are occurring here but those sections were determined very
early on through the eight initial angles that I was using
to block in the sculpture, the legs.
The other thing that I feel that you're aware of right now is the idea that we're using a spinal
column in the front and the back where I'm reading upwards
and starting to make placements of shapes or develop
contours as well. This is gonna now extend up into the pit of the neck.
I've got a very rough sort of
understanding right now at the pit of the neck but when Aurora comes back I wanna draw
a little bit more clarity to it with that body paint because what's gonna occur is I begin
to try to establish the pit of the neck, we've got another
articulation. And articulation, to describe this to you, and why I call it the articulation
map, is that there's these major intersections of
where bones are starting and
changing from another bone. So pelvis to knee, knee to
ankle, pelvis to lower rib cage,
lower ribcage to pit of neck, pit of neck often to the
clavicle, clavicle into the bony edges of the arm, eventually down into
the elbow and eventually into the wrist and eventually into the hand.
What this is is this is a highway I think of it as
and I've - what I do also when I critique and also
when I work, I start with my initial
articulation of the pelvis and I'll read down and away from it
and make adjustments where I find them necessary. Or start to develop areas
that are underdeveloped like the balance leg like I was just doing.
But I'm also gonna read up my sculpture. Eventually
then to place the pit of the neck, eventually then to establish the
clavicles, then eventually to block in the arms and work
down the arms, eventually to work with the
sternocleidomastoideus, we're all connected to the mastoid, which is behind
our ear, develop the skull, a concept of the skull,
and a block in for the skull and often to the head.
So my activity right now is gonna start to become redundant
I still have to work on some establishments up here and get clearer with information
but what's gonna occur is I just keep going through this articulation
map. It is the construction method but when you're familiar with it, once again
this is where I would start to work with models that
can't take the pose that I'm creating and then I'll ask them
to hold an arm in a certain position, establish the articulation map
for my pose, and just keep working with it in this non
foreshortened perspective so I can gather information of what is occurring
with their body type in this position. So when I'm working
I construct this articulation map, the box
and the egg, the spinal column up into the pit of the neck, often to the clavicles, down into the knee,
eventually to the ankle, and I'll just then ask a model to hold their leg
in position, develop it through observation from those
non foreshortened perspectives, and then kind of construct a figure
as best I can. So this is kind of how I used it more
on an advanced level where it's not just about observing a model
and pose sitting there on the stand. So once again
getting familiar with this leads to
I feel that almost anything that you wanna
create is available to you and that you don't even then have to -
you have to invent the pose but you don't necessarily
then have to invent a character or body type if your desires as a sculptor
is to make your sculpture look natural. This is
also something I found quite valuable as a teacher. Now this isn't a video where I'm
helping people try to become better teachers or
anything like that, but what I wanted to tell you is that this concept of the
construction method, also with the use of the
optical impression of your work is something that I found
becomes one of the most valuable teaching tools that I work with because it keeps me
quite engaged. And I wanna describe this a little bit. I haven't talked about much
of the optical impression yet but we're gonna get to that. The optical
impression I think of your work is kinda of how just it reads from a distance, you know,
and there's certain techniques I wanna show you such as use of a mirror
to help freshen your eye to it. But when I walk into a room
or when I'm encouraging people to, you know, develop their work responsibly what I ask
them to do is to - the first observation they're making, at a distance
up from their work, and it's once again the first thing
that I do when I critique. If I see proportional
problems that are obvious or I see gestural problems
or gesture that can be improved, once again standing
back at a distance, that's where you see these elements, the more larger kind of
construction of the pose. And so if I'm critiquing
or I'm encouraging students to get used to this, I ask them
to take the optical impression of their work to see if they're out of
alignment with the pose or there's proportions that really don't work, if their knee is too low,
you know if their thigh is too wide, if their pit of their neck is too high,
the pit of the neck is too low, that's what you see from a distance. So that, you know,
seven feet or so you're standing back from your model.
So that's where you're addressing the whole. But it also
leads into modeling, which we're gonna get to later. So I don't wanna
discuss that right now, how the optical impression can help you with modeling.
And keeping the relative nature and narrative of your work consistent.
But when I'm critiquing
and working on my sculpture, I'm doing the same thing. I'm taking
the optical impression of my work. Do I have things, do I have to tip the shoulders more, do I have
to raise the pit of the neck, do I have to lower the knee? And if I have
an optical sort of response to my work that's obvious for me and I need to kind of
adjust things, I'll just stay working on that consideration
because it is kind of how the whole - it is how the whole sculpture
looks and functions together. And to me that is one of the most important
valid things for anyone to be working with. Not making small
details here and there. If I can't
find an optical sort of response to my work or I don't find
adjustments that I'm able to make and I then go
into this construction method where then this articulation map
because sort of the more viable way in which I'm
reading through a sculpture or critiquing a sculpture. So you know the pelvis
isn't raising or lowering, we've been over that many times, so how is the anatomy associated with
that. Is this contour edge too far out, is it too far in, is there
misplacement of musculature here or there. And so
once again this articulation map coming from
the core of my sculpture, moving upwards and moving out,
becomes quite a reliable choice. So it's the combination of these two
methods that I think help people understand
to develop the integrity of the sculpture as a whole
and then eventually to help with modeling but I don't wanna discuss that.
