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Drawing & Sculpting The Figure

Author: Lance Dooley

Table of Contents
Part 1: INTRODUCTION TO FIGURE DRAWING ....................................................................5
The Language of Art ..........................................................................................................................7
Elements of a Figure Drawing...........................................................................................................8
Gesture ................................................................................................................................................9
Proportions .....................................................................................................................................10
Values (Light & Shadow) ................................................................................................................14
Artistic Anatomy ..............................................................................................................................15
Composition (Design).......................................................................................................................16
Blockin (Contour) ...........................................................................................................................17
Gestural Blockin Studies ................................................................................................................18
Blockin, Shading .............................................................................................................................19
Line To Mass.....................................................................................................................................20
Shadow Mapping..............................................................................................................................21
Compression & Tension...................................................................................................................22
Conveying Naturalistic Mass...........................................................................................................23
Contrapposto ....................................................................................................................................24
Foreshortening (Inferior View).......................................................................................................25
Foreshortening (Superior View) .....................................................................................................26
Foreshortening (Superior View with Theme) ................................................................................27
Hands.................................................................................................................................................28
Feet.....................................................................................................................................................30
Mood ..................................................................................................................................................31
Design Quality Contour and External Geometry.......................................................................33
Creating Atmosphere .......................................................................................................................34
Drawing From Sculptures ...............................................................................................................35
Conceptual Drawings.......................................................................................................................36
Clothed Subjects...............................................................................................................................37
Figure Drawing Example: Fail Safe Method .................................................................................38
Figure Drawing Example: Dancer..................................................................................................40
Figure Drawing Example: Locked Legs.........................................................................................41
Figure Drawing Example: Mandolist.............................................................................................42
Figure Drawing Example: Sarah & the Sword .............................................................................44
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Figure Drawing Example: Reclining with a Twist........................................................................46
Principle of Design: Geometry ........................................................................................................47
Part 2: UNDERSTANDING THE PORTRAIT ............................................................................48
The Skull ...........................................................................................................................................49
The Eye..............................................................................................................................................50
The Nose ............................................................................................................................................52
The Mouth.........................................................................................................................................53
The Ear..............................................................................................................................................54
Portrait Drawing Example: Elderly Man ......................................................................................55
Portrait Drawing Example: Woman ..............................................................................................56
Portrait Drawing Example: Rebasong ...........................................................................................57
Portrait Sculpting Example: Rebasong..........................................................................................58
Sculpting Stands and Studio Concerns ..........................................................................................61
Proportions & Measurements of the Adult Portrait.....................................................................62
Portrait Sculpture: Clay Block-in to Bronze Cast ........................................................................64
Profile of Southern Italian Woman ................................................................................................66
Mask of Native American Man .......................................................................................................68
Drawing The Profile: the Rudder of the Face ...............................................................................69
Portrait of a Peruvian Woman........................................................................................................70
Portrait of African American Man.................................................................................................71
Portrait of a Thin Woman ...............................................................................................................72
Modeling Form: Ukrainian Woman...............................................................................................73
Portrait of an Italian Man ...............................................................................................................74
Profile of Elderly Native American Man .......................................................................................76
Posterior View of Skull ....................................................................................................................77
Drawing Into Painting .....................................................................................................................78
Part 3: FIGURE SCULPTING .......................................................................................................79
The Torso (Male) ..............................................................................................................................80
Maximum Gesture............................................................................................................................83
Contour Line in Sculpture...............................................................................................................88
Clothing in Sculpture .......................................................................................................................89
Figure Sculpture Example: Traditional Anatomical Pose ...........................................................90
Figure Sculpture Armature .......................................................................................................................90
Shaped Armature .......................................................................................................................................91
Proportional Assessment............................................................................................................................92
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Block-in Torso, Legs, Head........................................................................................................................93
Torso Block-in.............................................................................................................................................94
Shoulders & Arms ......................................................................................................................................95
Complete Block-in ......................................................................................................................................96

Figure Sculpture Example: Heroic Sized Figure Sculpture.........................................................97


Maquette to Monumental Scale Portrait .....................................................................................100
Anthropomorphism........................................................................................................................103
Summary .........................................................................................................................................105
Table of Contributing Artists........................................................................................................105
Appendix A: Relative Proportions................................................................................................106
Appendix B: Artistic Terminology ...............................................................................................107
Line, Shape, Form, Gesture.....................................................................................................................107
Spatial Relationships ................................................................................................................................107
Light & Value ...........................................................................................................................................108
Composition ..............................................................................................................................................108

Appendix C: Anatomical Terminology ........................................................................................110


Appendix D: FIGURE DRAWING SYLLABUS ........................................................................111
Syllabus for Figure Drawing I, II, III .....................................................................................................111
Course Description & Objectives............................................................................................................111
Textbook and Recommended Reading ...................................................................................................111
Grading......................................................................................................................................................112
Weekly Topics ...........................................................................................................................................113
Materials List ............................................................................................................................................113
Homework Assignments & Sketch Book................................................................................................115
Tiers of Mastery & Progression of Skills ...............................................................................................116

Appendix E: FIGURE SCULPTING SYLLABUS .....................................................................117


Syllabus for Figure Sculpting I ...............................................................................................................117
Course Description & Objectives............................................................................................................117
Textbook and Recommended Reading ...................................................................................................117
Grading......................................................................................................................................................118
Weekly Topics ...........................................................................................................................................119
Materials List ............................................................................................................................................120

Appendix F: SCULPTURE PROJECT GUIDE TEMPLATE ..................................................121


Appendix M: A GUIDE TO MOLD MAKING...........................................................................122
Citations ..........................................................................................................................................146

Drawing and Sculpting the Figure, by Lance Dooley 2012

Part 1: INTRODUCTION TO FIGURE DRAWING


Figure drawing is the art of drawing the human body. Life drawing is the art of drawing the human
body while observing a live model. In this publication We use the term figure drawing to
encapsulate all activities and forms of drawing the human body, weather it is from imagination,
reference material or observing a live model. We will discuss a variety of topics in an attempt to
introduce the reader to the field of figure drawing.

This publication is not all inclusive and the serious artist or art student will build their knowledge
and skills in the area of figure drawing by acquiring as much reference material as possible, as well
as practicing the art of figure drawing on a regular basis. Many artists dedicate a large portion of
their work to figure drawing, figure painting and figure sculpting. This type of artist is referred to as
a figurative artist and when the term artist is used for the remainder of this publication, it is implied
we are referring to the figurative artist. The section on The Language of Art will introduce some
vocabulary used by artists. At the core of this publication is the concept of learning and knowing
how to create a harmonious figure drawing by balancing the five elements found in a figure
drawing: gesture, proportion, values, anatomy & composition. With a trained eye and strong but
delicate command over ones motor skills, it is possible to create a higher level of aesthetic in ones
figure drawings. While taste is always important in any conversations about art, it is always possible
for the artist to become more skilled at depicting the human figure accurately. The artist is then free
to use this ability to his own ends, whether for realism or something more fanciful. Therefore, the
bulk of the material in this publication is dedicated to understanding how to create and recognize
figure drawings that convey a naturalistic look. To the professional, this means honing in on the
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largest broadest movements of a figure and reproducing these accurately. In contrast, the amateur
will focus on the details first and try to build a drawing around that.
Without the fundamental knowledge of how to create a wellstructured figure, the skills of an artist
would be stunted and maximum potential may not be reached. Inversely so, pure skill with no
creativity produces dead work. Hence, the delicate balance of knowledge, motor skills, and
creativity is the holy grail of the artist. This publication has included examples from a variety of
styles to promote maximum awareness.
Examples on techniques, approaches and methods to drawing and then sections on special topics
will collectively address a variety of important concerns and concepts for the artist. The art student
will especially benefit from these sections, which will show many examples concerning how the
human body appears and what problems to avoid.
A section on drawing from sculptures has
been added because drawing classical
sculpture casts is a stable of an academic
education. A section on the portrait has been
included because of the challenges presented
to the artist when confronted with drawing the
portrait. It is often said, the portrait sells the
drawing.
Before we begin, another point to be aware of
is how the artist views the model. It is
impossible to leave behind all of the
preconceived notions of what we think the
human body looks like. However, when
drawing a specific human body, the artist must
remember not project oneself onto the paper.
The power of seeing is the greatest ability an
artist can possess. Once the forms are seen as
they truly are, then motor skills can be learned
to render the specific shapes and character of
the model.

Drawing and Sculpting the Figure, by Lance Dooley 2012

The Language of Art


Drawing is a visual language and no amount of verbiage can make up for what can be instantly
recognized by our eyes and minds. The language used by artists is a set of terms and phrases used to
describe lines, shapes, forms and colors.
In its most basic sense, representational art is form. The more varied and intriguing the forms an
artist can create or mimic, the more interesting the art will be. Art that is amorphous or without
form is often dull and boring. Art that lacks structure will quickly lose our attention and have no
relevance to the viewer. Hence, there is a need to understand the structure of the human figure and
to describe it with minimal subjectivity.
Shapes found throughout the figure are exact and vary from subject to subject. Forms are conveyed
to us optically through an understanding of light, shadow and variation in the value changes along
the borders between light and shadow.
An adult can predict the tactile nature of
an object optically. We begin learning
the lessons of object softness and
hardness from the moment we enter the
world. Much like a dog explores objects
with its mouth, we explore objects with
our hands. The relation between the
tactile nature of an object and its
appearance are recorded in our minds
and as we age, we no longer need to
touch everything in front of us to
predict its tactile properties.
The trained artist will use the
knowledge of optics to manipulate any
medium to create the illusion of form.
When the artists ability to render form
has reached an advanced state, he or she
can trick the viewer into believing that
what has been created on paper, canvas
or clay has a life of its own.

Drawing and Sculpting the Figure, by Lance Dooley 2012

Elements of a Figure Drawing


The primary elements of a figure drawing are: gesture, proportions, values, anatomy &
composition. These terms will be used extensively throughout this text. In an ideal setting with the
best materials and media at hand, the drawing with the most thoughtful balance of these five aspects
will often have the greatest appeal to the viewer.
It is of course possible to dedicate more energy to any of the singular elements at the expense of the
others in order to achieve a style that brings ones attention to the expression and mood. This can be
an important thing for the artist to do and it will affect the style.
Remember these 5 concepts as you create your drawing and think of these concepts in a circular
manner in which each aid in the development of each other:
Gesture

Proportions

Values (Light & Shadow)

Anatomy

Composition

Composition

Anatomy

Gesture

Proportions

Light &
Shadow

Drawing and Sculpting the Figure, by Lance Dooley 2012

Gesture
Gesture refers to the overall movement, twisting, and dynamic aspect of a figure. The human body
can be oriented in countless positions to maximize gesture and the artist will often push the model
or use the power of observation to look for more gesture. Gesture is the primary means by which
emotion is conveyed in a drawing.
The initial strokes of a drawing can greatly influence the eventual progression of a drawing. The
more advanced or professional artist will recognize the largest movements of the drawing and begin
plotting those onto the paper.
A drawing without gesture is static. Gesture is often thought of as the most important element in a
drawing and that is why we discuss it first. If an artist neglects or fails to employ any of the other
four elements, then the drawing could still be saved if the gesture was extremely well done.
The term gesture study refers to the exercise of drawing only the gesture of a figure. In and of
itself, this can be a valuable exercise. As the artists skill progresses, the gestural element of a figure
drawing will always remain of paramount importance. However, without giving consideration to
proportion, values, anatomy and composition, the gestural studies may never blossom into a
balanced drawing.

