- Lesson details
In this lesson, learn how to flesh out your figure by rounding out your contours. Create planes, convexities and other surfaces informed by nature. Learn the finishing technique to give your sculpture a professional look.
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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to you and talk to you about some of the goals that I'm looking to
accomplish and some things I'm going to be trying to show you.
One of the things I want to draw awareness to is as everyone is seeing me
watch build this is sort of my goals for the piece itself.
I'm building essentially an academic sculpture here based on technique.
To show you the techniques that I teach people. And what I'm trying to do with
it, and I'm hesitant, it forces me to be hesitant because I'm wanting to hopefully at
one point down the road make this actual sculpture available to people.
I know that the situation that I'm talking about working with the model for this extended period
of time is not available to everyone and once again,
some point in the future making this available to people they can study Drawing in Space.
So the hesitation that I have is because I want to leave the under the under
structures in the building that is taking place.
I'm not going to try to complete the sculpture in a quotes unquote skin form to kind of
lose all this mark-making which is the demonstration of the techniques I used to put things
together. So as I've been working on this,
I'm having to kind of decide where the techniques makes sense to leave
and then what areas I'm going to actually push farther forward.
But essentially today what I wanted to discuss to you and introduce to you is a
little bit of a concept of how I’m going to start to step into modeling.
I know that this is kind of a keen interest of many sculptors and I want
to talk a little bit about the history of of modeling, at least as far as
it related to me and my work.
When I was a student or when I first went to Florence almost 20 years ago,
I always thought to myself that
there has to be something more than just making skin resolved sculptures available to people.
And this is also,
you know, speaking of how a lot of these techniques kind of were born and I
was looking a lot at painting because I was a sculptor in a painting program and
I admire a lot of painters.
I admire Sergeant, I admire Rembrandt, I admire the great masters of the past.
And when you’re looking into academic painting you find, you know,
all kinds of variety in how painters resolve the surface of their canvas.
If you're familiar with Bouguereau,
you'll see that there is not a single brush stroke left on his canvas that you
can pick up. It's all blended together.
It's all brought to this high-resolution, compared to a Sargent painting if you're familiar with his
work, which are when you get close to the canvas,
you see these big brush strokes and what kind of the aggressive nature of how he
was working. You see how he put the work together.
So once again as a sculptor starting to teach the subject,
I was hoping that there's going to be more available,
not only that I can pass on to people, but I can also use maybe myself.
So I started getting really involved in this concept of mark-making on your - on the sculpture
so that you you don't know necessarily once again only have to resolve it to a
surface form. It's interesting because it seems like the most obvious thing for sculptors to take
their sculpture that level because when you're looking at a model that's kind of what you're
looking at, the surface forms moving around.
So these techniques were born out of this need to think okay,
if I want to leave my sculpture in a little bit more of a state where
how it's being put together is obvious then these techniques should be a reaction to
the information I'm looking at, like I was admiring a Rembrandt painting or a Sargent painting
because this mark making that you can pick up when you got close to the work,
you could see how it was a reaction of what they were looking at.
So, once again, these contour edges and these drawn lines and these shapes that are taking form are,
once again, my reaction to what I'm looking at in the model. And if you are
familiar with my work, I do
have this quite variety.
I don't resolve all sculptures the same. Some sculptures are left quite sketchy, other sculptures are
quite resolved, and some sculptures are in this flux in between. Some areas are
finished, some areas are a little bit more rough.
It's something I'm always interested in exploring and this sculpture once again will be a representation of
a combination of finish, modeling techniques,
the structural set up, and then the contour edges and all the drawing kind of issues
that are where these techniques are, how they're being used.
So today I'm going to pull out another tool. And that tool is modeling and I want
to talk to you about how I'm going to set these conditions up
and now that there's some areas of the sculpture that I can start actually begin to
resolve. And I want to just discuss a little bit how that works because I'm going
to be - I need to do it myself personally for the sculpture to kind of pull
things forward and I know that it's a little bit of a funny thing right now,
you're looking at something without a head on there really with just a block in, you're
looking at something up there with no arms on it and I'm hesitant about putting arms
on there so that I don't want them to dry out and crack too early.
Yet again, I'm also open to possibilities.
I'm still exploring contours. I'm still exploring proportions.
I'm still thinking about gesture.
So I'm - my mind is working on all the kind of conditions that are up there
right now and yet again another tool that I'm going to be working with is begin
to model. I think about about it initially as locking things in. Like when I become satisfied
with, you know, certain passages or areas that I've looked at kind of multiple times that
they seem to settle where they need you and the way in which I described how
how this can be done fairly simply is kind of with this one condition that we
started with. Hopefully you remember that as we began the sculpture, as
I began the sculpture that I talked about the condition of the pelvis not moving up
or down, nor moving forward or backward from the side and I've manipulated a little bit.
I may have tipped the pelvis little bit more.
I've gone through some mind very minor manipulations of that area.
The next thing I want to remind you about is how I began to use it.
As I became satisfied with the setup of my box,
I didn't use it as a departure point for following contours coming down the leg.
So I was explaining to you that, you know,
my first observations are going to core structural element and then looking for information that
I can set up according to it. The construction method.
So then all the contour edges come in here so,
for example ,when I turn the sculpture to the side
and I’ve looked at the front of the pelvis,
I'm reacting quite immediately then to the outer contour edge,
which is her lower abdomen moving up into your stomach.
I know basically where that line sits because it's sitting on the center line,
which once again, I've got set up from the very beginning of the sculpture.
When I become satisfied that I've done enough work to capture that edge, that outer contour,
I think of it as the border of form.
It's the peak of form. And what I do with these contour edges when I start
to work into modeling, is I'll come up and approach my model and I'll look how
things are turning away from that high point and I've done a little bit of this
here, but I'm going to do a little bit more of it to draw some more
attention and make a little - draw a little bit more clarity to the core area of
my sculpture, but I'll begin to kind of make sure that I'm keeping that contour edge
where it needs to be and then starting the sleigh informs around it, thinking about how
things are turning away from it.
So this is the simplest way that I start to initiate myself personally and as I'm
teaching it how to start to get engaged in form, how to start locking in contour edges
that you're comfortable with. The theory essentially, if you set that box up,
you're not moving it up or down, you're not moving a backward and forward, you're turning
your model to the side,
you've done a good job with the placement of the contour in the space that it
is between the pelvic point and the high point of the contour, you can start modeling areas
of your sculpture almost immediately.
So this is what I'm going to begin to do today,
and I just wanted to give you a little bit of a history about that but
my goals in general, besides trying to discern areas that I want a model, trying to
discern areas that I don't want a model, which then involves me hesitating on pushing it
forward anymore. I do want to work up along my center line and I do want
to get more involved in the head.
We're going to take a day
and perhaps go through the head and some of the discussion that I have but, you
know, about portraiture. Portraiture could be a standalone video on its own.
So there's a lot to get involved with that
I'm going to try to go over but I'll - anyway,
so I'm ready when Aurora is ready.
So welcome. Thank you, Aurora.
Because I've been using some of these patterns and high points to kind of pull some
forms forward and try to clarify a little bit more shape, as I turn the model to
the next - turn the model to the side,
one of the first things I'm going to look at is sort of how that
high point is looking. So it is helpful as you evolve things to kind of go
back and look at the initial condition that you've been using to set that up with.
So we'll get there. Aurora come on up. Thank you Aurora.
Can you raise your hand, please?
Thank you. I'm not saying a lot right now besides trying to be focused on the task
at hand. Also because I’m not doing almost anything different that I, you know haven't been
over. As I'm coming down the balance leg again,
I'm checking my contours, I'm locating my shapes,
I'm checking the back to front relationships,
I'm looking for the tapering, as I discussed with how I try to address proportions, the
tapering and movement of the legs going from thick to thinner to thin or expanding a
little bit, getting thinner into the ankle. So I’m finding that
I got contour edges to address, seemingly expand.
But I'm kind of trying to clean things up a little bit too kind of, you know,
push myself. So the shapes of light and shadow
I'm seeing I'm kind of working with flat and I’m, you know,
I had a lot of marks going on particular around the knee,
so I'm trying to hone in on those and clarify
And fill in a little bit of clay so that the shapes themselves,
you know, I'm cleaning up to try to confirm that they work. So I know that
we've discussed this and parts throughout so I wanted to clarify that a little bit.
I guess, you know, one thing
I know I described some time ago is this idea that when you're looking at a model
you’re seeing outer contours internal shapes.
They're not, you know, I talked about them is like,
you know the activity of working on the inside of these internal shapes as you
know, you locate them and draw them out.
And then you start trying to locate contours they worked together on I don't
know how, you know, that's extremely important.
So if I'm getting down here Into the lower leg you know, there’s passages of light and
shadow that are coming through it.
And, you know, if I'm working on trying to place my contours, what I find is
that using these internal shapes are actually helping me quite a lot in understanding where I
need to go with the contours.
So I don't want anyone to think that
it’s a separate activity, they work together,
these shapes have to work together.
I think earlier on, I'm not sure how much I mentioned it, days ago the
idea that there's kind of primary information and secondary information.
I'm looking to kind of, once again, the idea of freezing my outer proportions with my
contour edges and that - when I'm there it provides me with a lot. It
provides me with security that I don't work outside of it when I’m
modeling. You know, provides me the description of the contours that my model, you know brings
a natural quality into the work.
But so that is my primary information
I think is the point I want to make here.
This internal drawing is acting as secondary information, meaning it's helping me achieve that sort of
goal that I'm looking fo. So I'm working them together is the point I want to make
and as the shapes get a little bit clearer I’m,
you know, once again trying to - you'll see me turning the shadow edge away so that
I can get a shadow edge working.
So Instead of internal shapes just being this linear quality of line that’s coming down the
leg, I want to once again turn these planes so that I can start to
see it as the shape that I - and how I how am I perceiving it on
her on shadow and light.
I’m sorry, you can put your arm down Aurora.
Is that okay? Thank you, Aurora. So I wanted to mention something about kind of my own studio practice
here. I'm on set now and in this beautiful place producing a sculpture and we want
to capture this all on film for you.
And I think that's vital.
I think, you know, part of the learning is a lot about seeing how my hand
moves over things in and, you know, indicates things. But essentially when I'm working with
the model and you know,
this also stems from having taught a generation of sculptors knowing that,
you know, the investment a sculptor wants to make is often in the you know,
the resolution of their work whether that's bronze or fiberglass or mold making,
you know being an artist is always about investing in yourself.
So you know model fees are something that add up and I’ve always been kind of keenly
aware of that and that's another kind of crucial thing that occurs here.
So you are seeing me kind of work with the model from beginning to end but
this isn't really necessarily how I work.
What I do when a model comes in and once again,
this is kind of speaking of the importance of sort of the how things are functioning
and what I'm doing is that I literally only draw these contour edges and shapes. And
what occurs is - and a question people ask me a lot: Rob,
you know, you talk about drawing a lot do you draw and I say yeah,
I drawn in space, you know,
when my model comes in
I'm just kind of basically dealing with these drawing principles. Organizing three-dimensional contours and setting up
my internal shapes and making them function together and that then once again is giving me
the basis to, you know,
start to model the sculpture. So I’ll hire model for an hour or two hours and I'll,
you know, depending on where I'm in a project,
then when they leave is when I start to execute my modeling.
I'll probably get into this,
you know, I’ll probably want to start modeling as I normally do,
you know, that once again doesn't really need to be done as I initiate it with
my model here, but I, you know, would take this contour work that I'm
doing with my model because that you can't necessarily make up if you want your work
to appear natural. So the model leaves and then once again,
if I start to become convinced that they're settling in the right place and and they're
doing what I'm hoping they're doing for the work then I start to kind of mash
out form. So it's also saves me - and people who get used to this sort of
concept and how to work with it -
it saves you kind of model time to have to sit there and look at skin.
What's interesting is actually, you know,
if you can, I would hire model for, once again as I mentioned, for 2 hours
and then you know, I'll say let's come back in a couple of
days and I'll have been advanced the sculpture quite a lot in that period of
two days without the model and then as she comes back,
you know, I’ll check these conditions again.
And it may be evolved them or change them right at them as I as I
need to. So anyway, I just wanted to make people clear about that that learning some
of these techniques once again can can really kinda propel your work forward with the -
for hours and hours without without needing a model.
So anyway, but we're going to get the model back up here and we're going to
start working. Whenever you're ready,
Aurora. Let's see. Okay. If you remember back to the beginning of the video I talked
to you about scale in your work and mentioning about half life size or, you know,
the importance of putting this - the pelvis quite high on the armature. Even with this scale work you start
getting into these little, little small edges that are just really hard to manipulate and kind
of get him to do what you want to. Obviously I'm using quit a smaller tool
I’ve even, as I've gotten into a head scale this size, I’ve even use a toothpick
but my point to all that is, you know,
the smaller and smaller your sculptures are getting or the studies
you're doing, these shapes just get smaller and smaller and smaller and harder to manage.
So, you know, I wanted to point out that because I'm at an instance where I
think it's going - it makes obvious the scale of your work and
your studies become quite crucial.
One of the things I love about anatomy are the names.
So I'm here working on the connection from the pit of the neck into the head
and here's one of my favorite anatomical names. Sternocleidomastoidus.
I'll never forget that term.
And it's the connection that comes off the pit of the neck on the inside of
the clavicle and extends up to behind the ear to the mastoid, which then becomes part
of the skull. This is where I'm initiating my connections kind of moving up into the
head and like I said this little delicate operation here.
I'm not just going to work on the direction of it from the front,
I got to turn it to the side and see kind of where it’s coming over the model’s
pit up the neck. I'm finding because the neck is kind of pushing quite a bit
far forward, I gotta leep pulling that out.
So here through the side I’m gonna take a look at it.
Where I’m finding at the pit of the next the origin of the
sternocleidomastoidus and then how far it is coming out in this direction as a placement.
I'm being a bit gentle with how far I'm going to push this forward
for the composition of the sculpture. And, you know,
this is one of those situations where you know controlling your connection meaning,
how this internal alignment, the highway underneath here that we've set up and we're working
with and extending up into the neck. how to use it to kind of control
your own position. So I'm sitting here thinking about where I want to place the head,
as much as I'm looking at the the placement that's occurring on the model.
Thank you, Aurora. So one of the things I was mentioning about the connection,
if I began to place an idea where the mastoid is on this side and I
can see the quite vibrant connection.
that’s occurring on the model.
I’ve worked with it in the round of, try to set up its direction when I'm
looking at the front line of the rib cage,
and I'm trying to set up how far it's coming out and I mentioned to you
I'm hesitating about pulling it out
maybe as far as it goes,
But if I'm feeling comfortable that I've placed that well, when I come by to what
my block in is doing right now,
my block in is still a wedge shape,
but it's the direction of a profile that I can, once again, use my fingers
to get an idea about where the other mastoid should go. So I can get an
idea about how to set up the skull and I can control it and I think
that’s, to me, the most wonderful use of this process is controlling these connection, these bony
alignments that are so crucial to allow you to play with position.
So I may take some liberties here, we’ll see.
describing earlier today was going to contour edges
that I feel comfortable with and the ones I'm choosing to model
in pulling form to them or away from them.
You do see me approaching the model and I do look at that situation where that
high point is and I'm am conceiving of what kind of curvature is existing there.
But I think the one thing that I want you to notice is more how my
hand is moving. I talked about a little bit when we’re conceiving of line and you're
drawing it on a piece of paper your hand would be moving up and down and
now my hand’s moving in a different direction.
I'm working with a more of the circumference of form, pulling it up into my high point or
contour edge. When I recommend people to start modeling,
it's usually in this soft fleshy forms.
Instead of, you know, maybe necessarily trying to model a bony edge or something like that.
They're a little bit more complex and involved a little bit more demands.
As one first starts doing this, it's evolving a sculpture, moving it towards
a little bit more of a sense of completion.
But it also, more than anything, starts to help you read the situation a little bit
more like it. You're seeing it on the model.
I'm still reacting to shadow and light and how it's been moving over the figure to
kind of address things. Although I'm not trying to copy the shadow and light effect necessarily, I
mean as far as how deep you’re seeing the shadows.
You'll notice that the clay is much darker than the model’s skin
so the the shadow values on your work
don't pull through and actually when you get closer to the realization of modeling
you actually won't see much shadow at all because this is so dark.
So I spend more time thinking about what the forms are doing. So you know when
I'm thinking sitting here in the stomach,
I'm thinking about how you know,
the rib cage is pulling over and pulling these abdominal area with it.
I'm thinking here, you know,
I'm in into the balance leg, which has a bit of tension recognized by the
sartorius but not a tremendous amount.
So I'm thinking more about - I am reacting to shadow and light but I'm thinking about
the situation that I'm making here.
So despite the fact I'm not saying too much
I don't want to - I wouldn't want anyone to think this is a mindless activity that
I'm doing. I think it's just people start pulling forms more to surface that is
a more mindful activity than almost anything in the sculpture.
I've seen a lot of people attempt modeling and I think that the - as they get
engaged into it, they just try to clean something instead of sort of model the forms that
are present to them or use the setup in which they’re -
In which they found in order to help them understand how to initiate this.
One of my pet peeves while teaching at the academy was when people would start modeling
with their finger. I've never felt finger modelers at all often achieved a very good result.
But I also knew asa teacher when I told people not to finger model,
it doesn't achieve a good result,
the students would sit there for hours trying to get it to work.
So maybe it has its place in some cases.
The dangerous thing about finger modeling, you know, this kind of thing, is it's quite random
and people start passing over -
it's very dangerous to start modeling and then all sudden,
you know, if you’ve spend some time trying to develop descriptive contours and just try to
bleed everything together, just clean up your sculpture,
you start losing all those edges, the outer contour edges that once again,
I think to me are quite meaningful to the description of your figure.
That's why I think it's very important to be mindful and start modeling by
using the consideration of the outer contour pulling to it or away from it. That allows
you to keep the character of it because you’re really not touching it.
So I’m not really going over the counter edge
while I'm doing this. Once again, as
I was mentioning earlier, this is something that I'd kinda be doing when the model left.
Start to evolve the leg into form.
And then the next day they would come back and I’d,
you know, start to make comparisons, start to see how it looked.
The - obviously there's obvious two advantages to having a model here and like I mentioned earlier,
you know, I kind of walk up to the model starting to look at the situations
that I'm thinking about modeling and I start - I do certainly see how things are flowing
or moving in there. And take that knowledge back to my sculpture with me.
Thank you, Aurora.
which I always appreciate. You know,
I talked to you about my own studio practice yesterday and how I use this process,
you know, and I work with the model a couple hours a week on different days and
then try to push my sculpture forward.
You know working with the model is this kind of highly focused time and you know,
once again, you know, it's hard to execute that for 6 hours and not just gravitate
and not think about too much.
So, you know, I find that for me like a period
of 2 hours is really good.
But I'm here this morning without the model and I'm going to start trying to -
well to talk to you about some of the goals when she comes in here today
is I have to start getting involved in the portrait. And as I mentioned yesterday that involves, you know,
clarifying the connections that work up into the mastoid process, get a little bit of
a sense of block in there for the position, you know, draw attention to the position.
So I'm going to set that up without her because it's you know,
well I’ll show you but it's a bit of a basic principle just working with this
kind of generic shape of a cylindrical skull.
But I'm also going to kind of work -
I'm still kind of continuing to evolve those forms that I've been working
on. I started yesterday keeping apparent my highpoint and contours and I'm not going to
bleed out of and just get a little bit more clarity to them.
So once again, this is something that I do for hours and hour so,
if I'm working with the model for 2 hours,
I could probably - my desire would be to take that into another four or
five hours of work after that.
So anyway, I appreciate my time with my sculpture when I'm not looking at my model
to kind of move it forward.
So that's what I'm going to do.
So I'm going to try to set up and make clear the goals that I have
today. So I have a good departure point, which once again involves,
you know, drawing attention to these and continue to isolate them.
So, you know, an idea like the sternocleidomastoidus, once again, is this small little
element in the sculpture and you saw me drawing out sort of the direction that it’s moving
in, working from the side applying clay for the direction.
it's moving outward and then from the side,
so what occurs is you just kind of cover it up from the front so,
you know, I'm drawing attention.
What I want to do is isolate again,
so is when she comes in, even though my goal is to start getting more involved
in that head, I'm not going to start there.
I'm always going to start the considerations of the initial connection,
which allows me to move up into the head.
So like I was saying to you the idea of that, you know, working with the spinal
column and the tips of the pelvis that, you know, my attention when I'm working with
my model is focus there, looking for areas that I can move forward or adjust and then
kind of keep moving away from it.
The head is a bit of the same thing.
It’s, you know, it's interesting
I say that in one of the - I think one of the most challenging things for
a sculptor particularly on this scale is to develop a portrait this size.
Now, this is just one of those situations - and even though I've not been measuring - there are
measuring systems that can help sculptors set up widths and heights and lengths,
but from the amount of information
that’s in the head, like you would have to measure a thousand things to sit there
and I just once again,
I like to enjoy sculpting and just this concept of sitting there with a caliper and
a measurement over and over and over again to get things to work just to me
would kind of dull the experience of actually producing sculpture. My point was is that the space
between the pit of the neck and the top of the head and then all the
information is going to come into it, is not unlike making the whole sculpture all over
again in this little small area.
In other words, there's such a breadth of information there to get working that the demands of
it are very challenging and the challenges even go to then the scale of it.
So as I start getting involved in the head when the model comes here I'm not
going to just go, okay
now I'm going to make the whole head,
you know, I'm going to take myself through the connections,
I'm going to feed out of them,
I'm going to try to analyze if they work well and then let it
go and kinda move somewhere else in the sculpture.
So I'm just going to spend some time trying to draw some of the anatomical connections
that I was looking at yesterday to make them clear because those are the first things
I'm going to probably want to look at
when - well those will be the first things that I want to look at when the
model comes in. So I want to make a sternocleidomastoidud connection quite clear.
Little bit of an interesting thought, almost every piece of information that I'm incorporating on the
model, and I don't want people to think that okay
now he's talking about a shoulder girdle,
now he's talking about a spinal tip,
now he's talking about the sternocleidomastoidus, now he's talking about the clavicle.
Those are all different elements to the sculpture.
But as I - if you kind of go through this and think about the first thing that
I'm thinking about, in almost every case the first piece of information that I'm trying to
set up is the relative angle or the angle itself.
So as I'm setting up are drawing out the sternocleidomastoidus, I'm looking at the direction
that it’s moving in. When I'm setting up the the clavicle,
I'm looking at the direction it’s moving in. When I go to the side,
I'm looking for the relationship where the sternocleidomastoidus starts to - where it moves to. So
almost all information that I'm initially setting up here is I need to find the gesture
or movement of things. Now I want to say why that becomes so important. And you'll realize
this as you're watching this video.
You're going to see my model, and I've been tracking her in the pose,
she's in all kinds of different poses over time and that's just going to be, you know,
that just is what happens when you work from life. I talk to you about to
meet that's an advantage because the model may come in at a certain moment and do
something a little bit more interesting or become more descriptive or you know,
I also think it's interesting to watch a model over a period
of time, some days they come in and they're quite strong and they can take the
pose and be quite noble in it and other days they come in, they’re a little
bit tired and their body starts to express a little bit of tired of ,you
know, exhaustion. And you know,
I think that these are all emotions and aesthetic qualities that are important for sculpture
that you know, it is interesting to make a sculpture look a little bit tired,
you know, if that was to be one's desire.
But the reason I wanted to point out this idea of my - the first piece of
information or the first element of information I'm looking at as I incorporate new information is
its relative position or angle or gesture is because I need to talk to myself when
the model comes back and go, are they still in that position today?
Had I grabbed that position quite well in the first day so that I'm convinced that
my sculpture functions well and that
I know now that my model is not quite in the same position.
So it helps me keep track of the variables that the model’s offering me
through changes as I work through a post from day to day.
