Wednesday, February 29, 2012

03 Armature Nº 1




For this third version of my first BJD, I am going to try and follow Martha Armstrong-Hand's method more closely. That means I will be modeling the original in oil-clay, over a wire armature, supported by a modeling stand.

The working drawing can be used to design the armature. That is why it was drawn full size, with the total shrinkage calculated. I am using my computer and Kolourpaint to start designing some schemes for an armature. When I make one I like, I can always put a piece of tracing paper over my working drawing, as an overlay, and sketch the actual armature onto the tracing paper. Once the armature is made, I can remove the overlay to expose my working drawing again.



Right now, I am thinking about using some pieces of wood to bulk out the armature so it will not require so much oil-clay to model the figure.




Because oil-clay is relatively soft, and because it does not harden, it cannot support its own weight over time, and must have a wire armature inside to support it. The wire armature must be supported by a modeling stand. One way to make a modeling stand is to attach a floor flange to a plywood board, and construct the stand itself from pipe fittings. The modeling board and pipe fittings are not very expensive, and they can be used over and over again.



The pipe fittings are available from most local hardware stores. They can be galvanized iron, or malleable black iron. All the fittings are threaded, so they screw together. Some of the fittings that are useful for making a modeling stand are: a 1/2 inch floor flange; 1/2 inch threaded pipe in 2-1/2, 4, and 5 inch lengths; a 1/2 inch coupler; a 1/2 inch X 3/8 inch bell reducer; a 1/2 inch 90 degree elbow; 3/8 inch threaded pipe in 2, 3, and 4 inch lengths; 3/8 inch X 1/4 inch bushing; 3/8 inch tee; and 3/8 inch street.




The modeling board with floor flange. The floor flange is attached to the modeling board with four wood screws. It is a good idea to attach a couple of strips of wood under the modeling board so that there is a space for your fingers to go when you need to pick it up and move it.






Diagram of pipe fittings on a modeling board. If the doll is larger, then a coupler may be used to join two pieces of threaded pipe together.






These are some armature-making tools that may be useful. Bending wire into the shape of an armature requires patience. It is a craft skill, so it is important to take enough time to do it properly. There is no sense in making an armature that cannot support the weight of the clay, and collapses after hours or days of clay modeling have been done.



I will use the rebar tie-wire to make my armature. It is relatively inexpensive, compared to copper or aluminum wire. Also, it bends easily, so it is easy to work with. It is only about 1/16th inch in diameter, so it cannot support much weight as a single wire. What I do to make it stronger is to use my electric drill to twist it, making it stronger. Also, the twist helps keep the clay on the wire. The wire brads can be useful for securing armature wire to the modeling board, so the legs do not shift when modeling.




Diagram of the wire armature tie-wired to the pipe-fitting modeling stand. The thing to keep in mind when designing the armature and modeling stand is that the original sculpt is going to be removed from the modeling stand in order to cut it apart.



This is another reason why I am going to be using rebar tie-wire instead of copper or aluminum wire for the armature: when the modeling is done, the oil-clay figure is removed from the modeling stand and the armature is cut and cannot be reused.






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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

02 Drawing Nº 50




I cleaned-up the working drawing.






I posted it on the door of the studio, so I can see it most of the time. I am not going to go over this working drawing in permanent marker because it is much easier to make changes to pencil marks than to permanent marker lines. I learned that lesson from my first two working drawings.






This is a scan of the intermediate 44.5cm drawing that I did. I made a scan because most of the hand-held photographs are somewhat distorted, and not the proper size. Even so, I am not the best flat-bed scanner operator in the world, so these scans are not perfect. They are the best that I can do. Click on the image to enlarge it.



This is the last official drawing post, even though I may make more drawings as I make my BJD, in order to understand various details, and so forth. Also, I may modify my working drawing, from time to time. That is why I am leaving it in pencil. However, I have spent enough time on my working drawing, and I feel it is now time to start making the armature.




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Monday, February 27, 2012

02 Drawing Nº 49




I sketched in the arms on the working drawing.



Now I need to clean it up, and it will be ready to use for making the armature.




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Sunday, February 26, 2012

02 Drawing Nº 48




This is the grid layout for the lower half of the figure, in progress.






I got the lower half of the figure sketched in.



I still need to work on the arms, of course.




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Friday, February 24, 2012

02 Drawing Nº 46




I got the side view of the head sketched in.






I also did some grid layout for the torso.