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Proportions
The proportions of a figure refer to the relative lengths, sizes, thicknesses and distances of the
various elements of the body. A system of proportions uses a body part as a unit of measurement:
the head being a popular choice as it's essentially bone and does not change in size. If one says that
a figure is an X headed figure, what is meant is that the length of the head can be stacked up X
times and it would equal the figures height from foot to top of the head.

Ideal Proportions
Through the centuries there have been various cannons of ideal proportions used by artists.
Michelangelo used a 7 and a half head figure. Other artists used an 8 or even a 9 head figure. Using
a higher head number figure will make the figure look more heroic and increasingly unrealistic and
stylized. The ideal proportions therefore have changed throughout time and are different between
cultures. Regardless of race, most adults in the world are between 6.5 to a 7.5 heads tall.
Leonardo da Vinci created a famous drawing called the Vitruvian Man that was an attempt at
demonstrating the ideal proportions. Vitruvian Man is depicted with outstretched arms and legs in
two superimposed positions inscribed in a circle and square relationship derived from a passage
about geometry and human proportions in the writings of the Roman architect Vitruvius Pollio.

Natural Proportions
Even though the heights of people are different, the human body tends to be structured in a
proportionate manner. Unless you are creating a fictional character from your imagination or trying
to alter your figure drawing to achieve some type of style, it is best not to adhere to an ideal
proportion. The artist should always be aware of what is in front of him and that should be the basis
of the figure drawing, not a prefabricated generic figure in the minds eye.
When observing the proportions of a live model, one must always keep in mind that unless the
figure is standing perfectly erect and facing the artist, there will invariably be foreshortening. Since
a drawing is a two dimensional representation of a three-dimensional object, we must have at our
disposal a way of discerning the proportions that is more robust.
Because parts of a figure are often eclipsed by other parts of the figure, we cannot always rely on
using the head as a basis of proportions. It is therefore recommended to use Relative Proportions as
a more reliable guide. Appendix A Relative Proportions, contains a list of relative measurements
based on the bones.

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Male Female Proportional Differences


There will be some slight proportional variations between the male and female adult. In general, the
rib cage of a man will equal the width of his hips. The neck of a female will often appear longer.
This is because the clavicles are more horizontal in orientation and her shoulders will appear lower.
The clavicles of a man will
be slanted more upwards
towards the lateral. The
arms of a woman may be
proportionately slightly
shorter for her body when
compared with the arms of
a man. Women tend to
pack more weight onto the
pelvic region, whereas a
man will pack more weight
onto the abdomen.
Regardless of gender, the
Greater Trochanter will be
approximately the halfway
point between the ankles
and top of the head.

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Relative Proportions Example


At this point it is wise to see an example of how a figure drawing progresses, with an emphasis on
relative proportions. For all practical purposes, creating relative proportions means to apply the
concept of relative comparison. See the definition of relative comparison in the glossary at the back
of this publication.
In this example, we show a woman
sitting on a low bench. The first order
of business is to create an accurate
block-in of the woman with charcoal.
This drawing shows the completed
block-in, which will be the foundation
of the rest of the drawing. Take your
time when blocking-in and dont be
afraid to erase some of your lines,
while leaving some construction lines
exposed until the very end of the
drawing. Remember to draw very
lightly, so you can make changes as
the model adjusts into a more
comfortable posture that will be more
naturalistic.
This may look simple and
thoughtless, but actually quite a bit
has happened in the mind of the artist.
Many decisions were made that
allowed the artist to arrive at this
block-in. Looking through the lens of
proportions, we can examine the
drawing in a different way. Notice the
two straight lines. Each line is exactly
the same length, but connecting at the
buttocks of the model. In real life, the
artist was holding up a stick and
taking optical measurements of the
model. It was found that the distance
from the buttocks contact point on the
low bench was equal to both the top
of the head and to the bottom of the
calcaneus. This is how the artist knew
how long to make the legs and how
high to make the top of the head.

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Now, we use a second set of comparison
distances. This time we find equidistant
lines from the contact point of the buttocks
to the upper right should and another line
from the rear of the buttocks to the left
patella. You should be aware of the fact
that the reference points chosen are tightly
coupled with anatomical landmarks, which
you will learn about later. Always try and
chose a reference point that is near a bone
or a point on the model that is less likely
to move and sway about. This has the
direct effect of making more reliable
measurements throughout the drawing.
This process can be repeated with multiple
comparison distances. However, always
use the greatest distances possible and
avoid getting trapped into details.
Now, we superimpose both sets of lines
on top of the final drawing. One set of
lines is colored red and other set of lines is
colored blue, which can only be noted if
your printout of this publication is in
color. If not, then refer back to the earlier
examples to show the two different sets of
lines.
A professional artist who is concerned
with creating a correctly proportioned
naturalistic figure can benefit greatly from
this method. Another method used to the
draw correct proportions of a figure would
be to create a grid in space and a grid on
your paper and recreate each square on the
grid exactly as seen in space. However,
that method is extremely tedious and
mechanical. The grid method will take
you further away from what you should be learning. Your goal should be to develop a natural sense
of identifying the optical and natural proportions of the figure in front of you. In a real time
situation, where the model is in front of you in real life and there are many variables in the
environment, this method of identifying relative proportions and distances on the figure will be one
of the most useful skills you can learn. Learn and practice this skill until you are very proficient. In
this example drawing you can see there is some shading done. You can even use the method of
relative proportions and distances with shadow borders as end points. We now move on to shading
and values, which will introduce a new host of terminology.

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Values (Light & Shadow)


The term values refers to the illusion of light and shadow
effects as seen by the observer. In the Renaissance, the light and
shadow effect of a drawing or painting was referred to as
chiaroscuro. This is the effect of light and dark when the forms in
a drawing seem to exist in three dimensions.
Using a value scale is helpful in achieving a full range of light
and shadow. If correct values are employed in a drawing then the
drawing can take on a very life like quality. Reducing the value
scale will result in a more simplified light and shadow effect.
Increasing the value scale to use many values will result in a very
complicated light and shadow effect as we see and experience in
daily life. The artist will have to decide which value scale is
appropriate to convey the illusion of form and create volume in the drawing.
Both drawings on this page rely upon values to convey a sense of volume and light direction. The
drawing below shows a value scale and some geometrical objects to help illustrate lighting effects.
The value scale has five discrete values. It should be noted that in this case, the lowest value is
where there is a complete absence of light. This can occur in the instance of a cast shadow, such as
the sphere casting a shadow on the cube.

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Artistic Anatomy
Artistic anatomy is concerned with the anatomical topology of the body and how it can be conveyed
in a drawing. Knowing the skeletal structure and musculature is key for anatomy. Being able to
identify where the bones come close to the surface of the skin (bony landmarks) will aid the artist in
identifying and creating believable anatomy in a drawing. These bony landmarks can also serve as
markers for relative proportional measurements.
The artist needs to have a working
knowledge of the most important
anatomical markers. Anatomical
markers of the portrait can be found in
Part 2 this publication: Understanding
the Portrait.
Here is a list of the most important
anatomical markers and bones that
should be understood:
supra-sternal notch
clavicle
acromion process
scapula
ridge of scapula
7th cervical vertebra
olecranon
head of ulna
arch of rib cage
8th rib (widest point of ribs)
naval
anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS)
posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS)
sacrum
greater trochanter
patella
head of fibula
anterior tuberosity of tibia
inner & outer ankle
calcaneus

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Composition (Design)
The composition of a figure drawing refers directly to the pose(s) of the figure(s) and how they are
placed and arranged with respect to each other and the environment they are in. Discussions on
composition are often controversial and subjective, however, a strong composition will often please
the eye without the viewer understanding why.
Usage of abstract shapes and harmony between the elements plays an important role in composition.
There are a host of terms associated with composition: unity, emphasis, focal point, balance,
proportion & scale, contrast, movement, rhythm & pattern, variety, harmony, rule of thirds,
geometry and gestault.
The painting on this page
started out as a figure
drawing of a woman. Other
animal figures were added in
the foreground and receding
into the background. Also, a
vantage point was chosen to
be slightly off to the right of
the picture frame and some
architecture was added. The
figure must harmonize with
its surroundings and every
attempt was made to create a
seamless environment.

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Blockin (Contour)
Blockingin the figure is a reliable method of beginning a drawing. Blockingin is the procedure of
creating a simplified contour and internal information of the model that inherently contains the
gesture of the figure. This process is sometimes referred to as contour drawing. The term blockin is
used here because the contour lines will overlap as necessary and the blockin will also contain
some internal information such as curved lines to indicate the path of the spinal column and
rhythms occurring throughout the body that pass between internal and purely contour. The shadow
shapes can also be blocked in to enhance the internal information.
Blockingin a figure may use action and gesture lines to establish gesture; hence the gesture of the
figure is inherent in an accurate blockin. The initial lines of the blockin are often straight, which
allows the artist to more easily make corrections as the block-in progresses.
The drawings on this page are
examples of how to block in a figure.
On the far left we can see the initial
lines that are used to gauge the
dimensions of the figure. The second
from the left is the finished block-in
that has some shadow information
added.

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Gestural Blockin Studies


Returning a moment to the concept of gesture, we want to ensure that your drawings always have
maximum gesture. It is tempting to engage in an over-legalistic approach of blocking in the figure
that will result in a loss of gesture. As a form of practice, it is recommended blocking-in the torso in
a loose but accurate fashion as is shown on the top drawing.
When doing quick
but accurate torso
gestural studies
becomes easy for the
student, then
progress on to full
body gestural blockins and do not worry
about detail of any
kind.

Imagine your drawings are


made of clay and you can
only create flat surfaces
with a tool pressing onto
the clay. Stick with this
concept and your work will
become more firm and
solid looking. Corners and
harder looking areas can
be rounded out later if need
be, but it is more important
to attain the critical
information of where form
turns in space while
working from the model, in
the beginning of a drawing.

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Blockin, Shading
The drawing on this page demonstrates how the blockin technique was used to draw a seated man,
twisting to one side. The proportions are believable and all the elements of a figure drawing are
working well.
As the artist moves from line to mass,
he must consider how to indicate
value. One strategy to accomplish
shadow mass is to use the Cross
Hatching technique. As the name
implies, the medium is laid down in a
crisscross fashion to produce
intersecting straight lines. The density
of the Cross Hatching will determine
the darkness or value.
In the drawing, we can see how the
artist has used Cross Hatching on the
gluteus region. In fact, Cross
Hatching and various other hatching
techniques have been used throughout
the drawing to control the value. Note
how the bottom of the unrendered
section of leg is blocked in with
straight lines. These will be refined as
the drawing progresses.