So they become important guidelines for me
to keep track of my of my pose in my sculpture.
The element that’s going to help me control a lot of the head is going to be -
sometimes I'll refer to it as the center line but essentially what it is is center
forehead to center chin. And so what occurs here is that, you know,
that will be one of the first descriptive qualities
I'm beginning to incorporate in the head and there’ll be a reason for that and when
we get there, I'll talk about it.
But the first thing I'm going to do in consideration of the profile is
think about how I want the head tipped.
So her head is tipped a bit off in this direction,
kind of like this in the pose, and you can play with that.
I mean I would say okay is it going to be better if she tips more
this way or more this way,
but I'm gonna control the position that I'm I'm interested in getting but I'm going to
set up a block in to accommodate for it.
So not unlike the element of the box,
I can set up a coherent position.
So you'll see is I'm drawing this out
that some of this high point that was off to the side is not quite
aligned along this area. So what I do is I’ll start to add to the other
side of it to make it look like the head is tipping in that direction.
That would be, if you can see here up at at the top -
let see if I can get that to stick up there - the idea of how this axis
is working and then just sitting at the top of the head like a T.
So, you know, the head is going to be moving from up to down here
because of the axis that I'm determining occurring here. I'm not sure on everything that I've
been saying over time if I’ve told you how I use block in as a definition.
I've been talking about blocking in a lot.
There’s still more blocking in I have to do in the arms and stuff.
A block in to me is not a description of the model's body type it’s
more so the relevance of position.
It becomes the departure point for me to build off of, so as I get there, as
I'm sending up a block in, what I'm really trying to do here is keep the -
and this is how I determine it, you're looking for the position. And I talked about
that. But you're also trying to keep it under sized so that when you get into
description you have confidence that as you head off into it you have room to add.
So I'm sitting here making a block and I don't have a model to look at, in
other words it's hard for me to determine if it's as small as I want it
or how much room that I've left myself to build off of it.
So if my block in - if the model came in and it looked a little bit too
big to me, which means it didn't leave me very much room to explore her head
or the quality of her face,
I would cut my block in back
to make a little bit smaller, give myself a little bit more room.
I like to sculpt and feel free with how I'm doing it.
That's what's fun to me, moving stuff around, not feeling claustrophobic.
So that's why I always feel it's important for me or - and I courage this - that
as I head off into something
I don't say to myself
okay, I'm just going to put the nose there,
I'm going to put the mouth there,
I'm going to put the eyes there, and I'm going and the jaw bone and the
zygomat and all the information that’s
part of the human head, and I'm going to get it right the first time I
go through it. This involves a lot of concentration and a lot of human error. So
my initial attempts at starting to set things up,
I don't fool myself into thinking it's just going to all fall into place and and
make sense. I'm gonna have to work on it for a while.
An interesting thing about studying portrait,
I noticed a lot that - and I've done this a lot - that people work with
portrait models with their head straight and I get a lot of questions
because it doesn't really have much gesture or movement to it,
but it's a good way to study up because it's simpler. It’s simpler to be addressing things
on that level without worrying about tips coming in this way. What I found, and I
don't know if it was on purpose or not,
but I'll show you. I don't - you're not going to see this on film but I
can talk to you about what I'm doing.
If you're making a portrait head and a gesture of the model’s looking down and turned
to the side, some people would just like study the model straight on and then,
you know, mount the sculpture in that position,
but what they're going to be neglecting is how all the forms change and everything is
different. So I don't often agree with that.
There may be some situations where that would work out for you but a lot of
the time when you're doing this the character of your face is changing quite
a lot. So I like to study the head in the position that I'm trying to
make it. Not pull this off the sculpture, have my model sit there, and I look
straight at her and then I set it back on the sculpture in my position.
But it gets tricky when you start incorporating tips, you can get
quite out of balance,
you can have an eye farther back,
you can come up with all these strange asymmetries
that's just based upon this concept of how things are lined up,
but you know if I was to think how should the eye ridge be working in here,
you know, I can draw a perpendicular angle coming off my center line to get a
sense that, you know, this eye is going to be lower and this eye is going to be
the same for the mouth.
So, you know quite simple to set it up as a geometric or, you know,
the idea where the forehead goes or
like I said earlier that idea with how the top of the cranium is going to
be tipped. So it’s one thing getting it set up as kind of these generic
sort of angles and perpendicular angles. When you start getting into the description of things and
trying to make a mouth and trying to make a nose and trying to make an eye,
things can get out of whack quite easily.
But what I found that is if you look at your portrait like this and have
that mirror, you can turn the mirror a little bit and straighten your portrait.
So right now, and you're not seeing what I'm looking at,
but instead of my head being tipped, my head now - I'm looking in the mirror
straight. Once again, so instead of taking my sculpture off, sending it up
so it's flat to me and easier to manage,
you know, you can actually do this with a mirror and it helps you with an
understanding of how asymmetries are getting out of hand or if they're a symmetry that are
hard to judge and you don't know what to do.
Not only does the mirror give you a fresh eye and then once again standing, it turning
it this little bit, and I would try - I'll try this at home it’s quite
interesting, actually. You can once again look at your head straight on. That's a little trade
secret I gave you and once again,
I don't know how I came across that but it works.
So I've kind of clarified my connections here.
I've worked with an understanding of you know,
where the jawlines play so I know some of the anatomical placements here.
I can set this up on the other side
and then I can kind of locate if this is where I'm thinking initially the
sternocleidomastoid - the mastoid is where the connection lands.
You know, you could do something like this and then look for it on the other
side. I do that same principle over here,
you know, get a little lower.
You know even though the rib cage on all my model’s quite delicate
it's not pronounced, it’s probably more visible and clear just with this outer contour
edge here, but there's a slight indication of how the ribs are sitting in here.
And you know, I mentioned this is a very important area for me.
But then you have - because she's tipped over and in my pose
she's tipped over more than she's often
in the pose while taking it, but once again based upon this concept of how this
is tipping, the fact that I can kind of locate one rib,
you can work with these sort of perpendicular ideas and then understand even though you can't
locate rib, you can get a sense of where it’s lined up in the pose.
So, you know, at this point in time that’s about as far as I can get with a head.
I've got a tip that is the tip
I want to try to execute.
I got my connections clear
so is she comes in
I can first start addressing me moving through the head starting at these connections.
And yeah, so I'll be able to determine hopefully if it's too large or too small
when she comes back in.
As I mentioned yesterday, you know, as I'm doing this not only do I have my
guidelines these high points that I'm not pulling form out of, but I'm thinking about the -
what the forms are doin, you know, because I think the point of making forms is to try
to get them to express, you know, what's occurring up here. Now class pose
there's not always a very distinct form quality compared to maybe a very active pose but
what I'm being aware of his I do this,
I know that because this is a contrapposto,
what's occurring here is this these ribs get closer to that pelvic point,
whereas these ribs get farther away from that pelvic point.
There's a certain amount of extension here,
meaning the forms are being pulled.
Whereas then on the other side as the bones get closer to themselves,
there's a certain amount of compression.
So I'm thinking about that, how this musculature is pulling towards that rib cage.
Whereas this musculature is creating a little bit more of volumetric form bunching up in
there. So once again, this isn't just an activity where I'm trying to make the surface
look better. I'm trying to make the forms, pulling them a little bit farther forward from
to those high points by keeping sense of what the forms themselves are expressing.
I'll start this process quite early, as early as I can, working from a model because
yet again when they come back in on another day,
you can kind of check how things
are working. You also have recognized that, you know,
the model is not necessarily taking this contrapposto exclusively.
So, you know, some of these forms aren't aren't being presented to me visually in a
way in which I'm trying to actually make them.
So you know when that model takes a position that she may be taking
in a three-hour session for a half an hour,
you have an opportunity to go and kind of really kind of take a close look at what's
going on in there. You understand if you think about sort of the adjectives that describe
form, instead of even talking about them anatomically and you're thinking about what they're doing when
forms pull away from each other
actually the form qualities themselves will get a little bit flatter
because they're extended, whereas the form qualities that are on the other side, where they get
the bones get closer to each other, are going to be a little bit fuller and
more organic. So yet again
these are as I'm thinking and working and modeling my forms,
you know, my mind is thinking about that.
I also say that because, you know, forms
express pose, express your ideas, they’re what sculptors
love to work on. That’s another point in why just can't be this mindless process.
You got to be really quite active in here, understand what you're trying to create with
form. Just making forms om surface becomes, you know,
visual observation can help you a certain amount,
but it's not going to be the only factor I think in actually understanding how
you’re able to create these situations that hopefully become convincing.
I've recommended to students over and over again that it’s sometimes better to think about adjectives, type, taught,
full, instead of, you know, maybe naming the anatomical term of what they're they're actually working on.
I guess the point is can you copy forms just working from observation and make your sculpture
accurate, or can you make your forms interesting
and read well because they seem to help capture the quality of what's occurring.
You know these drawn edges here that I've had here earlier kind of where I stop, I'll
pull a full form to them.
This is where these anatomical changes are occurring visibly on her body.
So I'm really not trying to manage those yet. When it comes to the techniques of
modeling, there's some areas that are quite demanding and there's others that
maybe a little bit easier to understand these fleshier forms that are defined by that
high point that you've been finding from the side,
maybe a little bit easier to execute where then you get into the shadows in here
where there's the transitions amongst form,
those become quite complex, that's where I found visual observation doesn't always help you.
My point to this is I'm not kind of trying to work into them right now.
I'm stopping my fuller forms here.
But I think about the principles of modeling.
There’s, yeah, the modeling of the curvature that's coming from the high points of the stomach
turning back. There's thinking about the pulling in the compression.
But I think of more modeling
is what's occurring kind of in these shadows. We're going to get to it
but, you know, I'm hesitating right now
on just kind of feeling all the stuff in. I'm trying to work with more the
bigger pattern that's existing in here.
I think one of the best pieces of advice I give to students about modeling
is in the process of what you're doing before it and the guidelines that you're setting
up to use while you're doing it and I would say to them:
it’s very helpful to fight your battles
deeper into the sculpture. So that's why you know,
what occurs there is I'm drawing and locating forms and they’re deeper in the
eventual forms. So I'm looking to move them around, I’m looking to find the relevance,
I'm looking to find, you know,
the relationships they have amongst themselves.
So what I'm doing in the process before I start to model is
I’m fighting my battles deeper in my sculpture so that when the battles hopefully
are finished, you know, which in some cases they almost never seem to be, but you
can then kind of lay in form and then the work starts to kind of take on an
appearance. I would say to students
couple of things about the quality of your sculpture.
I mentioned earlier legs are drawn
well and torsos are layered well.
But there's also I find that
sculptures take on this kind of quality about how you make them.
In other words, if you, you know,
I've seen a lot of sculptures where people get to volumes quite quickly and then there
you know, but they don't have good relationships and the things aren't working around and then
you keep pushing stuff around on the surface.
What you're doing at that point is you're fighting your battles on your surface and no
matter - and I've often seen a lot of work that even if they start to find
a comfortable spot that they need to go into, meaning
let's just say for becoming more accurate, becoming better represented, you can kind of still - it
still look looks like a sculpture with these battles fought on the surface.
So once again, I like - that’s other reason I like to build my sculptures from inside-
out. Not because just a human being grows that way, because I want to fight my
battles deep inside. So as I get to my surfaces the difficulty often
of making a sculpture isn’t apparent anymore.
Often say a good sculpture looks like it was effortless to make.
They're not ever that effortless to make but, you know, you once again, you disguise your
battles deep in your sculpture, fight them there, then as you get out here that would -
that could help that.
So anytime you're ready, Aurora.
So as I mentioned earlier now that Aurora’s here these connections that I try to clarify and make
clear I'm going to confirm,
Decide if what I have up there is
what I want and get more involved into the more work in the head. Model
in profile so that I'm going to be looking at my profile and I'm going to
be looking at her profile and that's where I'm going to start getting involved in doing
some work, but I need a little bit of a prop so I'm going to
pull out a ladder. My eye level’s about, you know, here on the model.
So the head and seeing the top of the head becomes a bit of a challenge,
so I need to get a little bit higher to see things.
I talk, you know, I can talk about a lot of the challenges of what I'm
doing here, but one of the first things that I want to indicate is I want
to try to separate as best I can right now the
hairline to separate the back of the cranium from the front of the face.
One of the hardest things about portraiture,
whether it's a large portrait
is value. Your clay hardly ever is going to show this extreme that you're seeing between,
you know, the color and value of your model’s hair and the skin. So
once again, this is where I think drawing these value exchanges off helps draw visual
clarity to your work. In talking to people about portraiture and just as a standalone subject,
I like people to be aware that your sculpture, unless it's finished and polychromed at the
end, or colored, doesn't capture
the extreme value shifts that you're visually seeing. If you think about it,
you'd ask your neighbor, your friend,
hey, did you meet John and they'll say oh,
you mean the blonde guy or the guy with the really dark hair or
the blue eyes or the red lips or whatever. It
may be, there's a distinction of value that people associate with likeness and sculptors don't have that.
So I’m gonna talk to you when I get more in deep into the portrait about,
you know, where that becomes a little maybe a little bit more relevant because it's tricky.
So where you are seeing value shifts like the color of the lips,
so the lips are delineated by color and obviously form but the color, once
again, when it comes to the lips is a little bit deceptive and I find that
people, in it being deceptive,
start to draw a little sharper contrast to the form exchange.
So they make these quite strong ridges between where lip starts and the value of the
or the color of the lips themselves. If you look really closely at a mouth, at
the top edge of a lip,
they're pretty soft. Another thing is I encourage, just as far as the process of Drawing
in Space goes, when's the right time to start putting on a head?
I would say to someone it’s - and I’m getting here probably even later than I might
suggest it in a class environment.
I’d say a good time to start putting on the head
is the minute your pit of your neck is a pretty good maybe.
Now what do I mean by that?
When you're responding to your sculpture and ask yourself if the information is working well,
you're either saying to yourself: yeah,
it seems to work out pretty well;
no, it doesn't work; or maybe, in other words
I can't tell. I would say to someone,
even if you're answering maybe, which means you're unable to distinguish,
if it's what it needs to be it's still a good time to lay in further
connections. Or I’d say to someone what you're really trying to do
a lot of time is get rid of your nos. No that doesn't work,
let me work on it.
Maybing your way through a sculpture for for certain reasons is not a bad idea.
So talking about when a student is ready or you're ready or I'm ready to start
executing a head or start getting it set up, and the pit of the neck becomes
something is a pretty good maybe,
trying to do this block in, I'm trying to use it to get a sense of
position and a little bit of a sense of proportion.
So once again why I'm separating the back of the cranium with the hairline is because
when I turn her to the front,
I know that the widest point of the head is going to be towards the back
underneath her hair. So in a pretty simple way you can block in a head
just with kind of this generic shape because the generic shape speaks of heighth.
So you can see with just the simple shape the overall height that you have up
there and when we turn it to the front and we start to see some of
the widths, and use the widths at the back of the head not only either
forgiving, meaning they can move in and out just because they're underneath hair, eventually hair will
be there. If he comes once again these two conditions in a simple way that can
help you start to see proportions.
As you get involved in the head
it's dangerous to say okay now
I'm at the head and I'll let me just work on this for a long time.
There's going to be a connection system and a process here that is not unlike everything
we've been through through the whole body.
So I like to move off and try to confirm some of the initial goals that
I have and eventually feel satisfied
I got a couple of things worked out and then kind of move on to
other things. I don't think it's helpful to dedicate yourself to a lot of work
time now on a head. If you do,
you know, a full half an hour session with a head,
you’ve just focused on certain goals
and put it away and come back to it tomorrow
you'll start with a fresh
Eye, confirm that those goals that you've achieved on the first they seem to work and
then just kind of gradually keep moving forward.
When you come up and look at someone’s sculpture
and they’ve been trying to develop the head you go oh it’s too big and they go I've
been really focused on that,
I don't understand why I couldn't see it.
That's because it's yours. I say this because, you know, if you're concerned about certain things,
I think that these are sort of innate sort of qualities.
You can ask your neighbor to come over,
you can ask your wife,
you can ask your partner and say what do you think about this?
What do you think about this head size?
And they would probably say because they're quite naive to the subject as well, ph
it looks a little big.
So I’d, at times, invite a student into the studio and ask them certain questions.
Certain things you can analyze on a sculpture without being an expert at it.
In this situation you see me kind of pulling these things out here from the - in
the profile. It's one of my first goals here,
but even more specifically than that what I'm going to be looking for is to connect
the sternocleidomastoidus, which sits behind the back of the jaw line.
I've indicated just, once again, in a quite simple way a little bit about where the
ear goes. Something I'm going to try to work hard on getting to function
well when it comes to the actual portrait itself is coming and finding a good spot
for the front of the chin.
You don't have a lot of flexibility unfortunately on a portrait head.
On a sculpture. I mean you can't just keep pulling it out.
You got to maintain a sense of proportions.
Another thing I found with working with even just standalone portrait models, modeling the head
is a very difficult thing for models because they hear a noise go,
they hear the clock tick, they hear a door open,
they keep moving their head around.
And it's normal. And you have to help them.
So generally because I’m, you know, going to try to create this head so she's looking
down, I'm either going to be probably telling her over time,
can you look a little bit up and look a little bit down?
A lot of people ask me when I was working in Florence,
so did you get talented students this year?
And I don't always think of things and I don't know exactly what people mean by
that but I guess what it means is do they just do good work.
I don't think this is a subject that you just start doing good work with, I think
you have to go through some passages and some stumbling blocks.
No matter who you are.
But there were some qualities that I felt are helpful to executing an understanding
this. One is listening well.
So are the students trying to develop an understanding of process.
But often called the first year of training it's about process and technique.
Most anybody who's been sculpting may not have been working within this technique.
So even if they came there with experience, this still might have been quite unfamiliar to
them. But there is dexterity that I felt became important to people.
I'm putting the pieces of clay where I want them to at least, whether it’s block
in or a contour edge. That doesn't mean they're being exactly put in the right spot,
but our job is to check them and move them around if they're not.
But when it comes to these small little parts, this little head, those little clavicles, that
little edge of the sternocleidomastoidus, it does involve a little bit of control with your
hand. Which is why I'm very happy that this is on video because you can see
how I'm doing a lot of this.
Yes. I am putting some clay up there with my fingers.
They're not too big. But I'm also putting a lot of clay up there with a
tool. This is helping me control it. Putting clay up there with a tool is going to help
you get kind of a little bit of a sharp edge to it.
The finger being organic itself, the pieces of clay you’re laying up
there are often going to be quite organic and when it comes to controlling, once again,
these small little areas, if you're trying this.
I'll try it with the tool, it takes some getting used to, this is something I've had talks
with students about a lot.
So instead of looking at my tool I told you about, pulling off a piece of clay
on my tool and trying to set it where it needs to go,
I usually anchor my hand.
I don't know if you're seeing that or noticing it but I anchor my hand.
I kinda rest it on the sculpture so that when I am putting this piece of clay
there, you know, I can kind of push it and get it to do what it
wants. This is going to be more crucial when I'm trying to develop a little profile
you see I’m anchoring my hand with my finger
on the back edge of the sculpture and that allows me then to kind of control
my tool. Helping me with the dexterity that feels kind of necessary or is necessary to
develop such a small area.
So here from the front
I'm just trying to kind of mass out sort of a generic face, trying to stay
in areas that are pretty safe.
You know, maybe moving this up or down from the side as I go back
to it. So here I’ve got a bit of a sense of a jawline, just to give
the front of the face some some shape.
But I can also see the proportion with it.
I'm working on expanding sort of the back area,
once again where the cranium is in the forehead.
I'm still trying to keep a bit safe.
I mentioned about the idea of being accurate.
And this concept of that you've hit the peak of the fence with accuracy under
one side of it. You’re inaccurate on one level and on the other side of that
you’re inaccurate on the opposite level.
So when it comes to making a head at least and its proportions,
if it's not accurate, you're making the head too big and on the other side of
the fence if you're not accurate,
you're making it a little bit small.
And that's just a thought.
You know personal choices, you know someone would say well I actually like the big head
kind of look. I myself prefer,
if I'm not going to find that peak of the fence,
which as you're getting to know me, you're getting to know proportions,
aren't the quality that I think defines good sculpture. I say that also because I've
seen a lot of sculptures with good proportions
that just weren't very good sculptures.
Maybe it lacked gesture, maybe it lacked body type,
maybe it lacked descriptiveness, maybe it lacked expressive forms.
But all widths and heights and stuff seemed to work out.
So anyway, my point to this is that being - staying on the same side is that
I would prefer - it doesn't bother me if the head is a little small.
Because I don't like looking at sculptures and think people walk in the room
that go, oh my gosh
look at that sculpture with a big head.
Still everyone's comment on Michelangelo's David.
Some of the tricky conversations about portraiture, not necessarily in a standalone environment where you're just
doing a portrait study, that I think it's important to get the portrait to work with the
sculpture, which is different than making a complete likeness.
And why it’s a tricky conversation is that if you're not trying to - if you're not worrying
so much about lateness, but then what's guiding your decision-making?
So it’s, once again, a little bit of a tricky discussion, whereas in other cases,
you know one might be commissioned to do a portrait.
The expectation of likeness there would be quite strong.
If I talk to you about where I'm trying to keep safe just to see a
sense of proportions where I'm really not trying to work as within these areas, the actual face
with the features lie. I'm keeping this quite clear wedge-shape moving backward.
Now that allows me to, once again, as I get into the more smaller descriptions of
where a pocket of an eye is, I’m going to start to try to do that after I
can feel that I've come up with a pretty good maybe for the scale of the
head. Trying to do this
all at once is a lesson in futility.
As I mentioned that this might be one of the most complex parts of sculpting.
Obviously working on standalone portraits is very helpful.
Pick another problem with portrait - working on portraits - is that we spend our time,
so whenever we start making our first sculpture portrait you spent your lifetime looking at people's
heads and say to people,
you won't really understand the head sculpt really or on it on those terms until you
start trying to actually make it.
There's so much going on in there.
Just by talking to someone and feeling as though you're looking at their head doesn't tell
you all the little particulars that you're going to come across.
But doing half scale portraiture,
I actually enjoy it. I would do studies of people just on a small scale.
So if you're looking to do this scale sculpture,
it's probably something that could help you would be
just practicing on making heads on this scale.
Trying to find that dexterity and control that's important.
When it comes to the quality of your sculptures,
I'm defining that in certain ways.
The unfortunate news about producing sculptures at the weakest element is often
what people find the find first.
In other words, if you did a quite nice descriptive body that made sense and had
a nice gesture, but put a head up here that didn’t work at all,
that would be the first thing people notice. In other words,
your sculpture will be defined almost by its weakest part.
One who's wanting to be a sculptor,
you got to dedicate your time, as much time, to each of these elements
as anything else. I’m going to come back to this later,
but I’ve kind of gone through the first
sort of way in which I see this.
As I mentioned I don't want to go just too deep into it.
I want to come back to it another day
or later in the session.
So why don’t you take a break for a bit and then we’ll...
out block in of the head and I'm going to go back to it
probably even later this morning to evolve it a little bit more.
I like to let it go and focus on some other things.
So I’m gonna address the pose kind of in its entirety now. And just to reiterate,
you know, I'm going to be working through my connections, moving up, moving down, moving off
to my shoulders. This highway on which I'm reading my sculpture.
You know at this point,
you know, what I'm looking for,
I'm being, as I mentioned earlier,
I'm being hesitant in some areas about resolving it completely because I want to leave it
in order for it to be an educational tool for people. Whereas some other areas
I'm trying to resolve and finish so I'm going to be gravitating between maybe altering some
contour edges and areas that look like they need it or pulling some forms farther forward in
other areas that may need it.
If I'm considering changes to my sculpture right now,
I'm usually looking for more descriptive qualities to liven up the sculpture a little bit.
