Tuesday, July 3, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 102

In his book, Sculpting the Figure in Clay, Peter Rubino writes that there are three stages to the figure modeling process. Stage one is to build the foundation, which involves blocking in the figure with clay. Stage two involves modeling, raking, and pulling together the clay on the figure to define the forms. Stage three is the finish stage which involves discovering the transitions between the forms, and linking the high forms to the low forms with pieces of clay, raking the transitional areas between each muscle and bone.

In her book, Learning To Be A Doll Artist, Martha Armstrong-Hand does not give as much of a detailed step-by-step tutorial on modeling as Peter Rubino does, but she does mention most of the important principles of modeling a figure in clay. She starts out rough, blocking in the clay figure over the wire armature. Then she defines the forms. Finally, as she gradually comes to the surface of the clay figure, she begins to close the form. In other words, she makes the skin. The following photo shows how far she models an oil-clay figure, prior to removing it from the armature in order to cut it apart in preparation for molding it. Click on any image to enlarge it.

The head on this oil-clay figure seems to be fairly finished, or as finished as she could make it at this stage of modeling in the soft #2 oil-clay. I have circled the hands and feet in red, noting that she has not detailed them very much. The hands are mitten forms, and the feet look like they are wearing socks. The skin is much smoother than a raked surface, but not as polished or smooth as the carving wax doll parts will be.

Once she decided that the oil-clay figure was modeled as far as she could take it, she removed it from the back iron.

Next, she cut the head and limbs from the torso, ending up with six parts to make molds for; the head, the torso, two arms, and two legs.

I have circled in red an area that shows how far she took the oil-clay modeling.

I think that I am currently at the third stage of modeling my oil-clay figure. It is time for me to start tying the transitions between the forms together, and closing the forms, that is, making the skin.

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