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Line To Mass
Progressing from line to mass allows the artist to create an accurate blockin drawing combined
with a full spectrum of values.
As seen in the sample drawing below, the first step entails creating an accurate blockin drawing.
The artist incorporates some internal information and maps the shadow shapes. All of the shadow
areas are given nearly the same value in this step and more time is spent refining the contour,
internal information and shapes of the shadows.
The intermediate step involves pushing the darker shadow areas down to a lower value. The process
of establishing highest and lowest values in a drawing is referred to as keying the drawing. Some
modeling of form in the shadow areas is a good idea at this point. There are different schools of
thought on whether the majority of modeling should be done in the light areas or in the shadow
areas. It is up to the artist to determine which is appropriate.
The final step involves keying the drawing again to find the absolute lowest value that can be
achieved by the charcoal or the medium. This will allow the maximum breadth of value change
within the drawing. The artist must be careful to leave some of the light areas untouched by the
charcoal. If the paper is midtoned, then the possibility exists of using white chalk to further model
forms in the light areas.

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Shadow Mapping
Another technique used to accurately mimic the forms seen on the figure is called Shadow
Mapping. The goal of shadow mapping is to exactly replicate the shadow shapes seen on the model,
as if they were pieces in a puzzle. When the shapes of light and shadow are mapped accurately and
the borders between light and shadow vary between soft and sharp then the result can be a
convincing illusion of form.
Shadow Mapping works best when combined with a convincing blockin of the figure. Without a
correct blockin, shadow mapping will be ineffective because the shadow shapes on your drawing
will never exactly correspond to what is seen on the model. The big picture must be correct before
placing smaller details.
Shadow Mapping is dependant on a
strong or singular light source. The
light source traditionally comes from
above and slightly off to one side.
However, interesting optical effects
can be achieved if the light source is
from the side or below the model.
One pitfall to be aware of in Shadow
Mapping is if the model moves too
much. Too much movement in the
model is like trying to map a moving
target and will require a great amount
of finesse on the part of the artist.
This approach works best if the overall
shape of your sculpture or outline of
your drawing is fairly close to that of
the person in front of you. Like
anything, it may help to think of the
shadow shapes as abstract shapes and
the artist can have a lot of fun
imagining what the shadow shapes (or
corresponding) light shapes resemble.
For example, see how the light shape
on the shoulders looks like the tail of a
whale.

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Compression & Tension


The concept of compression and tension in human anatomy is essential to understand. Compression
and tension occur in pairs, on opposite sides of the figure as each other.
The human body can be oriented in endless positions, forcing the torso, head, neck and other
appendages into strange or awkward orientations. On a local level it must be understood that if a
muscle is flexed then opposing muscles will not be flexed. If one side of the body is in compression
then the opposite side will be in tension and vice versa. The body may seem be to at rest, but it is
constantly striving to find balance through flexion or relaxation.
In this drawing, the womans rib cage and pelvis are rotated with respect to each other and there is
tension on the down side of her rib cage and oblique muscles. On the upside, we can see the sharp
line of her rib cage digging into the oblique muscle, as this area is under compression. Remember,
compression pushes two forms together and tension pulls a form apart.

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Conveying Naturalistic Mass


All body types are valued in the fine arts. When presented with a larger person, be attentive to the
unexpected shapes and portray mass in an honest way. Only this way will you produce work that is
naturalist and is not fabricated looking.
Gravity is constantly pulling
the human body downward.
The skeleton is a rigid
structure that is balanced and
moved about by the muscles.
Fat and other tissue will
succumb to the visual
indication gravity more
easily than muscles and
bones.
Even thin people will show
signs of the fleshy parts
being pulled down by
gravity. Indicating a
downward pull of flesh in a
drawing will bring a sense of
life to the work.

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Contrapposto
The contrapposto pose is an
asymmetrical arrangement of the
human figure in which the tilt of the
rib cage contrasts with the tilt of the
pelvis. When in standing position, the
leg carrying the majority of the weight
is referred to as the standing leg. The
other leg will be bent and used mostly
for balance, hence named the balance
leg. The side of the pelvis that is on
the standing leg side will be higher
than the side of the pelvis of the
balance leg. This tilting of the pelvis
means that the lumbar portion of the
spinal column will also be angled
slightly to one side. Because the
contrapposto pose is usually a
standing pose, it is necessary for the
rib cage to be tilted or leaned in the
other direction as the pelvis to retain
balance. This tilted and leaning back
and forth of the spinal column creates
a snaking line, often referred to as an
S Curve.
In the sample drawing here, we can
see a female standing in contrapposto.
The left leg is locked at the knee,
which carries the majority of the
weight. The other leg is bent and is
balancing the figure.
Study the contrapposto pose carefully
because it is seen in the art studio
often, as well as throughout everyday
life. When humans are standing in one
spot, it is very common to shift the
weight onto one leg and the body
naturally falls into contrapposto.

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Foreshortening (Inferior View)


This section introduces one of the main visual impediments for the beginner. In normal everyday
life we are most apt to observe people standing on two feet and facing us. The problem encountered
by the artist is when a human is not in this type of pose, but instead limbs and other portions of the
body are turning away or receding from the viewer. When portions of the body are receding away
from the viewer, then we call this foreshortening. Foreshortening is often seen in reclining poses.
The most common mistake made when drawing a foreshortened object is to draw it more elongated
than it appears optically, because our minds are use to seeing and recognizing humans in a fully
standing up right position with arms and legs extended fully.
In this inferior view of a woman sitting and leaning forward, we can see the dramatic effect of how
the pelvis and rib cage can be rotated with respect to one another. In this case, the rotation in the
pelvis and ribcage enable us to understand the foreshortening that is occurring. The pelvis and
gluteus are only slightly foreshortened, while the ribcage is extremely foreshortened. The upper
right arm is almost vertical and only slightly occluded, which helps the viewer understand the
foreshortening.

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Foreshortening (Superior View)


Here again, we see a foreshortened view of a person. In this case, we are looking from the superior,
at a reclining woman on her back with her right shoulder stretched back.
The right thigh is almost perpendicular to the viewer and has no foreshortening. The left thigh is
extremely foreshortened. In this case, it is important to correctly articulate the patella so the viewer
can recognize the form of the leg. The right forearm is very foreshortened as the wrist bends and the
back of the hand is somewhat braced under the lower back.
In the spirit of a stronger sense of design, the background and drapery the woman was lying on are
minimized and only a strong ground line is drawn.

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Foreshortening (Superior View with Theme)


Here is another foreshortened view of a person. This model is twisted to her right and the feet are
showing. This was done as a classroom demonstration. When the drawing was completed, I added
in a fanciful hair addition along with a set of wings. This was done in order to create a theme and
pull the viewers eye left and right.

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Hands
Hands are the most complicated part of
the human body to draw, after the portrait.
When drawing hands, it might be useful
to break them down into the following
components: wrist, palm, thumb, and
fingers. Drawing the outline of where the
ends of the fingers will be placed is more
advisable than drawing each finger and
getting the placement of joints incorrect.
Do not focus on drawing the fingers first
and then drawing the palms. First, draw
the wrist and palms and then draw the
fingers. Always drawing everything from
the largest forms and work your way to
the smaller or more complicated forms.
Also to note, is the length of the open
hand from the base of the palm to end of
the longest finger is approximately the
same distance as the length of the face
(the bottom of the chin to the top of the
forehead). Open your hand and place it on
your face, the base of the palm touching
your chin and fingers touching forehead.
This often over looked comparison can
prevent your drawing from having hands
that appear to short.
The hands shown on this page all belong to the same person, a 25-year old male. Never forget, the
hands can impart an emotional or even intelligent affect on the viewer. Womens hands are often
made to be more pointy and narrowed at the fingertips. When you see this, it is often done to create
a more feminine hand. The male hand is often drawn to seem stronger or bonier. In either case, you
cant go wrong by just drawing what you see.

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Knowing how much detail to incorporate into the hand is also an important factor. Always
remember, viewers will usually see the contour or line quality of a form first, then the shadows,
then smaller modeled forms. Therefore, put most of your effort into drawing correctly proportioned
hands with strong contour lines. Do not fret about every little wrinkle. Only after you have rendered
a well-structured hand and decided where the shadow borders will be, will you want to start
considering wrinkles or veins.
Also to note, is when the hand interacts with foreign objects such as the sphere above. It would be
wise to create the outline of the foreign object early on in the drawing to make sure its dimensions
or forms wont have to be skewed in order to fit into the hand. Knowing the anatomy of the hand
will enable you to alter the pose of a hand from its observed state, in order to accommodate foreign
objects.
Drawing hands can be a
therapeutic exercise that
will strengthen your
overall drawing
abilities. Again, as a
reminder, the two most
common mistakes when
drawing hands are;
drawing a hand smaller
than it should be and
creating too much
unnecessary detail in the
hand.

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Feet
The full weight of the human body is placed on feet everyday and therefore the feet are engineered
to withstand incredible forces. Unlike most quadrupeds, the human foot has most of the weight
placed near the rear of the form, when standing in a normal balanced position. The forms at the
front of the feet are used more for balance, agility and articulation, when needed.

When drawing the feet, it is most advantageous to draw the outline or contour before drawing any
details. Think about the structure and purpose of a foot and what is its function. As with the hand,
draw the largest masses first and then draw where the ends of the toes are and then subdivide as
necessary. Always draw the big toe and then the other four toes in that order. From the bottom view
of a foot, we can see how the toes fall into groupings. The first and most important toe is the big
toe, equaling the mass of the next two toes combined. The next two toes are seen in descending
order, yet seemingly grouped together. The last two toes seem to be grouped together as well. When
viewed from above, the big toe is obviously the most important, yet the other toes may not seem to
be as separable as when viewed from below. In that sense, just draw the delineation between the big
toe and draw the other four toes as a group. This will reduce the complexity of the task at hand. If
you have time, and if it is necessary, then draw the delineation between the smaller toes.

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Mood
Mastering many of the topics already discussed will enable the artist to create mood in a drawing.
Color is often the most efficient way to create mood and painters will leverage their knowledge of
color to create it. The artist working only with charcoal or other monochromatic medium will have
to indicate mood by relying upon their knowledge of rendering form with gesture, proportion, value,
anatomy and tying it all together with an effective composition. Indicating mood in a drawing is not
an easy task.
Use creative shading or enhanced gesture to create more mood. Some simple eraser work to pick
out areas of light above a persons head can imply meaning. Drawing the eyes looking up, down or
sideways will each indicate a different mood or emotion.
In this drawing, we have
chosen a sedentary pose
with the model seated and
leaning forward. The
mood of this scene is
perhaps more inward
reflective.
Poses like this are easy to
set up and are much less
taxing on the models
because they dont require
the model to stand for long
periods of time.

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Another intriguing example that conveys mood is shown on this page. In this case, the artist Juan
Cbbos has left in remnants of the early phases of the drawing and alternate poses of the same model.
Drawing like this can reveal a series of moments in time. Many of the Old Masters (renaissance)
would leave remnants and contour lines of other poses in their drawings because it was part of the
process of studying the figure.

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Design Quality Contour and External Geometry


Producing drawings with a sense of design will incite interest from other artists and viewers alike.
Choosing what to include or not to include in a naturalistic figure drawing is called selective
rendering. This is a topic concerning the philosophy of drawing and is a segue-way into
discussions about style preferences. The drawing at the top shows a minimalistic naturalistic
representation of a woman on her side. The contour line of her shape is emphasized and works in
concert with the contour line of the surface she is laying on, creating a sense of harmony.