So we'll see what I find as we go through this,
but I'm going to be working all over, I mention as, you know,
as you start sculpture in this process,
you know, I try to keep the decision making quite simple and it can get you
fairly far and at this point is when things get complex and you’re juggling a lot
of stuff, so it's just inevitable.
So anyway, I’ll try to talk about that
but at least you'll be seeing me kind of manipulate things
and once again, I still am always more concerned about the sculpture
being more descriptive, more of what's occurring.
You know and I'll describe that,
you know, when I'm looking at the stand leg,
you know, I'm finding areas that I can really kind of look for that tension that's
occurring with the model holding her weight in her thigh.
I find that all is quite crucial to make it appear as though my sculpture is
really standing there quite solidly in combination actually looking at the balance leg which is a
leg where there's not a degree of tension.
Now I have put her foot behind her so she does have to use this
to help her balance. So there is a lot of strength actually kind of occurring in
the upper thigh, in the sartorius area.
But anyway, I like to balance the tension and the relaxation of the certain areas
like I was discussing with what do I look for,
you know, as far as in the stomach area moving up I'm looking for this to
try to develop forms to describe
what's occurring on my model with her body type in this pose and try to bring
the pose alive. People would look at the Florence Academy of Art sculpture that I've been
running for 20 years and they go,
okay it's a school of accuracy and it's really not, it's all quite interesting in,
you know, the departures that they make but I think the quality of the sculpture, it's
more directed towards descriptiveness than it is people sitting there trying to be accurate.
I think when you try to be accurate,
you’ll often miss certain qualities that are able to bring your sculpture and help it make
it more convincing. So anyway, Aurora's going to come back and we're going to start again.
Thank you. Whenever you're ready.
There, awesome. You might wanna turn your torso, yeah, and then drop the shoulders.
Thank you. So I'm sitting here still modeling within the conditions
I set up. So I'm trying to confirm contour edges and feeling as though they're fairly
reasonable. Because they have pockets on either side of them that are deep,
I'm pulling clay, once again, using the conditions of my contour edges to model. But I’m also
doing that here. So I'm looking at where that high point that I've discovered through the
side, I'm being aware of the high point that I have here from the front.
Still working in between the two conditions I have here for a contour edge and also
looking at how - if there's anything different I'm doing I'm looking at kind of how the
the form itself starts turning away in between these two areas.
Thank you, Aurora. I think you've noticed, hopefully you've noticed,
as I'm pulling clay out to get closer to the surface of some of these high
points and that means that two shapes that were sitting next to each other where there
was a drawn line get a little lost.
I put clay there, pulling these out,
and then I kind of go lightly over the line.
I’m not finishing forms right now.
I'm getting forms closer to the surface.
So once again, you know,
these are going to become more present on the surface and I still want, you know,
to track them to get an idea of, you know,
the differences between them. I mentioned earlier in the day,
that for me modeling has a lot more to do with what's occurring through the transitions from this form
into this form, which is me tracking that here.
This is the topography of how things are kind of flowing through there.
These kind of areas aren't part of your contour edge.
There are contour edges here that are exclusive to that area
but once again, there's a little bit more of a mindset that will start - that I’m gonna
explain to help his kind of understand how to manage these forms,
but once again, so I'm not modeling in that
I'm completing these areas. I'm just getting them closer to the surface and still trying to
keep the separations of light and shadow that I'm seeing pretty clear.
Thank you, Aurora.
and some of my goals today.
You know what I want to get more involved with is the head and start evolving
it a little bit more out of the simple block in that I set up yesterday into
a little bit more of a complex block in and I think it's gonna be something to
pay kind of careful attention to because the skull is a very complex bone that you
have to manage and understand and there’s certain guidelines and landmarks that can help you do
that. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as making a skull like a box and egg like
we've done with the rib cage s, you know, I start blocking in the head,
I want to I'm going to start talking about,
you know, these landmarks that I want to set up to help me see things better.
A wedge shape that I started with, once again, was just a block in to denote
the general direction the head’s looking in and that was that simple.
Now today I have to evolve that a little bit more to start preparing myself to
get more involved into the character of my model’s head. So I'm still going going to ease kind
of through that situation.
The next thing that I'm going to be trying to do is I'm going to, once
again, be kind of evolving the forms that I began a little bit ago.
And you know, if there's something to notice here,
I know it is when I'm doing that I’m not maybe talking so much but I
am still trying to you know,
let you know the thoughts that, you know, are coming into my head as I think about
that and I also understand that when you're trying to develop forms as a sculptor familiarity
with the situation is kind of crucial at
that time. There's not any simple way to break it down,
like I try to do with a lot of the other figures whether it’s, you know,
the setup of structures, using a box and egg, trying to keep a simplified understanding of
how to use that to introduce contours with the origin, apex ending. So, you know, form is
something that is just going to this conversation as I come across more complex situations are
things that involve, once again, some more explanation.
I'm going to hopefully, you know, I'm going to be telling you. But yet I'm still kind of
keeping to the simpler forms at least, the softer fleshier forms. The forms, as
I've been saying, have been defined in many cases by the high points or the
contour lines that I start to feel comfortable with. And it's an interesting thing
If I talk about the initial structures when you refer to the word as structural truth,
when you refer to the word of structure you think about the components that, you
know, support a building as an architectural practice and you know,
that makes sense in the idea that structure is being used for this underlying structure of
the bony system of the body and that's its first initial understanding. But instead of just
thinking about structure just as these underlying bony edges, we can think about structure and I
refer to it as structural truth, the idea that there are - we’re using them and setting
them up and not calling them into question.
Therefore they become fixed, which means they become a truth and that hopefully was evident about
how I started developing contour edges
from the corners of edges of my box and my pelvic girdle. I know drawing is
a very difficult discipline, meaning getting your contour edges to work and not only on one
level but the complexity of trying to organize them three-dimensionally.
That's why I think of the rendering stages of developing a sculpture is this big
long middle because so much is going on.
It takes more time. There's more room for error.
But I wanted to point out the idea that these contour edges that as I become
comfortable with them or as I'm trying to say,
okay, you know this seems to not need much more consideration, whether it's a proportional consideration
or whether it's the descriptive kind of Contours that I'm looking at, they act then as
a bit of a structural truth in that they're guiding my decisions into sculpture - into
form. And I will say on a little bit of a minor note too is I'm
trying to get involved with form and
I'm coming closer to my model’s body and I'm starting to see how things move up
there, if my setup of my contour edges don't seem to allow me to turn
form as I'm seeing it on the model,
I will go back into my contour edges and see how I need to maybe adjust
them in order for me to actually get more related forms that I'm seeing on my
model. So that's where I am today, I’m just going to try to pull elements of the
sculpture farther forward and resolve them better and, you know, evolve the head a little bit
more. And this is something that is quite common to at least how I practice and
use this, because it's just maybe a little bit of a personality trait of mine that
I don't like doing certain activities for an hour after hour after hour and I used
to kind of complete a sculpture and then model it and you know,
then I was spending you know, a week sitting there on my clay just kind of modeling
forms, modeling forms, modeling forms.
And I got a little - it wasn’t very dynamic for me as far as, you
know, my my thought process that I was working with.
So I do like developing sculpture in this manner where I'm actually finding some areas that
I feel confident with that I can model forms.
I can go to my head and push that forward. They’re two different types of activities
and you know, once again is I, you know, kind of conclude the activity of like,
okay, I've done enough here at this point to model forms,
I brought them forward, I want to kind of stop and come back to this at
a later date, now let me go and gravitate and push my head
forward. So I like that I can work on a sculpture and that my activity involved
in my thought process involved and it's a little bit different at different times where I
can stop doing something and kind of move somewhere else and, you know, produce it
on a more basic level.
I just find that helpful to me.
I don't know if that would be helpful to anyone out there.
But anyway, we're going to invite Aurora back and I'm going to get my setup
so I can start looking at her profile and show you how I'm going to
start to evolve this block in a little bit better.
To draw your attention to what I'm kind of drawing out here for the head and what I'm
looking for. This one might be a little bit more obvious.
I'm looking at her brow ridge.
Can use the eyebrow to kind of draw back, get a sense of where it's lined up
sitting on this profile - that's still not quite a descriptive profile - to start to break up
the head but the important parts to me of the front of the face, of the
anatomy of the skull or what lies under that, is the zygomatic ridge,
which is this line that I've tried to locate here.
The zygomat being, generally when you're looking at the front of a face, the widest point.
And once again, here's the superciliary arch or the brow ridge,
which is the pocket of the eye.
With these two elements what I'm trying to do is get myself - as I try to
locate them a little bit more of a sense of three-dimension up here in the head
instead of kind of looking at this wedge,
which when you look at her,
you know, the idea of a wedge is in abstraction now the purpose of it was to
keep away from trying to you know,
develop all this information altogether.
The other thing I was trying to indicate a little bit here is a little bit
maybe where the bottom of the nose is and the mouth because I can see them
on there. Now is thinking a little bit about drawing and it's advice that I give
to students because it's a hard thing to - for people adapt to, meaning using this technique
to to set up things on their sculpture.
Maybe they don't understand how it's useful but I understand also at one point in time
just when you're looking at this head right now, and looking at the side plane of
the model’s portrait, when you're looking at her, there's a very clear delineation between
her hairline coming over here down to the back of her neck. In other words, when
you draw a line, you can look at that edge and seeing if it's successful because
it's being separated by the value of her hair,
which is darker than the value of her skin.
So that's it, a use of drawing. Another use of drawing,
here is the idea of where the zygomat ridge is and that's a little bit more of
an abstraction. I I know where to look for it.
There may not be something here guiding me as clear shadow and light like there is
here in order to reference that information,
but I think of drawing - and I'll just remind you - is that in order to encourage people
to be using it, it's starting to try to see something before you make it.
In other words I haven’t built the zygomatic in there and I'm going to attempt to now
and I think it's necessary,
but I want to initially try to see what where this placement is.
The other thing that I want to point out about drawing, you know, about the
use is that when I draw the center line on the figure,
I'm sorry on the portrait, which is referencing the middle of her chin coming through your
head up into the middle of her forehead,
you don't see a line running through the head.
This isn't in pose line. In other words,
you got to have it on your sculpture or I'm encouraging people to draw it on their
sculpture, but when you're looking at the model there's no line running through the
head. So it's imposed, you're imposing information on top of your sculpture to help you
do something, which is different than this line,
which is an actual line that you're being able to relate and see. So
the use of drawing is in some cases easier to understand how to use it,
in other cases maybe it's not so clear about how to use it.
But it's once again anything that, you know,
I'm doing here or encouraging students to evolve is a helpful practice.
It's because it just takes practice to kind of learn how it's helpful.
If you don't do what you will not find why it's helpful or how it's helpful.
But it's also a little bit,
I also want to mention this,
it's also a little bit like my first best guess, you know, that,
you know, maybe it's here.
I'm going to try to build it now in there and as now I start to
build the information, you know,
and it becomes a little bit clearer what I'm trying to make, it'll start to
appear different and it will start to become more clear.
I'm just trying to keep away from putting it down here and putting it in a
really poor placement. I think of it more as like,
you know a writer, you know if they're trying to write a rough draft they’re just
trying to get their thoughts on a piece of paper,
you know, and that will go through multiple editing and you know,
this kind of information generally will go through multiple editing.
So you know,
this is my, once again if I was a writer,
these are my first initial thoughts and I'm putting down on the sculpture that I will
clarify, move forward in perfect or even for that matter
it may be a little bit more like a musician who before they're playing your tune,
your instrument, if it was anyone tune a guitar,
they may pluck a string on a high or low E and you know,
their ear might be able to pick up that particular string is out of
tune and I'll work on it and then you know,
that's a little bit different than when they've kind of tuned each string as best they
could and then they start playing a chord with all the six strings and then they
can kind of really hear how the instrument is - has been tunes and still may
continue to adjust it. So this is kind of like me tuning one string on
a guitar and as I get more there and I evolve it, I'll start playing a
chord then I'll start seeing a cord up here that will help me, once again, see
a little bit better how these things are coming along. Anyway,
these are just my ways in which to try to encourage people to make sure they're
practicing it. Because I've left this wedge,
I know I have room to build this out.
I don't have to necessarily go to the front of the model to now understand how
to place this. You know,
I've looked for that bony edge in there.
It's generally running towards the ear.
Well it is running towards the ear, towards this area of the hairline.
And so what I start to try to do is to try to evolve
a little bit the complexity of my block in, trying to draw attention to this ridge.
You see me putting quite an extreme plane in there,
I mean it's really capturing light and dark.
It's one thing in that being something easier for me to read visually and compare.
It doesn't appear that way in the model.
It's not that extreme. But it also gives me flexibility.
In other words, this little edge here,
what my goal is going to be is to locate where that light and shadow exchange
direction. Why it allows me flexibility because I can kind of push it up and push
it down with relative ease because I got these planes that turn really fast, that it
doesn't occur that way on her face.
I know I mentioned this earlier about how I actually make things inaccurate, in other words
not capturing the full understanding accurately of the situation. So as I start putting in the
pocket of the eye, I like to place it a little bit deeper.
It starts to give me the presence of a little bit of a skull or the
important areas of the skull, the pocket of the eye, and the zygomatic ridge. When I'm
teaching a portrait workshop, everyone who's done that with me
we start with the profile and I'm going to remind you of this I said this
earlier. I'm going to start executing this profile is the first departure in getting the character
of my models, you know aesthetics set up here.
In other words, I might try to find the farthest out point that I'm seeing looking
through the side of the head. And the reason for that,
excuse me, is to use it eventually to set up the depth.
So here's the depth of the zygomat, it's even deeper in the head than it will
eventually be. The pocket of the eye is deeper in the head then it will eventually
be and I haven't gone yet and started to try to develop the character of her actual
profile. But the big question that arises me well what about the other profile?
So I have students looking through the side of the head and they're aware that there's
another side of the head. The answer to the question about
the other profile is that there is no other profile. When you look through
the side of the head, whether it's on the far side or on this side, the
high point that you're seeing,
the outer contour edge is the same on either side. What they're really meaning is what
do I do with the other side of the head? And what I do is I
say, okay on this side of the head
I've kind of set up at this a little bit more of an evolved block in,
it has a bit of three-dimensionality and it's now has me able to see sort
of where some of these bony structures are.
5 set them up and feel fairly confident that
they're in the right place.
What I do is I just turn my sculpture immediately to me and start to try
to set this up on the other side.
In other words, I don't go and look at the other side yet.
This is a little bit of a long conversation in the idea that what I'm trying
to do is set them set them up symmetrically.
The reason that that's a little bit of a controversial statement,
considering the discussion we also had about the the idea of a center line that not in
every case your models going to come in with a perfectly balanced rib cage, not every
situation you model is going to come in with a perfectly balanced pelvis.
There's all kinds of inconsistency in nature.
That's what is a character of it.
And in the head sometimes it's hard to recognize if the spinal column isn't - if there's
not two equal sides on either side of it to balance the rib cage.
It's very hard to discern in the pelvis.
In the head it’s easier to discern if there's lopsidedness occurring on your model.
A lot of people do have one side of the head bigger than the other.
It's quite a common trait.
So byy controlling symmetry that doesn't mean necessarily
I'm going to make a totally symmetrical head.
I guess in some ways that would look probably more robotic than the little small
asymmetries or perhaps large asymmetries that exist on a human head. But what I've found is
that it's - I like to approach things through the control of symmetry
first and then as I start to discover asymmetry,
I have a basis to judge it.
Because for example one side of the head might be working quite well,
so I'm taking information off this profile, I’m taking information off this profile,
I'm sending up, you know, heights and relationships here, applying those over here.
So this side of the head in theory as you work through it will become more accurate
for then you to judge the other side’s actually wider.
The other thing I find is that it's very easy to make asymmetries through - that don't
exist. So as you watch someone trying to manage a portrait,
there's all these kind of weird distortions that could that could come into the - come into
their work through human error because human error is more common than you being able to
control something. So one of the things if you can see me,
you know, when you pull for example a mouth off farther off the center line,
you also maybe pull that mouth farther back,
I called this the portrait that looks like they got a fish hook caught in their
mouth. Now that's never happened to me,
but I never want it to happen to me,
but this would be the same. If you push the pocket of an eye too far
in and maybe it's farther forward in this eye, you're actually - the whole front of your
head's going to start to actually appear as
it's turning and looking in a different direction.
So asymmetries in the head can kind of lead to distortions and inconsistency that are unappealing
for the work. I suppose unless you're making a sculpture of a fisherman
on a pier who happens to have just gotten a fish hook caught in his mouth.
Maybe I'll make one someday.
Okay. Try to turn this. So here my somewhat robotic block in here.
As I get more involved into the description of my model’s head these are going
to be, you know, spaces that are going to help me sort of organized things.
The setup of the pocket of the eye, it’s going to give me something to draw
on if I want to draw an eyebrow from the front, I'm going to I'm going
to be able to have a base of clay to do that on, which a wedge
can’t give you. So if this wedge was so far back,
if you try to draw out on the front of the head to locate something,
it's moving so far back that it wouldn't relate very well.
One of the biggest concerns that I have when I'm doing this is try to develop
relative angles. So is I start going through a profile what I'm more concerned about
than anything else actually it is how the angles turn in and out. And after Aurora
takes a break, we’re going to get right to it.
Right after I give a little bit of a nose.
what I was just about to mention. As I go through this profile my first goal -
because I'm going to make multiple, multiple, multiple passes through there. I know I just am
not going to get it right on the first pass.
So, you know, I just keep at it. The first goal that I'm going to be
looking for is that angles. As I was mentioning to, even even as as of yesterday
this concept of, you know,
the first vital piece of information and I'm looking for is the reference of movement or
angle or position. Now one of the hard things about portraiture whether you're doing a portrait
on this scale or whether you’re doing a portrait stand-alone is that it's almost impossible to go -
come out of a three-hour session to make a full head. Now it can be done quickly
I suppose but you know,
I'm not sure what the result would be.
But generally, if you're going to try to do a traditional portrait study,
it's going to take multiple days,
you know, maybe five working days,
maybe seven working days, three hour sessions.
What ends up happening in in that period
of time is that you accumulate information over that period
of time. So as you start a portrait,
I mean, I wouldn't even suggest to try it, you don't put an eye on there
first, you don't put an ear in their first,
you don't put, you know, information is going to come on to this sculpture
over time when it's relevant and when it's crucial to start getting this up there.
So what takes place is when your model is standing there posing and they look up and
they look down a little bit, you might be finding that on the third day
ready to insert and eye and the model of that moment as you're doing that might be
looking a little bit more down than they were on the first day.
And you can come out of that period
of time finding having made a very good eye
and then the next day go to the other side of the head and start to incorporate
that eye when it when the model’s looking a little bit up.
So the prior day you could have done work, made the eye accurate as you were
seeing it, the next day you could insert the other eye and made that eye accurate
as you're seeing it and then they both don't look in the same direction.
So what I say to people was when you're talking to yourself about your work and part
of this inner dialogue, there's some really crucial questions that you should be asking yourself all
the time and they're just can save you so much effort and editing that you might
have to go through in the sculpture, which is where is this
looking, what angle is it looking in, does it relate to the first angle on the
first day that I was setting up this portrait?
It's unfortunate if you've done a good head and you found all these situations and they
all seem to be rendered or developed quite accurately,
but still your forehead’s looking straight out,
your nose is looking a little bit down, your chin’s looking a little bit up, one
eye was looking in one direction and another eye is looking in another direction.
But yet again that can happen even it as you achieving accuracy.
So yet again this concept of locating first that general direction things are moving in, as
I set up this profile
there's a lot of changes of direction that are occurring up through the profile from the
chin into the mouth, into the upper lip, into the nose, the nose itself, out into
the forehead, in the forehead. So as I go through the first passes to try to incorporate
these general angles throughout the profile,
what I'm hoping to try to keep control of is where the chin and the forehead
and how they're related as far as position.
So I'm going to give this a shot.
So Aurora anytime you're ready. One way to try to control this is, as you're setting up
certain things I was reminded that yesterday when I was trying to draw the hair on
there, the hair that's coming right in front of her ear,
there was an upright angle to it.
And I memorize that. You could also be looking for the line that's occurring at the
jawline if that's quite clear.
Because it's important for you to have a reference on your sculpture to go okay
this is the jawline movement,
I can see it on the model and this is what helps you. If
the model looks up, that line changes direction. So if the model looks down at line changes
direction. So you do need, once again, as I mentioned,
it's hard when you're modeling for portraiture for people to keep their head in a coherent
position. There's not a lot of muscle memory in a neck,
you know, so that as you’re sitting there, as a model is sitting there,
they can't actually recall exactly how the position of their head is or how it needs
to be for your sitting.
So once again, if you have one reference angle up there to help you save your
model, can you look down or look up a little bit that would be help this -
the need to develop a coherent position throughout the whole.
I don't appear to have left myself much room to build
a great deal of the profile on here.
So it looks to me as though as I'm looking for these angles,
and I once again, it's one of those questions that you respond well
maybe I have some room to build out,
but maybe not too much.
I’m at that maybe. If I'm not at that maybe and I
can't answer or discern which direction I need to take my profile because I don't have
this flexibility just to keep pulling this profile out
like I kept pulling those profile lines out in the legs.
I just - instead of trying to confuse myself
I just start carving those angles in there
and subtracting. I can always add to it a little bit later
If I need to still continue to pull it out a little bit more.
I've always enjoyed challenges as a sculptor and certain things do get easier with experience.
This is one that always seems to be quite a difficult challenge.
So I covet that. With all the students that I've taught when it comes to the
description of the body and what you're using to reference that and understand that, whether it's
proportions or position or character,
I find that certain people are good at some and maybe not as good as others
and that there's generally some things that they need to work on.
The reason I'm saying this is because if you happen to be someone who is being
self-aware with your work and you're saying why I'm having a hard time organizing angles,
a helpful thing sometimes to do is ask yourself when you're looking at an angle
what number on the clock is it pointing to? Is that an angle that's going
to three o’clock, is that an angle is going to four o’clock, is that an angle that’s going
to seven o’clock? And instead of just trying to look at an angle that’s being described by
air outside of it, you're trying to reference something.
You're using a reference that is may be more familiar to you than
just trying to read something and set it up.
If you're someone who struggles with proportions, something very similar can occur.
If you’re working life size, for example doing a life-size portrait because I still - there's measurements
that you can help set things up in but I'd still never recommend for everyone to
measure 50 things, I think we just lead to confusion.
Acute confusion often lies in the fact that maybe the length or width that you've measured
might work well but spacially they're not organized
well, in other words then your angles between these points don't work and you
wind up being convinced that the proportion works.
Keep asking your - stop asking yourself questions about it,
hold on to something that's inaccurate.
But if you're working a life-size head it's an interesting thing,
you know, if this was a life-size head I might think how many of my fingers
are going to fit between the bottom of the jawline and the zygomat and I wouldn’t
to go stick fingers on your model’s face,
but you can use a unit of measure. In other words,
you're imposing something upon it instead of going what's the distance between here and here. So
imposing sort of something that you become more familiar with, you may be able to get
a better idea and go oh,
well, actually it should be three fingers,
I only have two fingers that might fit across that area.
So yet again, you're imposing something upon it that helps you gain familiarity to the situation
that, once again, just looking at the distance of a space which is little bit more
challenging. If you’re working approximately half life size
you can still use a finger.
So if there's two fingers that fit through here on my model,
there should be one finger that fit through here on my sculpture.
It’s interesting thing in Italy they actually, when you go in order or when the older
generation orders prosciutto, they can walk in there and they say instead of giving me a
hundred grams they’ll say give me two fingers.
Two fingers of prosciutto to a butcher means something. It’s a unit of measure. Evidently the Greek
proportional system that they have designed their proportions with was based upon the length of a
finger that was applied to everything on the human body.
