Life drawing and sculpting, continued

June 12th, 2006

The experience of sculpting from life, which gave me such a rich way of looking and working, made me question the value of the drawing that I normally do. Now that I am getting over the initial shock of sculpting from life, I begin to appreciate the contribution of drawing to the sculpting process. First, drawing is much faster, so capturing a sudden lively gesture is much easier in drawing. The proportions and details may be all wrong, but if the drawing captures the feeling of the gesture, then it is possible to get the other aspects right in the sculpture with a gradual working process. Second, I’ve realized that my life drawings contain more information that I thought, and the sculpting helps me to interpret the drawings more completely.

I also started working with wax today, which has the advantage that it is lighter lets me make figures that stand without any support.

I’ve been having a lively email discussion with the artist-sculptor who runs the Michelangelo’s Models website. Although the history of Michelangelo’s sculptural models is controversial (I discuss one viewpoint in an essay on the Sistine Chapel), the various proposals about his working methods can be inspirational for artists today. That is not to say one should be casual about evaluating Michelangelo’s methods, of course. It is only to say that even a speculative art-historical idea can be of value in the creative process, if it proves its worth in practice.

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4 Responses to “Life drawing and sculpting, continued”

  1. Jordan Says:

    When do we get to see some pics of your current work?

  2. Karl Zipser Says:

    Good question, I’ve been thinking about that also. I’ll write a post about this soon, discussing, or asking, why some artists regularly show their latest work on the web, while others are reticent. Are there interesting issues involved, or is it just laziness or insecurity or arrogance on the part of the people who hold back?

    One point is that by discussing what I am doing, without showing it, other people can perhaps more easily relate the ideas to their own work. I’ve always preferred reading about how to do art when there are no pictures to distract from the ideas.

    But still, if art is to become “that which looks good on the internet”, it is odd not to show very much of it. Perhaps I am resisting the idea in this way. As I said, good question.

  3. amber Says:

    good subject i never hesitate to post my work and the art forum i’m on i even post it before it’s done I think if your ok with open critique this is beneficial
    i’m interested in reading your thoughts about the process but i’m more interested in seeing it
    blessed are those who believe without having seen

  4. amber Says:

    yzdyskkmSpeaking of posting work i was envious of your blogging so i started one too
    i’m not quite sure what it’s all about I guess i’ll find out
    looking forward to talking art with you