Tuesday, July 31, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 130




I did some more work on the upper torso. This is a three-quarter back view. Click on any image to enlarge it.






This is a three-quarter front view. I started working on the transition between the upper torso and the shoulder.



My oil-clay figure puts up with all the public indignities I subject her to. She reminds me of the little doll in Arthur Ganson's sculpture, The First Noble Truth.




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Monday, July 30, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 129




I worked some on the upper torso today. Circle any image to enlarge it.






It is much easier to fill little dents, like the ones circled in the photo below, with oil-clay, than with carving wax, later on. Sometimes I can feel the places that need filling before I see them, and sometimes I can see them before I can feel them. I move the figure back and forth frequently, so the available light plays over the surface. I model better with my right hand than with my left hand, but I try to use both hands as often as possible. When I model with my left hand, I am not as fast as I am when I model the oil-clay with my right hand. Sometimes a tool of some sort is needed because my fingers are just too big to reach something. I try to keep my favorite tools handy, but over time, they can get scattered around the studio.






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Sunday, July 29, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 128




This photo shows some work-in-progress on the back of the knees. Click on the image to enlarge it.






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Saturday, July 28, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 127




The shin bone (tibia) is very close to the surface, and it helps to define the right lower leg from the left lower leg. Today I tried to define the shin bones some more. Click on the image to enlarge it.









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Friday, July 27, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 126




It has been awahile since I looked at the figure from the top, so here she is. Click any image to enlarge it.






Top front.






Top back.






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Thursday, July 26, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 125




I worked on the arms, adding small pieces of clay where needed. Click on an image to enlarge it.






Afterwards, I blended the added clay with a rake. I took the arms off the figure to do this, then replaced them when I was finished.






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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 124




A full figure turnaround of the work-in-progress. Click on the image to enlarge it.



It is a good idea to step back and look at the whole figure, from time to time.

Note to self: J-Mac Classic Clay can be ordered in 10 lb. slabs, or by the 50 lb case. Also available at Amazon.Com. Compare prices and shipping costs.

Product Description from Amazon.Com:
J-Mac Classic Clay is a sulfur-free professional grade modeling clay adored by clay sculptors the world over for its easy workability and excellent carving and shaping properties. Requiring minimal armature support, J-Mac Classic Clay is ideal for clay sculptors who don't want to fuss with the preparation period of a sculpt. Additionally, J-Mac Classic clay is compatible with virtually every mold making rubber, ensuring that each sculpt can be easily and safely molded by those who intend to cast their work. J-Mac Classic Clay will not sag, crack, crumble or dry out at room temperature. Slabs and cases of J-Mac Classic Clay are not produced by J-Mac in uniform weight. Slabs are typically 7-10lbs (12" x 9"); cases are typically 45-50lbs.


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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 123




I used the cardboard template and my wooden calipers to shape the profile of the right side of the figure with oil-clay. I removed the right arm so I could access the torso and hips easier. Click on any image to enlarge it.






After adding coils of oil-clay to fill out the silhouette, I blended all the coils of oil-clay together.






I replaced the right arm after blending the oil-clay. The right side needs more work to get it to match the left side.






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Monday, July 23, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 122




I added some oil-clay to the hips and upper legs. I removed the left arm so it would be easier to work on the left hip and torso. I used my wooden calipers and cardboard template to check my work as I added and removed oil-clay. I hit a corner of the wooden armature as I was working. I will try and remember to trim the armature a wee bit before I use it again. This is a photo of a couple of views of the figure with oil-clay added and pressed into place. Click on any image to enlarge it.






I added more oil-clay to fill the left hip and leg out to the silhouette I had built up. Then I blended the oil-clay with a wooden rake tool, and replaced the left arm. Next I will try to model the right hip and leg to match the left hip and leg.



Slowly but surely, I am getting closer and closer to the final surface of the figure.




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Sunday, July 22, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 121




To check and see how much work I need to do on the torso, I traced over the front view profile with a soft pencil and tracing paper, then transferred the outline to a piece of cereal box cardboard, then cut it out with a pair of scissors. Click on any image to enlarge it.






I used my wooden calipers to position the cardboard cutout on the figure, using the head-length lines and center line as reference points. It looks like I need to do a lot of work here.






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Saturday, July 21, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 120




From the knees to the shoulders. I added some coils to the shoulders where the arms meet the torso. This is a tricky area for me. The pectoral muscles and the deltoid muscles do some intersting things. I'm not sure if I got it right? Click on any image to enlarge it.






