Sunday, 30 June 2013

#439 In the studio: Style

Every artist who evolves a style does so from illusive elements that inhabit his or her visual storehouse,
but the actual breakthrough in the privacy of the studio,
when one dares to (sculpt) in a new manner,
is a solitary thrill, dependent upon no one else.
It is the individual artist who most act courageously in an effort to grow.
                                                                                                              - Mary Carroll Nelson

A person is the sum total of his or her interests, experience, knowledge and feelings.
Artists and their styles evolve naturally while searching and exploring various possibilities of design.
Style, like feelings, cannot be forced.

Sculptors develop their individual way of seeing an animal's natural characteristics.
The imprint of the artist's personality, the manner in which the animal is presented is the artist's style.

Style manifests itself as artists discover that which interests them most about the subject.
Nearly all artists have been influenced by the work of preceding artists or their contemporaries.
Awareness of great art helps artists evaluate their own work with a clearer and more discerning eye.
When you are deeply involved with and understanding your subject, an original style develops automatically.

 Coyote Clipper
9"H 17"W 6"D

All sculpture - copyright Sandy Scott

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

#438 In the studio: Bird anatomy, con't . . .

Please start this bird anatomy series with post #403,  March 10.

I continue to be influenced by oriental art . . . many of my compositions 
demonstrate what the Japanese refer to as "formal sparseness of design".

Asymmetrical composition and negative space allows much to be imagined by the viewer.

Spring Pride
6"H 11"W 8"D

The artist controls the visual direction and provides both movement and repose.
Simplicity and understatement allows focus on the subject . . .
an area of profusion or detail may be balanced by a sweeping passage of quiet.

All sculpture and drawings - copyright Sandy Scott

Sunday, 23 June 2013

#437 In the studio: Bird anatomy, con't . . .

Please start this bird anatomy series with post #403,  March 10.

Composition is the arrangement of visual elements in a work of art, composition means "putting together."  
A good composition gives the viewer's eye both movement and repose.  
There must be an area of interest contrasted by areas of rest.

There are three main principles of composition:

1.  Composition is a harmonious arrangement of two or more elements, one of which dominates all others in interest.  
     The dominant element becomes the focal point or center of interest.

2.  There should be as few secondary elements as possible and these should be arranged to support the main interest.

3.  The position of the center of interest depends upon the feeling of balance created by the distribution of the different
     elements in the composition.

In the first box the dot is centered, static and not interesting.  This is not good composition.

In the second box, the dots are symmetrical and not interesting, and therefore not a good composition.

In the third box we're getting there.  The space seems to balance the dot.  The Japanese call this "formal sparseness of design."

The fourth box has a composition.

Hummer and Rose
10"H 4"W 4"D

Composition combines clear spatial organization and harmony . . . a simple placement of the figure in nature.

All sculpture, drawings, and etchings - copyright Sandy Scott

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

#436 In the studio: Bird anatomy, con't . . .

Please start this bird anatomy series with post #403,  March 10.

Negative space is a sculptor's design element and is defined by the figure's silhouette.  
Negative space is easiest to see when working in two dimensions, 
but when perceived and controlled by the sculptor, the effect is dramatic.

The sculptor should make their statement in one area and allow everything 
else to become supportive or subordinate to that statement or gesture.  
The sculptor determines what the center of interest will be and composes the elements accordingly.  
A harmonious sculpture produces unity. 

Proportion, balance, rhythm, contrast are principles of organization affecting the composition of sculpture.
Below, is a silhouette of the 16" wingspan monument entitled Presidential Eagle.
Appropriate design and concept is called for if a sculpture in produced in a grand scale. 

When designing large outdoor monuments, the dominant message 
should be conveyed to the viewer in the simplest manner. 
Above all, the sculpture should be united in a clear, logical concept.

You will realize that sculpture is not  a reproduction or 
duplicate of the animal but positive and negative 
shapes that the artist has arranged to form a design.

All drawing and sculpture, copyright Sandy Scott

Sunday, 16 June 2013

#435 In the studio: Bird anatomy, con't . . .

Please start this bird anatomy series with post #403,  March 10.

Sculpture is the study of a thousand silhouettes.
                                                               - Rodin   

In sculpture, the subject represented is the positive shape.  The empty space around the subject is the negative shape.

The viewer usually does not think about or consider the shape around the sculpture.  
The sculptor, however is constantly aware of both the positive and negative shapes 
as they are a device for designing and organizing the sculpture.

The sculptor should practice designing and seeing in this way, and here's how to do it:  
Select a sculpture of an animal and direct your gaze intently on the figure itself.  
Choose a sculpture with a quiet and simple pose.  
Then, concentrate on the negative shapes or the space surrounding the sculpture.  
You must wait until your vision accepts the negative shape and think of it as a totally separate form.

Now, imagine that the sculpture vanishes.  What is left?  You will find that the negative shapes have 
become distinctive shapes in their own right, and if you focus on these shapes, they become forms.

The sculpture that you are looking at has drawn you into it visually and almost physically.  
The realization of negative shapes adds a new dimension to the image before you, adding to 
your appreciation of its beauty and content. 

Below, look at the lighted sculpture and practice seeing the negative shapes around the subject. 

Height of Land

 Shade of Paradise

 Cochin China

Gamble's Sunset

For more information about negative space see previous post, #434.

All drawings and sculpture copyright Sandy Scott.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

#434 In the studio: Bird anatomy, con't . . .

Please start this bird anatomy series with post #403,  March 10.