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Thursday, February 23, 2012

02 Drawing Nº 45




I have finished sketching in the torso and legs of the 70cm enlargement drawing. This is going to be the size of the final working drawing.






I still have much work to do, but progress is being made, slowly but surely. This is the 44.5cm drawing I am working from.






This is a side-by-side comparison shot of both drawings. Each figure is seven heads tall in proportion. The figure on the left is 44.5cm in height, and the figure on the right is 70cm in height. Both figures are proportionately the same, just scaled differently. I am using the grid method to enlarge my working drawing. In this case, each drawing has a head length of ten grid squares.






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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

02 Drawing Nº 43




Today I started enlarging the final drawing. The factor in this case is 1.57480. The drawing I am working from, with the small grid, has a 63.5mm head length. The drawing I am enlarging has a 100mm head length. 100 divided by 63.5 is 1.57480. However, I should not have to do too much measurement calculations because both drawings have ten squares per head length. Each square in the smaller drawing is 1/4 inch, and each square in the enlargement is 1 centimeter.






When enlarging a drawing, the object is to try and copy the lines in each square of the small grid to the larger grid square. This technique is very low-tech, and only requires a pencil and a ruler for tools. No fancy projectors, or enlarging machines are required.



The height of the figure in my first drawing is 10.5 inches tall. Each head length is six 1/4 inch squares (1.5 inches). The height of the figure in my second drawing (the first enlargement) is 17.5 inches tall. Each head length is ten 1/4 inch squares (2.5 inches). The height of the figure in this drawing (the second enlargement) is 27.5625 inches tall. Each head length is ten 1 centimeter squares (3 15/16 inches). From 10.5 inches tall to 17.5 inches tall to 27.5625 inches tall. If my shrinkage calculations are correct, the finished doll composition slip doll will be just a little over 24 inches tall.




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Monday, February 20, 2012

02 Drawing Nº 42




I have made some more changes to the drawing. Now I am ready to do the final enlargement to 70cm. Click the image to enlarge it.



I will continue studying my anatomy books and photographic references to the female figure.




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Sunday, February 19, 2012

02 Drawing Nº 41




I moved the collar bone up a wee bit.






I sketched in the outer ankle.






I erased the bad hand.



Other things I've been doing is studying the lower arm. Those bones in the lower arm do all sorts of crazy things, from being parallel to crossing over each other. In all my years of learning about the figure, I have a lot of trouble with anatomy. Usually, when I learn something, after enough repetition, I eventually get it. With anatomy, no matter how much I repeat it, I do not seem to be able to remember it. It does not take long for my eyes to glaze over when I am looking at diagrams of muscles and trying to relate them to how the surface looks. I am getting old, and I am starting to lose hope that I will ever get it. I will just have to get as close as I can, and go from there, or I will be doing this drawing forever.

The thing with the arm is that the upper arm is widest at the shoulder where the joint is going to be. The lower arm is widest at the elbow where the joint is going to be. Both the upper and lower arm taper slightly. I am going to have to figure out some generic compromise that looks good.




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Saturday, February 18, 2012

02 Drawing Nº 40




I have almost finished sketching in the side view. That hand looks awful. The nice thing about drawing is that it is easy to change it. Changes can also be made quickly and inexpensively. Easy, Quick, Inexpensive. It doesn't get any better than that. Thank Goddess this drawing isn't being done by committee. Anyway, this is a big photo of the drawing-in-progress. Click the image to enlarge it.






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Friday, February 17, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

02 Drawing Nº 37




I transferred some measurements to the side view of the enlargement. I'm still thinking about what I want to do about the elbows, lower arms, and ankles of the front view. Click the image to enlarge it.






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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

02 Drawing Nº 36




I sketched in more of the front view today. I have some questions about the elbows, lower arms, and ankles that need to be answered before I go any further. I will be using my books and image resources to find some answers. I also tweaked the lower jaw line on the profile view of the head some more.



I made a little hanger for my clipboard. Having it hanging right next to the enlargement is a big help in getting measurements, and transferring them to the enlargement.




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Monday, February 13, 2012

02 Drawing Nº 35




I redrew the lower jaw to give it a smaller, lighter feeling. It may need a little more tweaking.






I added some more dots and even connected some together. It is starting to look like the enlargement is making some progress, however slight.






I ran across this wacky version of Alice In Wonderland today. It is a Great Performances version from 1983. Kate Burton plays Alice. Richard Burton is The White Knight. Colleen Dewhurst is The Red Queen, and Maureen Stapleton, is The White Queen. I really like the sets and the costumes.






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