The drawing on the left has the


seating surface omitted and the
external geometric shape of a
circle is integrated into the
scene. I used reconstructive
realism to manipulate her left
leg so its contour aligns up
with the circle. The circle and
the woman work together and
create a composition. The
lower right leg extends outside
the confines of the circle and
provides a counterbalance to
the otherwise contained
feeling.

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Creating Atmosphere
As your skill increases you will want to add a little more atmosphere to your drawings by
incorporating props or playing with tricks of shading around the figure. In this drawing I have used
the natural transition that occurs between the pelvis and legs as an opportunity to crop the drawing
in that region in a way that feels natural. Some heavier shading around the figure with some eraser
work to pluck out a hint of a halo and the drawing becomes slightly angelic. Be clever in how you
create atmosphere, but dont over do it.

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Drawing From Sculptures


Drawing from sculptures is an excellent
exercise because another artist has
predigested the visual material and rendered it
in an easier to understand form. The sculpture
is not moving and there is no rush to draw it.
The drawings on this page present various
styles of drawing, all of which were done of
sculptures throughout Italy.
On the right, we show a pencil drawing of
LArco in Piazza Dalmazia in Florence, Italy.

On the right is a drawing of Young David,


after the sculpture by Donatello.

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Conceptual Drawings
Conceptual drawings are created when the thought to be conveyed is more important than the
finished drawing. For this reason, conceptual drawings are usually less academic in nature. The
gesture and composition of the drawing usually dominate the eye.
Conceptual drawings are often done to help generate ideas for a longer study or project. Because
conceptual drawings are done with minimal restraints and maximum expression, they can often be
some of the artists best work.

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Clothed Subjects
The best strategy for drawing clothed or partially clothed figures is to focus primarily on
establishing a convincing figure with correct gesture and proportions. Clothes will be pulled along
or form fitted over the body, respectively. The larger masses and bony projections of the body will
push at the surface of the clothes.
If any of the bony landmarks
of the body are visible, then
take advantage to render them
accurately and sharply: knees,
ankles, elbows, wrist, hands,
clavicles, jaw line.
Clothing material has its own
weight and will fold in the
direction it is pulled. Not all
clothing is equal and we notice
the boots on the woman in this
drawing have a much more
rigid feeling than the other
clothing present.

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Figure Drawing Example: Fail Safe Method


There is a simple and fail-safe method for drawing a proportionate and well-gestured figure that I
teach in my college level figure drawing classes. Following these steps each time you create a figure
drawing will dramatically increase your success rate for depicting the person in front of you.
Step 1: Carefully block-in the contour of the figure from head to toe. Use mostly straight lines and
or large swooping lines. This is often referred to as the Envelope Method. Optically measure and
compare the distances between the lines and resulting shapes. This is referred to as Relative
Comparison.
Step 2: Continue refining step 1, while at the same time begin blocking in the shadow borders. Add
some slight value (darkness) to the shadow areas to begin the process of Shadow Mapping, which is
simply separating the light and dark areas into separate pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

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39
Step 3: Continue adding more shadow borders and refine the edges to be either soft or sharp. At
this point it would still be completely appropriate to make another pass as the entire contour of the
figure for more accuracy to give a sense of flesh and bone, as well as refine the line quality to be
heavy or light.
Step 4: The final step of the drawing is to really push the low values as dark as they can go (as
appropriate) and erase out any areas that you want to be the lightest (higher values). If you have mid
toned paper, you could put subtle highlights in with chalk (very sparingly).
If all the steps in this sequence have been done faithfully, then the artist could spend many hours on
the final step by continuing to refine the subtle shapes of the shadow borders to indicate the
anatomy of flesh, fat, muscle and bone. Additionally, the artist can add a slight background value
surrounding the figure to reduce or minimize the contrast of the contour line of the figure.

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Figure Drawing Example: Dancer


In this example, we outline the steps involved in how to draw a figure by first creating an accurate
block-in and then proceeding with blocking in shadow shapes and then rendering light and shadow
effects to create volume.

On the far left is the initial block-in. When drawing standing figures, it is recommended to make
horizontal lines on the paper to indicate the bottom of one of the feet, the top of the head and also
the exact optical center of the figure. Standing figures present an especially difficult problem of
vertical proportions that must be overcome. Making horizontal ticks on the paper to indicate the
vertical orientation of key landmarks will aid the artist in finding correct vertical proportions.
The second and third steps in the drawing encourage more refinement of the initial block-in.
Shadow shapes and shadow borders are given special attention because a light & shadow effect is
one of the best ways to create volume in a drawing. A ground shadow is added in order to give the
figure a sense of existing on a solid surface.

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Figure Drawing Example: Locked Legs


In this example, we again outline the steps involved in how to draw a figure by first creating an
accurate block-in and then proceeding with blocking in shadow shapes and then rendering light and
shadow effects to create volume.

On the far left is the initial block-in. The goal is to capture the gesture and in this case the most
highly gestured region of the figure is the lower body.
The second step is a restatement of the highly gestured legs and the upper portions are blocked in.
The third step is the beginning of a long refinement process. As the shadows are blocked in, it is
possible to use the shadow borders as anchor points to check the proportions again. Notice also the
ground shadow is added.
In a drawing that takes the artist 2 or 3 hour to complete, it is a good idea to take a long break half
way through. This will allow the eyes to become fresh again. On that note, it is also recommended
the model not stand for more than 20 minutes at a time, as the pose will become labored.
Even as the drawing is seemingly progressing, the proportions are constantly checked for
believability and the drawing is constantly scanned for odd or deformed looking areas. In the case
of this drawing, the foot on the right has been fidgeting around and it is decided to go with a more
frontal and almost completely foreshortened version.

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In the final phase of the drawing the artist will use all his available skills to emphasize volume and
create the feeling of flesh and bone. Manipulating the shadow borders to maximize the soft and
sharp transitions that exist between light and shadow will increase a sense of volume and reality.
The head is casting a shadow onto
the upper part of the chest and
shoulder. The border of this
shadow will be mostly sharp, as are
the shadow borders below the
breasts and under the knee on the
right.
We leverage off our knowledge of
anatomy and articulate the form
shadow that occurs between the
division of the sartorius muscle and
the rectus femorus muscles on the
leg on the right.
The belly button is a well-defined
small crater in the lower abdomen
and in this case there is a slight
depression above it that also falls
slightly into the shadow region.
Your knowledge of anatomy and
optics should work together
cohesively to produce form that
represents the human figure in
front of you.

Figure Drawing Example: Mandolist


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As you begin to master the method of accurately blocking in a figure to achieve correct proportions
and gesture, you will want to begin tackling more advanced poses. In the example on this page, the
model was sitting on a tall chair and her legs were braced within the legs of the chair to appear is if
she was floating.

At the second drawing shown above, much attention


was devoted to mapping in the shadow borders. At this
point, you should not worry about obtaining correct
overall values. Your focus is on the shadow borders,
which help convey how form is turning in space.
On the left is an enlargement of the lower legs in the
finished state. Study the different levels of value. This
is simply a value scale being applied to a living object.

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Figure Drawing Example: Sarah & the Sword


This drawing incorporates extreme foreshortening
of an arm and shows how gesture can still be
maximized even while in a seated pose.
The woman is seated with legs crossed and the
weight of her torso is resting upon one arm while
the other is outstretched holding a sword. The
first few lines I used for the drawing were large
sweeping lines that indicated the angle of the top
of her shoulders, the arc of the center of her torso,
the line going from the ground up to the shoulder
with her weight on it and a line down the center
of the face. After these lines, subsequent lines are
made indicating the boundary of her cranium, an
arcing line connecting her nipples and an arcing
line connecting her knees.
Once confident of the angles and sweeping
motions the forms made with respect to each
other, I began to block-in the contour and shadow
shapes.
Contour line and shadow shapes are continually
refined while checking to make sure her
proportions are convincing.
Several soft layers of charcoal are applied in
crosshatching motion in the shadow shapes to
darken the value of those areas.
The hilt and blade of the sword are drawn in.

In the final version of the drawing we can see a full value scale has been used for the mid toned
paper and a ground shadow has been drawn in.

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Two areas of extreme importance
include the cast shadow over the leg
on the bottom and the correct angle
and tapering of the foreshortened arm
holding the sword.
The part of the womans body that is
furthest away from the viewer is the
thumb on the hand supporting her
leaning weight.
The head neck and shoulder region is
shown larger so you can study how I
treated the shadow borders. Note the
specific shape of the shadow border
that appears on the shoulder on the
left.

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Figure Drawing Example: Reclining with a Twist


This pose shows a model that is fully reclined with her ribcage and pelvis sharply twisting with
respect to each other.
The first image shows the important blocking in step that is done in order to obtain the correct
gesture and proportions.
The second image shows a zoom in of the abdomen and pelvis. Note the importance the shape of
the naval plays in conveying the twist. Also note the angled line that appears to the left and above
the naval, which is conveying a crease between the lower ribs and the fleshy part of the abdomen.
The last image shows the finished drawing with a value
scale incorporated in order to create more volume.

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Principle of Design: Geometry


Incorporating principles of design can greatly increase the aesthetic value of your drawing. See
Appendix on Artistic Terminology for a list of all of the principles of design.
One of the most common and practical principles of design is to mimic known geometric shapes
into the pose of the model. The geometric shape will subconsciously resonate with the viewer and
increase connectivity with the image. The drawing on this page incorporates the triangle and
pyramid shapes.

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Part 2: UNDERSTANDING THE PORTRAIT


The portrait contains the highest density of visual information on the human body. It is a canvas on
which our lives are constantly being written. We project our greatest joys and worst defeats for all
to see.
The terms face and portrait are often used interchangeably. The face is the area on the front of the
skull that is bounded by the ears on the side, the hairline of the forehead on the top and the chin on
the bottom. The term portrait implies the entire face as well as the entire skull and also the neck, and
often the clavicles, upper trapezius muscles and the bony point at the base of the back of the neck
called the seventh cervical vertebrae.
By discussing primarily the structure of the portrait the reader will begin to understand the face and
the portrait. We will review the facial structure of specific people from various cultures in order to
show how there is a wide variation in the appearance of the portrait, yet all of the ethnicities adhere
to a set of guidelines that describe the portrait. Every drawing or sculpture shown in this guide is of
a real person and is
done with the utmost
respect for that
individual.

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The Skull
The framework for the human body is the
skeleton. Without the skeleton, gravity would
pull us to the ground and even the most basic
movements in free space would be incredibly
difficult.
The skull comes very close to the surface of
the skin in many places. It protects our brain
from being damaged from impacts and hard
objects. Four of our senses (sight, sound,
taste, smell) can only be accessed through
organs found on the skull. Therefore,
protecting the organs in the skull is vital for
the human body.
The skull is composed of 8
cranial bones, 14 facial bones
and 6 bones of the inner ear.
But for all practical drawing &
artistic purposes, the skull can
be thought of as not changing in
shape, except when the
mandible opens and closes.
This simplifies the task of
drawing or sculpting the skull.
Note the downward and
outward slanting manner of the
bone above the orbital cavity.
This almost always causes a
shadow in that region,
connecting the shadows of the
orbital cavities. This effect is
sometimes coined the raccoon
eyes, because a raccoon has a
dark patch of fur around its
eyes.

