Thursday, May 31, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 69




Moving away from the head for a bit, I worked on the knees and softened the ribcage below the breasts. This is a turn-around view of the figure from ten feet away. It is good to stand away from the figure every so often and try to take a good look at it. Click on the image to enlarge it.






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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 68






Using some of my new knowledge, I placed ears on the head. I triangulated the ear notch from the pit of the neck and from the chin. Then I put a small wire brad to mark the point. I modeled an ear shape, checking it against the working drawing, until it was very close to the ear shape on the drawing. Then I cut it in half, giving me two identical ear shapes. I put one on each side of the head. Those ears were too thin to show up in the front view, so I repeated the effort once again, and placed those ear shapes over the existing ear shapes. Now the ears are blocked-in.






This is what my working drawing looks like, with dots for points, and some calculations based on the front and side view measurements.






Using just the Length, Width, and Height measurements from the front view and the side view, I was able to calculate the caliper measurements (D) for the oil-clay head. I also used a pair of wooden calipers, my hand-held calculator and a centimeter tape measure.






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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 67




As I mentioned in post Nº 65, the ear notch is an important measurement point. Click on any image to enlarge it.






There were several things that I did not catch at all during my first reading of Daisy Grubb's book. As a result of further reading, I have modified my Measurement Chart as follows:



1. Ear notch to ear notch
2. Ear notch to hairline
3. Hairline to chin
4. Ear notch to chin
5. Chin to brow (arc)
6. Chin to eye level
7. Outside corner of eye to outside corner of eye
8. Inside corner of eye to inside corner of eye
9. Chin to bottom of nose
10. Width of nose
11. Chin to middle of lips
12. Width of mouth
13. Ear notch to outside corner of mouth
14. Ear notch to outside corner of eye
15. Ear notch to tip of nose
16. Ear notch to under base of nose
17. Ear notch to middle of brow
18. Ear tip to ear tip
19. Width of cheek at widest point
20. Width of jaw at widest point
21. Pit of neck to ear notches
22. Pit of neck to chin
23. Tip of nose to back of head
24. Chin to top back of head (long diagonal)

Whereas my first measurement chart was just a chart of the various measurements in no particular order, this new Measurement Chart has a certain order which helps to establish the main masses of a portrait head being worked up from photographs and measurements on a stand-alone head armature mounted on a modeling board.

The ear notches are the first points established. They are marked with small pieces of wood. Edouard Lanteri suggests using wooden match sticks.

Daisy says that the basic masses can be built-up from the photos and the measurements before the live model comes to sit for the first portrait session. Of course, when working on a doll head from photographs, and not having a live model to work from, some of these measurements may not be used.

Many of these measurements are used to double check the relationships of the features of the head. They work by triangulation. Here again, all of this is used to get a portrait head roughed-in. Once that is done, the rest is done by eye.

All of this was done because I was curious how measurements and photographs are used by a professional portrait sculptor to model a likeness of someone in clay.

I think that I have learned some things that I may be able to use. I am figuring it out as I go along. Now I can return to the regular schedule of modeling posts.





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Monday, May 28, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 66




I have front and side view photographs of a person I want to model a portrait of in oil-clay.






First, I need to scale the photographs so they are as close as can be to each other. In the example below, I try to make a in the front view equal b  in the side view. The overall height of the head is the same as the head I am going to model in oil-clay (in this case, 10 cm.)






Now I can take three measurements from the photographs, namely, the Length, Width, and Height (L, W, H).






Here are the same points on my working drawing.






This is the top view, showing the Internal Diagonal that I want to figure out. The Internal Diagonal is the same as the measurement that I would get if I were to place the points of sculptor's calipers, one point at the chin, and the other point at the notch of the ear.






This is the formula to calculate what the Internal Diagonal (caliper measurement) is, knowing only the Length, Width, and Height measurements from the front and side views of the photographs. In the diagram below, D is the Internal Diagonal (caliper measurement). D is equal to the square root of the  Length squared, plus the Width squared, plus the Height squared.






The Width (b1) is the chin point to x on the front view.
The Length (b2) is the chin point to x on the side view.
The Height (h1) is x up to the ear notch.
The Internal Diagonal (caliper measurement) is from the chin to the ear notch.



Remember that measurements from photographs can only be used as an approximation, to get the rough masses of oil-clay blocked-in. In the final analysis, the eye is the judge.




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Sunday, May 27, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 65




I have been reading my books and watching videos about modeling a portrait head in clay. In most of my references, the measurement point at the ear is the notch between the Tragus and the Antitragus. The point where one of the tips of the sculptor's calipers lightly rests is highlighted in red in Fig. 20 below. Click on any image to enlarge it.



A very nice online copy of Modelling: A Guide For Teachers and Students, Vol. 1 by Edouard Lanteri (1902) has a plethora of information about modeling and sculpting the human figure.