Yet again something that we are familiar with,
to help us gain a sense of - to help us gain control
over something else. These challenges become difficult here too as well
if you're working with quite soft clay it’s
hard to get it to bite.
Usually when you're trying to execute a profile it’s helpful if that clay is a
little bit harder to let it or not spray too much.
The other thing too is if you left a profile like I have with this quite
thin ridge on it, you can also go give it a little bit more body
so that the clay is going to have a little bit more stability because working once
again on this small scale,
the dexterity involved, you don't want that to be interrupted by the fact every time you
touch it something keeps moving around on you.
So I’d spend some time here, once again, giving a little bit more of a - pulling
out my block in to give more body to this edge of clay.
Doing small head studies, as I recommended previously, I think is quite important for you to have
experience working on the scale, trying to control it.
I like to do that as well.
So I’ll choose to do it or even just a portrait study standalone this size.
Also because they make great gifts.
So you do a nice little portrait study, advance your understanding, you practiced on it,
you’re getting better at it, and then when Christmas rolls around
everyone in my family gets one.
Some simple questions I ask:
before you build any angles into a profile, you don't have any there to compare. So
you're going through it in that singular way as I was talking about, inserting initial contour
edges on to the leg.
So I'm thinking as I started this,
okay, that's turning a little bit in, that's turning farther out, that's
turning up right and pointing at 12 o’clock and so on and so forth as I get
through the portrait. The profile. As you do that - because you know,
my departure point was at my chin
what I kept asking myself as I was going through
this is how much out farther is that point below the nose than the chin. How
much farther out is the forehead
than the chin, is the base of the nose out farther than the chin?
So I think as I how start to accumulate angles,
I start to reference it back to where I began.
That can help you maybe answer some questions about, you know,
how the angles are coming along.
I keep finding that. it looks to me like my - upper lips needed to keep
coming out a little bit more.
Another thing as you're just standing there,
before you begin building something talking to yourself about it in that,
if you’re thinking, okay, Rob Bodom recommends to start referencing angles through the profile first and you're
about to do that, talk to yourself
how many you can find
before you even start to build them. Drawing awareness, where are these angle changes?
Generally in the lower section is quite clear from the chin turning back into the - with the
upper chin before it turns forward into the lower lip is it turns forward into
where the lips meet turning out. In the nose though
it gets a little bit more discerning difficult.
There are angle changes. There's a variety of musculature -
I'm sorry musculature- at the top of the nose
there's a bone that starts turning into cartilage.
And you’ll often find these very gentle angles.
In Italy you find quite extreme angles.
They have quite clear noses.
Here Aurora has this very gentle angle changes
occurring up from the section between here and here before it turns up into her forehead.
Okay, you can take a break.
Thanks. Yet again, I'm losing my contour, my profile line, that I’d drawn out there that
helps me control position. And I want everyone to see this, spatulas,
which I haven't talked about as a tool if you get - there's even larger ones
that fill spackle in or fill holes in your wall. Because it's got this nice flat
edge what I do with it is I draw it up, which is different than if
I took this to and try to draw down here. This tool with your hand might
start to lose a direction and start to veer off in one way.
So once again as I'm re-establishing sort of where the center line goes, because I'm going
to want to continue to use it like my spinal column,
this seems to be a helpful way in which to keep control of that.
I want it - unable to discern where I want to go with it or what could
be altered or what I might alter.
So if I'm going through my profile now a second time, now I ask myself about
how the proportions work. Yet again quite a complex task here.
And this is where the use of comparative measurement
I think could become quite helpful.
I talked about it a little bit but not so much but essentially what's taking place
is that we can and maybe try to discern a space
from the bottom of the chin to the bottom of the nose and once again forgetting
about all the ins and outs that are occurring there.
Then maybe compare that space to where the brow ridge starts.
And then compare that space to then maybe where the forehead ends or the hairline starts.
So you have three things here.
You've separated now the profile into three sections.
It seems like a pretty adequate comparison to think to yourself,
which one's the longest, which one's the shortest, and which one's in the middle. Now because
everyone has different proportions, you might wind up going
well, they all look the same and that's when I find that comparitive measurement becomes
really difficult and to me almost unusable.
For me to discern proportional and use comparative measurements.
I like to be able to say oh,
this is quite a lot longer than that.
And this is the shortest one and then look at my sculpture and go
oh, they're all balanced or they're all in the middle and that usually helps when I
got to pull my nose up or I got to pull my brow line down or
I got to pull my forehead up. Yet get again here
I'm looking at my proportions and I can't really discern
where I might go with any of those at this moment,
So it's a pretty good maybe as far as I can tell right now.
I don't know how you're all reading it out there.
But if I was not very convinced that it seems to be working,
this is when I invite my [inaudible] into the studio and say what do
you think about this? I have a feeling that you know intuition is what I've always
tried to help awaken in my students
as far as their reactions to their work,
so if you're not measuring and setting up everything you got to intuitively kind of sense
how it feels to you, bigger, smaller, long, or short.
So if your intuition, which becomes deadend to your sculpture a lot faster than someone
else’s, you can invite someone in and just say what do you think
about this length in here?
What do you think about the general head size in here?
I also know that is I eventually gravitate towards the front that maybe some of the
proportions that I'm reading is heights through the profile right now aren't very recognizable to me
that maybe from the front as I get there and I feel that oh my eyes
seems to be sitting too close to the to the nostril or you know,
the zygomatic doesn't line up with this that sometimes my work from the front is going
to help me discern some of the proportions that I might not have been able to
reference from the side. So the last thing I'm going to do on the profile here
right now is because I've left once again the zygomatic pocket really quite deep and then
also the eye pocket, I'm going to just pull those forward a little bit
closer to the profile where they are sitting to once again get this structure
set up underneath the head.
I mentioned this earlier but this is also another case of it and repetition of concepts
and thoughts are better than seeing it once and going oh someone pick this up.
What I'm doing right here right now is a simplification.
A purposeful simplification and I also realized recently that in order to simplify something,
you have to understand it quite well.
And I hought that was quite ironic.
The idea that we can keep something simple
that implies that you don't have to know too much about it or it’s just easily
achieved. The only reason I can do this is cuz I have an idea of some
of the planes in the structure of the head.
Because I know where to place them.
My next - you've all seen the box and egg that I work with.
I pulled it out at times I realize that I need to also probably develop a
little bit of an element of what a block in for a head can be
in a simplified situation to show people.
Because once again, there's some complex rhythms on here that
or complex movements on here that if you're not familiar with where they are what they
are, telling people to simplify something doesn't work.
The last thing I want to do with my portrait right now before I leave it
and move on to some other stuff is start to get a sense of the depth.
So I'm sitting here not knowing if I need to manipulate my position of my profile.
I'm sitting here not realizing heorr understanding right at this point if I need to
alter the proportions. So the next thing I'm a look at it,
I'm going to ask Aurora just to look a little bit up,
Is to try to place the angle between the back of the nose and the back
of the mouth. So I’m recognizing the first question I have about this angle is the
mouth farther back than the nose and how much?
Once again, if your model’s in a different position, if she raised her head, the nose
is moving farther back while the mouth is moving forward so all these relationships change due to
position. So beyond just asking myself
what is the angle that I'm looking at right now,
I have to think is Aurora pretty close to the position that we started with and
she is because I helped her get back into it.
I can see that the eye needs to still come quite a bit forward.
But I'm going to hesitate on that because as I start to insert an eye as I mentioned before
I want to leave myself room.
To as I start to discover how to capture what the eye is doing, leave myself
room for error so I can start building it forward.
So I'm going to hesitate on referencing that right now.
And the eyes you can draw it out on there.
It's coming quite a bit forward from where it is.
Same with the zygomatic it still comes a little bit farther forward, the front of the zygomat.
I would talk to people about working on a profile, breaking it down into nine crucial
points. The first three are in a profile, chin, nose, and forehead.
That's something that you're trying to organize not only proportionally but positionally. There's a lot to
them building to the profile but referencing and using the chin for the nose is and where
the forehead or brow ridges is,
you can break up that into more three distinguishable points.
When you’ve executed a profile then you've got the depth to deal with, so then you
got the where's the back of the nose,
where's the back of the mouth,
and where's the back of the eye pocket or the bony edge of the eye?
So one, two, three turns into four, five, six.
To then try to understand number seven,
which is the fullness of the zygomat,
number eight, where the fullness of the cranium is,
and number nine where the fullness of the jawline is.
The reason I'm trying to locate these points
and the relationships they have through the side.
I'm finding the spatial depth of them
by using the profile, how far back are they?
Those are what are going to turn into widths when I move to the front.
And so I'm not going to get there today,
I'm going to try to evolve that and take myself into other areas of the sculptures,
I mentioned as we began today.
Because I've gotten about as far as I want to before I come back and kind
of check what I’ve got here
at a later date. So it fresh again. So let's take a break Aurora and then we’ll
I'll come back to that.
I want to get more involved in forms,
and, you know, I'm so kind of open to changes and contour edges and expression
of the pose. Although everything seems pretty locked in here for time purposes.
I don't think I'm able to alter things very much. And eventually kind of get
down to a foot and show you how to start drawing some definition to that.
So anyway, Aurora is going to come back and we're going to turn to the
front. On this side of the sculpture where I’ve kind of evolved the shapes, meaning I’ve
use my contour edges to start filling in some forms where before it was quite flayed
like it still is over here. Because your clay is so dark, the presence of light and
shadow start to really dissipate. In other words,
you start losing track of where you were seeing separations or how you were seeing separations
or the integrity of the shape itself.
So even though that I pulled some of these forms forward,
I haven't completely resolved them yet.
Or maybe even found their appropriate position yet.
So I kind of gently go over it.
Redrawing them in there to draw some clarity to them.
I mentioned earlier about the integrity of shapes. Shapes on the human body are very unique.
One never seems to represent another one,
even though there's two sets of muscles on one side of the body that are the
same and if you stand straight,
they look the same but in pose and in active situations,
the same set of muscles become quite unique to even themselves.
So for my sculpture to appear natural
I'm looking for unique shapes.
Trying to stay away - I think I mentioned this as well - from circles and squares and
triangles which are manufactured shapes. This would have been blasphemy at the school
I used to work at but you can make something appear natural, yet again, and
not have it be accurate.
like making unique shapes abstractions, it's when you take a unique
shape and make it more rectangular square, more manufactured shape that they start to look - that
your sculpture, even if those shape seem to be placed kind of in the same - in
the right spot - maybe capture the proportion of the area that you're trying to place it
in, where your sculpture will look a little bit more generalized.
The qualities of form on the human body, and I think it's one of the hardest
disciplines, is because they don't often present themselves in this extreme contrast in that
it's much easier to recognize things when they look extremely different and you can compare that.
It's easier for you to make judgments about it.
The thing about forms is that they're never really that extreme nor
do they ever stop moving.
And I think about that,
you know, if you think about yet again,
like I said, I won't stick fingers in your model’s face
you know, as I’m looking at an area that I'm trying to kind of represent forms,
I think about you know,
how my tool might pass over that area
on the model. So yet again.
I'm not encouraging you to stick modeling tools on your model,
but to try to get a sense of how these curvatures work.
The other reason I say that is if you come across areas that you're trying to
model and you find that they're flat,
something's wrong because form just keeps on moving slowly, slowly, slowly.
This is at a moment
also where you can kind of use the clay to your advantage in that.
You'll notice I pulled out a pretty wet piece of clay that you can just look
at my hands. I actually had to move it around a little bit.
to get a little bit more set up with the clay that's up there already because
it's been there for some days
is a little bit harder - well it's gotten hard.
And so when you take soft clay and you try to lay in forms,
the contour edges in the high points that I'm working between are much harder than the
clay that I'm actually putting on there.
So it makes it kind of easier
to lay in these forms. Some of these forms are going to land like I'm doing
and probably leave there as an initial setup,
but I'm also going to choose - a lot of people ask me sometimes how I get
my services so clean - so as I get a whole form laid in there,
I'm going to show you how I do that.
So for any of you who've ever frosted a cake,
this should come quite naturally to you
Because it's not unlike putting the frosting on a cake for a sculptor who loves to
model forms. Thank you, Aurora.
The one thing about working without a model is you’re coming through your figure -
I hope everyone's aware that almost most of all the mark-making I'm doing is meaningful.
It's every piece of clay I try to put on my sculpture
it might represent something. It might represent a contour edge, it might represent an internal shape,
it might represent in proportionate, it might represent the peak to form. So as you come through it
and I come across it and I see a mark I've made her see a contour edge I’ve
or see a drawn shape
I've made, I have an idea of what I was trying to do there.
Now that not only is that helpful as you're editing things going
okay, this isn't in the right spot,
let me move it over.
I put that there to represent X,
it doesn't seem to do it and now let me move it.
But if I go over the figure and I trying to pull out some forms,
I come across certain areas that I'm like well geez have I really looked at this
as much as I needed to?
It's a moment of pause and say well not really.
I don't quite understand what's going on in here.
I might have an idea of what's going on in there,
but aesthetically in reference to my model,
I might not be able to recall
very much. So when my model comes back,
there's certain areas that I start to understand
I really got to look at a little bit closer.
So I don't often recommend for students to start this process
in their work when they're ready for it
so that they can have a quite directed
model session the following day.
And that's - as you get to kind of the conclusion of certain projects you
I kind of need to spend some time modeling it. Modeling it, resolving it.
Take some time. But there is safety then in the model coming back and you realizing
that you're not so familiar with what's occurring in certain spots.
So I still a lot of places have these quite deep pockets.
And teaching about modeling you teach many things and understandings of what's occurring,
But it was always also a process that I like to leave open to people to
explore. I don't think everyone models a figure the same way and I don't think everyone
should model a figure the same way.
And I think that an artist or someone who's practicing to be an artist should understand
the different options available to them.
That would take looking at a lot of sculpture,
seeing what you admire
In my case, as I mentioned,
that also involves looking at a lot of painting.
Texture is something quite interesting for a sculpture. I know a lot of contemporary sculptures that
leave quite rich textures on their work.
And I really like it.
Looks quite raw and. not-so manicured. But yet at the same time seems to represent pretty
well the subject or fit the subject well. The idea of leaving texture in your work,
And I'm doing this a little bit here,
set my high point for the gluteus muscle.
Have the crease that it extends to.
And I have my outline for my sacrum. You know how the flash wraps off of
it, sits off of it.
So because there was some deep pockets in there,
I just put some big pieces of clay there.
And I went over it with a big paddle.
What I would say about form and making a convincing, it's not always that every piece
of clay has to look like skin,
you can have these deep pockets here.
But what makes it look like it represents a solid form is even though there's those
pockets in there is that there's this kind of passage that's occurring over the surface that
acts and functions like a solid form.
So you could leave, you know, I'd recommend or say to students there's options of how
you may decide to leave things because you can create quite solid convincing forms
without every piece of clay connecting. Because what they're connected by is this concept of how
skin wraps over it. So even once again with these deep pockets there's this
concept of the volume flowing in this direction, the volume flowing in this direction,
so the surfaces or the high points kind of pick up each other even though
there's those depressions in your work.
So like I said, I'm going to try to, not only hesitate
In some areas. but offer different sort of options of modeling that could occur or one could
be open to. One thing I haven't talked a lot about is sort of modeling tools.
These two tools are quite well, one I made and one I bought. I do like
these paddle edges, so for those of you that are looking for modeling tools
what's nice about this is - and if you have experience with trying to model forms,
and every time you touch your surface,
you give you get these edges that if there's too much of a sharpness at the
edge of your tool, you kind of trying to model it or trying to clean it
up or try to create form and then all sudden you got all these ridges that
are coming through there. So that's why I like these flat paddles because the flat paddle -
so if you can kind of notice that there's - I've rounded this edge in here.
So I try to keep this flat
with a round edge coming through the end.
And a round edge coming through that end, so you know, as
I'm trying to use it to kind of turn form and I'm using quite a gentle
hand here to do that with it doesn't put those ridges in the work.
without the model and I'm going to take another look at the front of the head
and probably start making some adjustments to some of that block in, start to conceive of width
a little bit. So I'm going to grab my chair and… As I get to
the front of the head,
I feel as though I'm still in the early ages of actually making this head.
And one of my biggest challenges is going to be to leave a set up on
one side and try to pull the other side farther forward.
It’s hard to make a half of a head another half of the head, it’s helpful to
have them both there. But I'm going to start trying to just look for some of
the widths off my center line.
So I'm going to try to indicate where I'm thinking
the width of the nose is. Helpful thing is you can take your center line and just think
about a triangulation. Like what kind of triangle is created from your center line off into
the nostrils to get a sense of the width.
When you talk about visual comparison techniques whether that's comparative measurement and how to use
it or - I also find that triangulation,
you know, is quite helpful.
Asking yourself, how wide does a triangle get
at the base, is yours too thin and still a triangle, is yours too wide and
still a triangle? So another area
I'm going to try to locate the space that is existing before the actual eyebrows start
and then try to indicate their movement to help me establish the width
of the pockets of the eye.
I’ve pulled out another tool here.
It's a little bit more of a a smaller drawing tool. The wood tool that I’ve been using to
draw on the body had that beveled edge
I showed you in the beginning of the video.
But it's still in a little thick for me to be able to discern.
Well, it's too thick of an edge for me to maybe to use on an element
this small. Trying to note also sort of the direction that her hair moves off her forehead.
Another thing you can begin to indicate is a little bit of an idea about how
the space before the eye begins
or where the eye begins at the tear duct.
So how they're going to fit in this pocket of the eye.
I call this the map, mapping out sort of where the features are.
Yet again, I think it's best to try to get a initial judgment of this through
drawing instead of just sitting here trying to make an eye and nose and a
mouth. Just want to remind everyone that drawing on your sculpture,
which yet again is that thing that I find some people
having a really hard time to adapt to is giving yourself an opportunity to see it before
you make it. You can move your lines around
until you feel okay, that looks like a pretty good assessment of what I'm trying to
see here. It’s easier to move a line around than try to push
an eye around that you've already begin to make.
Again what I'm hoping to do here with this
hesitation is trying to fight my battles below the surface.
That can probably only take you so far and sometimes you gotta
commit and move forward and find out that it's not working but - or things need to
change but I try to be
someone who can - will change anything when I feel like I make my sculpture better.
That was a goal that I would set for the students.
What's your job everyday? To try to make your sculpture a little bit better
I would say. It’s hard to make a sculpture a lot better in a few hours. It
is easy to move backwards quite dramatically when you're trying to do too much.
So if people can pace themselves to reasonable goals in a daily period,
they just gradually keep moving it forward.
The idea of setting up this internal map by using your center line.
So I'm just basically, you know,
referencing my profile line that’s drawn through the head, looking for the spaces as I mentioned
moving out. Keeping away from actually making a mouth or making much of a nose.
I did make this little placement of nostrils here just to - instead of it being a
line, give it some volume.
But the goal here for the front of my face is to actually capture
the outer border of the head. So I’m using this internal information to help me then achieve
my goal here by capturing
the shape of one's face. As I was starting to discuss portraiture I started to discuss the
difficulty because we're taking all this value away from it that we recognize people from. Whereas
a painter would be able to paint blue eyes and so on and so forth.
So then the question becomes what does make a likeness and I do think it's the
outer border, the big shape of the head, that becomes an element that’s quite distinguishable about
an individual. So that's why that's my goal.
For any of you have ever seen
those little profile drawings that occurred it’s just a black and white
pure profile drawing, complete silhouette. People had them done of their children at least when
I was growing up. The ones that my parents had I can still look at that
and recognize myself. That's just kind of a consideration of the outer border of your head,
which in this case will be your profile, how it describes an individual.
You've all spent however long watching this video,
not many of you may be spent the time to look at my profile to study
it that I can guarantee you if someone drew my profile in your wall right now
you would look at it and you would recognize me.
So I think it's important once again as we get involved in portraiture to understand what
sculptural - what's available to us as sculptors
to help achieve that sense of lightness.
know, go through a little bit about what I'm going to be hoping to do with
the model. But at this point as well what I'm going to be hoping to show
you without the model. From observation working with the model
I've got to now block in arms and I got to get a little bit more
involved with head, I got to block in the hands, and do a little bit more
work on the feet. But essentially, at least as far as I work, my kind
of time with the model’s concluded. She'll be here and available for us eventually and
yes, you know, there's some things I definitely want to look at, some little areas of
insecurity that I have with the work itself,
and so I'll but you know,
looking even through contour edges and some proportions and things like that.
But what I really want to introduce you to at this point is a little bit
more of the dialogue that's changing.
A lot of the dialogue has been going on up until this point has been me
with the model, looking at the pose, looking at her proportions,
but yet at the same time a lot of those choices I was making were choices
for my sculpture. If you've been kind of comparing and looking at what my pose is
doing and what the model’s doing I think you've been recognizing as I've been that there's quite
extreme. That I’m, you know,
I'm doubtful even at this point if I'm ever going to see this pose that
I have in front of me.
In essence at one point the sculpture needs to become yours and to draw awareness
it is yours from the very beginning because from that first choice of the tip of
the pelvis that's become your sculpture. Now
I've been watching my model gravitate out of the pose and I'm once again not even
aware if I've been even seen the pose that I have here.
This is my rise, this is my sculpture, and I want to once again talk to
you about how I manage this.
I am manage this through having a lot of experience working with models.
And I know that that's something that many of you out there with desire to
have but, once again, what I can do with my experiences is pass on sort of
a lot of what I've been learning about while teaching and also while looking at models
myself. I mentioned to, and I just want to draw wearing this to this, when you're
trying to resolve the sculpture you're thinking about finishing a sculpture.
The pose is already there the - so,
you know that was achieved in this process with the initial block in. And it was tweaked
here and there but that hasn't changed or evolved that much from the very beginning.
And it already - that in itself and the principles of the box and the egg already tell
you a lot. The other thing that I wanted to draw awareness to that I talked about is what you're
looking at when you're looking at a model and what you're looking at when you're looking at a
model is contour edges and internal shapes recognized through light and shadow. And this has
been set up from observation and yet at the same time because my model’s moving and
tweaking and not taking a consistent pose, the dialogue that I was having while working from
life now needs to happen a little bit more with me and the sculpture. So once
again the dialogue that I've been going through up to this point was about observation, how
to use observation to find and locate things on a model and now once again the
dialogue that I'm going to have with my work,
which is once again, why I don't generally at this point prefer to work so much with
the model, because there's - she's maybe not being consistent and helping me with making my
work. What I want to try to do with the sculpture is actually draw relevance to the
forms, to use them to express what I'm hoping to express with them.
And, once again, this is
a dialogue that I want introduce to you. What I call this or what I refer to
this as I call it the windows of the contrapposto and a lot of people get
confused. What do you mean for windows?
What are these four windows?
Are we looking in these windows?
Are we looking outside of these windows?
And I'm just going to try to point out to you a little bit about what
this means. What I've always done with students to try to introduce
this concept is isolate through generally the pelvic height, turning up for my center line and
coming out to the lower rib cage.
So up into here what I have through a contour edge and through these internal
forms is my upper window.
Next to it. I have the other upper window.
Below that, below the counter edge, coming off into my thighs, turning to my center line,
I have my two lower windows.
I know I've mentioned quite a few times not only for observational reasons,
but one of the best ways to be comparing the human body is by referencing and
comparing the differences that are occurring from one side of the anatomy to the next. And
this is where - what occurs in the four windows of the contrapposto and it can be
applied and looked at almost anywhere and I'm going to go over some of these things.
But let me tell you about my pose, the pose that I know I'm not seeing any
more. I have my rib cage tipped more than she is at this point.
So it's in a little bit more of an ideal contrapposto where she's kind of wavering
out here and pushing a rib cage quite far, kind of sinking into the pose, coming
forward with the rib cage,
which does change quite dramatically because I have a model with quite strong build in the
core area, a lot of the shapes and forms that I'm seeing in there.
