Sunday, 11 August 2013

#451 Sculpture en pleine air . . . "Loose"

Quick clay sketches from life, executed in a "loose" manner in one sitting, can have honesty and vitality.
However, spontaneity is not possible without planning and the armature is an obvious part of planning.  
Having a good plan and design will enable the sculptor to execute in an intuitive and spontaneous manner.

"Loose", as a technique, is often a misunderstood and abused term.  
"Loose" is the ability to give an accurate impression in clay without precise modeling.  
While the surface treatment is important, random shapes, marks, and lines, 
that are added to give a "loose" impression, can be meaningless.  
There is nothing random in nature . . . everything is structured.   
Furthermore, what the sculptor may perceive as being "loose"
may actually be sloppy modeling and the anatomy and structure 
not understood by the artist or the viewer!

Below, is a little study of one of my goats created in one sitting.

  The sculptor must organize the sculpture by understanding the location of the important bony landmarks.
Proportion must be established and the sculptor must understand how the joints articulate.

Knowing the subject's anatomy, having a good plan, and creating strong, meaningful, and understood  forms, 
enables the artist to edit and simplify.  The more that is known, the more that can be eliminated.  

Below, is my portable outdoor sculpture stand.  Notice, there is no direct sun on the clay . . . 
clay can liquify in direct sun or become so soft and sticky that it's impossible model.  
I have set up my work on an overcast day on the back deck of the design studio which is covered by a roof.

Below, "loose" is how it looks . . . not how it's done.

Below, the active surface treatment gives the sculpture a spontaneous and impressionistic "feel".  
I will live with it before casting.  The most difficult aspect of one-sitting sculpture is 
leaving it alone after returning to the studio . . . unless, of course, a glaring error is detected.
Not all one-sitting works created en pleine air are worthy of being cast in bronze . . . 
most are simply clay sketches and studies. 

Below, is a bronze casting of a sculpture created several years ago entitled Bill.

A sculptor sculpts what they know while a painter paints what they see.

Blog, text, photos, sculpture, and drawings . . . © Sandy Scott

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