"My mentor, Martha Armstrong-Hand, gave me an important piece of advice back then, one that I have passed on many times. She told me to study classical art and anatomy, not dolls!" ~Helen Kish
These are some sequence photos from various books, showing the figure modeling sequence.
This sequence is from Modeling and Sculpting the Human Figure.
This sequence is from Modelling and Sculpture.
This sequence is from Learning To Be A Doll Artist.
In each of the clay modelling examples above, an armature, supported by an armature stand fixed to a modelling board, is covered in clay. Then clay is added to the figure, working from the inside to the outside of the figure. First, large forms of the figure are roughed in, using large pieces of clay. As the modelling gets closer to the surface of the figure, smaller pieces of clay are used, and detail is added.
I am following Martha's method of modelling a figure. The next step after modelling the figure, is to mold the figure and cast it in carving wax. All the patterns for the final doll molds are worked in carving wax. From the experience I have gained from working on the first two versions of this doll, I have a fairly good idea how far I want to take the modelling in oil-clay.
The thing with oil-clay is that it is much too soft to take much refining. It can be smoothed to a certain extent, but after that, I approach diminishing returns. When I am modelling in oil-clay, I always keep this in mind. Oil-clay is just the first step. It is the carving wax stage that the final surface will be put on the doll.
Keeping Company With Helen Kish By Scott Wood for Doll Reader magazine
Modelling A Figure In Clay.
London: Alec Tiranti, 1951.
Modelling and Sculpture.
Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippencott Company, 1922.
Modelling and Sculpting the Human Figure.
New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1985.
Learning To Be A Doll Artist.
Livonia, MI: Scoot Publications, 1999.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.