So I'm not going to sit here every day and if my model’s presenting me with
different forms and shadow edges and you know,
what's occurring there. I'm not just going to keep changing my sculpture because at that point,
I'm determining it's inaccurate. I need to make my sculpture.
So the four windows to the contrapposto, relevant to my pose, starts with my discussion of
structure, which is by using my center line,
knowing where I visually placed at least the edge of the rib cage,
knowing that on the other side that I cannot see the bottom of the rib cage.
I can use my center line and the ideals of it to understand where this
should be placed. So I could check that and I'm even realizing as I'm checking that
that maybe you know this needs to move in a little bit more, this need some
loud a little bit more ideally.
But essentially what's occurring because and I know I've been over to little bit because there's
a compression of form existing because two bony edges just between her pelvis and her ribcage are
getting closer to each other.
So what's the concept of compression, what's occurring with the forms. The forms need to move
somewhere because once again two bones are coming closer to each other and so what's occurring
here, is they’re within the edges of the stomach and with the edges of the external
oblique. There's more of a compression there, meaning they’re fuller.
So when I'm trying to deal with a form areas in my upper left window,
I'm working once again with these adjectives about how forms are placed.
So I'm aware and when I'm talking to myself about is that there should be a
more organic, fuller, rounder sort of character of forms within the external oblique and within the
stomach edge. So as I can kind of model this, I'm talking to myself about
well, what do I have here?
Am I achieving that, are my forms flat?
So I guess I don't have this kind of form quality present on the sculpture. In
contrast to the areas in the upper left window, in the upper right window
I have an extension, meaning that the ribs and the pelvis are moving farther away from
each other, which is presenting me with a different type of form quality.
An extension is going to pull forms in between those two areas, making them a bit
flattered. So yet again, what I'm trying to do is compare my upper left window forms
with my upper right window forms to try to, I guess the term is own my
sculpture, that I'm trying to create if it's not present or if it's not obvious where
the form qualities that are being present in this area.
The lower left - the lower windows are the upper thighs.
And the pelvic area as well. And what's occurring here is tension that is being created
within the upper thigh musculature, compared to in the lower window
a more relaxed form quality because she's not bearing weight on that leg.
And what does one find in these windows?
What one finds in these windows also even drawing and talking about the relevance of contour
edges, that there's more extreme breaks that are occurring in the areas of tension.
That's because the musculature is creating that, it's showing us that. So you'll see I've introduced
some sharper breaks that are occurring through here,
but also through the form qualities.
You'll see on this side of the body and I know I'm not resolving this but
if you've been looking at the model,
there's deeper, richer shadow patterns coming through the great trochanter area in the gluteus area,
and that's once again due to the tension, compared to the other side of her which
is more relaxed, where you do not find the dramatic light and shadow effects that are
coming through there. Yet again,
there's some differences in there.
Some other differences that are occurring in these lower windows is seen through the side
and I'm wanting to try to pick this up a little bit. When I'm looking through
the side of the model,
I'm looking through on this case the balance leg. It’s, once again,
it's not tense. The muscles are looser, they’re actually hanging more, whereas on the other
side of the body I can see the front contour edge of her thigh here.
And I also can see
the back contour edge of her gluteus. Now when you're looking through the side of the model,
what that implies is that the stand leg side of this model is wider than the
balance leg side. And it is. And the reason it is because the tension that's being
created in the stand leg. These forms in the front thigh in the
back buttock are pushing out due to the tension,
whereas the areas on our - the other side are loose and relaxed.
The reason I think that these conditions are so important to understand because yet again,
it presents you with a dialog to work from instead of just sitting there trying to
copy a model. And I think that’s, once again, the worst way to try to make
a sculpture appear naturalistic is to sit there and think I'm just going to copy my
model and then at the end of this
I'm going to come out of with an accurate sculpture
that looks expressive. I don't think that happens.
I think someone who understands these conditions, applies adjectives to them, is going to be
able to come out with even an inaccurate situations.
Meaning you haven't fully drawn accuracy into these areas of your sculpture,
but yet you can still make a sculpture more convincing with these use of adjectives. And
that's what I do. I own my sculpture and I even think about something - so for
example, you’ve been looking at the balance leg a lot and once again sitting here talking
about how this leg is not tense.
It actually is a little bi. I have a strong -
I have a strong model who has - and I've placed her balance leg behind her, which
actually makes her need to rely on it a little bit more for for balance. In other words,
if she placed a foot in front of her, you might find a situation where the
sartorius coming through the center of the thigh, the shadow edge in here, would probably be a
little bit more relaxed. And I've been looking at this and I've been seeing that on
the model that she's presenting me with these kind of shadow and light effects coming through
the upper thigh, drawing attention to that sartorius.
This speaks to me a pension.
So when I'm working on my sculpture, if I want to draw a little bit more
of a relaxed sort of element to the upper thigh to make - to draw further comparisons,
meaning to pull them farther apart between tense areas that are taught and fuller forms to
I might eliminate as much as I can that sartorius edge or the forms that are
around it in order to start making this leg look a little bit more relaxed.
This also goes in the contour edges I pointed out. When I'm looking at - I'm quite
directed - when I'm looking at the balance leg
just in its contours, in contrast to the stand leg, which I mentioned has these may be sharper breaks
that are occurring between some of these anatomical changes that are occurring here,
I might want to pull into that because the opposite of more geometric sharper edges is
organic, round curvature. So once again,
I may decide in these situations, depending on how, once again, I want to separate them
or make them more extreme,
I might cause and make these edges that may not be fully organic
maybe make them a little bit rounder so I can draw extremes and make it more
obvious in these situations. One of the last things that, you know,
we need to discuss when it comes to form
because I keep talking about the shadow and light, the topography that's occurring on her body,
the separations of anatomy. Yet again,
this is a very difficult area.
And this is where I don't think just visually observing a model once again is helpful.
Not only at this point, your model may not be helping you,
you can try to read shadows on your model and try to get a sense of
what's going on in there,
but have a very difficult challenge to actually come to any conclusions.
Also your clay becomes one of your worst enemies, because as I mentioned earlier, that your
clay is a lot darker than the model. And because you're basically essentially the same light
sources, the shadow descriptions that are on your model should never be as present on your
sculpture. And if they are, what you've done is you've over modeled.
So when it comes to managing the internal shapes and trying to model them, meaning trying
to get the anatomy not separated as I've done through drawing to set it up or
flat planes to catch light and shadow,
I've set up an extreme in there and now I've got to model it and make it
a little bit more subtle.
So yet again here I'm working with the concept of of this dialogue that I have
with these forms because I know that if I start to get closer to capturing the
forms and have them doing what they are doing,
I'm going to lose, on my clay, the presence of shadow.
Because they shouldn't be, once again, as present as they are in the model.
And what you're dealing with is how much you want to fill in the shadow shape.
So yet again coming back to the concept of the four windows of the contrapposto, this
external oblique shadow on the side of compression should be a little bit deeper
than the external oblique on the other side because one is being pulled so is creating
a little bit more flatness within the forms.
Whereas the other side is becoming more compressed, making these forms fuller and more organic.
So yet again, I'm trying to, once again, be comparing side to side
what's occurring on my model.
I'm sorry, not on my model on my sculpture, in order to to pull it forward.
So once again what I'm trying to talk to you about here and I'm going to
sit down and make myself comfortable and start to do some modeling.
I want to start to show you how I clean up some forms
and, you know, everyone's question how do you make your forms
so clean? I'm going to show you that right now as well while I'm also dealing
with and dialoguing with my sculpture and trying to make it and use the forms that
are expressive to make the pose more convincing.
I'm gonna end by saying as well,
people who become comfortable with modeling a sculpture,
it's really challenging. It's really challenging to get there.
My whole setup has led me to say okay,
this is where this is going,
this is where this is going, and this is where this is going and now I have
to model it. I warn students of this, as you gain experience and as you gain
confidence, the general thing that I find is people start littering their sculpture with form
and I think that's dangerous because what they're doing is they're seeing these rich descriptions
and they're wanting to hold on to it and holding on to it means they want
to see it on their sculpture. When they see it on their sculpture, yet again
as I was mentioning to you, your shadow shapes should almost disappear in the relaxed areas because
there's almost nothing that's actually catching those edges. The variables are so small that you shouldn't
be seeing it on your sculpture.
So if you've done all the work to kind of locate where these forms are, how
they are, I find that generally people then want to start to keep holding on to
the shadow spaces. What this does when you over model is it draws this total tension
into the body. So if your shadows are too deep and you've not gone and pulled
them and made them a little bit more soft,
all of your form passages on your sculpture will begin to look tense.
It's hard to sit there and make something that's actually in nature relaxed and convince people
by making all these tense forms everywhere.
But that yet again would be a choice.
I do want to also talk about the limits of working with the model because you can't -
this is about narrative of form and in some cases,
for example, if you have quite a musculature model,
if you put a 15 pound weight in one arm and had them hold a feather
in the other arm and compare the musculature and the linear qualities of what's showing you
and what you're seeing in the situation,
it would be really obvious.
But it’s a big ask to ask a model to stand there with the 10-pound weight in their
one arm and holding a feather in the other.
So in a class environment,
it's challenging to make these comparisons more extreme.
You can try it and, you know, ask a model to hold something for a couple minutes
and start to see the differences that you can find.
But yet again why I work with the vocabulary is because I can already think about the
differences that I should be seeing.
A model that’s strong holding a 10-pound weight is going to have probably deeper shadows amongst
the anatomy of the bicep and the triceps and into the forearm and some of those
linear passages that are the contour edges might be a little bit sharper and more distinct
and have sharper breaks. Whereas this arm holding a feather the musculature is more relaxed
so then the shadow shapes would would disappear, the form and line qualities would be a
little bit more organic. So once again,
I ask everyone to kind of write down a list of adjectives that you can use
to have a dialogue with your forms.
Because it's about - it's a balancing act and what I say is if your whole sculpture
becomes tense than areas that actually should be relax will not look relaxed and vice
versa. So, you know anyway,
like I’ve mentioned I'm going to sit here and get comfortable and
do some work. The first thing as I mentioned just kind of using your center Line
and starting to see, you know, about where one
side of the rib cage is going based on the presence of the other side. When
I'm doing this on my sculpture
I find that, you know,
there's less space for my center line to the outer contour edge of my rib cage than
when I compare proportionately what's occurring over here. And that makes sense and that makes sense
because these forms, which once again need a place to go, are going to push out
a little bit. So you're not over on the on this side.
You are seeing the bony edge of her rib cage at the outer contour ridge where you're
not seeing it on the left side.
So it, once again, that's another little thing I'm dialoguing about when it comes to the
sculpture. One of the things too about cleaning up forms,
maybe this is the first thing, that I left you with evolving sort of the balance
leg. Now I do have some doubts about some of the proportions here.
It does feel a little skinny in some areas,
but for the sake of demonstration,
you know, I was once again showing you how I use my contour edges to work
from one high point to the other high point of my contour edges to fill in
form. If I want to make this form really clean, meaning there's no variables in the
surface, it’s a tight surface,
I work with sandpaper. Now this is a dangerous thing for people and I don't often
recommend it because I don't send my sculptures.
But what I do is what I have enjoyed about sandpaper is
what it does is unlike wood tools it can wrap around the apex of the form
from one contour edge to the next. So what I do
is I’ll lay this on the forms that I evolved due to my contour edges and I’ll
very gently, without trying to interrupt or redraw
my contour edges, is pull the sandpaper gently. And what that does is it - because it's
wrapping over the whole surface of the form,
it's telling me where deeper pockets might be occurring to more shallower pockets.
Because obviously the high points that are coming through this area that I just kind of
laid in these forms, they're hitting the sandpaper
whereas the lower points are not. So what I do,
once again, is I go over some of my volumes of form.
I think of it I kind of crosshatch so I very gently, once again,
I'm not trying here to interrupt or redraw my sculpture and that's why I think it's
dangerous. When I told students about this maybe in the past I go by and look
at their sculpture and they’ve sanded it to death. Everything looks quite clean,
but then all of the expressive contours are gone in and they've sanded out all
of the essential qualities that they've looked to put into this.
When I was first casting my work in bronze
I didn't like the shiny surfaces.
These metallic shiny surfaces. I was horrified when I’ve tried to sit there for hours making
these soft organic forms clean and full and then all the sudden they’re reflecting all this light.
So they would I started to do with sandpaper many years ago,
and I generally don't do this anymore, is I use it as a modeling tool. And
what I was trying to do was I was trying to imprint into my clay this
very - this edge of sandpaper - to give it and create a little bit of a matte
surface. And if I was to show, you how, somewhere how I did that what I
would do is I would take the edge of the sandpaper and not, once again, use
it as a sanding implement,
but I would use it to kinda pull through the forms very gently, resolving surface.
But because it was leaving the texture of the sand paper in there.
I thought that the bronzes then wouldn’t have this reflective surface.
What I found was that as I went into the foundry and throughout the wax
making process and the bronze making process that this kind of texture could never be retained.
So it didn't work. At the foundries fortunately enough that they have sandblasters.
So you know what I like now when I'm getting a finish on my surface of
a bronze, particularly with the work that’s quite clean,
I asked the foundry to sandblast it maybe more and
it gives a little bit of, once again, this kind of helps create a little bit
of a matte surface there. Bronze is soft.
And even a sandblaster, you know, an industrial sandblaster can affect the surface.
It's a bit of a tough transition for people who have spent their time working in
clay to see a bronze
because they're just not used to working and it was kind of shocking for me.
So I was trying to work hard on
making it appear to be more clay-like,
but it is metal. It is an alloy, it never looks like your clay.
You have to let go of the clay.
I’ve realized you have to let go of the clay that your sculpture is
in its final form is not clay unless you obviously fire it.
So what I've done by, once again, kind of modeling over the skin of this form
is I found some of these depressions that weren't being picked up by the sandpaper. And
if you want to create really clean forms,
I gently fill those in.
So once again, this sculpture is going to be a visual, what I call the
Drawing in Space ecorche, it's going to represent
where I will draw high finish, where I’ll draw textures, where I’ll work on, you know, half
tones and leave the set up in other areas so that people can have an
idea about that. One of the things I'm going to show you, I’m gonna do in
a second here, is I'm also going to try to leave little windows.
Not the four windows of the contrapposto,
but a little bit of a window of where the build-up turned into me pulling forms
into it and then eventually doing what I'm doing now,
which is by resolving them
to a higher level. I'm a sculptor at this point who’s
kind of more and more interested in leaving the textures in the sculpture then
resolving form. So I'm not sitting there very much
using these techniques at this point.
So here in this area of the upper mid-thigh,
I'm hittinh my contour edge, pulling into the next one
to try to get a sense of the passage of form that should be falling over
this area in between these two high points.
I will tell you for the 20 years I spent in Florence, not a single student
has ever seen me do this.
This is the first time. So what I'm going to do, once again, to try to leave
this windows is I'm going to draw
and conclude the form in this area above and below so that there’s,
once again, you you can look into these areas to see what I did to set
up this area because there’ll be the remnants of it.
And then see what I did to finally finish the forms in this area.
Maybe I'll leave two windows.
When I was working on this when the modell was here the other day
I was noticing that once again,
she's strong, she's active. There are these variations that are occurring in the quadriceps.
There are these little variable shadow patterns that are - I'm not sure if you could even see
them on camera. In other words,
there's transitions that are occurring in the musculature in this area. Yet again, as a sculptor
who is saying - who's dialoging
about the sculpture, saying in order for me to make the balance leg look really relaxed
I would not necessarily want to include those forms.
So now here we’re talking about a concept of what may not be of use to
the sculpture. Something that is present on your model’s body
of how you might be selective
with the forms. It took me a long time to learn this but that was - this
is the concept of do you make - do you hire a model and try to make
a sculpture of a model?
Or do you hire a model
to help you make a sculpture?
I do believe in there's things that models are going to be offering you that the
creative mind might not come across.
So I do appreciate the variables that I'm being presented with. I do enjoy
studying different body types in different situations. But once again,
I don't believe that. Someone who's pursuing to make a work
is just trying to copy a model.
So here as I come up to this transition that I was mentioning, this shadow edge between
the sartorius, because I'm still working once again with contour edges and turning the volumetric
forms from one to the next.
So the thought process here might be a little bit simpler than what's occurring in a
shadow. I’ve got a pretty deep shadow there and that's generally how I start to set
things up because I create quite extreme situations just to be able to visually place them
and see them on the sculpture.
But here where that light starts to to turn into shadow I got to think
about, how much of the shadow do I want to leave present
and how much do I want to get rid of it?
And that’s, once again, more based upon the situation
than what's occurring I mean from life?
I always felt the vocabulary of form, meaning
all the forms that you may find and you know on different body types,
you're going to have more present and other body types you up less present on
different poses, different things will pop out to you.
There's so many variable differences that are occurring and when you're working in the round,
going back to this concept,
the one thing a sculptor cannot do is compare the front and back of their model
at the same time. Yet again,
this is why I think it's important to have this dialogue
about form qualities. When you're looking at the front of the sculpture,
and we go to the top here a little bit,
standing back from the sculpture, reacting to it in light, the deepest shadow I have on
here is actually a place where there's going to be the most shallow shadow. And I
drew attention to the sternum plate because I wanted to use it to help place the
pit of the neck. But once again,
this is a pretty dark shadow for the situation and as I get up in here
as well I'm going to be really maybe trying to reduce that affect that
it's giving me. So as I'm thinking about a model and the whole sculpture in context knowing
that I can't address and look at the front of the back - the front and the
back at the same time,
I'm going to want to be thinking about where do I want my most descriptive shadows
and edges. Where do I want the most expression?
Where do I want the most tension?
And then as I get into the back of the sculpture and
I say well my desire is to have the most tension in the stand leg knee.
That when I get to the other areas of the sculpture I try to use the
variable of depth that I'm finding into shadow in those areas and then as I
get to a scapula, and I can't compare a scapula to a patella on my model,
I'm using the idea of how tense I might want to make that scapula.
And compare that to what I've got going on in the knee. Inevitably the
areas that are quite strong in shadow and light on your sculpture, which would be
the areas that are most tense, are also going to become quite - for viewers of your
work, they're going to become a focal points because your eyes are going to pick it up
quite quickly because it's more extreme.
People will also be starting to pick up that area
also quite extreme. And that's why I use the word littering your sculpture with too many forms.
I sometimes look at a sculpture and that could be over modeled everywhere and think we'll
what do you really want me to look at?
Bumps on the surface of your sculpture? So I think that you can use, once again,
this dialogue that I'm having and I'm introducing you to and saying
what are the relevant areas that I want people to look at?
Because once again, those might be areas or you might be more successfully drawing
viewers attention to areas through the use of stronger shadow patterns.
Because they'll be visually more dynamic.
it's almost impossible to pick up on camera.
I mean, I know we're close.
You can watch what I'm doing.
You see what area am working in, but basically what's occurring right now is that this
sartorius area or the forms around it are almost disappearing.
I mean even to me sitting here,
I'm not really seeing a shadow and when I'm looking on my surface there still
is the small degree of exchange that's occurring here.
Meaning it's not just a complete round form.
There's a little bit of an edge in here from that high point and there's a
change of direction from this edge from that high point to this area of the inner
thigh here going to that high point.
So I'm just sitting here thinking how much do I want to get rid of this?
If the shadow is cast - or I'm sorry,
if this shadow - if this sculpture was cast in plaster
and it's not reading as dark clay anymore,
you'd be able to see these shadows again.
Or these little plainer exchanges that I'm working on right now.
But once again, the clay becomes a little bit of your biggest enemy right now.
Modeling into your shadows like this discussion we've had about proportions - and I mentioned this earlier -
Is if you're doing it accurately, you've reached the peak of the fence.
If your modeling into shadows is inaccurate on one side of the fence
you're over modeling, on the other side of the fence
you're under modeling. There's not much more you can do.
So either your forms are going to be more dominant and expressive through over modeling and
you could use that to the effect of the sculpture.
Many sculptors have. Or you could under model
where you’re wanting to take attention away from certain areas because that's maybe not the important
thing to look at. For me and my work the important thing is always generally the
big impression of the work.
I want people to read the whole sculpture.
Which means any more I'm not trying to decorate it with all these forms.
Because I do feel it takes away a viewer of your work’s attention
from the overall presence of the pose or the narrative or what's occurring there.
As I'm presenting all these different possibilities,
also with the premise that I think that modeling forms becomes a little bit more
something that you're desiring than it is something that you just - you do
it maybe the same way as someone else.
So that's why it's important to present different possibilities here.
If you're learning about sculpture and depending on where you are in your learning curve,
when you pull form to surface,
which is what I would call when I'm doing here, meaning
I'm just creating surface form,
there's no variations, there's no tool mark,
there's just my understanding of how this passage of form works.
It is your sculpture in the most revealing
terms. I would try to keep students from actually executing sculpture in this level for a
while. I would prefer students to be exploring this kind of sketch sketching together and the
techniques associated with that. The reason when you start pulling your form to surface is because
your sculpture becomes really revealing.
A lot of your air and misunderstanding starts to really pop out.
Whereas the sketch is like leaving a layer of clothing on your sculpture.
So what I’d recommend to students, even if they have never had a desire to model their sculptures
to a high-level, I would say well,
it's really going to be the most truthful representation of what your abilities are as a
sculptor. So maybe take some time even if you don't think in the future you want
to resolve forms like this, take some time to explore it.
Don't leave your work and your understanding of your sculpture and sketch all the time.
I was someone as I've - my experience with a sculpture,
I would bring that concept to an extreme.
I mentioned earlier about how revealing your sculpture
becomes when you cast it in a white casting plaster.
Everything that you can't really see in the dark clay now starts to really jump out.
So I used to produce my work in plasters.
I used to make a mold ,whether that's a waste mold or even a rubber mold
in some cases, just to see my work in plaster, just to see how it reads
in the most revealing terms. And I would then work on the plaster to then try
to resolve my sculpture. So I get up past the thigh, coming into all these
shapes that, once again, the model’s
got not unlike the stand leg, a lot of tension in here, a lot of strong musculature.
And you know, I'll be once again having to make decisions about how I want to
represent this. If I want to draw, take my attention away and make things softer,
I've got to once again work on my transitions like I did in the sartorius area.
And that's still quite deep, even though he's it starts to disappear and, you know,
come through some of these shadow edges and light edges and and make them a little
bit more relaxed. So here once again at my drawn line, which represented that exchange of
a form that I was visually seeing, because it's the balance leg and I want to
make it appear to be more relaxed and less tense,
I'm doing the same thing I did with the sartorius.
By keeping a bit of an exchange of anatomy occurring in there.
You know, how - it’s interesting, I suppose you could do this on a
model but I don't again like to touch my model so you could put a
tool on the sculpture and start to look through it
to see how much kind of curvature is existing, how much negative space is existing between
that little bit of a depressed area.
As I introduced you at the beginning of this video in the introduction about my sculptures
that were in Beverly Hills at Galerie Michael, how I play with narrative of form,
how I'm using it to express
what I'm hoping the sculpture reads and there's even more sculptures. I talked about the irony
of this information. Meaning there’s the direct sort of understanding of the narrative, the balance leg
isn't carrying weight so I want to try to make it more relaxed.
I've made multiple sculptures of the caryatid which is in essence,
it's a female holding this enormous weight,
it's the female Atlas let's say. So artistically
I like to play with these adjectives that I used to understand form.
If I want to make a caryatid holding an unbearable weight,
but want to make the sculpture look like it's doing it with no effort.
I'm working with these variables to say I want to take out tension where there should
be tension and present a bit of irony. One of my favorite sculptors is Tilman riemenschneider.
Many people have not heard of him,
he's a German wood carver.
And I reacted quite strongly to his work when I first came to contact with it
because he was sculpting Saints
performing their godly acts with seemingly almost no effort.
