View Full Version : New Stuff
May 31st, 2011, 05:22 PM
Evening Folks, I haven't posted any pictures of my sculptures in a very long time. Mostly because I haven't made anything good in a very long time. Thought I'd share the latest works and show you what I've been up to.
On a side note, I have been working a lot in college on 2D work, therefore I have not had much time for sculpting but have instead focused primarily on sketching in a variety of media. Although my skills now are greater in the use of charcoal, paint application, pencil and ink on flat services, my 3D work has stayed pretty much the same. Although I'm sure a better understanding of human anatomy will come in handy in future works.
The following sculptures were done as a leisure activity rather then as serious projects, they were created in the attempt to stay relatively fresh and active in the use of clay in between breaks I had from schooling.
This piece was created with zero reference images, hence why it looks terrible.
This next piece was done with a lot of reference images but the sides of the head and some other features are warped. It's about 4.5 inches tall
This one I've been working on for over a year but significant progress only occurred recently. Once I started adding clay I realized the inner metal was way too big and that I could not achieve a feminine form properly with such an underlying masculine build. So I did what most artists who aren't willing to destroy their creations do, I shoved her in the WIP closet and left her there for months. Occasionally I'd pull her out and try to improve her through surgical removal of excess metal and making extremely thin layers of clay to compensate for thick wire. Eventually and recently, I have decided to cut her arms off and then re attach much thinner wire in order to achieve more feminine forearms. The new wire started from the elbow down. I did what I felt was the best that I could do under the circumstances and made the piece acceptably female despite a masculine disposition. It is by no means perfect and I hope to achieve much better results in future attempts. All critiques are welcome. I realize the images do not provide much information due to their limited-ness of what you can see. This is intentional to conceal further error. More images will be posted upon request.
Thank you for your time.
June 2nd, 2011, 02:25 PM
First thing I notice is how critical you are of your own work. I think this is generally a good thing, helps you improve when you can look at your stuff critically like that but being too hard on yourself kinda destroys your passion for it.
I think you stepped over the helping yourself line and went into hurting your passion a bit here. I like what you've posted. The first pieces are charming and very detailed for the size. The head you did with a lot of reference is looking fine too. The female has problems with the anatomy but you already knew that. For me the bit that stands out the most is the elongated skeleton. I think some more work on making better armatures will really help there.
I'm in the same boat, struggling to get the anatomy right and I'm finding the better my armature is, the easier it is to nail it. Not that i've nailed it yet but I'm still hammering away :)
Hope you keep at it because you've obviously got the talent and critical eye to become really good.
June 4th, 2011, 02:41 AM
Thank you for your comment. My passion is definitely at a critically injured state and hooked up to a respirator. It's hard to be unique when all they do at school is try and destroy what you believe and make you assimilate. Every class wants me to make artwork that does not interest me nor in anyway way is related to what I do. As far as craft is concerned, if I cannot come up with anything unique or interesting, it might as well be perfectly assembled. None of my pieces are perfect, most of them have cracks and tons of design flaws. My goal is to compete with the greater sculptors of the world and it certainly isn't an easy task. So far I am quite behind compared to where they were at my age. Although I certainly lack many things they might have had, such as more room, materials, and motivation to keep creating. I use to create a new sculpture every day when I first started, now it seems I create maybe one sculpture a month and it's primarily half-assed. If I had the patience to make a piece everyday like I did when I first started, by now I'd be much better then I currently am.
I think most of what I've currently created is the result of procrastinating homework at all times. I couldn't sculpt at school because I was extremely busy and did not have the necessary supplies nor the desire to bring things I valued with me. Maybe I'll get the drive to crank out more pieces in the future, but for now laziness has driven me to focus primarily on paper. It's easy to waste an hour or two on a meaningless sketch doodle then to waste 8 hours on a potentially terrible piece of clay.
Time used to be the result of hard work and dedication, it didn't feel as if I was spending hours and hours, it merely was the by product. Now all I can think about is how long it will take me to make something and whether or not it'll even be worth it. Maybe it's the result of passion killing medication that is beneficial in unrelated areas. Who knows.
Regardless, thank you for the well thought out response and critique of my work. It's flattering you think that the female figure is somewhat in shape, however from a side view it looks terrible.
Anyway, here are some 2D sketches, I know it's not the right place, but I'd rather people see I'm still doing stuff.
Both of the above pictures were hand sketched and then given color in a program similar to Photoshop (it's a newish laptop that I haven't installed Photoshop on yet).
June 4th, 2011, 11:52 AM
It's interesting that you find sketching easier. Technically it's a more difficult task to take something 3D and convert it to 2D on a page. Where sculpture seems to be more difficult is in the time you have to put in. I think a sculpture a day is unrealistic. You might be doing interesting sculpture sketches in that time but for the kind of work you seem to be aiming for, I think you're looking at, at least a week for a pretty good sculptor. And that's a week of 8-10 hour sessions. That's what I've learned from studying the masters in this field.
