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Thread: work height?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    work height?


    I've always preferred to work at eye-level; I've only ever done
    pieces at 18x24 or smaller, and if the middle of the work is where my
    eyes are, this minimizes the perspective problem that, for example,
    gets very severe looking across a flat table at the other extreme.

    But is it necessary...?

    I just took my second, brief painting course last week, and I
    noted quickly that many worked with their paintings a foot lower than
    I kept mine. I'm doing alright in my youth, but I can see that it
    could lessen the burden on the shoulder if the hand didn't have to be
    raised to eye level or even above, too.

    And now, I have a more daunting challenge-- a 35" tall, 300-lb
    tombstone to mount on an "easel."
    Here it is just roughed-out, in the backseat of the car:\

    Rather than build something from the ground up, probably shaky if
    I keep my purse strings tight, I can recycle the seriously robust
    picnic table I built several years ago. This would put the head at
    about eye level, but I'd be looking down at the rest of it.
    OTOH: it's lower to the ground and thus more stable and safer, my
    little hydraulic lifting cart just reaches the picnic table's height
    but not much higher so getting it higher poses a lifting challenge
    (which I can solve, though), and finally, with the bulk of the stone
    below my eyes, the flying chips will not get past the goggles and into
    my eyes.
    However, I'm also looking down across the bulk of the composition,
    not right at it, causing awkward perspective distortions.

    Though I could just make a good habit of standing back several
    feet every 20 seconds of carving.

    And I might ask myself-- maybe, whoever/however/whenever the
    finished piece comes to rest in a hallway, maybe it'll be at
    picnic-table height anyway, not bartop height?

    If your advice is indeed that higher would be better, to be
    looking right at the middle of the composition, I have an even more
    robust (though half as heavy as the marble) workbench in the basement
    that I can drag up to the backyard and mount the marble on.
    I have cargo straps to keep the marble from tipping forward, and
    heavy lag screws to bolt the framework to the picnic table or work
    bench, and some counterweight if necessary; I've thought through the
    logistics. I'm just asking about height; because unlike an easel, it
    can't be changed with the turn of two screws; it'll be at that height
    starting tomorrow or Monday, and remain stationary for the next few weeks.

    let me know your thoughts,

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    I couldn't see your example picture, but I'd say considering you won't be able to move it, set it up in whichever height is going to be most comfortable to work at, and if that means stepping back to look at it that can't be too bad a thing as you will probably see more that perhaps you'd miss if you're close too all of the time.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Brooklyn NY
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    With sculpture, you should always be changing where you are looking, High, low different lighting. That being said I know with a stone piece that big and heavy that is easier said than done. With the subject matter you are working on I'd find out how it's going to be mounted low to the ground I'd work harder on views kneeling and standing above it or if its up on a slab then eye level or looking up from kneeling. Then play with lots of different lighting Hope that helps.

    'I felt like a monster reincarnation of Horaito Alger and just sick enough to be totally confident.' - Hunter S Thompson Have your pet immortalized!

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