Whereas somebody will do that same sort of representation
and make the effort look quite extreme or done through strength, physical strength, instead of maybe
something else. So this is where I became more interested in the irony of how
to work with forms. Another moment of that maybe something if you're not familiar with Tilman
Riemenschneider was in painting. If you're familiar with a painting done by Caravaggio of
David holding the head of Goliath what you're looking at
is a very young boy holding this enormous head
of Goliath. And when you look at the arm that's holding this head,
there's no tension at all on it.
The elbow is relaxed, it’s changing direction,
there's no tension in the muscles.
And that irony was present once again in Caravaggio’s work and that captivated me
to no end to want to use the same principles for my work.
I think that one thing to keep in mind is that these variables,
and getting it to appear how you want to, whether one wants to work with a
direct narrative or an ironic sense of narrative,
the variables are really small.
But these are the details of sculpture that the way the forms work.
And so, you know, a detail obviously is something small.
I don't think of details as an eyelash or a fingernail or a toenail.
Those aren't often the most expressive elements in a sculpture.
I think of more of the details are in these small variables that I'm working with,
how deep do I want my shadows,
how flat do I want my forms?
As the getting it to work and getting it to not work might mean a
fractional piece of clay that I'm placing in a shadow to start making it look less
tense. So here I'm coming across an area of the sculpture as
well where there's just a little gluteus medius.
There’s, once again, a little degree of tension and the contour edge you can start picking
up a separation of form
that’s existing in the gluteus medius area here.
Here again, the dialogue starts to become well how much do I want to leave of that
small degree of change. Do I want to present
a contour edge where you can start picking up the separation of the gluteus medius or
not. I will admit to all of you that one of the area's I often have
some troubles with is the presence of the bony edges.
And that was my conflict
and my desire to leave a sense of internal medicine to the sculpture.
If I tell you that I’ve found over and over again,
some people not wanting to get rid of the shadow edges as much as they may
need to on a sculpture and creating and it then creates tension,
I have a hard time getting rid of my bony edges because I don't want to
get rid of the internal sense of my sculpture,
but they - from sculptures often become a little bit overbearing to the work.
So it’s something, even after 20 years of working as a sculptor, 25 years or more,
I'm still being aware of some of the discrepancy in my work where I do think
it's visually a little bit unsettling a times.
I used to say to the students all of these things that I'm talking about introducing
to you, the reason I know all of them
to discuss is because I've made every single mistake that you could possibly make on a
sculpture. From over modeling to under modeling to awkward proportions to static gestures because I was
trying to copy a gesture instead of actually working a little bit more freely.
So I don't think as a sculptor with the amount of work
I've made and the amount of time
I've been doing it that
I’ve created a problem in my work and left it there is a permanent reminder.
There's a lot of work
I wish I could take back and make over again.
But anyway. As I get up to the shoulder
some of the things I’ve just been thinking about in the setup and over time the variables
that I've been looking at, what I've been seeing is that
sometimes it has a very strong trapezius.
These high points really creating dramatic form.
And because this is the extended side,
I don't know if I quite exactly got the situation where I needed it,
but at times she's pulling her shoulder back,
causing more tension here. So as I come up through these relaxed passages,
thinking about the organic forms, the softness of of the curvature,
I'm coming up here thinking maybe it now it's nice to get that tense shoulder in
there from front to back. So I've been trying to kind of set it up.
Might need to be a little bit higher
but I we'll see if I can make the shoulder pull up and
turn back. I would know I need to do that in contrast to the other one
and have it hang a little bit more loose, probably pulling the front of the -
which it is pulling this a little bit farther forward.
Whereas this is pushed a bit farther back.
So once again, I'm here at the front plane of my body,
how do I know this instead of just looking at the model. Well this is farther
back than this one. So it seems as far as the placement of how one's coming
forward or backward, the tension in her scapula would be a little bit different in
the musculature around it. I would sit here and think about okay,
maybe this should be pulled a little bit more if I want to pull it up
or pull it back, creating a little bit more tightness,
but this is also like kind of a this site specific area,
you know, if I didn't feel like I was quite grabbing it or needed to look
at it again, I just asked my model to sit there and just hold the shoulder
a little bit farther back. When I'm getting to these areas, as I mentioned
in the introduction how I'm working with models,
there are moments where you just like can have a model just stand there and then
hold their shoulder in a specific way for you to be able to find what's occurring.
As I set up the sculptures that were models aren't posed in.
Or can’t pose in. So I’m gonna invite the model back and I'll be going in between working with
the model and doing more of the modeling that I've been doing now without the
model. So I want to block in the arms and I start to complete the sculpture
on that level. So anyway whenever you're ready Aurora. As I get into these other areas
of the sculpture where I'm talking about blocking in the arms,
this is something that's not different from what I did with the legs. The arms have
a range of motion which are a little bit different than the legs.
But so how they function is different but in a class situation,
basically what I'm doing right now,
is going to be doing almost exactly the same thing as I did with the
legs, I'm going to be looking for the major angle, the eight major angles that
are from the front, the four from the front ,and then go to the sides and then
look at how then the two angles go from the elbow to the side.
So to describe to you a block and again just to reiterate it's the idea
I'm going to try to keep - I'm just referencing sort of the direction which these major
angles move from and to and then I'm going to be off - even though they're quite thin
and nimble, I'm still going to see if I can kind of get them thin so
that as I then work off them like I did with the legs by then starting
to describe the contour edges,
I have a little bit of room to work out.
I'm back in the studio before the model arrives and
assessing my work. mMore than anything
rying to start pulling these forms.
We were talking about yesterday a little bit farther forward.
So when the model comes in today,
I'm going to be working on more on the head
and trying to get more arms up there preparing
to place a hand. As an educator
I've always found that repeating yourself over and over again is quite necessary.
So as I'm sitting here,
once again, I'm working with the conditions that I've set up the high points of contour
edges to kind of model some more of these Fuller forms.
Advice as I’ve given to the students that may not have experience with modeling over the years
is, you know, there's two conditions that I'm working with here, the high point and contours
that are helping me then understand of the volumes of form that between them.
Then the internal shadow patterns of light and shadow where there's more typography and exchanges occurring
in the form. So if you're wondering like, you know,
you'll see me randomly moving into different areas.
And what are those are internal shapes that are here around the rib cage or you
know, clarifying a little bit more maybe the thigh or the stomach area, which once again
are the high points. I think it's helpful that the more complex forms are always these
these internalsShadow and lights. As I mentioned
it’s hard to have a - even when working with the model it’s hard to have a good
basis of observation to answer faithful questions.
So they become more more complex for for many reasons.
They're obviously, when you compare the kind of the volume that occurring weather today,
but according to thigh, you know these smaller shapes
are in a smaller area. So they become a little bit more complex to to manage
and deal with. So I usually recommend when students are starting to model that it's sometimes
best to kind of clarify these big light patterns,
whether it's a breast, thigh or a stomach pattern or buttock which then is you get
sort of these big patterns kind of worked out then what occurs is maybe some of
these smaller nuanced shapes then become a little bit more isolated.
So in other words, we've isolated them through drawings so
I've got drawn lines indicate where the edge of a rib is, so on and so
forth. So as you clean up the areas around it, it further isolates the areas that you're
getting to. So if I was to like work on completing the external oblique here in
the stomach edge and then coming up into the top peak of the rib cage,
you know, this area of her rib would start to stand out. That might be
happening a little bit here in the upper thigh, how brought from this kind of crease
that's occurring here in her upper thigh
I've stopped modeling up into it because there's kind of these complex shapes in
here. Once again, I got to make a decision about you know,
how relaxed that I want this leg to look so
I'm wondering how important all these complex shapes are in here.
But once again, you know,
with I’m modeling this the more softer stomach patterns and then the softer thigh patterns leaving
myself these shapes to look at that
this will become resolved in this will become resolved to help me kind of really isolate
sort of what's occurring in here.
Same thing in the rib cage.
People trying to use this process often come across also
things that don't work and they say well Rob,
you know, I set up these contour edges just like you’re recommending and then I try to
make forms, but it just didn't kind of the forms didn't make sense or work.
And that occurs to me is well,
I mean I'll work on forms with my contour edges and find that whether it's in
reference to the model or just this idea that if I'm coming across areas that are
too flat, for example, and I mentioned to you form is this gradual curvature just keeps on
moving and you can kind of come across areas and continue modeling with it and come
across these flat areas. In other words what’s probably occurring on your sculpture
is that your setup might not be quite worked out.
Maybe your contour edges are spatially incorrect.
Maybe your proportions don't work very well.
But I don't then allow if I'm trying to achieve an expressive form that seems valid
and important for the sculpture,
I don't then allow my contour edges to determine,
oh, okay well my contour edge is in here telling me what to do,
but it doesn't allow me to create the form quality that I want,
I will go and I'm kind of create the form quality that I'm more desiring
and then go back and see how it's manipulated my contour.
And that's kind of an important lesson throughout this whole video series is that, yet again,
you know, we’ve broken all this up into these three major sections, where we start
with a block in and it then as we start to execute it and it works
out we work then into the contour edges yet again at that moment
you could be sitting there working with a box and egg trying to introduce contour edges
on to the blockage for the legs and find that you know,
there's issues that they don't seem to work,
they don't seem to flow, they don't seem to, you know, have a rational
that makes sense. Obviously, there's human error involved in that but instead of just thinking I'm
having a problem with drawing generally if a student is asking me well this didn't seem
to work out, what do you think and they're looking at it
looking at a contour edge on a block in,
I think I always go back to what has preceded the the counter edge.
So in other words I go back to the origin of how this was supposed to
be. I don't just look at a contour edges on its own and try to decipher
if it's wrong or right right.
to move and turn things.
So for example if you're looking at you know these sweeping patterns in the legs,
I pointed out at one point that kind of extreme curvature that's existing from the peak
of the calf. So if I'm looking at a student’s sculpture and they're saying well,
geez, I haven't been able to kind of move that curvature in here,
I'll look at the block in that they set up.
So where their placement of their ankle arrived to. And say,
well, it looks like maybe your ankle needs to move over which then would allow you
to curve that that line.
What I find is a lot of people get to areas like shoulders and and they
look at that this area of their sculpture and think okay
well just doesn't seem to be worked out
so well, you know, I'd always go back to the pit of the neck,
look at their clavicle or even start going
how is their center line? You know then -
so if their shoulder doesn't seem to be working out what I mind find is well their center line's
off balance, their pit of their neck then is maybe over here.
So they've got like this one really long clavicle on one side and a short one
on another side which doesn't allow them to then find the information in a rational way
in the shoulder area. So the point of all of this is that cecause there's this
process that you're working through the Drawing in Space is
how you primarily functions, going back to look at the setup
that preceded your understanding of moving into something else whether it's form, whether it's contour edges,
whether it's connections, just take yourself back once to the original information which began your movement
out to the shoulder. The reason that started to occur -
the problem is just keep looking at your shoulder
just thinking that information here is wrong,
which then doesn't allow you to come back here
so you keep going over sort of the conditions you have for shoulder and going well
jeez, you know it kind of looks okay,
but the whole area doesn't quite look worked out well,
but yet they're not taking themselves back to here where they probably will find the answers
when I'm critiquing a student work and they're worried about a shoulder,
I usually find answers to help them starting here.
It's the kind of thing
I love about working in this process is that, you know,
whether it's form or whether it's linear equalities or whether it's structural
set up, you know as you become familiar with it
you're going in between all of them back and forth and it's a way in which
to keep really active in the sculpture.
An interesting question, once again that I've been asked a lot or were thinking about
a lot when’s a sculpture finished?
My answer to someone if they ask me what do you think a sculptures resolved is
not necessarily with the amount of time that you put into it,
I find it a sculptures over
when you stop thinking - when you stop being active
in the process, when you're not asking yourself any questions,
you're just doing something. Think your work becomes quite random and you're not really pushing
things forward at that point.
So a sculpture for me is finished when it's your done responding to it.
When you don't have anymore questions available to you
about how to engage in it
or with it, when the dialogue is over.
Saying that I think one of the most important things for everyone to be aware of
when they're working is being self-aware.
Spending maybe less time being active about touching your sculpture and a little bit more time
about thinking about what you need to be doing.
Some viewers of this video might be thanking geez this looks like it takes a long time.
And in certain cases it does, there's faster ways.
I can probably demonstrate this and to start sticking a bunch of clay up there,
but I know where it needs to go.
I'd probably be showing you something that's maybe a little irresponsible.
But I've never worried about time.
I think if you're going to make something good,
put the amount of timing into it that it take, that’s necessary.
I’d definitely rather make one good sculpture than 10 bad ones
and I know as you talk to artists you hear a lot about this, they
there's this pride associated with how fast certain things happen.
When I meet an artist and they show me something and they say look I did
this in a half an hour.
I often think to myself well it looks like it took you a half an hour.
And then wonder why didn't you put a couple more hours into that?
Yet again this is, you know, a technique I've kind of neglected to talk to students
about. Maybe it's aware, maybe it's not, I'm basically just tickling my surface with this
paper. Just trying to pick up these high points,
see how the forms flow.
the last session, I'm going to start working on some of the contour edges.
I don't like to belittle the sort of process of working on an arm.
I know there's complexities to it that are a little bit different but to me in
many cases, as far as the process goes, the arms are little legs,
you know, they have you know,
the connection like we do in the hip to the great trochanter.
We have an articulation at the elbow like we do at the ankle and we have
an articulation at the wrist -
I'm sorry - elbow and knee and then we have an articulation at the wrist like we
do in an ankle, then we have a hand instead of a foot. The complexity lies
in the fact that we can actually turn our our forearm over each other and you
know, that's - that complexity can be sort of assertive eliminated by the fact that depending on
what one's arms are doing in the pose,
we're trying to take away the foreshortening. So in other words,
you know, like we've done with the legs, like we do with the pelvic front, like
we did with the sides and the back,
we're going to try to take out foreshortening.
So I think one of the initial goals for the arms is to try,
once again, to locate your point of observation. So my model’s arms are hanging to the side so
I don't have a complex situation here
but if you had a model whose arms were doing something like this or even pulling
this a little bit more farther forward, your point of observation would be to establish the
the upper arm by looking through it in this direction through the bone
so it's not foreshortened and then looking through the sides of the arm from either side
and that would give you familiarity within the contour. Because when you turn the wrist over
itself, the contour qualities - can be vastly different.
I didn't take risk here on getting these arms up there that were in this dynamic situation.
But once again, you know,
I do say that there's a lot of possibilities for a sculptor to explore with the
arms. You know, if you have a narrative pose and you're trying to describe something quite
specific with your sculpture, they already may be predetermined about how you're needing to study the
arms. So once again just like everything we've done,
you know, we're going to break it down into the planner system so that we
can gain familiarity over the contour,
so when you look at them not every time you're addressing something that looks a little
bit different, that's done, achieved in the block in, and then look for the high point
contour and how we're reading those and then place them spatially just like we've done with
the contours in the legs.
It’s always quite interesting,
you know, the even kind of now getting into this concept of hands and feet, what
I found over the years of teaching is that you teach the discipline of Drawing in
Space largely through, you know,
the pit of the neck and the ankles, you know, all of the activity that
you're learning that takes place there
that's where the sculpture’s starting so students are going through the setup of a box and
egg, the contour descriptions more often as they start one project to the next, particularly
if they're doing brief study. What I found over the years is students are getting to
the point where they're needing to start really dealing with hands and feet in a sculpture
because of their experience with having worked through the connections in the body they get there
and actually they go on there. So
I've never actually found in 20 years of teaching,
I've had to talk a lot to a student about, you know,
how to make a foot or how to make a hand.
In many cases also that might be the arm.
When I was doing - I would introduce studies that because once again,
I think the principal foundation teaching of Drawing in Space is occurring largely between the
pit of the neck and the bottom of the - or the ankles.
And so, you know, I don't encourage people initially.
as they’re adapting to this process to put a head or arms on the sculpture because yet
again, it's the same process and you can get familiar with it in the trunk of
the body. And then as you get familiar with ityou can then just
take that knowledge into the arms.
So anyway, I'm going to work on the arms a bit here.
The activity is, once again, the same. I'm drawing out descriptions and separations of anatomy, recognize
through shadow and light. Something I probably haven't talked a little bit about - there are some
little areas of the sculpture that the armature is just gradually sticking out of, I feel
like I can still get away with keeping it in there,
but a student who comes - who uncovers an armature after certain period
of time, my advice to them would be don't worry about it.
If it winds up being exposed on the armature,
even if it's to a large degree,
you would still naturally need to
chase it or file it down in a wax.
And once again because these mechanical elements
sort of visually look quite different than the clay itself, you’d, you know, have to
kind of refine the form.
So I build form around it,
keep some exposed. There's probably not a sculpture I've ever made that didn't have some armature
sticking out somewhere. Okay before I turn you I think there's going to be a break so
just take a break, okay.
Whenever you're ready. To remind you what I'm doing on now that I'm going through the front
into the sides, I’ve got my contour edges that I placed from the front,
I'm checking them spatially. So I’m trying to walk up to the model,
you see me place the tool on her arm.
So I'm looking for the high point, once again that high point is something that I've
been addressing from here and adjusting it when you be. Thank you.
Something probably important about the arms,
you may be sitting there asking what about the proportions and there's so much more
that you're concerned about. A lot of people look at the negative space being created between
the body, these shapes. Because this is a construction method, negative space and the arrangement of
it might be only important to you as a sculptor for design.
But once again, you know,
we're setting things through basically internal bony connections from articulation to articulation to articulation.
So that helps us place kind of things where we want them and then we're breaking
it down once again in a planer system to observe it.
So the - even when you block in the arms,
no matter how skinny you keep it, you’re kind of close to probably where they need
to go as width. I've largely been sitting here concerned about my - the contour patterns and
movements. So once again, I'm kind of first addressing the arms to try to make sure
that that works while breaking it down like I broke down the leg. But one thing
because you're in an ideal situation, your bony edges -
the bony lengths should relate, you could take a tool and do a comparative measurement.
So, you know, seeing how, you know, an area of the shoulder, down to about the
where the inside of the elbow is,
you can start comparing that from side to side.
That could occur in the forearm when you're trying to compare okay, you know, am I
getting to a wrist?
I think more importantly to me us to keep that kind of length symmetry kind of working.
Looks like mine are working out for me at least so
anyway, a little little tip of advice.
And yes, I do know I would admit to you that all arms would look a bit
awkward in a sculpture if they were overly long or too Short or not make sense.
So, once again, because I'm working with the construction method
I'm not comparing a wrist to where it lines up with the pelvic point,
you know particular by the time I get to the arms and the poses are shifting and
all this kind of stuff is occurring,
you know, they're not going to line up visually where they’re placed next to a
model, plus with a foreshortening this moving back, this moving forward, the model could take that foreshortening
out, relaxed the elbow a little bit, and then I'll send the arm looks longer
but you're not seeing it being a relaxed elbow because you're not looking at the side,
you're looking at the front.
So I'm using my mirror to kind of to see how the arms match the body.
Once again, I think you know, pretty good ballpark is is where I'm aiming for proportions.
I'm not studying the proportions to make some exact science of how exactly, you know
of how thick the wrist is compared to a knee cap or something like that.
But you could also, I mean if you wanted to get a representation
you could look at the width of that to maybe the width of the lower ankle
to do a comparative measurement. A comparative measurement, the problem in the arms and the head
in particular is that you often are comparing something close to something else.
So you're looking at the shoulder or here to help you with that your head, you're
looking at maybe here to compare yourself with an arm.
So if you were struggling with the proportions of it,
what I would ask you to do was then probably instead of compare the things that
are closest with each other, try to find a comparison for the arm.
Like does the length of the upper arm -
how does that relate with the lower leg. So you’re actually relating your upper sections of your body
to the lower sections.
but I'm going to explain to you a little bit, the set-ups changed a little bit.
I'm going to get more involved with the head and that's going to involve me working from
the side to the front side of the front. My biggest challenge is going to
be trying to still, once again, kind of make half the head.
So as you watch me do this this isn't something I would necessarily recommended at
home, but I'm in trying to leave is I made you aware half of the sculpture
with the setup that I went through and then half of the sculpture evolution from
that set up. So trying to keep the distinctions between one and the next. I would
mainly be recommending for people to not exclusively work on half of a head and leave
the other half blank. I would, if I was to complete the head and its entirety,
I'd be wanting to work on both the sides and bring them closer together or bring
them along together. The other thing that I've changed is that because the height of the
stand, I'm going to have the model coming here and stand on the the ground so
I can actually look down on her head and get a better vantage point to be
able to look through her profile.
Then you’re gonna also notice me, we're going to put her back up on the stand
because she's also looking down.
So then when I'm work on the front of the head,
I want her high on the stand so that I can look up at her,
the front shape of her face.
So yet again another technique of taking away the foreshortening that's apparent in the pose.
The other thing is, you know,
you could also do, you'll notice I tell my models,
you know, if I'm going to be looking at the head for the next session I
asked them to leave the robe on, there's no point in them being
unrobed and I don't actually ask him to take the pose.
I'm just asking them to actually hold and I'll help correct that, the coherent position
I'm trying to work on within the head.
So anyway, we're going to invite Aurora back and you're going to see a little bit
of a some of how these changes are affecting the set up and here we
go. Anytime you're ready. I would often talk about portraiture being probably one of the most
difficult disciplines for the sculptor for a variety of reasons that I mentioned.
So, you know, once again here I, you know, say I got a kind of include
an eye and this kind of stuff but before I do that,
I'm going to talk myself through what got me here.
So I'm going to be looking at the block in edges that I have here
for the zygomat, seeing how they line up within the profile.
So on and so forth.
So I'm going to go through my head before I even start incorporating new information and
talk about my connections that got me there.
This is why I recommend for people to not try to make the portrait in
a few sessions at the very end, trying to gradually work through it so that you
can kind of familiarize yourself with what got you there and then maybe make some
corrections to it if you noticed them or if you don't then just kind of moving
forward. I'm also sitting here looking for some areas that were a bit blank.
So you saw me cut out a little bit of the negative space which is
where the nostril is. It wasn't there before. If there's something I'm finding on the head that
I can see better or relate better,
I'm trying to draw as much clear visual presence to it as possible.
So I'm working with these pretty extreme planes
that catch shadow and light. What I'm preparing for as best I can do is to
include an eye here. Start setting that up.
And that begins through the profile.
So nce again before I get there,
I'm just kind of going over what I have here already.
Pushing a little bit forward, drawing some clear visual presence to it,
but as I start to work with the eye
bit of a tricky area for the most experienced sculptor.
You're not going to just see it
just fall into place, going to have to probably work on quite hard.
But I'm going to first look for the high point of her upper lid. So once
again, I'm just going to start to indicate a little bit of an eye.
I know I'm going to have to keep adjusting it.
I can't differentiate how my pocket of my eye’s working anymore. I’ve got enough space
in there if not more,
I feel like, so working on the head’s one of these things about the setup of
things is that the setup, which in some ways is a simplification,
and probably the most important way just visually clear, whether that's done through a drawn line
or the planes still can maybe only help you so much.
So even if I can confirm once again,
I get things into a pretty good maybe.
And then just kinda move forward with it.
Seeing with then now that I can start seeing and eye, instead of just a pocket
of an I, how things begin to look.
Can you look down just a little bit?
Basically when I'm looking at the from of her
eye, I'm trying to notice the depth that is occurring between the bridge of the nose
or the low point in the nose in the eye.
So I'm trying to make sure that it's going to be a good spatial depth and
I'm also, more importantly than almost anything else, is looking for the angle
that will keep changing if you look up or down.
So what I find when I'm looking at the front contour edge of her eye,
it's essentially a vertical. The other element that I'm going to set up is the lower lid
and I'm going to be doing the same thing.
I'm looking how far back
it is from the upper lid.
It just happens to be
a lot smaller. So feeling comfortable with the pattern of the hair.
I’m gonna want to use it as a volume, not to start making hair
but so that I can start to really isolate
better instead of it just being a line.