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The Eye
The eye is located within the orbital region. It is bound above by the supraorbital arch, on the lateral
side by the external angular process and below by the tear bag.
The most important components of the topographical eye region are; superior orbital grove, upper
lid (palpebrae superioris), lower lid (palpebrae inferioris), lateral corner of the eye (lateral canthus),
medial corner of the eye (medial canthus), cornea, iris, pupil, plica semilunaris, lacrimal caruncle.
The eye moves within the orbital cavity
with the aid of six extraocular muscles.
The muscles are inserted onto the eye in
a fashion that allows very precise
rotation around all three axii. The
extraocular muscles cannot be seen from
the external viewpoint, but it is useful to
know they exist to better understand
how the eye moves within the eye
socket.

In a normal gaze, the bottom of the iris will just barely touch the border of the lower lid and the
upper iris will be partially occluded by the upper lid. When the eye is looking upwards as shown in
the diagram below, the upper lid will fold back and some of the lower eyeball can be seen. The
shape of the upper and lower

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As we can see from the sculpture of the eye
on the left, the forms around the eye are as
important as the eye itself.
The upper lid is the first form found near the
eye that has the most impact upon the eye.
From the sculpture we can see how it casts a
sliver of a shadow along the upper part of the
visible eye. This illustrates how the upper lid
is similar to a hood of a car and it has its own
thickness.

The lower lid also covers a portion of the eye.


However, the lower does not open and shut
like the upper lid. It is similar to the lower lip
in the fact that it rests upon a form that is
below it. In this case the form is the tear bag.
The older we get, the more noticeable our tear
bags become and the associated wrinkles in
the flesh along the lower portion of the tear
bag.

As we lower the viewing angle we can see how the mass above the eye becomes the dominant form.
Our eyes are protected by the bony supraorbital arch from harmful objects falling from above and
provide shade from sunlight from directly above.
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The Nose
The nose is at the bilateral center of the face and is shaped primarily by the effects of the nasal bone
and the cartilage at the end of the nose and the cartilage that forms the wings of the nose.

Just above the nose is a key region called the glabella. The glabella is a smooth area bounded on the
sides by the eyebrows, below by the transverse nasal furrow and above by the forehead. The shape
of the glabella is similar to an Isosceles trapezoid with the long side on top and will often form a
slight down plane, hence when the head is in normal position there will often be a slight form
shadow in this region.
The root of the nose is just under the glabella and can be marked by the transverse nasal furrow. In
some adults and the young, the transverse nasal furrow will be absent. Slightly below the root of the
nose, the nasal bone creates a convexity and this spot is referred to as the bridge of the nose. The
shape and amplitude of this convexity varies tremendously amongst different ethnicities and it is
often the single most important indicator of a persons ethnic origins.
As the nasal bone terminates downwards, one can often see a tapering inwards indicated by a slight
shadow. At this point, the cartilage of the nose begins to blossom. In the two drawings on the left,
the septum dips below the wings of the nose. The reverse will never be true, though sometimes the
septum and lowest point of the wings of the nose may be on the same level, as shown in the drawing
on the far right. Between the wing of the nose and the cheek, there will usually be a noticeable
furrow that separates these two forms that is called the nasolabial furrow.

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The Mouth
The mouth region can assume an infinite variety of gestures due to the orbicularus oris muscle that
completely surrounds it. The mouth is bounded above by the philtrum, on the sides by the cheeks
and below by the mentilabial furrow.

Understanding the shape of the lips at rest is a good starting point in understanding the mouth.
The mouth at rest will usually exhibit a slight space between the lips, especially in the region of the
upper middle tubercle and median sulcus of the lower lip. Towards the corner of the mouth the
upper corner will always overlap the lower corner, creating a small shadow. In people with thin lips
this may be difficult to observe, but it is always the case and is easily observable in those with pouty
or pudgy lips and cheeks often found on young children.
Between the lower lip and bottom of the chin will be a horizontal crease called the mentilabial
furrow. It is often curved convexly upwards.

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The Ear
The ear, like the other features of the portrait, adheres to a form follows function protocol. The
purpose of the ear is to funnel sound into the auditory hiatus, so the internal ear can process the
sound waves into electrical nerve impulses and send them to our brains to be analyzed.

For most practical purposes, the ear can be viewed as an object that does not contort or deform like
the other features unless acted on by another body or form. The outer ear is composed entirely of
cartilage and as the body ages the ears often appear proportionately bigger when compared to
younger people because cartilage continues to grow throughout our life.
The most important parts of the external ear are the helix, antihelix, Darwins tubercle, tragus,
antitragus, lobe, and the crura (upper part of anti helix that splits into the two ridges called superior
crus and inferior crus just before underlapping the helix). The negative spaces of the ear are:
triangular fossa, cymba, cavum and the tragal notch (often referred to as the ear notch).

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Portrait Drawing Example: Elderly Man


In this example, we demonstrate how to draw a portrait by first creating an accurate block-in and
then proceeding with blocking in the smaller features and rendering light and shadow effects to
create volume.

The casual observer might be convinced that most of the


work was done in the third step, when actually the first
step took most of the artists skills and patience. When
creating accurate drawings of people, the most
important step is to first create an accurate block-in of
the subject. Focus on creating accurate gesture and
proportions for as long as possible before proceeding
with unnecessary details. After accurate gesture and
proportions are blocked in, proceed by finding shadow
borders and the smaller features. Each step is a
refinement of earlier steps.

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Portrait Drawing Example: Woman


Here is another drawing example showing the logical progression from an accurate block-in to a
more volume oriented light & shadow rendition.

At the top left is the initial rigorous analysis


of proportions. The distance between the tip
of the nose and the back of the hair was equal
to the distance between the chin and the
crown of the head. After establishing the
overall proportions, many of the construction
lines are erased and more attention is given
to the shadow borders. The final step is a
refinement of the shadow borders and
modeling of features.

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57

Portrait Drawing Example: Rebasong


Yet another drawing example showing the progression from an accurate block-in to a more volume
oriented light & shadow rendition. This drawing is a study for a portrait sculpture and hence the
bottom of the drawing is cropped, as it will be in the sculpture.

In the drawing on the far left it is possible to see a vertical line bisecting the models face. The line
does not optically separate the mass of the skull into equal left and right halves because the model
has tilted her head. Therefore, the line appears further to the left. In the drawing on the far right we
can see how much more mass of the cheek and jaw are visible than the right. This is typical in
foreshortening and the artist must be aware of it from the moment the drawing is first started.
In order to gain the appearance of more volume in
forms, it is necessary to understand modeling. Each
shadow and light area has an irregular shape and the
where the shadow and light converge; by convention
we call this the shadow border. The shadow border
has sharp and soft transitions. Notice how the eye is
modeled and how the shadow shapes seem abstract
in nature. The accumulation of many abstract shapes
arranged perfectly will create a shape we recognize
in reality.

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58

Portrait Sculpting Example: Rebasong


The first step to creating any sculpture (other than decided what and who to sculpt and how big or
small to make it) should always be armature construction. Here I have started with a metallic
armature constructed of plumbing pipes, elbows, T sections, flanges and bendable aluminum
sculpting wire.

The armature serves two purposes: supporting the clay for stability and mimicking the gesture of the
subject being sculpting. As you can see, the head part of the sculpture is tilted and I have created
two points equidistant from the centerline that will aid in keeping the cheeks symmetrical.
As stated throughout the portrait section of this publication, the most important aspect of creating a
portrait should be to obtain the exact profile contour of the model. I sometimes call this the rudder
of the portrait. A metaphoric parallel for the nose of a human face is the rudder of a naval ship. The
orientation of the rudder will effect a ships movement and direction. Likewise, the orientation, size
and shape of a nose will affect the accuracy of a portrait sculpture. Shown on this page are photos of
the sculpture as it is completely blocked in and cropped.
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59

At this point in the progression of the sculpture, little or no attention is given to the treatment of the
surface. We are only concerned about the gesture and proportion of the forms. A knife or other
metallic edged tool can be used to draw directly upon the surface of the clay.
A blown up portion shows the orbital cavity and forms of the
eye. When sculpting the eye, you must not think of making
just the eye. First create the correct shape of the forms
surrounding the orbital cavity; supraorbital arch, nasal bone,
upper cheek. Then sculpt the lids of the eye, paying close
attention to the borders of the eyelids. Lastly, put clay into the
whites of the eyes, then the iris and then create a small
highlight for light that is reflected off the pupil.

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60
In the final rendition of the sculpture, the surfaces are brought to a higher level of finish around the
face, while the back of the head was cropped and left more roughly hewn. Since the emphasis was
on the gestural relationship between the models left shoulder and face, the right shoulder is
severely cropped off at about the halfway point along the clavicle. The sculpture is approximately
27 high, making it about 1.6 times life size.

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61

Sculpting Stands and Studio Concerns


This is an appropriate point
to discuss some studio
concerns. With a larger
than life portrait sculpture,
it is necessary to have a
special stand to
accommodate the weight.
The clay weight of the
sculpture in this demo is
around 155 pounds. Inside
the clay is the metal
armature that is connected
to a steel plate, which in
turn is bolted to a project
board through a series of
floor flanges.
I created a heavy-duty steel
stand that has wheels so it
can easily be moved
around. Under the stand is a
shelf to place clay and other
materials, as necessary.
This metal stand could
actually withstand a
thousand pounds if needed,
so there is no worry of
collapsing. Use caution
when working with large
clay projects, because the
weight will often creep up
heavier as the project
continues. The setup is shown in this image.
Clear away obstacles on the floor so you are encouraged to take a few steps back often. Obviously
you cannot always stand back because you need to put clay on the sculpture. But, standing back and
just looking at your work with an eye of scrutiny will encourage good proportions to manifest on
your sculpture.

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62

Proportions & Measurements of the Adult Portrait


When discussing proportions, there is always deviation from any set of established measurements.
However, for all practical purposes the proportions in this section can be relied upon to arrive at a
very close approximation.
When discussing vertical
distances on the portrait,
it is most beneficial to
use a side view.
The height of the head is
established as being the
distance from the bottom
of chin to the crown on
top of the head. If the
crown of the head is
obscured by hair, then it
can be found by tracing a
line along the jaw and up
along the inner border of
the ear all the way to the
top of the head.
The height of the head
from chin to crown is
always greater than the
depth of the head. The
depth of the head is from
the glabella in front to the
occipital bone in the rear
of the head.
The most useful measurements:
CC (chin to crown)
GO (glabella to occipital)
ZZ (zygomatic arch to zygomatic arch)
CE (outside corner of eye to eye)
CM (outside corner of mouth)
WN (outside corner of wings of nose)

CN (bottom of chin to bottom of nose)


NB (bottom of nose to brow line)
BH (brow line to hairline)

The width of the head is approximately two thirds the height of the head from chin to crown. If a
line is drawn through the inside corners of the eyes (transaxial eye line), then this line is
approximately the halfway point of the height of the head from chin to crown.