This might not help but it works for me. Like right now I'm two weeks into a sculpt that's about 12" high. I'm looking at it now and it seems like there is more to do across the whole piece and I'm nowhere near fine details yet. So the tendency is, at least for me, to start getting excited about other things I'm seeing. I just watched spirited away again and I'm all over the character designs in that movie. I want to start two new pieces but there's a lot of hard slog work to do on this piece.
So what works for me is to break it down into smaller goals. The ultimate goal is to have it finished and painted but I can't think about that. I'd give up counting the hours as you're doing. I break up the work into smaller chunks. The head, overall form, left arm and so on. I work across the whole sculpture as that's what I've been taught to do but there are areas I can see that are problems I need to overcome. Like getting the wrinkles of a shoulder patch on a coat just right. I'll go off and study pictures, watch video of and so on until I understand what's going on, how material works and drapes over the body etc and right now i've just finished the shoulder forms and I'm delighted. It's taken two days just to do that but now that's "COMPLETE" A goal has been reached, creatively I'm happy. Now onto the next thing.
I also take pictures as I go every few days because it's easy to forget about progress you're making and feel like nothing is happening. Seeing photographs smacks you in the face literally with your progress and eeek, errors too.
I hope that at college you're learning anatomy and the boring stuff. That isn't supposed to be really creatively satisfying. It's just the work you need to do to become the artist you can see you are in your own mind. Me, I'm a master sculptor creating the worlds finest original art in my own mind but my hands don't know this yet lol Maybe I'm a year away from doing great work, maybe 10 years but if the process of making art along the way isn't satisfying you, forget about the feeling of finishing a piece, that's all bull***t anyway, when its done you probably hate it. like listening to the same music track you love too much, you end up hating it. I think its right and proper to hate your art when its done. (much later you can come back and love it all over again) What I'm talking about really is that feeling you're getting while you're working with the clay. If that's all good then that's the medium for you and you're bound to go on to become better and maybe even great.
If you really aren't enjoying the process, and its sketching that you're enjoying, maybe that's your medium. I can't tell you that, you're doing well in both, maybe you'll be great at both.
Finally, if certain meds are damping your style, that's understandable and perhaps the best way to fight that is to actively look for inspiration. Comics, movies, art galleries, museums and groups like this
Best of luck sorry for the mindstream of info here's a few quotes from real artists I thought were kinda poignant here and a lot more inspiring than my babble.
An artist never really finishes his work, he merely abandons it. - Paul Valery
Art hurts. Art urges voyages - and it is easier to stay at home. - Gwendolyn Brooks
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. - Scott Adams
June 6th, 2011, 10:33 PM
Sketching is easier once you figure out how to shade properly and are aware of what needs to to be done in order to make things appear closer and further away. Or at least for me it seems that way.
As for taking the time to do things right over a longer span rather then rushing it all, I certainly agree with you on that. Only thing is I feel like after a days worth of work if all I finished was a minor part of a huge project is that it's going to take forever and won't be worth it. Or that I could have been making smaller pieces and improving myself more rapidly instead of slowly improving one piece that may seem insignificant in the long run.
Although pictures certainly do help. Obvious error never is more clearer then on the computer screen matched up against references.
I wish they were teaching us anatomy and the "boring stuff". They skip straight past anatomy and technique and go straight to making us draw stuff in unpleasing and uncomfortable mediums. "You can sketch with your hands? Okay now try your feet." "Good at using pencil? Try using your own mucus this time". Of course there are occasions in which we are actually taught valuable lessons about how to improve our diversity of abilities outside our comforts zones, but personally I feel it's mostly abstract nonsense. I don't think it should be acceptable for a student to hand in something that looks like a toddler spilled a bunch of paint on the floor and then a dog walked over it. Although I personally don't believe most abstract art or modern art is actually art but that's a whole other debate.
When I'm sculpting a piece I feel like I'm the greatest artist in the world making the greatest thing on the planet and that when it's finished I will be given a nobel prize. When I'm finished, I am either sourly disappointed or pleased but not thrilled. Although there are pieces on my shelves that I look at and go "why can't I sculpt that good?" even though I'm the one who made it such a long time ago.
I don't think I'd be satisfied with sketching because I feel like it's only the first step. I don't feel my work is complete until there is a physical three dimensional version of my idea sitting in front of me. I do believe you are right as far as combating medication, looking for inspiration and finding new things often does spark enough motivation to create new things, which is fortunate because otherwise I'd have nothing to show here. I also appreciate the quotes, they are very thought provoking.
Thank you very much for your in depth reply, I apologize for my delayed response because I didn't even realize there was another reply to this thread until today.
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