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Old 08-29-2019, 03:07 PM
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ArtsyLynda ArtsyLynda is offline
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Back to sculpting again!

I haven't been able to sculpt for quite a while due to my back surgery, but I'm far enough past it (4 months) that I feel strong enough to start sculpting again (for an hour or so a day).

I have this piece I've worked on for a couple of years, off and on, depending on my health (I had a LOT of back and leg pain prior to my surgery), etc. The horse is rough in a few spots but nearly finished (except for his mane, tail, bridle, parts of his saddle, etc. - seriously, nearly finished! LOL). I've left the rider alone for quite a while but recently started working on her face. Tedious, painstaking, frustrating work in soft clay. I suppose I should put it in the fridge to cool awhile, although my studio is in the basement, therefore cool all the time.

Anyway, here's the whole piece - you've seen these pics before:
This is the pose I'm working from. I will have her in show clothes, not these everyday things, and no sun visor on her helmet.

Here's the sculpture as it was before I started working on Jen (my daughter) again:


As you can see, she tilts her head ever so slightly to the right, so the left eye is higher. The eyes in the sculpt are different now - I suppose I should take a new picture since yesterday's work, hang on . . . (waiting music while I run down to the studio and then back up ) Here we go . . .



As you can see from the picture progression, she went from having no face to having "a" face, to having a face I'm TRYING to make look more like Jen than someone else. I fought with the eyes for two or three sculpting sessions (and the mouth, and the nose . . .) and finally yesterday, I put two tiny seed beads in them, one in each. I'm used to working against a hard surface (a ball earring of the right size) for eyes on my horses and other beasties, and without that hard surface, I seem to be handicapped. I can NOT make a round ball in wax (I've tried . . .) and the only thing I had that was the right size was some beads I have for a beading project I haven't started. So the left eye is "sort of" almost done, maybe. I still have to try to create an iris and pupil in it. I probably will put it in the fridge before trying that again - my attempts so far haven't succeeded.

So anyway - I don't do people often, so my skills aren't as developed as some folks' are. That lump on the left (our right) side of her head is where her ear used to be before I messed it up. She ALWAYS rides with a joyful, happy, open smile like she has in the photo I've shared. I've tried to make a mouth like that, with teeth showing, but at this size, despite my miniature tools, I haven't managed it so it looks good. Maybe when the clay's cold, the eyes, mouth and ears will be easier to do.

I'm open to advice! Thanks in advance for any help you can give me! And I apologize for some of the pics being a bit fuzzy. Blame my multi-level bifocals! I simply can't see well enough to take good pics anymore - and I used to be an award-winning photographer! Oh well. And I DID hit the "focus" thing, I DID, I DID! Argh . . .
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Old 08-30-2019, 05:54 AM
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Re: Back to sculpting again!

A great foundation.

Doug
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Old 08-30-2019, 09:27 AM
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Re: Back to sculpting again!

Thanks, Doug!
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Old 08-30-2019, 10:59 AM
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Re: Back to sculpting again!

amazing!
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Old 08-30-2019, 02:23 PM
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Re: Back to sculpting again!

Thanks!
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:11 PM
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Re: Back to sculpting again!

Inspiring.
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:50 PM
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Re: Back to sculpting again!

Thank you!!
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Old 09-26-2019, 03:27 PM
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Smile Re: Back to sculpting again!


I'm not that experienced at working in wax, but I decided I wanted her boots to really shine (like her real boots do - they're almost as shiny as patent leather), so I decided to make them in wax. I have all the tools to work in wax, I just don't have any training or much experience. The first boot took me about a month and a half of just working in spurts when I felt up to it (still recovering from back surgery here). The second boot took and hour and a half! Shown in the photo are the boot in clay I ripped off the sculpture on the left, the second boot I made and the first one. Jen says the second (middle) boot looks the most like her boot, so I have to carve down the instep on the right-hand boot, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Now that I've improved THAT much, I'm considering doing her hands and maybe her face in wax! Tamara, will that make her head look funny if the helmet is made of clay and the face wax? Or should I just do the whole thing in wax? Gotta figure out how to get it on the armature . . . I guess I'd cut it in half top to bottom and stick it back together once I get it on? I'm open to suggestions!!
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Old 09-27-2019, 12:58 AM
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Re: Back to sculpting again!

So happy for you that you are back to sculpting! We haven't talked art in a long time. This is going to be such a meaningful and beautiful sculpture. I know you want to portray Jen's happiness when she rides and full grin does that. That will be challenging without looking creepy. Of course, that is what many people say about smiling sculptures, they are creepy looking. I have seen some done very well. But if they are not, it can really ruin the look of the whole sculpture.

I think you have captured your daughters face shape, as you know it well She looks soft and happy. If you want to do a full smile then look at the corners of her mouth and draw a line upwards to see where it hits on her eye. In her life photo, it is not in the center of the eye (as usually is the case with a not smiling person) but is toward the edge of the outer rim of the iris. Anotherwords, I believe her smile would be larger to match the picture.

If you like to work with layers in a photo editing program ( I think you said you don't have Photoshop but the Elements program) you could put the sculpture over the picture. If you want me to do this for you at some point, just send the exact angle picture and I will do it for you.

Faces are very hard to do, at first, as you know, and so I think you captured her already. One thing that really helps is to take a razor blade and press it in the center of the face in order to draw a line down the middle of the face. That way you can line up both sides of the face and keep the center of her lips in line, they might be off a bit, not sure of the camera angle, etc.

Also, do use a mirror and look at her through that. You will notice so many things to adjust.

Wax will give a much more crisp finished sculpture. On the armature, you could make a long socket joint with some Magic sculpt and stick the wire in that and then pull it out (so it doesn't stick until the MS has cured). Then have wire in the head and then when ready to attach, insert the wire into the socket, maybe even add a bit of Magic sculpt to the edge so as to sort of glue it in or use epoxy to glue it in when you finished.

I would think that your clay would stick okay to the wax in order to get the riding cap to stick to the head portrait. You could always make the cap out of wax too, that probably is the better option.

Thanks for sharing and happy sculpting!
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:38 AM
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Re: Back to sculpting again!

Thanks for all the tips! I do the centering line on my horses, only it's a cross - centerline to line everything up, cross bar to make sure the eyes match. My line goes tear duct to tear duct. I also use a mirror and photos to give me "fresh eyes" on a piece.

The socket idea is very helpful, thanks! Since her helmet is a bit shiny too, I think I'll make her whole head of wax. Thankfully, her coat collar and stock tie will completely cover her neck, so that "decapitation" line won't show at all! Whew!

Yes, I'd love to have the Photoshop thing done - I wish I could do that, but I haven't figured out how to do it in Elements. I'll send you her picture and the wax face when I get that to a good comparison point. Thank you!

And thanks for the detailed reply and all the suggestions! It's good to talk art with you again! What are you working on?
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:13 PM
sculpturedolls sculpturedolls is offline
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Re: Back to sculpting again!

Discussing figurative sculpture is what we love! The crossbar I do too except I do it over the eyebrow area and then extend the vertical line down the nose (and later the cross just stays down to the center of eyebrows) so as to keep the nose straight and cheek bones and center point of lip too.

Not working on anything right now! I will await your reference pics once you get ready.
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:36 PM
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Re: Back to sculpting again!

This is going to be great, I look forward to seeing the finish
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