Friday, October 3, 2014

#91, Peasant woman relief

Peasant Woman, 16in x 13in, clay original

Heads and hands are two of the most challenging parts to sculpt on the human body, but they can also be the most rewarding. In this pose the hands of the model are really interesting and I couldn't mess up up the anatomy or the foreshortening or else the piece would fail, at least that was my belief. The head also needed to be delicately modeled as the slight tilt back can be quite challenging. But I think one of the reasons that this relief works so well on the eye is because care was taken on those important areas.

Lately, I've been interested in carving the area around the head slightly deeper into the background as this allows me to get more of a depth in the head. Because this is an area that is usually the focal point the deeper sculpting on the head allows a somewhat contrast to the flatter body. It's a very subtle "trick" and I don't think it works on flatter reliefs as much, at least in my experience. I first saw this technique on the relief sculptures of Bill Mack. In much of his work he will carve back a little further around the body and into the background which helps give the illusion that the figure is emerging off the background. More recently I saw this on a self portrait carved in marble by Michelangelo. I'll post examples of this technique on a future post.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

#90, video: from miniature to monument-Paganini sculpture

This is a video I put on youtube about a year or two ago showing a time lapsed video of sculpting a small scale sculpture of Niccolo Paganini. I've often thought of doing more videos of sculpting, especially relief, but sadly I haven't taken the time. I hope you enjoy this. :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

#89, "Into the Evening"

"Into the Evening", resin bonded sand, 21in x 11in x 2

For the last several days I've been working a lot at the studio getting ready for one of the largest sculpture shows in the US, Loveland Sculpture Invitational. Since the show starts next week, I figured I'd wait until the last two weeks to get ready for it. Wow, will I EVER learn? Into the Evening relief summarized things a bit. This will be one of 12-14 or so artworks I'll have in my booth. Although I'm feeling a little behind and somewhat stressed I am excited that I'll be showing a consistent body of work, which is a first for me. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

#88, mounting relief sculptures to MDF board

A client had purchased one of my sculptures that didn't have a base on it and asked me if he could base the piece himself. I said "sure", but after a few weeks he was uncertain how to go about doing it and he was in another country with the artwork so I had to describe the process on an email. The process below is how I base 3d sculpture as well as relief sculpture. To begin, the artwork needs to have either nuts welded to the bottom of the sculpture or in the case of reliefs I drill and tap using a 13/64" drill bit making sure not to drill all the way through the relief (yes, I've done that!). Using a 1/4-20 tap I thread the hole and insert a set screw. The set screws are not threaded all the way in, but protrude about a 1/2" from the backside of the relief. This will ensure that I can mark the board accurately. The relief is placed on the board evenly and positioned how I would like it to sit permanently. I press down with a good amount of pressure and carefully rocking the relief on the set screws in order to mark the tape clearly. Once the holes are marked on the board, I will drill precisely where the hole marks are using a 9/32" drill bit and countersink with a 1/2" bit. The relief can now be secured to board and framed.

I've inserted (3) 1/4-20 all thread set screws into the back of the relief in order to mark the MDF board that will hold the relief in a frame. The blue tape helps me to see the mark that the set screws make on the board.

The relief is lowered on the board and placed as evenly as possible. 

The set screws mark the board exactly where I will need to drill in order to secure the relief to the board.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

#87, Anastasia relief

"Anastasia", 28"x14"

Anastasia was sculpted earlier in the year and today I spent most of the day casting it. Cast in urethane resin I decided to try adding more pigments to the mix as I have been struggling with the reliefs not reading well without over head lighting. Although quite a bit bolder than what I normally would do I think I'm happy with it. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

#86, Confidence relief

Confidence, 24"x 11.25" x 3", resin

For the last 4 weeks I have not been at the studio due to what started as panic attacks and after getting this under control the dr. found a large 1.1cm kidney stone. NO FUN!!! SO, I haven't created much art for the last few weeks, but I did manage to mold and cast this mid-relief. Although I usually focus my efforts on the clothed figure I decided to create a nude to change it up a bit. What I like about the clothed figure is the contrast the drapery has against the usually smoother skin. With the nude sculpture, there is no option to play with this contrast. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

#85, Warmup

This sculpture was initially blocked out in 2011 and finally completed and cast in bronze in 2013. One of the few pieces that had been put on the back burner while I was busy with commission work. The sculpture was originally going to be called Rosin box and I put a video with the same title on youtube. However, as I neared completion, I decided that I didn't like the rosin box where her left foot was placed in. The sculpture had life and energy without this ackward looking box so I took it out and called her Warmup.

#84, Golfer

This is the third golfer I've sculpted and although I'm happy with this one much more than the previous golfers, I still have a lot to learn.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

#83, Confidence relief

Confidence, 23"x10", clay for resin

One of my first nude reliefs that I've sculpted in quite a while. This was made from my model Corinne who could have been a model from 20th century France. Her body proportions and facial structure are classical in nature and she reminded me of some of the Italian and French statues. 

Creating this relief was quite fun as I didn't have any drapery to struggle with. The pose is a simple controposto and from start to finish this took me about 6-7 hours. As is usual with my sculptures and reliefs, the face is the focal point. I have been trying to focus on the nuances and subtleties of the face while keeping the remainder of the relief with something of the original feeling. That is, I'm trying to leave my original tool marks from the blockout and not go back in too much for refinement. Lately the last few pieces I've done have a looser feel and for me this seems to work better. Plus, I'm not agonizing over every little detail which can sometimes drive me nuts.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

#82, portrait of Ashleigh, relief

Ashleigh, clay for resin, 17.5"x12.5"

I have been conscious lately of the forms and subtle nuances of the face as I have looked back on some of my life size monuments thinking "I could do better than that!!". The face has so many soft forms and as I am mostly working from photos or myself in the mirror things can get flattened out and simplified. On this portrait of Ashleigh I was conscious of these soft forms although I didn't want to take them too far which would age her very quickly if I got carried away. The forms are subtle and soft, but there. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

#81, Moment of Reflection relief

Moment of Reflection, 18 1/2"x 13 1/2" x 2 1/2", resin

Moment of Reflection, 17"x12"x1 1/2", clay for fiberglass resin

I'm pretty happy with the way this 17"x12" bas relief came out. The likeness isn't one of my best, but I think the composition makes up for it. I had struggled with how to do the arms since they are cropped (this is a constant battle I have). After looking up one of my favorite painters to see how he addressed this, I seem to have solved the issue. The highest point is 1 1/4" raised from the background which is about 5/16" higher than most of my previous bas-reliefs. I've decided that I like working slightly higher as the piece gets larger in dimensions.

Monday, February 24, 2014

#79, Serenity, relief

Serenity, 16"x12",shown in clay

For the last couple of months I have been busy with a lot of studio projects which has kept me from doing any of my own sculptures. Last week I decided that I needed to do a bas relief and I created this of one of my models. This is sculpted a little higher than my previous works, the highest areas being 1". I've also kept the background in its original state from the initial block out, hence the rough edges. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

#78, Glancing terracotta

Glancing, 15"x11", terracotta

I sculpted this relief a couple of months ago and it is one of my favorite reliefs I've created. This is cast in terracotta clay and I will be having it fired next week. We should see if it will survive the firing, but if it does I might try finishing it with a little wax and oxides.