Monday, June 13, 2011

Head Sculpt Nº 1

Today I started working on a head sculpt, based on the Philippe Faraut videos I have been watching. I am interested in learning his method of sculpting heads because of the way he organizes everything. Before I began, I moved a couple of modeling stands together, near a window, for the light. There is also an overhead light in that corner of the studio. Next, I got out a modeling board with a 1/2 inch steel rod fastened to it with a pipe flange. I moved the horizontal arm, that usually supoprts an armature, down out of the way.

I got a bunch of sculpting tools out, and put them on the other modeling stand, along with my oil clay. I beat the oil clay into a block shape, about 3 inches square, by six inches long. I have about three pounds of oil clay on hand. I don't know which tools I will be using yet, so that is why there are so many out. There is also some newsprint paper, and some masking tape.

The first step is to take some of the newsprint, and make a paper ball, and put it on top of the steel rod. It is taped in such a way that it can rotate freely on the top of the rod. Also, the top of the rod is about at my eye level. I am standing to sculpt this head. This is the recommended sculpting position.

Using the wire tool, I slice off a 1/2 inch slab from the block of oil clay, and wrap it over the ball of paper, making it round. Then I slice off another 1/2 inch slab from the block of oil clay, and cut it in half, then apply it below the ball, to make a light bulb shape.

The light bulb shape can be smoothed with a flexible scraping tool, bending it into a curve with the fingers. The another slab is sliced from the block of oil clay, and formed into a round shape with a hollow in the middle. The shape can be trimmed to fit the head.

The round shape is put on the back of the head, at about a 45 degree angle.

Then it is blended onto the head. Here are several views of blended oil clay on the back of the head. This is a side view.

This is the other side view.

This is the front view.

Next I take the leftover piece of oil clay that was used on the neck, and trim it so it fits on the head, for the forehead. I press this into place.

The forehead piece of clay is blended back and around to the sides. I keep the head moving, turning it from straight-on, to profile, to three-quarter view, and back again to the other side. I am striving for symmetry.

The next piece of clay has a very definite shape. It is fat in the middle, and tapers towards the ends. This will be used for the jaw bone, or mandible. Keep trimming it until it is the right size for the head.

Then it is placed on the head at about the same level as where the back of the head meets the neck. The tapered ends curve around the head, and the fat middle part becomes the mandible.

This is a front view of the mandible on the head.

This is a side view of the mandible on the head. The other side looks very similar to this side.

Next, the mandible and the forehead are blended together to make the foundation for the face.

This is a side view. Note that the front of the face is vertical. This is very important. There are no dents or hollows for eyes or anything, yet.

This is the back of the head. Note that the back of the head has a very round shape.

This is the other side of the head, with the mandible in place, and blended.

Next, I added some clay to the back of the neck, to give it an angle.

The face is divided vertically, in the middle, and horizontally in the middle. I drew lines on the face with my paring knife.

This is a side view. The line in the middle of the face is halfway between the crown of the head, and the bottom of the mandible.

This is the other profile.

The top of the head is wider at the back, and narrower at the front. It is important to look at all views of the head.

That is as far as I was able to get today. Hopefully, I will find some more time to work on this head sculpt, tomorrow. By the way, even though I am not basing anything on this first head sculpt to any specific measurements, it turns out that it is very close in size to my brown wax head of Aalish. Aalish has a head length of 9cm, and this head sculpt has a head length of 8cm. It will not take much to modify this head sculpt to fit Aalish, if it turns out good. However, this head sculpt is mainly for learning, and to practice what I have learned from the Faraut videos, not for making a new head for Aalish.

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