Growing up I was always surrounded by paintings, home made models, and sculptures. One of my favorite memories was the gigantic canister my father always had of a type of grey clay. I would sit at his drawing board with a big lump of it, along with assorted sculpting tools, and try to make things. Nothing I did was really all that great, but I had fun. I can remember the way it smelled, how my fingers looked when it would dry on them, and all the things I wanted to make with it.
When I decided to try sculpting, I honestly didn't know how it would turn out. In my mind's eye, I envisioned the unstructured mess I made with clay as a kid. Instead I found a different way of learning how to draw.
In an earlier post I mentioned doing three dimension anatomic studies with clay. In addition to this, I wanted to learn how to create with clay. I went to the art supply store and bought a package of it but wasn't really sure where to begin. I had been doing quick sketches and a little bit of painting at the Palette And Chisel Academy Of Fine Art. They also offer not only classes for sculpture, but also open studios for members to sculpt from a live model.
The way it works at the Palette And Chisel is this- each scultptor has their own little table with wheels. The view is of one side of the figure, which is worked on for a while. Once that view is done, the sculptor moves around to a different side. This allows the artist to render the figure from every angle. This is far different that merely drawing a two-dimensonial representation from one side. Not only is the artist able to see the figure from all sides, the literal hands on shaping of the clay allows for a better understanding of how the body is put together. It brings about a total change in the perception of the figure in general. In understanding the figure, The artist also understands anatomy better.
|The front of my first sculpture. |
I worked on her for approximately 4 sessions, 5 hours per session.
|The back of my first sculpture|
|My second sculpture started as a "quick sketch" That carried over|
for 4 full session. This one was a little different: a standing pose requiring
an armature to prevent it's collapse.
Overall, I've found the entire experience of sculpting extremely beneficial. Not only has it allowed me to try something completely different, it's also changed the way I draw. It is far easier to imagine the form in 3-D: making sure the planes of the face are correct and thinking about what a foreshortened figure may be hiding on it's other side. This has allowed me to envision the figure as a whole, with depth and character - taking me away from a flat representation. I am able to understand the human body more, which only improves my work.