Wednesday, 28 August 2013

#456 In the studio: The Briscoe Museum sculpture project, con't . . .

Currently in progress in the monument sculpture studio is a project for the 
Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas.  

Please start this series of posts with #453, Aug. 18, 2013.

Before undertaking the creation of a large horse monument,
the sculptor should be aware of the historical symbolism of the horse.
Also, a realization of significant horse monuments of the past . . .
including the equestrian work of the Greeks is invaluable knowledge.

Below, is a resin recast in my design studio from the Parthenon frieze.
The frieze is the low-relief marble sculpture created to adorn the upper part of the Parthenon in Athens.
It was sculpted between 443 and 438 BC, most likely under the direction of Phidias.

The sculptor must understand osteology, which is the construction of form;
and myology, which is the movement of forms.

Below, are images of the two monumental horse architectural panels in clay and near completion. 
I will live with them, ponder them, tweak them, dream about them, agonize over them, study and photograph them . . .  using many different light sources, before taking them to mold and to the foundry for bronze casting.  

My goal was to present the animal's dignified bearing and create an elegant and grand composition.

The sculptor must portray the essence of the great planes and masses.
Movement of the planes caused by the direction of the muscular masses must be understood by the sculptor.

Horse number one faces to the viewer's right and number two, to the left. 
Note, the close-ups show the finished clay surface.

The sculptor must have the skill and technical ability to bridge the gap
between artistic concept and figurative realization.

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

Sunday, 25 August 2013

#455 In the studio: The Briscoe Museum sculpture project, con't . . .

Currently in progress in the monument sculpture studio is a project for the 
Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas.  

Please start this series of posts with #453, Aug. 18, 2013.

When modeling a species, the aim should not be to create an exact portrait or specimen,
but to capture the very essence of the animal and present an idealized and strong representation .

The ultimate reference and resource is the horse itself.
Below, is an image of the eye of our Morgan gelding . . . although a very old horse possessing only one eye . . .
he's in fine condition and an excellent model for the monument.

Below, I'm studying the eye in profile of horse panel number two to see how far the lids project.

Below, the eyeball should be separately formed and laid in the socket . . . then the lids are laid over the ball.
Note the indication of a vein under the eye . . . this is not excessive detail but expressive detail and
must not catch a harsh shadow under certain lighting conditions.

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

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

#454 In the studio: The Briscoe Museum sculpture project, con't . . .

Fragmented sculpture design lends itself to some subjects but not to others . . . most important, 
is the pose which gives both high and low relief sculpture its outline, form, and negative shapes.  
The entire light-and-shade pattern formed by the figure or figures is what matters most.

Least important when creating fragment and relief design is excessive detail.  
The figure's eye, however, is very important because typically, the viewer looks at the eye first.  
The eye should be modeled with boldness and understanding.  
The eye should not be presented as a blank, rounded orb.

Below, is the eye in progress. The sculptor must first concentrate on the round form of the eyeball
and next, the dark circular opening in the center iris called the pupil.

The deeply excavated eye in its entirety produces a loss of form, creates a deep hole, 
and gives too abrupt a black shadow.  The accepted practice is the incised pupil shown above.

 While modeling the eyes, I created a negative shape - called a lunula - which is a half-moon device that picks up a shadow and highlight in the eye of the horse.  This technique was used in Roman sculpture of the fourth century AD, continued during the Renaissance, and is used by modern figurative sculptors.

Below, I've photographed the eye using light source from different angles.  This is important . . . the sculpture will be viewed from different angles and under different lighting conditions.

Below is a drawing depicting the half-moon shape called a lunula.
Note:  Notice the delicately traced outline that suggests pupil in both the drawing and the sculpture above.
I rely on drawing as an indispensable part of my sculpture studio procedure.

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

Sunday, 18 August 2013

#453 In the studio: The Briscoe Museum sculpture project

Currently in progress in the monument sculpture studio is a project for the 
Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas.  
The scope of the work includes two life-sized horses and an 
enormous panel depicting three running buffalo.  
The architectural panels are modeled in high-relief, cast in bronze, and presented as truncated fragments.