When I go to the front,
it's going to help me establish the shape of the head.
So even before people get into sort of how you want to model hair,
how you want your hair to look,
I think it's important just to kind of work on the bigger shape of it, once
again, to set it off from the - separate it from the front of the face as
volume. Okay we’re gonna take a quick break and then we're going to set the model up
so I can go and start looking at some of the conditions in the front.
Welcome back. We're going to have you back up on the stand.
You don't need it. You can wear your robe.
I'm a look at the front of the face.
Yeah, so here over here
I think you can kind of see sort of how I included this eye. And I was
pushing down sort of the structures of the zygomat because they look like they're riding a
little bit too high. Cut away a little bit of the nostril so we can start to get
a sense of that negative space.
Also included some of these little edges in here that were these little light reflections
that are coming over the side of her mouth.
These all these extremely delicate areas.
Once again, I told you I’d, at one point, sand it down a bit of an
edge of a toothpick to start working on parts of the head.
Not unlike occurred in the whole construction of the body, the head becomes hard to move
around the more you add on to it.
So I do think I do spend some time
trying to get the core middle.
So, you know, I’ll spend my time working between the brow ridge and the mouth in this
area because not only through the side,
it's the center, it’s within the center of the head.
But also obviously from the front it's in the center.
So I will spend a time once again, kinda
pulling forward a little bit
sort of these areas that are on the profile in order to see if I can capture
or have captured what I need to here. I'm starting to think about,
you know, eventually I'll start dealing with the front of the eye.
But here I think is one of the most important things that I can tell someone
about an eye. Beyond defining the space off of the tear duct and then looking
for the distance or fitting it into the pocket of the eye,
I'm defining the space that I have to work the eyelids within. So I want to have confidence
that I've got that set up too well, not just allowing myself to keep adding to
it and making it too big sitting in the pocket of the eye.
But I think the most important thing
is to look for the angle that exists between the tear ducts
and where the lids meet at the other side.
See if I can - so it's essentially - let me try to make this really clear.
It’s essentially the axis that the eye is sitting in the position of the head and then the
proportion that the space sits within. Now this is my first time trying to look at that.
But you notice with the model in position,
where her tear duct begins
there's an angle moving upward to where her lids meet. Because the real challenge within the
eye is the character and the movements of the eyelids themself. So what this allows
me to do when I start to feel as though it's established well,
is it gives me something to draw from and to. In other words,
I've got to look for the movements that are occurring in the lower eyelid.
I got to look for the movements that are occurring - I’m sorry, in the lower or upper eyelid,
the contour quality. And then I got to look for as well the contour quality that's
existing in the upper lower lid. That much for that.
There's also the contour edge that's existing at the top of the eyelid.
Drawing these little edges out becomes a real big challenge and this is where you're tweaking
things inevitably, but this is also instead of thinking about where - trying to get your portrait
to look in the right direction with both eyes on them working in a space
that's small, what is going to imply the direction that your model is looking, the eyes,
is actual what's occurring within the eyelids themselves.
Now if the eyes were wide open then you would have an iris and a pupil to
deal with to help you but I still think that the relevance of the position or
where the model’s looking is mainly occurring with the eyelids.
When a model’s looking in that direction or looking up or looking to the side or
looking down and adjusting it all the time, the contour qualities that I'm talking about
keep changing all the time over and over again.
So once again through security,
I want this axis to draw long, to have confidence in that axis. So at least where
my contour edges are beginning start in the right place and where I'm drawing them to
goes to the right place. It helps you achieve this quite challenging moment better or
easier. These are all initial indications of the head.
What I'm really trying to do is work off my profile in that core area, start to draw
presence to information that this area is lacking in order for me to give an initial
width to some of these areas.
And then along the way and then I'm eventually going to an eye and then eventually
getting to the pocket of the eye, which then helps me also then establish better the
outside shape of the head.
One of the easier parts of the shape of the head from the front to create
is the forehead because if you’ve got well placed the hairline, not only from the
side so it's a depth, you can equate clearly defines the shape of the forehead.
Now of course that changes everyday.
So depending on what the hair is doing. The mouth, like I do with so many
areas, I first need to place some fairly
decisive angles there. It was really blank.
at the light and Shadow to begin with to start to differentiate between where the upper
lip changes direction eventually for where lips meet. Once again,
it's really challenging to just work with one side of the face.
So I am starting to place some things over here.
You know if I start making an eye on one side of head,
I want to put it in the other, if I start looking for the movements that
are at the bridge of the nose,
I want to get the other one to work, if I'm starting to work with the
volumes in her mouth or start to set that up,
I want to set up on both sides.
Thank you, Aurora.
to do go overboard today and you know, I’m gonna want to come back with a fresh eye
tomorrow and kind of get back into it.
So I'm going now spend the last session here today
looking, you know at the model in pose, probably try to get a little bit
better shape of a foot on there, and maybe look at some of the shapes and
so forth, some of the things that I've done before.
So anyway when you're ready.
Tomorrow morning I'm going to talk a little bit about the hand, set up an armature
for it. I want to wait till the clay gets a little bit harder here in
the lower hands though before that happens.
I can already hear someone out there
thinking or saying, oh look he's finally at a belly button.
It’s always was been a difficult time for me.
Why isn't he saying anything?
Most of my critiques about belly buttons were reminding people that they're not gunshot wounds.
It’s not a hole. It's an area of form
all coming together like the eye, it’s just this very small,
the area in which you’re working.
So it’s just challenging. I just trust what I'm reading.
The contour edge kind of coming up almost to the sharp edge turning down that defines the
top of it. When I'm reading into it,
I can see that there's two shapes of form.
On the inside that once again are these little miniscule
pieces of form that kind of at times look like they're stretching and compressing not unlike
all the forms around them.
I might have mentioned this earlier,
but I just love to say it
like I love to say sternocleidomastoidus.
Omphalos is the Greek word for belly button.
They place an importance of it in Delphi where the Oracle was, implying I believe if I might
be wrong about this, it’s the center of the universe.
Like Delphi was considered. Once again,
I wouldn't bet on that but. Some of you also might be waiting out there
to go when can I look at the sculpture without not always having to address
this planar system? You're saying that because you won't understand that
there's probably a lot more going on that you're neglecting.
If I'm going to start going off these front planes,
it would be to start to address some of the modeling.
So if I know that I can expose an area that's been this internal shape,
for example, here's the pelvic girdle,
that I've been looking at as an internal shape up until now mostly.
I can kind of come over here and look up through it
so my eyesight is traveling up in this direction exposing this ridge
in order for it to become a contour, to get an idea of how patterns of -
how the flesh is moving over the bone.
So I do work from off angles in order to address the modeling.
In some cases, I don't have to as we went over to talk about modeling yesterday,
I'm looking more for adjectives to use to describe the form.
So I'm setting things up in that way
because there are areas were visual observation doesn't always help.
Get something real. Thank you,
I'm going to set up the hand armatures. I’ve been thinking about this,
I kind of do it differently every time I use what's available to me and
here I'm going to be using what's available to me and actually because it was available
to me I found a way in which is actually seems to be a little bit
better. So I'm going to start this morning setting up the hand armatures and then when
the model comes in and we get her pose we’re gonna start thinking about a hand.
So I have the aluminum wrapping wire that I use to wrap the larger aluminum that
you can see sticking out here.
So what I'm going to do, as a cut off five lengths,
hopefully more than I need, and what I do is with the wrist there,
I just kind of push it back to kind of bite into the clay.
The clay that’s there's like the thinnest clay in the sculpture in the wrist and that's
going to you know, inevitably dry out more than almost anything else.
So as it gets drier it'll just kind of hold onto that are
armature, these little pieces of finger in there.
Then what I'll do is I'll take a little bit more of this and try to
come up around where the tops of them were implanted in there,
pull that through, and then start to twist -
hopefully you can pick this up -
this aluminum to kind of tighten them all together.
Some of the smaller wire, no matter what kind it is, have use copper wire before,
if you bend it too much it'll break.
So generally what I do is you, you know,
you could try to bend this back up into the clay as well
but I don't worry about the exposure of the aluminum coming out of the wrist area.
Once again, I'm taking my work into a cast or to a mold
so, you know, this little high point
can be remedied when I'm resolving the work in wax or plaster,
whatever material I’m casting it in.
And I’ll also wrap one down to into hand area.
Or actually even maybe when the sculpture, you know,
More done. I don't want to move that around too much because I don't want it to
break, it’s there to hold things together
because there's going to be a certain amount of pushing -
pushing around that’s going to occur.
I also have here available to me a different type of clay. I’m not gonna - it would
be almost impossible to work on a hand for you know,
even more than a day before it starts to dry out and the problems with water-based
clay at this time become kind of prominent, in that as it dries out you can
kind of spray it but then the elements are so small that then they just kind
of get muddy and fall apart.
So I almost would never make a hand on this scale in water-based clay.
So I have available to me this product.
It's plastilina from Italy. I generally use a medium Roma, they’re a little bit grayer and
darker. I'm finding that this plastilina,
as I've tested it, doesn't react actually so well with water.
It seems to kind of melt in some way.
I'm not sure why, I've never used it before but like I said,
I'm making do with what I have available to me
and putting this kind of clay on there right now,
I'm going to kind of get it this generic block in for a hand to
give myself a departing point.
How to do that, I have mentioned to you about, you know, a sort of a simplified
hand shape, but I've mentioned to you as well throughout this video that even, you know, trying to
simplify something already means that you have a sort of an idea of a knowledge about
it. Even though I haven't discussed the hand,
I mean I've been looking at this pose for quite a long time or long enough
to kind of have an idea of where I want to place things or how I
want the hand to be sitting up there.
I know that this is another one of these moments in watching this video and
someone out there is going oh,
we're finally getting to hands,
this is the thing. I need to learn more about and
I'll be honest with you that -
because I think honesty is the best policy -
as I've been teaching and introducing to people Drawing in Space for 20 years and at
that point also evolving the subject.
The first studies and I alluded to this yesterday,
I believe that as I'm introducing people to to the concepts, because it's a philosophy of
how to work and how to think and that's largely done through,
you know, short-term exercises, one day poses, three day poses, five day poses,
and I'm just going to repeat myself if I didn't say this yesterday.
I would on a three day study or a one day study,
I wouldn't necessarily have a student worry about putting arms and heads on the sculpture just
more concerned about them working through the connections that are between the pit of the neck
and the ankles so they can get accustomed to the philosophy and the way in which
the sculpture is read and the techniques that are associated with it.
Inevitably as you’re starting this process
there's also a lot of air, in other words they’re,
you know, they're making problems.
There's problems in their sculpture that are being taken care of
all throughout the way. I understand is an educator
it's instead of just keep moving on with the sculptures, it’s
just better to put it away and start a new one.
The reason I'm saying this is because as a student learn these philosophies in
those ways, by the time they were competent enough and ready to put a hand on
there, I’ve often found that I've had to give people very little critique.
In other words in my 20 years of teaching,
there wasn't this big moment like okay,
you know, there's going to be a lecture on hands and we're going to discuss them.
The thing I would say to a student about a hand isn't really about how to
make it because, once again,
the philosophies are the same,
you know, we're going to work on establishing bony connections from the wrist down
into the knuckles, thinking about the big shape of the hand, and then work down into
the fingers. I would say to someone although about the hand that there's always an opportunity
here and that has a little bit more to do with gesture.
In other words, the bending of a wrist,
I think can kind of mean a lot to a pose.
So if you're, you know,
you can have a model sitting there with the hands coming straight out of
their lower arm, but even understanding when you see a hand coming straight out of
lower arm, it does actually even curve a little bit. It's hard to make everything
straight. So I’ve often said, you know, if Michelangelo had chosen on the Sistine ceiling
the wrist of God breathing life into Adam,
it’s this beautiful moment, it's an iconic moment in the history of art, if he had
made that straight that moment of him - or tried to straighten it -
it would have been come more of a a very different emotion
that would have been seen in that moment.
Maybe not as iconic. He would have looked more like he was pointing at him instead
of kind of with this relaxed wrist bringing him into creation. So what I
want to do here is I just kind of want to get - I can kind of
bend fingers when I get to them
with a little bit of clay on there. Once again,
as I was experimenting with this,
I found that a little bit helpful instead of trying to bend the armature
and then put fingers on there.
So I'm just going to kind of set up a little bit of the finger and
then try to bend it into shape
with this plastilina up there.
With the Roma plastilina that I work with, it's a little bit softer.
So I wouldn't generally do this.
But once again, I'm trying to work with a medium here that I'm not so
used to. I think one of the more important things about the quality of a hand,
once again, isn't coming down into the little small sort of details of it.
I think the big shape
representing gesture is the most important thing.
Not the most cruel thing.
So I'm sitting here not telling you, at least at this point,
you know, for these people out there that want to learn how to make hands better
how to do that. I'll be talking about it when I'm looking at the model’s hand,
but I think the trick to anything about making something good or better is either
A, keep making them so you have more experience
or be dedicating more of your time to it in the sculpture.
The reason I'm trying it this way,
which once again is a little bit different,
is because of the material. I'm trying to get a little bit more of a compact
Core up here. My worry is that the - how the water’s reacting to this product is if
there's too much texture or areas for water to seep into small little pores,
it might affect how this is.
So I'm trying to just get this compact gesture
in the clay. Or compact clay.
So one thing I'm trying to do here is kind of create this little edge here so
that where the clay, the water-based clay, and the plastilina meet
there's not a a gap, meaning there's not this possibility because I'm going to have to
be spraying the arm, not wanting it to run down into this clay to disrupt it
or the plastilina. So I have a feeling if I, once again, kind of create this
edge and then bring these flush with each other,
this will work better. Okay,
we're going to take a break and the model’s going to get ready and we'll be
but as I'm starting to work on the hand,
you know, I just want to remind you
I'm going to work through my connections.
I'm going to be looking over what I've got, coming down these contours again
so I'm not just going to start on a hand.
I'm going to work my way there as this whole process of working through your connections,
hopefully it's becoming clear. So Aurora whenever you're ready.
If remember back to when I was setting you up on a leg or beginning that process.
I talked about the initial inclusion of a contour edges and trying to keep your decision
making simple thinking about origin, apex, and ending.
And it was because it was more simplified, generally has to do with the fact that it
wasn't a lot of information there to begin with for you to compare and then when
more comparisons come into play, after you initially inserted them,
your job is becoming more complex.
So I’m, you know, doing the same thing.
I've had my initial setup of contours on my block in here and I'm looking some
of these shapes. I'm thinking about the exchanges.
So there's a change of direction here,
there's a peak to the musculature here,
there's a change of direction coming through here.
There's a lot in an arm,
you know, if you can talk yourself down through the arm and what I'm doing is,
you know, referencing that now I have more to compare up here and as I come down the
arm now I have more of a cross comparison.
So I'm looking at what's occurring on one side of the arm to the next.
So once again, that's just a reminder of what I'm thinking about as I work through
here and I'm looking - I’m finding it seems to me that there's needing to be adjustments
so I'm making some adjustments.
The shape of the hand is going to be important to determine
by using the knuckles, bony edges so,
you know here I picked up a little bit of this very slight bony edge coming out
of surface, which is in the wrist.
I try to draw more attention to it
by making that sharp edge not unlike I did with the clavicles. Here
I come down to finding a little bit of a high point of the knuckle in
the hand and just kind of initially indicating it.
Thank you, Aurora. As I gave advice earlier about, you know,
the complexity of some of these situations you get into particularly because of the size of
them, doing arm studies is also advisable. There’s something about it
I quite enjoy. It always seems like a challenge.
Everyone, our arms seem to always be quite different also with the same anatomy.
Here's where I'd like the whole process kind of working
just kind of on one area,
you know, the articulation of the shoulder was up there for - has been up there for
days and days. The block ins for the arm
I hesitated on because of the clay drying out, so they came up there more recently.
And I keep an, you know,
now I'm doing some adjustments to it
but the concept of Drawing in Space is you start with a core articulation area, the
area of structure, which I guess you know,
when I'm convinced at the clavicle, the ending of the clavicle’s good and I look for
the bony anatomy that's actually in the arm, you know I'm ready to come down the
arm. And as I keep kind of traveling down, I look for adjustments
that I need to make. If I can't find adjustments
I actually start kind of concluding the information a little bit more.
So the top core, the top area of my articulation will start to get a little
bit more resolved and I know that for myself,
and I think this is advice for almost anybody,
as things become - as things start to fall into place or they appear to fall into
place for you, bringing them a little bit farther forward with, you know, volumes of form or massing
out shapes, which is kind of what I've been doing here right now,
helps you see them better.
So even though I'm trying to get down to a hand,
you know, I want to kind of see a little bit clearer
what I've got up here.
So I know that pushing them forward can help but that's kind of what I
do all along is I start with the pelvis making them going there.
I don't keep looking for error.
I look forward for more to confirm that there's no issues that I can
understand a deal with and instead of just keep moving on
what I do is I'll start to work on it to
lock it in by pushing it forward on whatever level it may need to be.
In the case of the arm,
there's these, you know, external high points that I'm now filling in a little bit.
So once again, as I step back and look at things I can read the
arm better. Clearer. Okay something on break
I did, you know, I'm spring my sculpture on break to keep the clay moist
and obviously I have the thin areas of the wrist which get harder and then the
hands which I don't want the water to kind of come over because it seems to
be dissolving this the plastilina
I'm using. So I just cover them with some are paper towel and then stuck a little
pain in it. I don't know if you can
pick that up on there. If you - coming down here
there's a little pin in there that keeps that safe and I'll take those off as
I get to the hand obviously.
So anyway, Aurora's ready, so we're going to keep going.
So as I get down into the hand now,
once again, I'm just thinking about the big shape,
the outer borders. Once again not unlike any other element that we've been introducing over time.
Thank you. So because you - I did it on last break, what I do is wrap
this hand. Just try to pin it
with a piece of that
aluminum, keep it dry while I spray the sculpture on break.
this happens to me a lot that I'm sitting there having dealt with the clay in
the arm and then wanted to drop down to the hand cuz I noticed something
I wanted to introduce and then also I'm putting clay and plastilina.
Doesn't really go together. As I mentioned,
I'm not doing much different.
I'm looking for shadow and light to draw attention to certain things in the hand.
If I don't have it,
I'm going to turn my materials away from light to introduce shadow
to make things a little bit more clear.
Try to draw through contours the shape of the hand and then as I get to
a bone, how to draw some attention to it with a sharp edge. As I mentioned
as I began this morning, it’s
essentially the same thing I have been doing all along.
Ah, yes and taking away the foreshortening
presented to me in almost every case here.
So you see me moving around a little bit more.
Like I mentioned for portraiture, there's a separate video for sculpting that just could be dedicated
to hands from all the, you know, variety in positions, how to manage a fingernail. I don't want to dedicate
days and days and days and days to making hand because if I was in my studio
I’d be revisiting this over and over and over again.
So when I get to the point where I'm feeling as though that we've had enough
of a conversation about it
so hopefully in that conversation you'll feel more comfortable
yourself managing it. Going back to the beginning of the video, the most important thing for
me to pass on, which I've always done with my teaching is to evolve the dialogue
that you have with you work. Which is why
I want to cover as much as what I'm thinking about is I do this.
Once again at this point in the hand,
I want to you know reiterate once again,
I'm not doing anything differently.
But I also realize as I've been going through this video,
I'm introducing you to a dialogue
that I would have with someone over a three-year period.
As I've come across almost every situation and the advices I would have given, think about
for myself or discuss with the student
I've been trying to introduce you to that. I'm not in
space where I’d start kind of really nuancing a finger here,
but yet again about accuracy
I think that it's important to recognize in a finger
the tapering that exists.
Like we talked about in the leg,
that finger starts to look maybe on
an inaccurate level or an inaccurate side of the fence unsightly if they start to look
the sense of tapering not only that you see from the side,
but you see from the front.
Something I just indicated with on here
you can see kind of the knuckle of the thumb catching light so I can track
it, see it better. You can see the - just shadow that was existing between the
flesh between her thumb and forefinger.
You see the indication of the knuckles, a high point
These are once again, just kind of general placements at this point and you can work
into these, work into these, work into these.
What I wanted to point out here is I think something that's been always quite
notable about a hand. When you’re looking at the front shape of the hand you're going to
be looking at sort of the direction knuckles turn so I drew that out.
So I felt as though okay,
if I've done a good enough job finding the index knuckle,
I'm going to turn and start to draw kind of the movement that's occurring amongst the
the knuckles themselves that so that forgetting about the fingers
is going to help you to find the shape of the hand.
What is quite notable to me
is when you think about the knuckle defining the shape of the hand then just kind
of below it, the finger start,
but the inside shape of the hand is quite far below the knuckle.
You can look on your own hand yourself,
the idea that the inside knuckle here, the high point then there's the shape of my hand
here quite a lot higher.
So you're thinking about the back and front relationships that are occurring here, which are very
crucial, if you're feeling comfortable finding a knuckle look for then what kind of angle or
how far down you'll find the inside shape to the hand.
That to me is a feature that I think is if there's something I've been critiquing about people
miss all the time is that quality.
So when it comes to the shape of the hand, the back and front relationship is crucial.
When it comes to the fingers
make sure there's five of them.
No, I make sure they taper. Proportions
I think play an important role in the finger.
When I was in Italy I knew a lot of woodworkers that spent their life
on heavy machinery, cutting wood. They almost never had five fingers.
Nor the guys that worked in the foundry that I worked in.
You work around machinery like that your whole life,
I think that if you come out of your job with five fingers,
you're a lucky person. So be careful when you're working with
high powered machinery. I have almost lost a finger in a foundry.
Thank you. So I’m going to take a little bit of time and get into a different
situation that I want to show you, depart from the hand. And I'm going to set
up so I'm going to be level with the knee and this is the knee that I’m gonna try
to push forward compared to the stand leg knee.
So what I do is I'm going to grab a chair and it is helpful to
get a little closer to the situation of a knee, to kind of get a better vantage
point being eye level with it and a little bit closer where you have a little
bit of a better idea about how things are coming forward or backward from you. So I’m gonna -
the model’s going to come out and I'm going to get set up and show
you how I do this.
Let's see here. I need some clay.
So once again, I’m eye level to the knee of my sculpture, little bit below eye-level to
the knee of my model.
But this gives me a better opportunity to kind of see what's going on in
these shapes. When I'm close to the model like this, whether
I'm looking at forms, I mean,
you know the tells a series of forms in and around the knee.
I'm not trying to conceive generally how they're turning or moving as an organic form.
I wanted to clarify to see how the shapes work,
see if I'm missing things, seeing if things are too big, things are too small.
And I'm thinking in general terms - if you can see my hand - is how things are turning
away from you. So I'm once again,
I'm looking right at the front of her patella.
I'm looking right at the front of my patella to get a sense of how things
are, once again, turning away from me from the high points.
The high point yet again is still drawn out on the sculpture.
So I have that there as a guideline.
I think it's helpful once again to get in the small shapes. I have kind of been
doing this everywhere, just working with these kind of geometric planes of light and shadow.
Starts to help you see if you're fitting things.
Once again, if you incorporate a geometric onto your sculpture,
meaning flatter planes that catch light and catch shadow, you’ve not introduced the eventual organic,
which means it's a little bit of a removal from the eventual forms you are going to
try to capture. And give you an opportunity to see - to see things better.
Once again this concept of internal shapes I think is one of the hardest things for
people to adapt to. Even just from the idea of placing them in the right spot, getting
the right heighth, that's generally all done through drawn edges
that we were, you know, drawing out shapes early on and anytime
I have an opportunity to draw out a shape,
I'm going to continue to do that if I'm missing it.
I'm using drawing then to confirm if it's in the right spot, if it feels like
it fits well into the situation.
Then I start to incorporate this geometric planar system to evolve the shape on its way
to being completed. And then because I can see it in shadow and light
better, helps me confirm better if it's actually working.
