Thursday, June 30, 2011

Aalish's Head In Progress




This is a turn-around of Aalish's head. I am trying to discover what kinds of changes I need to make.






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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More Eye Anatomy




I'm still playing around with the eye exercise.






I found a pretty eye for reference.






What I really want to find out is how big the eye opening should be for a 16mm doll eye. The acrylic eyes that I have are 16mm. The iris is about 9mm. The rule of thumb is that about one-third of the eye is showing, so that would be about 13mm from corner to corner. I will have to make some more experiments.






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Monday, June 27, 2011

Eye Anatomy




I am working on trying to understand the eyes better. This is the example from Philippe Faraut's first video. Make a sphere, and two slabs of clay.






Put one slab of clay over the top of the sphere, and the other slab of clay in the front of the sphere.






The eyeball is a sphere with these eyelids formed over it. The eyelids follow the shape of the sphere.






The eye is round in two ways. This exercise is to understand the curvature of the eye.






The first diagram shows the rule of thirds. The highest and lowest parts of the eye are at about the one third points on the eye, and they are opposite of each other on a diagonal. The tearduct is lower than the outside corner of the eye.


The second diagram shows that the upper eyelid protrudes further out than the lower eyelid by about a 15 degree angle.




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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday's Child




It has been a hectic weekend, entertaining out-of-town guests; but I was able to sneak down to my studio and do a quick sketch in oil-clay. This was so quick that all I did was redo the eyes on yesterday's head, because I saw that yesterday's eyes were too low. Of course, after raising the eyes, I also had to change the ears. I am still learning the Faraut Method of sculpting a head.






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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday's Child Was A Demo




I did a quick demo for the guests today. The guests thought the head that was on the modeling stand was pretty good. First I scraped the old face off. There was a horrified gasp as I did that, which was very gratifying in a way. Then I quickly built up a new face on the base of oil-clay. It was a graphic example of not being attached to any of these sketch heads.











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Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday's Child Was Made In Haste




In spite of having visitor's coming in for the weekend, I still managed to find a wee bit of time to do a quick head sketch.











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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Eye In A Socket




This is sweet. Using an old doll composition test casting, I drew an eye shape, drilled a hole in the middle of it, then used the X-Acto knife to carve it out. Then I used the 16mm Master Eye Beveler on the inside, to make a perfect bevel for the eye. The eye sits in the test socket perfectly, without any gaps around it anywhere.



I can see that this test socket is a wee bit on the small side, so I am going to enlarge it a small amount, like 1mm or so, and bevel it on the inside again. I believe that an eye, looking straight ahead, has the bottom of the iris at the lower lid, and is covered about one third with the upper lid. I will continue testing.




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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Master Eye Bevelers




Today I went and returned all the wonderful doll and sculpting videos that were loaned to me by a friend. I also picked up a couple of Seeley's Master Eye Bevelers. One is 18mm and the other one is 16mm. These are used to make eyes fit in a porcelain or composition doll head. They are used by first cutting out the eye shape in the doll head. Then the round ball on the eye beveler, which is abrasive, is turned back and forth inside the head, in the eye socket, to form the eye socket, so an eye will fit perfectly in the eye socket, without any gaps. I saw this demonstrated in one of the videos I watched.



I have not done my daily head yet, so I will have to post a picture of it tomorrow.




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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday's Child is Full of Grace




Today I started the head as I usually do, by scraping off yesterday's face, and adding some lines. From all the tools I laid out when I started doing these heads, these are the tools that I use the most. One is made from a large dowel, another from a popscicle stick, my paring knife, and a small dowel. The coil of oil-clay is from yesterday's face.






This is as far as I got today, with the time I had to model a head. I use the old toothbrush to sand the surface of the face, much in the same way that Philippe Faraut uses his hand-made brushes made from broom sticks. Today I held the head in my hands while modeling. While it is much easier to turn the head in many angles while working, the tradeoff is that the clay warms up in my hand, and gets really soft. I don't know, maybe that is a good thing? I'm still trying to learn this method of modeling a head.






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Monday, June 20, 2011

Today's Head




I spent some more time with today's head, than I have been spending on the heads from the last few days. I think it shows.



One of the things about doing these head quick sketches is, like drawing, they help me to observe better. Also, I am loosening up more. This morning, after breakfast, I worked on the brown wax head of Aalish. The thing that I've noticed about her head is that it was wide in the front, and narrow in the back, viewed from the top. Part of the reason for this was due to the placement of the cardboard armature, when I was first putting the head together, many months ago. So what I did this morning was to use my X-Acto knife to cut the cardboard armature, and remove some of it, then I was able to narrow the front of the head. Now, when viewed from the top, instead of looking like an egg, with the narrow end towards the back of the head, it looks like more of an oval. That is somewhat better than before. I think I can add some wax to the back of the head now, and make the head shape look more realistic, when viewed from the top. I also think that this will help with modeling the face, especially the eyes. So, yeah, this quick head sketch each day is already starting to pay off.