In the Jim Gion Sculpture Series videos, the first step is to make some marks on the model with a make-up pencil. He uses five marks. There is a mark at the pit of the neck, one on the chin, one in each of the ear notches, one at the brow, and one at the hairline. Because he does a static sculpture bust, he also makes a measurement from the acromion processes on each shoulder, as well as at the widest part of the deltoids in the arms. These last two measurements are not as important when modeling a doll head.



When measuring marks on a model, accuracy is more important than precision. Be consistent.




Without a live model to work from, photographs and drawings can be used. It is always a good idea to take many photographs from many angles. This is a measurement chart based on the one in Daisy Grubbs' book, and modified for use in making a doll head, instead of a static sculpture bust. I am using the front and side view drawings of the head in my working drawings.




1. Chin to hairline
2. Chin to ear notch
3. Chin to middle of brow
4. Ear notch to middle of brow
5. Chin to bottom of nose
6. Ear notch to under nose
7. Chin to middle of lips
8. Tip of nose to ear notch
9. Chin to brow (arc)
10. Outside corner of eye to ear notch
11. Ear notch to ear notch
12. Ear notch to hairline
13. Ear tip to ear tip
14. Ear notch to outside corner of mouth
15. Width of mouth
16. Width of nose
17. Outside corner of eye to outside corner of eye
18. Inside corner of eye to inside corner of eye
19. Width of cheek at widest point
20. Width of jaw at widest point





These are some other measurements that I remembered after I made the above chart.



From left to right:
21. Pit of neck to ear notch
22. Pit of neck to chin
23. Tip of nose to the middle of the back of the head (depth of head)
24. Chin to top back of head (long diagonal)

The two measurements from the pit of the neck are mainly useful when modeling a static bust in clay, and may not be needed when modeling a doll head. I do not know how useful this set of measurements will be, but I am going to try them and see if they work.

Experience is what you get while looking for something else.
~ Federico Fellini





I found these very beautiful photographs of Natalie Portman with a very short haircut which may be useful for checking overall head proportions.






In any case, measuring a two dimensional photograph or drawing, and using the measurement on a three dimensional figure requires some adjustments, as illustrated in the diagram below of the top view of a head. On a three dimensional model, calipers measure the long leg of the triangle which is always longer than the front-view or side view of a two dimensional photograph or drawing. The final work must always look right in the end. Measurements are helpful for getting started, and for maintaining symmetry.


References:

Modeling A Likeness In Clay: Step-By-Step Techniques For Capturing Character.
Daisy Grubbs.
NY: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1982.

Modelling: A Guide for Teachers and Students.
Edouard Lanteri.
London: Chapman & Hall, 1902.

Jim Gion Sculpture Series




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Saturday, May 26, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 64




I added some more oil-clay to the face, filling out around the mouth, and fussing with the eyes a little bit. Click any image to enlarge it.



When the image is viewed full size, the head is very close to being 10cm tall, or the actual size I am working with.




The head is looking much more human, so here is a shot of the head on the figure.



I try to do a little bit of work on my doll every day. She is coming right along, slowly but surely.




I took a couple more photos of the Budget Skull, and outlined some of the curves of the head, seen from below, and from the top. In the top view, the green line follows where the skull is cut, and the red line is the brow line.






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Friday, May 25, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 63




This is a daily progress photo, showing some of the work done on the oil-clay head. The head is still very much in a rough state, but is starting to look a little more human as the eyes get better adjusted. Click on an image to enlarge it.






Yesterday evening the postal worker delivered a package containing a Budget Skull. It is made of plastic, and weighs 2 lbs. 14-3/8 oz. The skull is 7-3/4 inches from top of skull to lower jaw. The cheekbones are 5-1/8 inches  at the widest point. The circumference of the skull at the cut is ~23-5/16 inches. The lower jaw is removable, contains three removable teeth, and has springs which allow the mouth to open, close, and remain shut. The top of the skull is also removable. I am hoping this skull will help me while I am modeling the doll head in oil-clay. It seems to be very detailed, considering how inexpensive it was. I will also be using it as a drawing model, and as a reference for making some papier-mâché Calavera Catrinas.






This is a turn-around of the skull. The lighting was bad, so converting the montage to gray scale looked much better than in color.






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Thursday, May 24, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 62




I added some more oil clay to both sides of the head, filling in some hollows. Click on the image to enlarge it.



I blended everything with a wooden rake tool after taking these photos, but did not take any photos of the blended oil-clay.

Even though it looks like I am working on the mouth, I'm not, really. I'm just playing. I cut a slit with my knife and used the blade to make some lips. When I am ready to work on the mouth, these lips will disappear first.




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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 61




I added the cheekbones, more or less. In this case, I just added clay without looking at any references. I did not feel like looking at anything while I was modeling.  I know I can always change it if I did not get it right. The head is starting to look like one of those aliens in a bar in a Star Wars movie. Will she ever be cute or beautiful? That part is up to me, of course, for after all, I am the doll maker. Click on the image to enlarge it.



One important thing to remember is that the cheekbones are at their widest just before they get to the ears. This is pointed out in the Proportional Guide to the Figure video by George Davis over at YouTube.