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63
The area between the hairline of the
forehead and the bottom of the chin
is typically referred to as the face
and it is divided into three equal
parts. One third down from the
hairline of the forehead will be the
midline of the eyebrows: the brow
line. Two thirds down from the
hairline is the bottom of the nose.
The length of the ear will usually
exist within this boundary, except
the elderly whose earlobes may
droop lower because of never
ending cartilage growth. The exact
size of ears can be deceptive.
Remember that ears are slightly
angled back.
The median horizontal line between
the lips will usually be one third
down from the bottom of the nose.
The base of the nose, base of the
cheekbone, bottom of the ear lobe
and base of the skull will usually
lie on the same horizontal line.
The width of the skull from the front is approximately 5 times the width of an eye. The distance
between the eyes is approximately the width of an eye.
In most people, the outer edges of the eyebrows will extend past the outer edges of the eyes.

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64

Portrait Sculpture: Clay Block-in to Bronze Cast


Armed with knowledge of which measurements are most important we now present an example of
what a portrait sculpture looks like in a roughly hewn blocked-in state. This stage is equivalent to
the first or second stage of the portrait drawing examples previously.
Inspecting the sculpture we can see how various sizes of clay pellets have been pushed onto the
sculpture with a tool and slightly (but not overly) shaped. At this stage we are not worried about
making the surface smooth. Making the surface smooth too early will sabotage your efforts to
achieve correct proportions.
We devote all our energy to achieving correct gesture and proportions. The side view will be most
beneficial when in this stage. From the side we can carefully work out the vertical proportions
without the distractions of asymmetrical anomalies from the frontal view.
Note how lines have been
drawn directly onto the clay
and left there for reference.
Trace a line along the jaw
from front to back and up
along the inner border of the
ear. This is the exact same line
we spoke of in the section:
Proportions and
Measurements of the Adult
Portrait. There is a high
correlation between drawing
and sculpting the human form.

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65

Another photo of the same sculpture that has been developed much further. More attention is given
to the forms of the face and the treatment of the surface. This is the finished version of the clay
sculpture.

And finally, we can see a photo of a bronze


cast of the sculpture. Note how it has been
welded to a steel plate at the base of the neck
so it can be affixed to a base for any location,
indoor or out.
Bronze can endure the harshest of weather.
This sculpture spent a full year outdoors in
the temperate climate of Wenatchee,
Washington USA and another year in the
milder climate of Olympia Washington USA.
With a stable chemical patina applied and
followed with a sealant, a bronze sculpture
can endure any climate without excessive
oxidation.

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66

Profile of Southern Italian Woman


One of the first things noticeable in the sculpture below of a woman from Southern Italy is the
shadow cast over the orbital cavity.
Starting from the frontal eminence and moving downwards, we see a variety of specific shapes
describing her face. Just below the frontal eminence is a slight indentation before the superciliary
eminence rises obliquely upwards (out of the page towards us).
The glabella is angled up and slightly
outward from the face. It separates
the root of the nose from the brow.
From the root of the nose moving
down and to the right we see the
convexity of the nasal bone.
Continuing down the nose there is
another convexity that is the cartilage
on the end of the nose.
The wing of the nose catches light on
its upward plane and turns medial
towards the nostril.
From the wing of the nostril we can
see the nasolabial furrow begin its
curvilinear way downward and
terminating about even with the
corner of the mouth.
In the profile view, the groove of the
philtrum cannot be seen. We can only
see a silhouette line from the base of
the nose moving downwards towards
the top of the upper lip. There is
usually an angle break in this profile
line just before it gives rise to the
fullness of the upper lip. In the
profile, the middle tubercle of the
upper lip creates a down plane.
There is a sharp shadow line just
under the anterior inferior segment of
the zygomatic bone. This indicates
where the zygomatic bone angles
sharply to the medial. In portraits with higher body fat, this area may be filled in with more flesh
and the severity of the angle change will be lessened.
This woman has a pouty disposition, however, the combination of mental protuberance, mentalis
and fatty tissue still result in a fairly distinct angle moving down and to the left at the end of the
chin.
The ear can be clearly seen as having a soft fleshy lobe at the bottom, in comparison to the slightly
harder cartilage of the antihelix. The helix in this model is very full and almost fleshy.
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67
In the relaxed position there is
usually a small space between
the lips caused from the fullness
of the middle tubercle and the
side tubercles of the upper lip
and the different shape of the
lower lip. The lower lip will
protrude or recede back in space
from a plumb line dropped from
the upper lip, depending entirely
upon ethnicity, genetics or the
mood of the subject.
The image of the woman on this
page shows just how relaxed the
lips are and more clearly
exhibits the space between the
upper and lower lips.
Another keystone pattern seen
again and again in portraits is
the transition from frontal
eminence to superciliary
eminence. Look at the womans
face just above the eyebrow on
the right. There is a purposefully
shaped plane that is catching
light. Just above it there is a
very shallow furrow and then
the frontal eminence appears. The shallow furrow will vary in depth from person to person but will
always slope from a higher center to a lower outer as it approaches the side of the forehead.

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68

Mask of Native American Man


This mask sculpture of a Native American in his early fifties shows heavy influence from the upper
eyelids on the orbital cavity. The lids are thick and heavy and they pull the skin down from the
upper orbital region. There is a slight shadow break between the upper lid and the eyebrows that
increases in depth as the upper lid moves to the side of the face.
The nose is broad and the end casts a
shadow over the philtrum (the vertical and
wide furrow between the bottom of the nose
and upper lip). The shape of the shadow
indicates the trough shape of the philtrum.
As the philtrum terminates on the inferior
end, a small upward tilting plane called the
new skin can be seen as the red region of
the upper lip begins.

The cheek region of the face occupies the


area bordered by the lateral plane of the nose, the tear bag under the eye, the tragus of the ear (the
ears are omitted in this sculpture), and the jaw.
The cheeks on this man are thick and full. He has a relatively wide face. The zygomatic arches can
be seen as more bulbous than sharp plane changes. This is because he has a thick and fleshy face.
The lower lip has a slight up plane and we can see a highlight running horizontally along the upper
side of the lower lip.
He has a double chin that adds to the girth of his jowls. The angle of the mouth is where the two lips
terminate on the lateral (side) and the furrow seen projected outwards and downwards. In this man,
the angle of the mouth is pronounced.

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69

Drawing The Profile: the Rudder of the Face


Using the Native American man in the previous page as an example, we now discuss his profile and
some basic drawing principles. For most drawings, the most important first step for the artist is to
lightly block in that which is to be drawn, as discussed in the previous section Block-in (Counter).
This method will give the artist a reliable way to achieve a likeness.
In this drawing, we are focusing on the profile of the mans face. On the right is the outline of the
mans face done with vine charcoal. The major shapes are shown along with some indication of
shadow borders.

A value scale is created (bottom center) and the drawing progresses with the values in mind. Cast
shadows and areas of no light are shown at the lowest level on the value scale. Forms are modeled
with charcoal to indicate appropriate sharp and soft transitions between light and shadow.

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70

Portrait of a Peruvian Woman


This portrait shows how the frontal eminences can still remain somewhat bulbous into adulthood,
giving a more childlike effect. Below the frontal eminence on the far side is the superciliary
eminence as it juts towards the lateral and upwards. Below that is the supraorbital arch, which
moves towards the lateral and slightly downwards. On the eye nearest to us we can see the effects of
the external angular process, causing a sharp turn in the lateral end of the eyebrow from upwards to
downwards.
The upper eyelid can be seen
convex in shape as it folds
around the eye. On the far side
we can see the sharp angle of
the zygomatic bone as it turns
towards the medial. The
placement of the nasal bone is
evident from the faint but
sharp shadow edge seen along
the middle of the nose. This
shadow diminishes and gives
way to the bulbous cartilage on
the end of the nose. The tilt of
the head causes most of the ear
to be cast in shadow, but the
ear lobe protrudes just enough
to catch some light, along with
the prominence of the tragus.
The influence of the zygomatic
bone on the near side is made
evident by the shadow on the
down plane inferior to the arch
and the highlight on the up
plane just below the medial
corner of the eye on the near
side.
From the corner of the mouth
on the right as we move
towards the medial, a highlight
appears along the rim of the upper lip. This sliver of flesh is called the new skin. It dips slightly as it
traces its way down into the philtrum and then back up again on the other medial plane of the
philtrum and finally we lose it as it disappears into the plane above the upper lip on the far side.

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71

Portrait of African American Man


We can immediately see the strength in the neck of this man. The sternocleidomastoid muscle
projects aggressively from his neck, catching light that is otherwise blocked from the jaw line.
Following down the neck and towards the medial, we can see another sharp shadow edge. This is
caused from the hyoid cartilage (Adams apple).
The ear, otherwise known as the auricle or external
ear is shaped to optimize the collection of sound to
be funneled towards the inner ear. The dominant
form that creates the silhouette of the ear is the helix.
Part of his helix is catching light and in turn casts a
sharp shadow over the crura (the two separate ridges
on the upper limit of the anithelix). The superior end
of the antihelix juts out slightly from the helix and
receives light.
From the side of the forehead closest to us, we see
the temporal line as it meets the lateral part of the
eyebrow. The supraorbital arch will usually cast a
shadow over the orbit of the eye. However, because
the models head is tilted backwards slightly and the
eyes are almost shut, we are able to see the full girth
of the upper lid as it covers the eyeball. A vertically
oriented highlight is seen on the upper lid, indicating
the fullness of that form.
A much darker shadow in the medial region of the
eye closest to us indicates a deeper recess, whereas
the lateral termination of the eyelid experiences less
relief. Even so, it must be noted that with respect to
the skull, the lateral termination of the eyelids
always extend more towards the posterior (rear) of
the skull than the medial termination of the eyelids.
Each eye has a tear bag under it and under each tear
bag starting on the medial end we can see the
infrapalpebraral furrow.

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Portrait of a Thin Woman


This portrait drawing of a thin woman shows various sharp shadow edges throughout, indicating
low body fat. When the head is moved sharply back and to the side, we can more clearly see the
forms of the thyroid and cricoid cartilages.
At the base of the neck, we see the cord like tendon of the sternocleidomastoid as it inserts into the
top of the sternum (manubrium). When a thin model pushes the shoulder up and forward like this
pose, we can see a hollow triangle to the lateral of the sternal connection of the sternocleidomastoid
and just above the medial end of the clavicle.
The clavicle juts laterally away
from the center of the body and
angles towards the posterior. In
the final one third of its length,
it again angles towards the
anterior as it forms a joint with
the lateral region the scapular
spine. This important
connection between the clavicle
and scapula is called the
acromioclavicular joint.
This region is not part of the
portrait, according to the
definition stated earlier, but it is
worth pointing out because of
its high importance. The
scapular spine extends a little
past the joint into an important
feature called the acromion
process, which itself is
projected laterally over the
shoulder joint. The acromion
process can be identified by a
sharp angle change in the
silhouette on the shoulder.