But then also how to construct it so that anatomically things make sense.
So once again why I wanted to describe this at
this point because as I'm working right not I want you to be aware of what I'm doing.
I'm constantly, once again, going to my core, feeding out of it,
looking for misplacements that are occurring
on the sculpture and just continuing to evolve it.
So anyway that's what we're gonna do when Aurora comes back. I'm gonna
work on my articulation map. Are you ready?
To try to make this
clearer on the model so that you can kinda see what I'm talking about
particular this upper articulation that's occurring is
the movement of her spinal column is running to the pit of the neck and then often to the -
I know by observing the model the clavicles aren't so easy
to read here so I'm gonna try to draw attention to his articulation map as
I'm trying to complete it on my sculpture so that you as well can see it clearly.
Thank you. To where I can
find and locate the clavicles. Also
the spinal column as it's running up to the pit of the neck and then turning off into
those points that I know I've discussed with you as looking for the
head of the clavicles or the ending of the clavicles and contour edge, once again
a lot of the clavicles once again are a complex bone,
something that needs to be studied kind of anatomically for its major movements but
they essentially starting on either side of the pit of the neck
have quite a complex movement coming up into where then you can start
to see them and pick them up in contour. So I'm not trying to make the
clavicles right now, I'm trying to complete my articulation map
from the pit of my neck to the clavicle ending.
Okay you can put your head
Thank you Aurora.
for starters, which is the mirror that you saw me using.
The mirror is a very common tool that you'll find in most of the academy's - the
traditional academy - and I do find it very useful to be working with, particularly for the
optical impression of your work.
So what takes place is when you look in the mirror,
not only can it freshen your eye because you're flipping what you're looking at, you’re
kind of seeing it with a new pair of eyes. So it can freshen you
up to your, you know, to your subject if you have been looking at it
over and over again or getting a little bit lost in some information.
So I just picked that up and I started working with it,
I needed to make some judgments with it.
I wanted to see the gesture of it.
It helps you see also a certain proportional conditions like the tapering of a leg.
So this is something that I think is quite valuable to work with and, once again, if
it helps you address your work with it with a fresh eye.
So you going to probably seeing me use this more and more again.
There's a variety of ways to use it.
I mean you can put it kind of above your eyes and look up into it,
so you're looking at your subject and your model on the same vantage point, you
can look and turn everything upside down and look below it or this is actually turning
everything upside down. You could turn to your back and kind of look in it and
see both your subject. So there's a variety of ways to use it and I incorporate
them all. So I just - and, you know, a bigger mirror helps.
I found a lot of people work with these really small mirrors,
but sometimes it's hard to get your subject in your - and your sculpture on the same -
in the same viewpoint. Another thing that I'm going to try to discuss a little bit
more later, but you're going to be seeing me do it more and more again, is
How I’ve been incorporating a little bit more volumes.
I need to clean up my sculpture a little bit. A lot of them work making,
a lot of editing and a lot of moving around his gotten,
you know, a little bit confusing to sort of manage.
So essentially what I've been doing here is I've been taking
some of these shadow edges, some of these drawn lines that I've been working with and
so there's a lot of mark-making going on in here.
But what essentially is occurring, I mentioned earlier about the use of drawing and how
I'm using it to initially place things and edit things. But at a certain point if it
comes that you're feeling really comfortable okay,
you know, I don't have to draw out anymore,
I'm not moving it around anymore, it feels like it's settled into a pretty good position,
and a lot of these patterns that you're looking at ,once again, to remind you when
you're stepping back from a model what you're looking at are these external eontours and these
internal shapes and these internal shapes are recognized through shadow and light.
So that's what I've been working with. A drawn line is not a shadow and a
light and it's not a form. It’s initial placement for you to find if it's settling
into the right place. So once I start to find and feel fairly comfortable with where
some of the shadow edges are, what I start to try to do is turn it
into shadow and light. So you'll see what I've done is I pulled a little bit
of a planer edge turning in this direction.
And more or less my sculpture’s in about the same light as my model.
So as I'm turning that I start to then instead of just have this drawn
line, which was indicating the bottom of the shadow,
I'm now starting to deal with the topography of the human body,
but more importantly initially is this is kind of a continual evolution.