Below are clarified drawings of grouse and quail with folded wings.  The two species are similar, are classified in the same order, Galliformes, and although quail are smaller, their shapes and form resemble each other.
Both have one of the four basic wing shapes discussed earlier in Post #423, May 5, 2013.

Shown below, is a clay model of a quail species - Gambel's Quail - that resides in the Western United States.

Formal sparseness of design, the use of negative space and clarity of silhouette was my goal while modeling this sculpture: Negative space balances and supports the subject and gives visual activity to the composition.  
The arrangement of positive and negative shapes forms the design and creates a new dimension to the image.  Painters use the elements of color, perspective, value and shape to create a composition . . . 
sculptors design with positive form and negative shapes.

Shown below, is a clay model and different composition of the same species . . . Gambel's Quail.

My goal while designing and modeling the quiet pose below was clarity of 
silhouette and organization of positive and negative shapes. 

Harmony and the simple placement of the figure in nature is evident as vision 
accepts the negative shape and thinks of it as a totally separate form.  
Sculpture is the arrangement of shapes - both positive and negative.

Gambel's Roost
8"H 12"W 8"D

 Gambel's Sunset
10"H 12"W 9"D

All sculpture, and drawings - copyright Sandy Scott

Sunday, 9 June 2013

#433 In the studio: Bird anatomy, con't . . .

Please start this bird anatomy series with post #403,  March 10.

My teaching method concentrates on knowledge of the bird's anatomy and blocking in the subject's large shapes.  
The block-in helps to simplify what is most important and causes the sculptor to define the big shapes and form first, before indicating any detail.  
All that can be said with large shapes should be expressed before indicating detail.

The sculptor must determine what shapes are important for identification, 
and establish proportion of the individual species by defining the large shapes first.  

Below, is a clarified drawing of a grouse.
The sculptor must understand what they are seeing when looking at this drawing.
A bird's wing feather sets are basic and every bird has they same groupings as explained in previous posts.
When blocking in the wing the sculptor should think of the wing as large shapes . . .
not individual feathers.

Begin by thinking of the sets of feathers as individual shapes.
For it is shapes and the arrangements of shapes that make sculpture.
Sculpting birds is assembling shapes.

Birds in flight do not "pose" for the sculptor.
As you approach your sculpture stand and embark upon modeling a bird in flight, you will find that knowing the information presented in this series of bird anatomy posts is far more important than the technical ability to sculpt.  Painters paint what they see, sculptors sculpt what they know.

Below and in progress is a clay block-in of grouse.

Quail and grouse are both upland gamebirds, are in the same classification order - Galliformes - and although
quail are smaller, they are similar to grouse in shape and form.

Below is a clarified drawing of a quail in flight.

Birds in flight don't "pose" for the artist . . . knowledge of the subject's structure is mandatory.
Below is a sculpture of quail in flight.

Quail Gamebird Bookends
12'H 18"W 10"D

All sculpture, and drawings - copyright Sandy Scott

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

#432 In the studio: Bird anatomy, con't . . .

Please start this bird anatomy series with post #403, March 10.

A sculptor knows that drawing strengthens observations skills.
Understanding the subject enables the sculptor to see, draw, and model the animal.
Furthermore, drawing forces careful observation causing the sculptor to
understand and know the creature.
Painters paint what they see . . . sculptors sculpt what they know.

Below, is a sculpture of an owl.
The sculptor must break the figure down into basic shapes.
Regardless of how complicated the animal appears . . . train yourself to see the big shapes first.

Marauder of the Night
14"H 8"W 6"D
Copyright - Sandy Scott

Below, is a watercolor tinted etching of an owl.
Through drawing, the sculptor transforms an intangible idea into an understood design.

Below, is a oil study of an owl, painted from life at the Brookgreen Gardens Zoo.
The sculptor must be the perpetual student . . .
and never stop experimenting, seeking, and taking chances.

All sculpture, drawings, painting, and etchings - copyright Sandy Scott

Sunday, 2 June 2013

#431 In the studio: Bird anatomy, con't . . .

Please start this bird anatomy series with post #403, March 10.

Sculpture involves the consideration of three dimensions - width, height, and depth.
                        All shapes and forms in nature can be reduced to controllable simplicity.  
The artist must think in terms of these elementary shapes and forms.  

Shapes: Shapes are 2-dimensional and have length and width

Simple shapes are the foundation of drawing, and to draw accurately we must use all these shapes - 
circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, ovals, etc - in correct relation to each other.

Simple shapes and form are the foundation of sculpture.
A sculptor learns to think in terms of these basic shapes and forms.  
Details are simply decorations on the surface of these shapes.

Form:  When depth is added to shape, it becomes form 

Typically, I begin a sculpture with drawings.
Shown below, is a preparatory drawing of a Western Screech Owl.
The artist must determine what shapes are important for identification and establish the larger shapes first.

Below, is a two hour block-in of a Western Screech Owl.
Notice the assemblage of exaggerated shapes and form . . .
drawing lines and waypoints on the clay is an effective way for the sculptor
to understand form and large masses as the sculpture develops.

A drawing can do the work of thousands of words, defining something that cannot be described in words.
Through drawing, the sculptor transfers an intangible idea into an understood design.

Shown below, is an original etching.
An etching is a drawing executed on a metal plate, then etched into the plate with acid.
The plate is covered with ink, then wiped clean allowing ink to remain in the etched lines.
Paper is placed on the inked plate and printed on a hand-pulled press.
Much more on the etching process later.

All sculpture, etchings, and drawings - copyright Sandy Scott