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73

Modeling Form: Ukrainian Woman


In this portrait we can use our knowledge of anatomy to supplement our observational skills and
enhance the forms with extensive modeling. Look carefully at the shadow edges and you can see
how borders between light and shadow are purposefully crafted to be sharp or soft. These critical
edge transitions are the result of the way forms transit from one plane to another.
In forms, the sharper or more
abrupt the edge, the more rapid
the transition is. This often
directly correlates to bones or
cartilage under the surface of the
skin. On the right side of the
forehead, we can see a highlight
that is the frontal eminence.
Moving down the skull is the
orbital region. As we look at the
eye on the right, we see the
upper lid has a definite crease
about half way down (in this
position). Under the eye is the
tear bag. Towards the medial,
this area becomes darker and as
we move towards the lateral, the
slightly upwardly turned plane
begins to catch light and blends
in with the cheek of this almost
wrinklefree woman of 27 years.
The nose is sharply modeled
along the bridge in order to show
the hard forms underneath.
Rarely will you see a perfectly
straight highlight running from the glabella to the cartilage on the end of the nose. Midway down
the nose and just to the right we see the side plane of the nose, indicated by a patch of light bordered
by a shadow running from the medial side of the tear bag to the wing of the nose.
The upper lip is facing slightly downwards and therefore is darker than the lower lip, which faces
upwards. On the lower lip there is a highlight that indicates the fullest part of its form.

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74

Portrait of an Italian Man


This drawing of an Italian man shows numerous anatomical landmarks that are easily identifiable
because his overall appearance is chiseled and bony. The superciliary eminences are prominent and
catch their share of light along the inferior portion of the frontal bone. The superciliary eminence on
the left makes it apparent how it is angled obliquely upwards and lateral.
The effects of the zygomatic bone can be
seen on the upper right cheek as its upward
plane catches light. A form shadow is on the
cheek as it turns medial and downward
towards the maxilla. At this point we can
see the jugal furrow moving downwards
and frontwards toward the jaw. The
nasolabial furrow is not as evident, but it
can be seen slightly as it starts from beside
the wing of the nose.
The lower lip has an upward plane and
catches light. Just below the lower lip is a
shadowed area indicating the mentilabial
furrow. The chin area protrudes and the end
of the chin catches light. A shadow with a
hard edge falls upon the anterior lateral
neck from just below the ear lobe and spans
across to the trachea region and softens
slightly as it approaches the pit of the neck.

The shoulders (which are not shown in the


drawing) are shoved forward and upward,
causing the trapezius muscles to bulge
upwards and frame the neck. The head is
slightly tilted backwards and the anterior side of the neck is slightly projected. On the left side of
the anterior neck, we can see the inferior region of the sternocleidomastoid muscle catching a little
light as it flares out on its downward descent before inserting into the clavicle and manubrium.

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75
In the sculpture of the same man, we are now viewing him in profile. In this position it is more
obvious how much the head is tilted back, revealing the forms of the submental, submaxillary and
anterior neck. If the head were in a level position with shoulders relaxed, then the angle between the
chin and neck would be about 90 degrees.
The harder looking form seen in
the profile of the anterior neck is
the larynx, otherwise known as
the voice box. The sharper form
above is the thyroid cartilage,
which is given the name Adams
apple. Just below the thyroid
cartilage is a transverse furrow
followed by the projecting form
of the cricoid cartilage. The
cricoid cartilage is
approximately in
the middle of the neck as
measured from a vertical axis.
Below the cricoid cartilage we
begin to see the suprasternal
fossa (a depression at the base of
the neck just above the sternum).

The suprasternal fossa is framed


on each side by the cordlike
insertions of the
sternocleidomastoid muscles as
they insert into the superior end
of the manubrium of the sternum. The sternocleidomastoid muscle also has an insertion near the
medial end of clavicle. Tracing the sternocleidomastoid muscle upwards we can see it pass just
behind the ear to its origin the mastoid process (covered by hair in this sculpture). The mastoid
process is an anterior projection dropping from the occipital bone of the back of the skull.

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76

Profile of Elderly Native American Man


A view of a persons profile is of utmost value in understanding the
forms of the face. It allows us to see just how far back the features
are located, with respect to the front of the face.
With that in mind, we first look at the space between the front of the
eyes and the root of the nose (top of the nose).It can be seen that
there is indeed a space there. The eyes will always be set back from
the root of the nose. This is most definitely a result of form follows
function. Because the eyes are one of the most extremely delicate
and
valuable organs in our body, they must not remain unprotected.
They are protected above by the supraorbital arches (covered by the
eyebrows), on the outer sides by the external angular process of the
frontal bone and in the medial (inside) by the projection of the root
of the nose, which is actually just the nasal bone itself.

When the
head is level,
it can also be
seen that the rearmost part of the wing of the
nose is practically even with a plumb line
dropped from the root of the nose. And as
usual, the glabella angles forward away from
the face and upwards.
In the profile, the lower lip will almost
always be set further back than the upper lip.
The mentalis of the chin (end of chin) will
again be set back further than the most
forward aspect of the lower lip. The
exception to this case is in the very old, who
have lost their teeth or have severe gum
damage and hence the lips will appear
sunken into the face and the jaw will project
further. This man is approximately 70 years
old and he must have fairly healthy teeth.

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77

Posterior View of Skull


In this segment, we examine the posterior view of the skull. The sculpture below is of a man who is
bald. This allows us a clear view of the silhouette of the skull as seen from the posterior as well as
how the ears are mounted on the skull. It is often said that we can recognize people solely by
observing the shape of the back of their head. The rear of the portrait can be just as important as the
front.
In this image, the light is originating from the upper left. It illuminates the parietal area on the left
and the parietal on the right is slightly facing away from the light and hence receives much less
direct light per surface area. The farthest point to the rear of the skull is seen here as the point at
which there is a sudden change from light to shadow which lies in the vertical center of the skull
and a line drawn from the top of one ear to another.
From that point there is a down plane until the muscles of the neck are met.
Another interesting aspect of the dorsal view of the skull is the movement of the helix of the ears as
they each create a dramatic silhouette. The outer ears are projected away from the skull by cartilage.
If one traces the eye vertically
approximately two thirds down from
the top of each ear and then moves
towards the skull, a lump can be seen.
This is the mastoid process, a
projection that juts forward and
downwards from the occipital bone
and it is the origin of the
sternocleidomastoid muscle that is
responsible for pulling the neck from
side to side.

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78

Drawing Into Painting


In this section we will
show a few examples
of how drawing can
be used to segue into
painting. Drawing is a
powerful tool that will
enable you to rapidly
visualize any concept.
And so it is no
surprise that many
painters use drawing
as a means to record
their thoughts.

Here we can see one


rapid charcoal sketch
that was carried out to record an idea. This figure is
entirely created in the minds eye and is not meant to
be completely accurate. The goal was to create a
series of 6 very lose and gestural oil sketches, so it
made sense to start with a charcoal sketch for each oil
sketch. Keeping the detail very low and placing
emphasis on only overall form, it is possible to use
only one hue to create form with oil paint.
The exact paint used here was only Burnt Umber and
a mixing white. It is not really important to know
what brand of paint or type of brushes to use. What is
important is the ability to convey form and value
with the medium you have.

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Part 3: FIGURE SCULPTING


This section will
discuss some of the
methods used in
creating a figure
sculpture and show
examples of figure
sculptures. Primarily,
we are concerned with
rendering the human
form, and not so much
about the type of
material used.
However, we will use
exclusively clay as the
sculpting medium.
It must be noted that
from ancient history
until modern times, the
most common medium
used for sculptures has
been stone. Marble
was used extensively
in the classical world
and wherever it was
available. Jade,
sandstone, soapstone,
alabaster and many other types of stone were also
used.
Clay has mostly been used as a medium that was
fired in a kiln or left to bake in the hot sun and
became hard as stone. After being baked, it is brittle
and can break when dropped unless reinforced with
straw or other material.
Currently, clay is the most popular medium to create
sculptures that are to be eventually cast into bronze.
After the clay sculpture is completed, a mold is
made for the sculpture and a complicated process
involving the lost wax casting method is used. For
more information on mold making, refer to
Appendix M: A GUIDE TO MOLD MAKING.

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The Torso (Male)

When beginning a discussion on sculpting the human figure, it is appropriate to start with the torso.
The torso is comprised of the shoulders, rib cage, pelvis and some portion of the extreme upper
thighs. The total sections of the body included in the torso can vary between artists, but the core of
the torso will always be the ribcage and the pelvis. Many of the original full body sculptures we see
from antiquity have been reduced to a torso. This is because the weaker portions of the medium
(stone) have been cut or broken off by invading armies or the sculpture has simply been tipped over
or dropped. What is left is the torso. In our present day fine art academies and art schools, it is
traditional to spend a considerable amount of time studying the torso and rendering it with drawing,
sculpting, or painting. This page shows a male torso that has been slightly rotated. As is preached
throughout this publication, the gesture and proportions are the most important aspects of rendering
the figure. The torso is a good place to start practicing and instilling the knowledge and skill
required to flush out the correct gesture and proportions.
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Continuing with more views of the same torso on the previous page, we now observe the posterior
and a slightly oblique posterior angle. This is a good time to point out this torso is a plaster cast that
was generated from a mold taken from a life sized study completed while the author was at the
Florence Academy of Art in Italy. The male model was extremely physically adept at sports and had
a lean muscle mass. The plaster cast of the torso is rotated with an overhead light source that
provides raking light. This allows for a combination of sharper cast shadows and softer form
shadows that work in concert to please they eye and convey form.
Anatomically, we could spend a lot of time pointing out and naming bony landmarks or
musculature seen on this torso. Speaking on terms of aesthetics, one would be more concerned with
the torso as a visual whole. The major movements of this torso are the compression on its right side
and the tension on its left side.

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We rotate the torso back around to an anterior oblique view and a view that is almost completely
from the side. We can clearly study the rib cage and the surrounding muscles, such as the serratus
anterior. It is now obvious how much tension is occurring on the left side of the torso as we see the
left arm is stretched above where the head would be and the rig cage is twisting clockwise with
respect to the pelvis.
An important consideration for creating your academic torso is the cropping. You will have to
terminate the sculpture by omitting the arms, legs, and head. Exactly where and how you will crop
the torso is often a matter of aesthetic preference or what is required by the pose. The cropping on
this torso is done cleanly, to create clear cross sections of the limbs and the neck.
At this time it would be important to point out that this torso has in fact originated from a full body
sculpture. The arms, legs, and neck were cleanly cut off to create the desired effect of a torso.

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Maximum Gesture
Regardless of the style of sculpture you are making, the most important aspect of your sculpture
should be gesture. As stated previously, gesture refers to the overall movement, twisting, and
dynamic aspect of a figure. In this sculpture, I have incorporated a geometrical circular element
into the design. The womans torso is bent to one side and her legs form a strong circular movement
as seen from above. As seen from the side view, the womans legs form a strong linear trajectory
that contrasts with the circular movements.

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Its worth spending a little more time discussing this sculpture because of the gesture that has been
designed into it from every angle. Think of the medium as a vehicle to convey your message
through carefully thought out design. From the back side of the sculpture, we notice a supporting
form underneath the woman, which happens to be a bird, and its wing is gently overlapping the
womans right foot.

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The last clay version of this sculpture we


discuss is side showing the rib cage. A
sculptor will never miss an opportunity to
create a well-modeled ribcage. The reason
for this and every other part of the body that
exhibits bony landmarks is that it telegraphs
a sense of structure.
The visual appearance of soft tissue of the
human body is balanced with hard or bony
areas. Together, the variation of soft and
hard surfaces will create a sense of harmony.
The artist can use this knowledge to their
advantage to create various visual effects.