So as it, once again, becomes clear to me
because now my clay is exposed to light and shadow
and I'm not seeing it just as an outline of some sort.
It's another clarification of things seem to fit.
Then I work the shapes in the round.
So, once again, you know people are maybe sitting out there going oh now,
he's discussing a knee, I've been waiting for an explanation of how to do this.
Once again, it's the same thing.
Just in a different area.
I don't discuss the body on different terms.
I discuss a procedure. It’s universal to all - everything. So if you come out of this
video waiting for that moment where I was going to talk about some particular thing that
you feel your struggle with, I think it would be more important for you to think
about the philosophy and the procedure that everything really has been addressed with. Setting up these
internal shapes in the body it’s a three-dimensional internal shape, you know, and what I
mean by internal - just describing again - it’s inside these contour edges. We don't see it as a
contour edge from the four main perspectives but from our points of observation of non foreshortening,
the model can almost be doing anything and you can get a grasp on that.
And then you turn the sculpture and that then front of the patella, if you're
here thinking about how to work through a knee and that's a complex thing for you
to understand, is once I get the shapes worked out then I have found the high point
in them when I turn the sculpture like I did with the head then I'll
define the outermost point, use it to understand how deep these shapes to come back into
my knee. As I come down the leg
here, you know, I’m thinking, sitting here thinking about all the times people ask me
what my favorite part of the human body is to sculpt.
I really enjoy lower legs because of the beautiful patterns and how they pick up.
If you see some of these high points and I'll turn the sculpture so you can see
those - you can take a break Aurora - if you see some of these high points than
coming through there, it’s the separations that are occurring between the calf,
the inner calf muscles in the shin. So if I turn the sculpture out towards the
front of the patella you can see the way that this movement picks up on the
inside of the knee, comes through, and intersects then through the midsection of the lower leg
and then it keeps turning right down to the ankle bony point, which I just started take
a look at and make a little bit clearer.
Once again, I just find these are these beautiful, elegant movements that are occurring in there and
then even the high points that are occurring in the shin yet again.
kind of curve in this direction, have a tendency to exaggerate these movements.
But if there's something clear about what I appreciate is the sculpture,
its movement, and then this is going to be - I’m gonna take a look down at
the outside of the stand leg again coming down to the outer ankle bony point to
try to really kind of push these movements that are occurring in here.
So I guess, you know, my point here is this: getting low to the sculpture,
the amount of gesture and movement you can pull out just occurring between the bottom of
the knee and the ankles is is quite remarkable.
The reason I say that because I find that people particularly that are standing up, standing
back from a model, they're doing something right but a lot of time they’re not bringing
their eyes below the knee and then the lower sections of their sculpture get quite
dead and all these movements that are here are becoming quite static.
So now as I'm getting more down into the specific areas that are, once again, one
of my favorite to look at and capture movement with, I'm always pointing this out in
class to students who are kind of unaware of it and they're not maybe paying
close enough attention to it.
the establishment of the ankles which will leave me into a foot and finish this
connection. Now my goal here on video is to be able to cover,
you know, from the side that I'm actually pushing more towards a completion just covering everything
from coming down to the hand, coming down through the body,
which we've already been over, and now coming down to the foot.
So anyway so Aurora’s going to come back, we're going to start to get into
the ankle bony points in the foot. I think I've mentioned this before but I'll say
it again, the ankle bony points,
her foot's a little pivoted and the back heel is a little bit up,
which is actually a nice sort of
quality to the concept of taking weight off this leg that it's just helping support her.
So there's not a large degree of angle between the ankle bony points.
In other words, you'll find something a little bit different on the stand leg ankle bony
point, but there is a slight angle
between the peak that’s existing in the ankle bony point and the peak of the outside
ankle bony point. I’d like to turn the sculpture and have you take a look at that.
Not sure if the camera is looking down on it,
but I'm looking straight through it.
The other thing, I'm looking straight through here's the idea that I can see that I
cut it out in the last session, that the inside from the ankle bony point
of her foot, the inside of her foot’s turning inward just as a contour edge.
Before the high point of her - the bone in the - before the big toe. The other thing
that’s important to know about the ankle bony points is the inside ankle bony point
is closer to me when I'm looking for the front of the lower leg than the
outside ankle bony point.
I can see that the outside ankle bony point on my scope little bit too far
forward so that high point looks like it's going to have to go back.
Once again, these sort of little understandings of these areas are based on one's experience.
Yet again what a teacher does is pass on their experience to you
so you don't have to go and try to discover yourself.
So this is one of those moments where I always think that it's helpful know what to
look for when you get to certain parts and elements of the body.
The common quality that students make a mistake with and I once again
know I've covered this a little bit at a certain time
Is they have a tendency to make everything kind of horizontal and vertical and that does nothing but
take away gesture and movement in harmony in the human body.
So, you know if you're looking at your sculpture wondering oh geez, you know, everything
I'm trying to practice what Rob is saying here,
my sculpture doesn't look like I want it t, there may be a problem with the movement
and gestures. I talked about human beings being some of the worst people to try to
make human beings because of all this kind of movement and harmony.
It doesn't really - it has anatomical principles that are guiding it but not rules like
straight lines and vertical edges that we react to
and feel that something is right because it's horizontal or perfectly vertical.
Once again, I spend most of my time as a sculptor looking for movement
and still this conversation of proportions hasn't been very thorough that you might expect.
But once again from the qualities of one's work,
I worry less about being a little bit out of proportion
than having a static sculpture that doesn't move very much.
So here I'm looking for more movement on the outside of the lower leg.
Here I’m finding more movement on the outside of the stand leg. One of the reasons I
don't encourage measurement is because it's often neglect of movement,
you can't measure movement. It's just happening there,
turning in directions I don't seem to abide by any
law or rules. You pick up a pair of calipers, feel comfortable that the width of something seems
to relate, your sculpture can still lack a lot of movement.
And you stop looking for it because you think your proportions are working out and if your proportions
are working out, that means that you don't really then have much room to add or
subtract. So if you don't have much room to add or subtract because you're convinced that
your proportions work, then you're not going to be able to - then it's going to
be hard for you to understand how to incorporate
more gesture into your sculpture. One thing to start defining a foot,
you know, I've made this little indication of where I'm seeing sort of the bony edges
come off the ankle,
but I'm also going to be more interested as well in trying to determine
where the high point that I'm going to be seeing through the side of the foot
is existing. You can go up and check on your model with by using something,
you know, the high point as I've been checking where the high ridge is, but being this
close I can kind of determine it.
So if I've determine the high point that I'll be seeing when I look through the
side of the foot and determine the outside shape of the foot,
then that will give me something like the hand shape so it's basically the same thing for
me. Outer shape three-dimensionally, then you know what keep working into it, getting smaller and smaller
and just elements. Taking it as far as you want to go.
Thank you, Aurora.
And I know everyone can look at the sculpture and say well and you know,
there's a lot to go and yes there’s hours to put into this if I was to
think of resolving it. Throughout this time,
I've had to remind myself
I'm not making it Robert Bodem sculpture
that is for a gallery.
I'm making a demo piece and I took my time with it,
I was methodical with it so that I could get across the points that I wanted
to so that you would be able to witness them and for me to working on
them slowly enough so that you can absorb them. Spending most of my time being an
educator, I also have come to the conclusion and realized this that you know,
when you watch a video like this,
you know, there's a set up here and I have a nude model and I have
these armatures ready and available and you know,
I've been teaching in an academy for 20 years where once again,
all of this stuff is available.
So when people join the academy and they come there, they’re ready to work.
And I know that many of you out there don't have these types of possibilities, that
even just sitting here thinking about making an armature becomes a task that if you're not
familiar with it or don't know where to get the supplies becomes difficult.
That's why we're going to make the template armatures available to you and you will be
able to download them and then have templates to work with,
you know, if you can cut some wood and find a blacksmith you should be able
to get a template made fairly easily.
But I also realize that even working with a nude model becomes a challenge and you
know, I myself when I move to Greece recently,
you know, I had to spend quite a long time
finding someone willing and able to do the work and can tell you that it's
not easy and it didn't happen on the first day and it took months actually
before I found a willing person that would be able to help me execute a Robert
Bodem sculpture. So that's why this piece is going to remain a demo
piece because the idea of this is that I want to leave the process in the
work from start to finish.
I wanted to leave half the sculpture with this initial setup with the availability of
with the underlying block in is still underneath there, with how I begin to execute contour edges, with
you know, some of the adjustments of that I made with a contour edges, with amount
of drawing I did on there. So this piece is very purposefully left in this state,
once again knowing that it could be and will become available to people at one point
in order for you to hopefully make sculpting easier. If you have an interest in sculpture and
you want to start producing one and that there's all these difficulties that lie in front of
you, you know, once again as an educator and I spent most of my past two
decades of my life teaching, feel that this could be an excellent way for you beyond
just watching a video or beyond just reading a book allowing you to actually start to
involve yourself in sculpting as as easily as possible.
So I’m gonna talk to you about what I'm going to try to do as I kind
of pull this to a finis. There are a bunch of loose ends up here that I'd like to
take a look at. The arm on my - on the right arm is a little bit
loose, a little bit maybe too sketchy, maybe not so clear. The other arm I
would like to try to pull into more of a complete state
so I'm using the contour edges,
once again, to evolve the forms.
You should have an opportunity to look at that on the model and I want to
complete a little bit more of the head
so that, you know, you can see on film how I'm sort of managing these little
small spaces and to me that would be sort of an adequate conclusion.
I feel pretty comfortable that up to this point, from the set up to you know,
how this whole sculptures has evolved and then on to even the finishing that we kind
of covered all areas. And the other thing that I've tried to do onesome of
the even the finished areas,
you see that there's these little pockets. I think of them as little windows and I
left them purposely to kind of model around them,
but leave below that a little bit of what was occurring underneath the eventual surface
to have these little windows in here about how to remind anyone that would be interested
in trying to use this to copy this or producer a sculpture from it to give an
idea of once again how the modeling evolved. So I do feel pretty confident at
this point that this sculpture represents basically the dialogue that I would go through in a
three year period with a student. So anyway,
we're going to get the model back out here and I'm going to start looking at
the front of the head and try to push it farther forward.
So whenever you're ready Aurora. One little note today knowing it might be the last day I’m
visiting the sculpture, I do have to kind of take care of the clay and I
talked to you about why there's the cloth on the hands because this plastilina seems to
be a little bit affected negatively by the water and I have to spray the real
thin areas quite often. I might wrap up the arms at one point if I'm working
throughout the day, so I don't like to - I do like to keep the full sculpture
exposed so that you can kind of view it while I'm working on it.
But if I am not going to be working on an arm, once again, at one
point, I may have to cover that with plastic and that's just,
you know, yet again another kind of valuable tool about if working with water-based clay is
that you got to take care of it.
Okay, let's see here. I turn you into the I talk to you about how I
keep coming back to the head, that I don't try to execute this in in one
session and you know, I've talked to you about the block in, I've talked to you
about then the execution of the profile is then a setup of thought of as a
structure to then understand the spatial depth that's working back into the head. Not looking at the
profile right now, I was looking at this before we started and I think that you know
in a general sense,
I have a fairly good grasp on how far back the mouth comes compared
to the nose and compared to the eye. So I have a pretty reasonable set up at this
point for for the profile and I need to make a little bit more progress here
from the front. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to be using my
center line, that I still got clearly marked out on here.
And I'll probably leave that up in there up and I never get rid of it,
to start kind of working once again because there's two ways in which to kind of
work off the front face of the head. And I’ll turn this in your direction.
It's important to execute the outside shape of the face.
Now once again, the difficulty that I have here is I'm leaving the the right side
of the head as a block in.
And I'm trying to just execute the the other side.
Once again, that's not something I'd recommend if you're making a head and as you’re getting to
the front I would be a little bit more thorough with a map that you're making.
But what I'm going to do with my center line is I work off my center line trying
to judge sort of the width of the nostril, comparative width to the mouth, where the
tear duct begins, where the eye begin, these are my landmarks up here that I'm trying
to keep clear where the bony edge and the outside pocket of the eye is, to
then eventually start to try to address the outside shape of the face. The outside shape
of the face is the goal in that what I want to make sure I have is
this outer border executed well.
That's not unlike me looking at a profile.
That would be sculpting towards wanting to finalize the outer border.
That would be unlike me
drawing contour edges in the arms, drawing contour edges in the legs, trying to finalize those
so I can then model forms with them, hence yet again the name Drawing in Space.
I'm sitting here working on an eye trying to think of important things to mention.
We talked about the eye being initially
conceived of from the angle and depth that we're seeing through the profile.
We then talked about the eye being established as a angle or axis associated with the
tip of her head to find the angle on the front between where the tear duct starts
and where the lids meet.
One of the other interesting things about an eye or I think helpful to point
out is the tear duct itself has this kind of particular movement to it, it’s a little
bit different obviously on everyone, but the the ball of the eye, the actual ball that
creates the volumes of the eyelids is not in the tear duct.
So that there's a little funny particular moment.
So if you're looking at your eye and something doesn't seem to work out and you
are at a loss for questions that may help you come across a conclusion,
take a little bit of a closer look at the tear duct
because if you start pulling the volume of the eye, meaning the curvature that you're making
for the lid itself, if it starts at the tear duct, at the inside of the
tear duct, and there's a perfect curvature but then it ends where the lids meet, the
eyes may look a little bit too bulbous.
I know on this scale
I'm talking yet again about this really small particular thing,
but I had a discussion yesterday with someone, it's easier to make a life-size sculpture.
The spaces are bigger, the ratios one-to-one so judging proportions can be easier.
So there's a lot easier - but the problem with working life-size is that someone starting producing
sculpture, even though it's easier generally,
they're going to make more mistakes.
And unfortunately on a life-size when you have problems that you need to move around then
the physical execution of that becomes quite overbearing.
In other words, someone just getting involved in the study of the human body.
It wouldn't make sense for them to do it on such a large scale,
even though once again, you can kind of read things easier.
Sometimes in a head I just want to show you a little something if Aurora doesn't mind here I’m just
going to put this underneath your chin,
you can take a mirror and kind of look up at the circumference created.
For example, if you want to get a sense of how the bridge up
here of the forehead or the eyebrow area starts to turn back.
If the model was sitting in a chair is supposed to get higher and look down
upon it or use a mirror to kind of look up on it.
Sometimes those can be quite deceiving.
One of the reasons I create the wedge shape that I started with
is that those movements are moving much further back initially
and I have an opportunity to build this, that movement, coming through this area
to add into it later on which I'm doing a little bit of right now.
Thank you, Aurora.
or looking for simple ways to explain what I'm doing or this process and how it
functions. I've said this to you before when it comes to a hand I'm doing the
same thing as a I didn't like or when I get to an arm.
I'm doing the same thing in the leg when I get to the head I could
say I'm doing the same thing
I did with the knee.
That wouldn’t make sense to a lot of people because everyone understands that there's different qualities
in the knee and anatomically it functions differently and so on and so forth.
Although when you stop looking at a human body
and name it like oh now I'm making a knee and now I'm making an eye, now
I'm making a nose and start looking at it
I guess a little bit more abstractly.
What is this shape? What is this size? What is this angle?
You're maybe not thinking about a head so much anymore instead of just the information that
is there creating the shape of the head, I remember a big moment,
I don't remember the day it happened,
but when I stop looking at the human body and start and stop thinking about body
parts that I was addressing,
and start thinking more kind of abstractly about how things are set up and what
features they have. That's when things started to become easier.
But also that's where things started to become quite similar even though
similar in that the activity doesn't change so much no matter where you're at.
So the way I described this to try to simplify.
it is almost everything I've been doing
with the exception of putting the inside on the sculpture from the very first day is
defining spaces or - defining spaces.
So as I start to execute contours in the legs my goal is to define the
spaces by these outer contours, knowing that beyond them
there is no more human body.
If I can have confidence in my outercContours in my leg or torso or arm,
then I can have more confidence and placing the internal shapes inside of them
which I draw. When I'm drawing them
I'm trying to draw the outer shape that I'm seeing.
So the whole process no matter if it's an internal shadow and light pattern or an
external contour kind of is the same thing in that if I'm feeling confident that I've
done a job, my job, in defining them.
Then I can go and take a closer look into it, meaning if I define the
outer contours of the leg,
then I can place internal shapes better.
Once I do find the internal shapes and I feel that they get better.
I can start looking closer into them like we did with the knee the other day.
As I'm working on the head and I'm not talking to about what I'm doing because
I just feel that I've already said it, I'm defining my shapes three-dimensionally
and then taking a closer look at what's occurring in them.
That's why it to me this process all feels similar despite the fact that I'm addressing
different elements of the human body.
If things don't fit and things don't move and things are problematic and things don't look
right, there's usually a problem within the shape or proportion or the outer border.
So when I run into problems,
I usually go back and check what I’ve executed
to allow me to look closer into the shapes.
And is you've been seeing, these shapes get smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller.
And that's where the complexity lies, the control
that you have over it.
The dexterity that I mentioned at one point when I talked about what are the things
that seem to help students
adapt to this process. Because I know that what I'm doing right now
involves a certain amount of control and dexterity. I'm almost - if you see how I'm working
I almost feel like I'm a painter.
In that I'm pulling off clay.
The mount that I want to use for the amount - for the space that I'm trying to
deal with and kind of painting it on my sculpture.
I'm going to try to make
the sculpture smile a little bit so that if you’re ever working from it,
it'll be smiling at you.
One thing I would say about a mouth as a common feature,
I heard a wise colleague of mine once say that
you should work with all five senses.
If it comes to the actual
sculpture, the idea of making your mouth look like it can speak, your eyes that look
like they can see, the nose that looks like it can smell,
and the ears that look like they can hear
is important so I'm saying this about the mouth and I'm going to go back and
take a look at it.
I find a lot of people react to the volumes that are in the lips,
they’re at the front of the sculpture,
they may have a model with full lips and they keep sticking form on their thinking,
their lips are flat. What that's doing is filling in the negative space that you would
pick be picking up from the side that you've established by developing the profile.
So that takes away the ability for your mouth to speak because it may not look
like it can open. Well,
she's kind of smiling. So I'm going to try to make the sculpture see, smell, and
talk. I'm not going to getto an ear.
So maybe it's not going to hear but maybe while you're sculpting it's best not for
your sculpture not to hear what you're saying.
Okay. Well I want to turn you to the profile so I can not spend all
the time looking at the front, probably work with you on the stand.
Thank you, Aurora.
the whole, still addressing the head and some work and how far I can take it
and then start getting into some of those other little areas that I mentioned earlier in
the day. So Aurora whenever you're ready.
I know I mentioned to you in the beginning of the video I’d introduce you to tools
as I as they come up.
I’ve essentially been working on this sculpture with two wood tools up to this point,
icing with a raking tool.
When I have small reductions or finding a place that looks like it could be reduced,
I pull out a little raking tool just at the very end,
so instead of modeling a form by laying in form,
I may decide to model the form if it involves a slight reduction to accomplish that.
Thank you. So in this side I want to kinda
just clean up pieces of clay I put there for a block in just to make it
really clear. Okay now I'm going to work on trying to complete the right arm.
So Aurora is going to come back and we're gonna depart from the head.
If this looks more like a surgery than you're used to seeing I’ve
adjusted the contour edge because it was too far forward
and pushing it back and then pulling the form that was already there back with it.
Thank you, Aurora.
Over here in this hand
I'm not going to individualize it like I did the first one. There are kind of
two ways to approach it.
Just get a big general shape up there.
If I was to do this then then
you kind of see the gesture first.
Then you can kind of carve into it or
if you’re for making a thin block in, you can add on to it.
So anytime you're ready, Aurora?
Thank you, Aurora.
little bit of time and make the sculpture my own a little bit,
but I want to thank you for being patient.
I know that what I was talking about throughout this video series was a lot and
once again, I like to reiterate that I don't think that there's anything that I haven't
covered in this video that I wouldn't have delivered to a student over a three-year period.
And that's the primary difference that I want you to understand that being a sculptor takes
practice like being a musician take practice.
You have to practice your scales to get better playing the guitar before you can play
a song. Knowing that I said a lot, I want to end with a couple of
things that I think are the most crucial and then draw an awareness to something here
about the sculpture. If there's some things that you can do and the difference between
looking at a video and being trained in an academy isn't great
but the main difference is someone's not watching over you. So self-awareness, your own self-awareness that
you're bringing, thinking about what you're doing, thinking if you're following the techniques, is going to
be crucial. A colleague of mine stated that making a sculpture, sculptors are the marathon runners
of the art world. Our process takes a long time.
Once we're done with the clay if we're going to produce it and bronze it
there's a whole other long process to follow when it's doing is getting involved in starting
to sculpt and learn about it,
you're trying to run a marathon but you're trying to do that with hurdles in front
of you. A few important things, one of which is proper use of model time.
If I was with you, if I was observing you and how you worked,
I'd be trying to break bad habits.
And this is where you need to be self-aware.
I hope that you've noticed that almost every observation I was making from the model was
at a distance. I do not make the mistake of getting caught and trapped on my
sculpture for any great length of time.
This is one thing you can do as you're getting involved in this subject or, you
know, depending on where you're at on the time frame of being a sculptor, standing back
from your work will ensure your ability to answer better, more questions and answer them faithfully.
So I'd say that just an everything that we've gone over in the past period
of time during this video, standing back from your work is going to be is going
to save you a lot of time and heartache.
Another thing that I think is something I want to draw awareness in this here,
and I think very important and also because we're now so far removed from the beginning
of this video, this isn't a video that I would hope that you would view once
and then go try to execute sculpture.
But I want - I talked about in the beginning of the video how these initial decisions
about the box and the egg become your sculpture.
And now that we've gone through all the rendering and the modeling and the use of
the box and the egg,
I want you to look at the sculpture and I want you to see if you
can still see the relevance of the box in the egg.
Most of the sculpture was put together with the use of the box and the egg,
most of this sculpture exists and is successful because probably because the box and egg still seems
function well underneath. And so I know people and I've introduced people to this a lot
they get through the box and egg,
they want to get into the rendering and they want to get into the modeling.
But once again, I think I wanted you to draw awareness to this concept
that the box and the egg is a lifesaver.
It's not something to take lightly, even though it's the short introduction to developing the
figure. I've talked about assignments that you can help improve yourself with. I think one of
the most crucial assignments and I think about is find an image of a sculpture that
you love, whether it’s antique sculpture, contemporary sculpture,
think about a dance pose that you love and try to work with the box iand
the egg and try to develop sculpture without a live model in front of you.
And I think that that is going to - it is going to help you learn it
because once again, my box and egg eventually turned into a sculpture,
but those initial decisions are what allowed it to. So thank you very much.
And for any of you who have a desire, last April I moved to Athens Greece
and I still think of how fortunate I am for a person who does what I
do to have spent 20 years in Renaissance Florence to now be a sculptor in Athens
Greece. I have essentially giving up the Renaissance for the Naissance.
And it's an exciting city and I've developed a studio that is adapted for workshops.
It's an Atelier, an Atelier,
it's a working artist studio.
If you happen to visit Greece,
I would love you to come by and take a look.
I may be working on an independent project of mine or take a look into our
newsletter, our website, and see if there's available courses. But it’s- I've developed a studio
that is ideal to study Drawing in Space in. It’s a large space,
but I keep the groups intimate that I would do workshops with. So anyway
I’ve tried to create in my own Atelier, my own private studio, an ideal
workshop environment to be learning these techniques.
I also want to thank the New Masters Academy.
This has been a tremendous experience for me.
Probably one of the reasons that I have not done any live demo before is because
I've kind of feared the concept of it, being on camera, making mistakes, showing people
my mistakes that I'm making and that's what I've often told
I students if they've asked me to try to execute something or do something.
Maybe I did a little bit but never a full sculpture in its entirety. And as
I mentioned, I think that this is going to be, as I always think about how
to educate people better, this is going to start to take more preceden