Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thoughts On Modeling Legs Nº 1

Modeling the Figure In Clay.
sculpture by Bruno Lucchesi, text by Margit Malmstrom.
Watson-Guptill Publications

* Hardcover: 144 pages
* Publisher: Watson-Guptill (April 1, 1980)
* Language: English
* ISBN(10): 0823030970
* ISBN(13): 978-0823030972
* Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
* Weight: 1.6 pounds

I have been doing a lot of research, including looking through books I have in my studio's reference library, searching the Internet with Google, and watching videos at YouTube. As I have mentioned, it seems to be taking me some time to get my head wrapped around modeling the legs.

For one thing, I decided to try and model the legs as one piece, in order to get a better overall form to them. This is the way that Martha Armstrong-Hand does it, as well as Ryo Yoshida. Then after getting the proper form, they cut the legs at the joints, and add the ball joints and sockets.

So what I did was attach the lower torso to a modeling stand, then stick the legs to it with wax. As a result, I have chopped off a good portion of the ball joints I had attached to hips. This is going to require a subsequent reworking of the hip sockets as well.

But since I do not have my head entirely wrapped around these major changes, it is taking me awhile to implement the changes that I want to make, that are based more on a feeling that I have, rather than solid knowledge.

Modeling the Figure in Clay: A Sculptor's Guide to Anatomy is a fun book to look at. In it, sculptor Bruno Lucchesi models a clay figure over a wire armature, starting with the bones of the skeleton, and slowly adding muscles to the bones until he has created an anatomical figure. At the end, he covers the muscles with skin to complete the figure. He seems to be quite competent, and obviously has a good grounding in artistic anatomy, a subject that I am not very good at, at all. However, the way he models this figure is not the way a figure is modeled in clay. This is not a modeling book, but an anatomy book.

The problem with anatomy books is that they all show two dimensional plates of a three dimensional figure. Some abstract thinking is required to translate the 2D information into useful, informed 3D information that can be used for making an articulated ball jointed doll.

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