I've taught sculpture workshops for over 25 years and am routinely asked . . . How does an artist go beyond a literal re-creation of nature and create art? Representational, figurative or realism should not be equated with an effort to present exacting detail: probing vision enables the artist to experience and capture the ESSENCE of life.
While understanding structure and anatomy is vital, the artist must search for the ESSENCE of their subject by focusing on an emphasizing what sets the species apart and makes it different and unique from other animals.
The artist must seek the defining gesture and essential charter of their subject and go beyond a mere construction of anatomy. Scientific understanding provides artists with the confidence to transcend specimen art and remain true to the ESSENCE of the animal.
A simple gesture such as the way a moose lifts its long hind leg,
differentiates and separates it from other deer species.