Sunday, 1 December 2013

#483 In the field: Africa . . . the big cats: Lion, part 2

Please start this series of posts with #477

Before I approach the sculpture stand and begin to model clay, most of the actual work has been completed through planning, researching the species to be depicted, drawing, photography, and importantly . . . in  the field work.  Being there is a huge part of the process for without it, the desire, inspiration, interest, and knowledge is simply not realized.

Below, are images of Lions from a recent trip to Tanzania.

If I struggle with a design, typically I'll either put the work aside or start over. . . rarely, will I force the sculpture to completion if the concept continues to present problems.  If I need additional understanding regarding anatomy, I will return to my reference and resources . . . but planning and envisioning what the finished work will look like, 
BEFORE I begin the actual sculpting, is paramount.

More than anything, I'm in search of the essence  and  essential character of the species I'm working on in the studio and I constantly ask myself:  "What is the most significant thing that I felt when I first laid eyes on this animal?"
I keep in mind the fact that feelings cannot be forced and I continue to seek meaning and substance in my work by constantly seeking the basic nature and spirit of the animals I've experienced in the field.    

Below, are drawings from my sketchbook in the Serengeti.

Below, is an etching drawn from a zoo animal before I travelled to Africa.  Although I've created a handful 
of works from zoo animals, it's not the same as seeing a species in the wild.  I see animals in a totally 
different way in their natural habitat  . . . not only do they look different, but they evoke an emotional 
response  and connection that is conducive to creativity.

Below, while photographing in the field, I take many close-ups of various details which are great reference in the studio.

I was very anxious to start work in the studio upon my return from Africa . . .  with over 20,000 digital photos and lots of drawings and inspiration, I could hardly wait for the clay to warm!  I have several works started and blocked in. 

Below, is a head study of a male Lion, in progress.

For anatomy reference, go to posts #563, #616, and #655
Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish Smith

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