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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 60






I am starting work on the eyes. I am using 18mm eyes to model the oil-clay around. I am hoping that after the final casting, some 16mm eyes will fit in the head. Time will tell.



1. I cut a pair of one dollar acrylic round doll eyes in half to make a flat back cabochon shape because of the wood armature under the oil-clay.
2. I cut the oil clay down to the wood armature, and put in the eyes. This is a side view.
3. This is the front view.
4. I added some coils of oil-clay around the eyes.
5. I added some more oil-clay around the eyes.
6. Skull references from Wikipedia. I stuck some digital eyeballs in the front view.




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Monday, May 21, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 59






This is a turnaround of the head with the basic forms blocked in. I started with the basic head shape, then added oil-clay coils for the forehead. I shaped pieces of oil-clay for the nose, mouth, and chin. Click on the image to enlarge it.



After adding the oil-clay coils, I used a small rake tool to blend the oil-clay together. The next step is to continue adding coils of clay to block in the cheekbones and jawbone.




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Sunday, May 20, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 58




Everyone has a slightly different method of modeling a head in clay. There is not just One Way to do it. The important thing is the end result. I have been reading some of my books and watching some videos about modeling the head. I think it is interesting to see all the different ways that people approach modeling a head in clay.

These are some screen shots of a head modeling video by Joanna Mozdzen, at YouTube. She does not show how she constructed the armature for this head in this video. It starts out showing the head armature covered in clay, and looking very much like my oil-clay head looks. All the examples shown here are showing how the head is first modeled roughly with large block shapes. Details are added later. Click on any image to enlarge it.



1. The armature covered in clay.
2. Construction lines drawn; eye sockets hollowed out.
3. Nose, mouth, and chin added.
4. Cheekbones added.




In these screen shots from the video by Philippe Faraut, the left side shows the basic head form, and the right side shows the rough forms blocked in.






This is a screen shot from a video in the Jim Gion Sculpture Series, showing how he models a portrait head from a live model. Here again, the first step is to cover the armature in clay, making a rough head form. In the background, reference photographs of the model can be  seen, taken from many angles. This is similar to the way that Martha Armstrong-Hand used photographic references to make some of her dolls.



Some of the books I have been reading about modeling a head in clay include, Modeling A Likeness In Clay by Daisy Grubbs; The Portrait In Clay by Peter Rubino; and Modeling The Head In Clay by Bruno Lucchesi and Margit Malmstrom.




So this is what I am going to be doing first. I have already drawn a vertical center line down the middle of the face, and have also drawn a horizontal construction line to mark the location of the eyes. Next, I will add some clay to the forehead, make a rough nose, a rough mouth shape, and a chin.



One other thing I must remember is that the modeled clay head is based on the bony structure of the skull, which is very close to the surface. There are subtle differences between a male and a female skull, so when looking at anatomy books, it is better to find skulls that are labeled female skulls, to use as a reference.

References:
Sculpting a female head in clay. Sculpting tutorial and demo. by Joanna Mozdzen.
Sculpting Geometric by Philippe Faraut.
Jim Gion Sculpture Series Videos

Modeling A Likeness In Clay.
Daisy Grubbs.
NY: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1982.

Modeling The Head In Clay.
Bruno Lucchesi and Margit Malmstrom.
NY: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1979.

The Portrait In Clay.
Peter Rubino. NY: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1997.






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Saturday, May 19, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 57






I made a couple of overlays of my working drawing and clay head base in order to get a rough idea of where to start working. I will mainly be following Philippe Faraut's method of modeling a head. I also have some other book references as well. Click on the image to enlarge it.



There is a short video about modeling a head by Philippe Faraut on YouTube.
Click this link to watch the 4:51 minute video.
The video has fast cuts, so you may want to have your mouse on the pause button while it is playing, so you can slow it down a bit. There is no dialog, only music, so nothing is missed when pausing.




Finally, here is a Marquardt Beauty Mask overlay on top of my working drawing.



I may need to make some adjustments?

Reference:
Marquardt Beauty Analysis




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Friday, May 18, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 56




I made the head of my armature removable, so it would be easier to model in clay. Here, I have removed the head from the figure and set it on a small modeling stand. The modeling stand is simply a piece of scrap wood with a hole drilled in the middle, and a 13mm dowel inserted in the hole. I have marked some guide lines on the face, dividing it in half horizontally and vertically. This is the front view. Click on any image to enlarge it.






This is the side view. At this point, the front of the face is a vertical blank canvas, waiting for some features to be added. There is a wooden head armature part under about a 1cm layer of oil-clay. So I do have some room to add clay, as well as subtract it if necessary.






This is the bottom view, showing that the face is curved, not flat. The white part is the wooden armature inside the layer of oil-clay.



The first hole I drilled in the dowel was off-center, so I drilled a better hole in the other end, to insert the wire into. The wire is bent slightly to copy the angle of the wire in the neck of the figure armature.




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