Then I blended the coils with a wooden rake tool. Add, blend, stand back and look, question what I did, do some research.... do a little more every day.



Rant-ON. Fortunately, this oil-clay is a very forgiving modeling material. I am guessing that is why Martha Armstrong-Hand recommends it for beginners. It is very plastic, and responds to my touch in an almost embarrassing way. Changes are easy. That is a good thing, because I usually get down to work on my doll after I've had a few glasses of Red.

The oil-clay differs from water-clay in that it never hardens. I could walk away from this figure for weeks or months, and come back to it, and it would not be hard. Also, the oil-clay is reusable. What this means is that after I have made molds of the oil-clay figure, I can use all of it to make another figure. And after making that figure, I can reuse it to make yet another, and so forth, for the rest of my sculpting life. I could will my studio oil-clay (and sculpture wax) to someone, and they could continue to use it, and reuse it for their whole life, and so on. Compare that to $10.00 to $12.00 per pound use-once-only Air-Dry clay over the period of several lifetimes.

The main thing to understand is that there is a trade-off for having a modeling material that is so easily manipulated and is reusable. It must be molded and cast in a more durable material to continue the work. The more durable material is carving wax. Carving Wax is also reusable. Carving wax is also tough enough to withstand elastic tensioning, which is necessary for designing articulated joints. The thing to understand here is that both the oil-clay and the carving wax are reusable. What this means is that I get the same results, in a way, that I would if I were using air-dry clay, except, I can reuse all my materials, over and over.

Okay, so Air-Dry clays are good for making a One-Of-A-Kind BJD. An oil-clay figure is too soft to make an OOAK BJD. And while carving wax is durable, I doubt that anyone would want to buy a carving wax BJD. So Air-Dry clay certainly has its place. Okay, Rant-OFF for today.




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Friday, July 20, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 119




I worked on the back of the knees, indicating where the crease is. Click on any image to enlarge it.






I also worked some more on the knees.






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Thursday, July 19, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 118




These are all the multi-view leg references that I have. A front view, rear view, and side view are the minimum. The more views, the better. Female legs come in all shapes and sizes, from very thin, to chubby. All of them are handy for reference purposes. Click on any image to enlarge it.




























The best reference is a live model. The next best references are multi-view photos of a live model in a pose, preferably photographed in rotation. Finally, drawings of the human figure can be used as references for modeling the figure. The best reference drawings, of course, are those that are drawn from a live model. The next best drawings would be those drawn from photographs of a live model. Drawing forces the artist to observe the relationships and details of the figure.

I also have books about figure drawing, and often the drawings in those books show me things about the figure that I have not noticed before. I would like to recommend Jack Hamm's book, Drawing the Head and Figure, as well as Andrew Loomis' book, Figure Drawing For All It's Worth, both of which point out many details that often go unnoticed.




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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 117




Another view of the head. It is a good idea to turn the doll and look at it from different viewpoints during modeling. Click on the image to enlarge it.






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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 116




Worked a little bit on the head today. Click on the image to enlarge it.






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Monday, July 16, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 115




The arms are really skinny, so I added some oil-clay coils to the front of the upper arm, to add some muscle bulk. This makes her arms closer to the working drawing. I am working to get closer to the final surface. Click on any image to enlarge it.






Once the oil-clay coils were added, I blended them into the upper arm with a wooden rake tool. I still have a lot of work to do on the arms. I am trying to move around the whole doll, and model on different parts, from different angles.



I try to do a little work on my doll every day. It seems that each day, I am a different person, and see the doll a little differently; whether that is my mood, or the light, or my energy level, or whatever. No matter what, it is the little bit that I try to do every day that is adding up to make the whole figure. The secret is to not be afraid to try. If I did not start at all, because of fear of failure, or some other reason, I would not be this far along right now. So I encourage anyone who wants to make a BJD to get started making one. The more I model the clay, the better I get. As anyone can see, modeling in clay does not have to be complicated. Add a coil of clay to both sides of the figure, then blend it in. Work until the figure is finished. The figure is finished when I cannot find anything more to do to it. At that point, I will remove the figure from the back iron, and cut it apart for making the first set of molds.




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Sunday, July 15, 2012

04 Modeling Nº 114




I am still tinkering with the neck, trying to place the neck muscles so they look good. I am tracing over my reference photos with the mouse, using Kolourpaint. Click on the image to enlarge it.






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