I'm starting to see references that I'm seeing on my model. In other words,
you know, there is no line
like I've drawn on my sculpture underneath the shadow edge of my model,
so I want to start seeing these now more in shadow and light.
So what you'll be seeing me doing more and more is as I become comfortable with
placement of shape, I'm going to start turning it more into a topography of form.
I'm going to start turning it into something that you can start to see
a little bit more clearly.
It's kind of the beginning of the process of modeling. So
anyway, lots of stuff going on.
I hope you're enjoying. This little triangular shape
I'm trying to create here is the seventh cervical vertebrae, it’s the base of the neck. It’s essentially
at the top of the rib cage,
but it's crucial and sometimes it's more present other times it’s quite difficult to pick
up but the seventh cervical vertebrae to the back is what the pit of the neck
is to the front and it's a very important landmark.
So as I get up there and I'm trying to locate it,
I'm really trying to isolate it and keep it clear.
That means then the clay around it is quite complex and confusing, I would even try to
deal with that so that once again,
I can really start to be able to use that on the sculpture.
Thank you, Aurora.
Transcription not available.
Transcription not available.
a topic of something that I think will - is best on video to focus on for
you know, full day, but I am working on it and
you're seeing me expand it. So I want to just describe a little bit of what I'm
doing. I'm really just evolving
it is a block in so,
you know, I'm not trying to do too much with it,
you know. Here’s sort of a decision of kind of where the general profile is looking, you
know, and I'll still make a decision because there's going to be how I’m deciding that it’s
going to come off the front plane of the rib cage.
It's also going to be a decision, if I'm wanting to tip it and rotate it like
that. So they're still, you know,
the establishment of position, but what I'm more so doing is using it from what I've
had there with very little conditions and kind of expanding its volume because what I
want to do is use it to see it up there that the capture, as I
was mentioning that kind of impression,
I want to get a bigger head up there because it was too small so I
can start to see better my the whole figure.
As I explained the articulation map yesterday,
I'm keeping, you know, up into here knowing I needed to evolve the shoulder area, the
neck area, and then for the block in of the head,
you know, I keep working away from the pit of my neck with her.
I'm looking at the clavicles, running off into the shoulder, here is the same thing.
I'm looking at the shadow and light and the anatomy of the neck coming up into
here. I still haven't taken a decision
where I’ll exactly go with the actual position of it
but once again, it's useful to get to sort of this generic block in up there, which
for me is like a wedge-shape.
So I'll just keep the volumes and the widths more towards the back of the cranium where
the cranium or the widest part of the cranium are also then where the
all the volumes of the hair are.
It's actually the hair that you know,
and just this little wedge for the shape, that can help me start to see proportion
up here. In other words,
you can build back here, it’s a very forgiving area because it's just hair.
Before I'm getting too much into the face.
I wouldn't recommend anyone as they start trying to establish a head get too descriptive too
early. Because you can, once again, see it up there with a fairly simple - a
fairly simple shape. Just denoting, once again, a directional position.
Thank you, Aurora. A bit of a reminder,
what I'm doing here right now is partially looks like modeling, which I haven't discussed yet,
but I'm still - as I've been understanding that some of these high points that I've been
looking at from the side
I was pulling out quite a bit earlier in the day.
And then I'm once again get these deep recesses.
I talked about this earlier and I realized that you know,
the depths in here where the spinal column was is so deep and also reamining here
quite deep right now, but as I pulled this out and become more convinced that I'm
getting closer to the border,
I'm sitting here spending some time filling that in. It’s something we talked about ,
just a little reminder though what I'm doing. You can probably go a little bit more upright and
then tip the shoulders like - yeah,
even a little more if you can.
Awesome. So I’m going over it again.
I just checked where the high points were through the side of her thigh,
and I have a misplacement spatially here.
So, once again, this is a big part of Drawing in Space.
So I replaced the contours a little bit farther back
flush to the initial contour edge that I'm seeing through the front of the thigh.
So as I placed a new one and keep it flush,
which is basically move the line a little bit farther backwards, keeping it the character that
I found from the front,
I then begin to kinda cut away that first edge.
Thank you, Aurora.
Free to try
1. Rendering the Figure19m 27sNow playing...
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
2. Contours and Highpoints17m 12s
3. Contours and Highpoints II17m 8s
4. Understanding the Pose17m 13s
5. Constructing Proportions18m 16s
6. Refining the Alignment20m 54s
7. Placing Smaller Landmarks8m 24s
8. Main Movement and Gesture20m 13s
9. Drawing24m 45s
10. Nuance of Contours23m 41s
11. Shadow and Light, Planar System20m 47s
12. Revising the Work Done20m 12s
13. Evolving the Construction13m 53s
14. the Use of the Mirror15m 20s
15. Accuracy22m 31s
16. Improving the Movement12m 49s
17. Finishing the Block-in22m 5s