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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Another Quick Head




This is another very quick head, done more for doing a daily head, than really studying the head. I scraped the face off the previous head, and did this one. Am I learning anything? Right now, I'm just trying to establish a new habit ,so I'm not sure I'm really learning anything except to go into my studio, pick up some clay, and model a new face. Sometimes it takes a wee bit of time to establish a new habit. I think I need to work on the eye area next, maybe doing a detail of the eye to study it better.






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Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Quick Head




This is the quick head I did today. I did it after supper, after having one too many glasses of plonk. I didn't time it, so I have no idea if it is a 5-minute head, or not ,and I cheated a little bit by using the nose that I cut off of the previous head, when I scraped the face off.



I watched a delightful DVD tonight, called Miss Potter. It was about the author of the Peter Rabbit books. I enjoyed it so much, especially the costumes.




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Friday, June 17, 2011

Mouth Modeling Exercise




This morning I did the mouth modeling exercise in Berit Hildre's book, modelling Heads and Faces in Clay. In this exercise, you begin with a flat piece of clay, bent into a horseshoe shape. You add two rolls of clay for lips, and proceed from there. Her step-by-step photos are very clear, and easy to follow. It did not take me very long at all to do the mouth in this photo:






This is the head sculpt I did today, in oil-clay. The object is to model the clay fast, concentrating on volumes, not details. I am not supposed to be attached to the result, and am not supposed to worry about how it looks. Every day, I scrape off the old face, and start a new face. I still have a long ways to go.






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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Head Sculpt Nº 4




Today's head sculpt. I am still trying to learn this method of sculpting a head, so this is not a 5-minute head. Also, I am not using any photo references of a model, I'm only applying each step of the method to the head, which begins as a blank. Whatever appears, is what she is. The object is to not be attached to the result, but to sculpt quickly, paying more attention to volumes than to details. I still need much more practice.

















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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Head Sculpt Nº 3




Today I spent a few minutes pushing the features around, to get better symmetry. Then I scraped off the face and ears, made the front of the face round and vertical, then scribed some new lines. I am more interested in learning the step-by-step method right now. I am not too concerned about how the head and face looks at this time.


























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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Head Sculpt Nº 2




Today I worked some more on the head sculpt that I started yesterday. I stopped yesterday after drawing the horzontal and vertical lines on the face. Today I started by making the eye sockets. I used a wooden tool to do this because my fingers are too big. I also added a triangle of clay for the nose. The basic nose has six planes. three on the top and three on the bottom.






From the side view, the nose may look too big because the lips and chin have not been added yet.






The other side.






This is a three-quarter view.






The other side in three-quarter view.






The next thing I add is the upper lip, placed right underneath the nose.






The side view of the upper lip.






The other side view of the upper lip.






Then the philtrum is made in the upper lip with a small wooden tool, under the nose, and the two planes of the upper lip are shaped on either side of the philtrum. Then the upper lips are indicated by pushing up from below.






Profile view of the upper lip.






The other profile view of the upper lip. It looks funny because there is no lower lip, or chin.






A piece of clay is added for the lower lip.






Profile of lower lip.






The other profile of the upper lip.






A ball of clay is added beneath the lower lip, for the chin.






It is best to work from the profile to get the line of the chin just right.






The other profile of the chin. Keep moving the head around and work from all angles.






Next, a couple of teardrop shapes are placed in the eye sockets. The small end of the teardrop goes towards the nose. These pieces of clay are formed up over the brow, forming the brow line.






Balls of clay are added to the eye sockets for the eyes.






A wooden tool is used to press into the corners of the eyes, forming the eyeballs. The excess clay is used to make the eyelids.






Two triangles of clay are added for the cheeks.






The cheeks are blended in.






Keep working from all angles.






Check the profiles often.






Also look at the head from the three-quarters view.






Work over the whole head. Do not spend too much time on any one part.






The ears are placed about halfway on the side of the head. They tilt back at about a 15 degree angle. They are located between the brow and the bottom of the nose. See the drawn lines.






Try to get the ears placed the same on both sides of the head.






Check for symmetry often, from all views. Turn the head frequently when working.






One ear placed on the side of the head.






The other ear placed.






Also check the top view, to make sure the ears are placed properly. In this photo, it is quite obvious that one ear is further back than the other ear. Move the ears and place them properly before working on any details of the ears.



That is pretty much all there is to rough modeling a head. The rest of the process is to keep working over the whole head, working on details. This head is quite obviously in need of some symmetry work. That should be done before working on any details.

I will not be stopping and taking any more step-by-step photos for the next head. I will just show the finished head sketches. The important thing is experiment, and feel free to change things.




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