Sunday, 17 August 2014

#557 In the studio: Clay sketches outdoors . . . Running Cheetah

Please refer to the previous post - # 556 - for more information about modeling clay sketches outdoors.

Yesterday, a group of nine artists, the Artist Ambassadors Against Poaching (AAAP) held a unique art event to
help African Wildlife Trust in their mission to save Tanzania's elephants.  The AAAP spent two weeks together in
Tanzania last fall sketching, photographing, and experiencing Tanzania's wildlife treasures in a camp called Kikoti
which is owned by the founder of African Wildlife Trust, Pratik Patel.  Monies raised by the sale of art yesterday
will be used to raise awareness and funds to help stop the rampant elephant poaching in Africa.  In some places,
over 60 elephants a day are being slaughtered for their ivory.  One of the things that Pratik is doing is starting
an elephant orphanage beside Kikoti Camp outside Tarangire National Park in Tanzania.  

 I am a member of AAAP and traveled to Tanzania with the other artists last fall . . . the following "quick-draw" was
created for the AWT auction yesterday and all money beyond casting cost and shipping will be
donated to AWT.


Below, are 8 photos showing the creation of the "Running Cheetah" quick-draw.

1.  Below, is my quick-draw setup:  1/2 inch plumber's pipe floor flange screwed down to a board;  a 5 inch pipe, "T" connection joining "T" with the floor flange;  wire;  wire cutters;  measuring device;  oil based plasteline clay;
and drawings of the subject and pose . . . a running Cheetah.

2.  Below, before attempting a quick-draw clay sketch, I first plan the pose and pay special attention where the "T" connection and pipe enter the figure.  I created three different poses and decided to model the top one shown
on the drawing.  Before approaching the sculpture stand, I have a definite plan for not only the scale of the
intended sculpture but the animal's gesture.  The pipe must be placed in such a way that it does not interfere
with important passages in clay and the sculptor must keep in mind that it will also be used as the pour spout
for the wax during the "lost wax" casting process.   Note: The pipe will eventually be cut off by the
foundry as the bronze casting is completed.

3.  Below,  this photo shows the twisted wire placed through the "T" connector and held in place by packing clay into it.  General proportions have been determined and I have followed the gesture of my subject's legs, head, and tail
with wire armature which will support the soft clay.  I'm aware of the most important characteristics of the
Cheetah such as long legs, small head,  and distinctive, supple body locomotion.

4.  Below,  I continue modeling the large form of the body then work on the placement of the legs.
I want the viewer to sense the animal's speed, mobility, and action by modeling in a direct and aggressive manner.
A thorough knowledge of quadruped anatomy is necessary in order to create a spontaneous sculptural statement.

5.  Below,  at this stage, I've established structural waypoints and determined where the joints articulate . . . the buttery, soft clay responds.  The raised cat-like scapula along the back and the correct angulation of the shoulder mechanism
is laid in.  At this point, the powerful hindquarters, the correct leg angles, and the stride of the cat is determined.

6.  Below, at this point, I've twisted the cat's supple spine and turned the head while adjusting the long,
heavy tail that the Cheetah uses for balance.

7.  Below, my main concern now is to not over-working the piece and losing the freshness and spontaneity.  A good thing about quick-draws is the artist typically is given a brief period of time to create and this should be taken advantage of by not overworking the piece.  In the time I have left to complete the work, I will refrain from stopping the action by introducing unimportant detail.  I've modeled a simple base that is strategically placed for balance and design and one that
does not interfere with the action.


8.  Below,  is the completed quick-draw sculpture . . . a clay sketch of a running Cheetah.  By witnessing a Cheetah chasing a gazelle in Tanzania last fall, I knew how I wanted to depict the beautiful animal.  Perhaps no "in the field" experience has translated so directly to one of my sculptures.  Before the sculpture goes to mold, I will "spiff" if up and do a little finish work.

If you are interested in acquiring this work please contact me . . . All money beyond the casting costs and
shipping will go to African Wildlife Trust in our ongoing efforts to stop the pouching of Africa's elephants.

To learn more about the subjects go to the links below.

For a complete list of the blog index go to the Index Page and
type the subject in the Search This Blog link on the right.

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

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