Below, is an image of the three enormous architectural panels in progress.

Relief work is demanding and the sculptor must understand how much projection is 
necessary to "trick" the viewer's eye into perceiving rounded form.

Below, are images which show horse panel number one in progress. 
Working from a maquette, which is a small version of the work to be enlarged, 
the sculpture is first blocked in by carving very dense foam, then the foam is covered with clay and modeled.

Below, is an image which shows making corrections and adjustments on the sculpture . . . 
carving the foam, then modeling the horse's ear.

When designing Equus Found I and II architectural panels, my goal was to create an 
expressive silhouette and present the partial figure as a self-sufficient artistic entity.  

To achieve this, I eliminated limbs and stripped down detail and projections, which inhibited the figure's force and clarity.  
  Below, are two images of the Equus Found I and II maquette. . . presented in two different ways. 
A maquette is a small version of the large monument . . . 
it is the precursor to and the genesis of the enlarged monument.

Note: A design adjustment has been made on Equus I, the horse on the left in the first image . . .
the body of the figure has been widened to show the root of the tail in the monument.

More about the Briscoe Western Art Museum sculpture project - 
including the enormous buffalo architectural panel -  in upcoming posts.

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

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

#452 Sculpture en plein air . . . the live model

Sculpting from a live model, outdoors and en plein air,  can be a rewarding experience.   
However, the situation for the sculptor is quite different from traditional studio work.   
Please refer to the last post, dated Aug.11, 2013, for an introduction to this post. 

The initial challenge is direct sunlight which makes oil-based 
plastilene clay difficult to work with unless the air temperature is cold.

The live model serves only as a point of reference and it's best to 
predetermine the pose with a sketchbook as illustrated below.

Once the pose and proportion is determined, the sculptor must build an armature.  
An armature is an internal frame designed to support the clay and the work in process.   
Armatures for figurative sculpture are generally made of plumber's pipe and wire as shown below.  
By keeping the armature simple and flexible, the artist can make design changes as needed. 

Below, is the little goat study, from life, at completion of a one-sitting, plein air session.

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

Sunday, 11 August 2013

#451 Sculpture en plein 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

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

#450 In the studio: Comparative anatomy . . . the horse and us

All mammals, including horses and humans, evolved from the same prehistoric source.
Therefore, it's logical that their skeletons are fundamentally the same.
Quadrupeds, like humans, have two arms and two legs . . .
their two front limbs are arms and their two back limbs are legs . . . as illustrated
below, are images of the human on all fours and the quadruped.

Above concept, after Elliot Goldfinger.  See reference page..

The horse's hind leg - as in every quadruped - is a series of zigzags from the pelvic girdle to the knee,
then to the heel [hock], then forward again to the foot and toe.  Equine feet are radically different from
ours and from other quadrupeds:  A horse's hoof is simply one enlarged toe or fingernail
that has evolved to bear the entire weight of the big animal.

Standing Horse Domino Box
16"H 13"W 9"D

Eclipse in clay

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

Sunday, 4 August 2013

#449 Rabbits

I'm a country girl and my Father was a rancher, farmer, and dairyman.  I have had a love and 
appreciation of animals and the agrarian lifestyle since childhood.   We have horses, chickens, 
geese, goats, rabbits as well as cats and dogs at our Wyoming headquarters.  We live in a rural area 
on a river's bend and wildlife abounds . . . I have plenty of models for my artwork, both domestic and wild.

We raise and breed New Zealand White and Silver Fox domestic rabbits. . . 
both are large breeds and can be crossbred.  Rabbits breed and grow so 
quickly that one pair of does can produce more than 600 pounds of delicious, 
nutritious white meat in a year.

Below, Trish is holding a young New Zealand White buck 
that will get about 40% bigger when full-grown.

 I routinely use the animals as models, and below I'm working on a little rabbit study 
in the design studio.  The sculpture was blocked in earlier in front of the hutch.  
I've enlarged the ears and have not attempted to create a specimen of the breeds we raise.

Below, is a sculpture cast in bronze entitled; "Recumbent Hare".

Recumbent Hare

Below, is an original hand-tinted etching entitled The Clearing.

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