When a clay sculpture is completed


and a bronze cast is desired, then the
next step is to create a mold of the
surface forms of the sculpture. At the
end of this publication is an appendix
containing an illustrated guide to mold
making, which walks the reader
through the entire process. Please see
Appendix M: A GUIDE TO MOLD
MAKING. On this page we see the
beginning of the mold making
process, which is applying the first
layer of liquid silicon.

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After capturing all of the surface
forms of a sculpture through the
mold making process, the artist
can then use the mold to create a
hollow wax replica of the original
sculpture. On the left we can see
how a wax cast will look as soon
as it is released from the mold. The
excess wax with recessed marks
that appears to be extending from
the sculpture is actually just the
liquid wax that seeped into the
seams of the mold, that cooled off
and hardened
As long as there are no major
deformations or missing sections
in the wax replica, then the process
is considered a success.

The artist will now spend as much


time as necessary chasing off any
small defects and repairing any
surfaces of the wax replica that do
not match the original clay
sculpture. The tools used in this
process are shown in the image to
the left; thin and sharp metal picks
and trowels. Also, a mixture of
Vaseline and wax is used to fill any
gaps or surface anomalies.
Typically, the wax pouring and
chasing phase is done in a fine art
foundry. However, if the artists
studio has adequate ventilation and
a means to heat up and liquefy
microcrystalline wax, then
everything up until this point can
be done in the artist studio in order
to save on expenses.

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The long arduous process of creating a sculpture, which started as a concept design, comes to a
conclusion when a bronze cast is produced at the foundry. Most of the steps of the lost wax casting
process are not shown in this example, so it is important for the reader to thoroughly research the
process on their own or consult a sculpting professional or a fine art foundry for more information.
Snapshots of the process are only shown here in order to give the reader a rough idea for what is in
store.

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Contour Line in Sculpture


The human mind is always hard at work performing pattern recognition in an attempt to identify all
visual matter. The contour line of a subject is the single most important visual element our minds
use when performing pattern recognition. So it would follow to put a great amount of energy into
refining the contour lines of a sculpture. In this example, we can see how the image on the right has
been de-saturated and contrast reduced in order to get a glimpse into perhaps how the subconscious
mind performs pattern recognition.

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Clothing in Sculpture
Incorporating realistic clothing in sculpture can add a practical dimension to your work. Often in the
fine art world, the nude is the champion subject because of its extensive use throughout history and
it offers the viewer and chance to experience the artists interpretation of form in a most pure sense.
When incorporating thin clothes on a subject, do not think of adding massive amounts of clay.
Instead, concentrate on the edges and areas of sudden change or movement. Only fill in void areas
as needed.

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Figure Sculpture Example: Traditional Anatomical Pose


The next few pages will reveal the progression of how a figure sculpture can be made. The pose
selected for this example is a standard academic contrapposto with arms to the side, hands open and
palms facing forward. We start the sculpture by creating an armature.

Figure Sculpture Armature


The armature has two purposes.
Provide a support for the clay.
Mimic the gesture and proportions of
the figure being sculpted.
The components for the armature can
be found in the materials list for the
Figure Sculpting course syllabus at the
end of this manual.
This particular armature is what is
known as a half scale. The height
from where the feet will be to the top
of the head will be approximately half
the height of the actual model.
However, the template for this
armature can be used for almost any
scale.
Note that as the size of the sculpture
increases, then it will be necessary to
factor in weight loads for the clay. A
life-sized sculpture will be much
heavier and therefore armature
materials and supporting members will
be much thicker.

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Shaped Armature
The next step in the process is to make the armature mimic the gesture of the pose of the model.
Spend as much time as possible on this task. Do not rush ahead with applying clay on the armature
until the armature conveys a life force of its own through lively gesture and attitude of the pose. The
type of armature shown here mimics the core of the torso and each limb.

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Proportional Assessment
After the gesture of the pose has been imprinted upon the armature, the next step is to assess the
vertical and horizontal lengths and thicknesses of the pose. This is done by adding some
intelligently shaped pieces of clay along key points of the sculpture.
Points of importance on the model area as
follows:
Height of model
Length of torso
Width of shoulders
Distance between the greater trochanters
Height of greater trochanter
Length of femur
Height of patella
Length of lower legs
Length of feet

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Block-in Torso, Legs, Head


Now we begin to block-in the largest masses of the sculpture.
Torso: Rib Cage & Pevis
Legs: Upper, Lower, Feet
Head & Neck
The sculptors goal is to carefully place shaped pieces of clay along the masses and contours of the
sculpture. There is no modeling of shapes at this point. We are only concerned with exactly
matching the outside contours of the model with the contours that will begin to appear on the
sculpture.
Do not allow the
contours on sculpture to
exceed their matched
contours of the model.
This is an additive
process and going slower
will allow the sculptor
time to process what is
being looked at.
The human body abides
to a standard template
that exists among all of
us, yet the forms of the
human body are always
exciting and full of
surprises. Spend more
time looking than
mindlessly applying clay.
Avoid smoothing down
the surface of the clay.

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Torso Block-in
The torso in a figure sculpture is of paramount importance. The torso will influence the gesture and
forms of all the limbs and the head & neck.
When analyzing the torso, one must look at the relationship between the ribcage and the pelvis. It is
easier to do this by drawing lines at the upper and lower extents of the ribcage and pelvis that go
around the entire perimeter of the torso much like lines of latitude on a map of the earth. However,
these lines will be tilted, as appropriate. The difference between the tilted lines of the rib cage and
pelvis will indicated the gesture of the torso. A difference in angles of tilt indicates a contrapposto
pose.
Note the line drawn along the center of the torso that bisects the left and right halves. This line
works in tandem with the boundary lines of the ribcage and pelvis to help coordinate a correct
gesture analysis.

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Shoulders & Arms


Now we continue examining the sculpture with shoulders and arms added. Do not proceed with the
arms until the torso has been adequately developed, or you will risk under-sizing the ribcage. Apply
clay for the muscle masses of the arms and pay close attention to the elbow and the inside fold of
the arm. Now we can begin to make a holistic analysis of the sculpture for proportions.

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Complete Block-in
Now we finish the overall block-in by
adding the hands and fingers.
At this point, the sculptor can spend more
time fixing any proportional or gestural
anomalies before proceeding to modeling
the individual forms.

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Figure Sculpture Example: Heroic Sized Figure


Sculpture
This section shows a few images from a heroic sized (7 Foot) figure sculpture project. The purpose
of the project was to commemorate a well-known historical figure from the early to mid 20th
century in a small town. Also, the project was to demonstrate the process of figure sculpting to the
public, who could come by at anytime to see the artist at work.

Working at Heroic Scale


Working at a heroic scale can
bring many new challenges to the
artist. It is more important than
ever to continually stand back from
the work in order to see it without
distortions. Use the longest
dimension of the sculpture and
multiply by 2.5 in order to come
up with the proper distance the
artist must see the sculpture
without distortions.
Standing sculptures created by the
direct method will be especially
vulnerable to distortions during the
creation process.
One precaution against distortions
is to take the original design
drawing of the sculpture and have
it increased in size to the exact size
the sculpture is to be created.
Create a secondary stand or board
and paste or tape the large print out
to it. The artist now has something
to compare the sculpture with as
the project ensues. As an aid, the
artist can use a bubble-level with a
laser pointer and arrive at the
correct elevation for the various
points in the sculpture.

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Blocking-in With Different Materials


A large sculpture created in a direct method will likely need a variety of different materials to arrive
at the correct size and form. At the core of this sculpture is an iron rebar armature that was cut,
grinded and welded together to create the gesture and proportions.
Foam core was then used to surround the iron rebar and then fence wire was cut and strapped on to
the foam sections in order to create a semi-permeable surface.
Here we can see the first round of clay that has been pushed into the fence wire. The fence wire
provides enough traction for the clay to grab onto and therefore subsequent layers of clay will not
fall off.

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Areas of Emphasis
Using the principles of 3D Design (Unity & Variety, Grid & Matrix, Balance, Scale & Proportion,
Emphasis, Repetition & Rhythm), the artist can generate viewer interest from the most subtle of
poses.
In this case, the figure is a blacksmith and therefore the arms were given an emphasis from the
action they are involved in and the slight increased scaling. The tools he is holding help indicate the
theme of the sculpture, as well as the clothing he wears.
Consider how you will manipulate the surface of the sculpture to achieve an appropriate lighting
effect. Local lighting is an important consideration if you know the final placement of the sculpture.
Also to be considered are the patina (coloration) and height at which the sculpture will be placed. If
the sculpture is to be placed on top of a large pedestal, then consider slightly enlarging the head and
shoulders in order to counteract the diminishing effects of perspective.
Here we see the arms and mid section of the blacksmith sculpture. They convey strength and
sureness, both qualities necessary for a blacksmith to carry out their work.

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Maquette to Monumental Scale Portrait


When preparing for a monumental scale sculpture (2X life size or larger) it is wise to first make a
maquette. A maquette is a small study or clay sketch that is low in detail.
Here we see a small sculpture of a
bust of Jesus. The height of the
sculpture is 6.5 inches and the width
is 10 inches. This sculpture has very
low detail.
The next step is to decide how big to
make the final sculpture. I decided
the height of the big sculpture would
be 26 inches and the width 40 inches.
This inherently makes the maquette a
scale study.

In the photo above we can see a large project board that is 24 inches x 42 inches. The large
sculpture will be built upon this project board and I want an extra inch on each end of the sculpture,
which is why the board is 42 inches wide and not 40 inches. Other materials present for the
construction of the large sculpture are (bottom left moving clockwise): bendable aluminum wire,
Styrofoam, wire nippers and pliers, steel wire, Iron Rebar, clay, calibers, wooden sculpting tools,
metal sculpting tools and a 3/6 inch thick steel plate.

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The steel plate has holes drilled through it and is bolted to the board. The Iron Rebar is welded to
the steel plate and bent as appropriate. a series of calculations are made such that at Iron Rebar
infrastructure will support the Styrofoam and clay to be added.

The finished clay sculpture is shown


here from two angles. Note the way
this bust is artfully cropped to
maximize the gesture and flow. There
is no right or wrong answer on how to
crop a bust, but rather it is an intuitive
feeling that will have much to do with
the pose or the subject matter.
There is little detail on the backside
of this sculpture and the thorns on the
head of Jesus are subdued because the
intent is not to create focus on the
suffering that has transpired, but
rather what follows.

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If you are lucky, you will be able to display your work in a very public place for others to view.
Keep in mind the type of work you are displaying and the message you are trying to project, if any.
This particular project was very specific and the intent was to display it in a church that has an oldworld feel. Here we see the display of The Greatest Sacrifice sculpture in a cathedral.

Make the most of your experience and professionalize all aspects of your efforts. In this case, I
created a visual layout of the imagery and superimposed it onto a floor plan layout of the cathedral
that was available to visitors.

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Anthropomorphism
There may be a need to apply your skills as a figurative artist to that of animals or inanimate
objects. This summons the special field of anthropomorphism.
Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics or behaviors onto an animal or object.
Anthropomorphic Cat
What makes an animal seem more anthropomorphic? This question can be answered by analyzing
the image of the cat on this page. The cat is seen standing up and has a sense of awareness in its
eyes.
It is in fact primarily the posture of an animal that conveys its anthropomorphism. By staying
mostly true to the anatomy of the animal and using reconstructive realism, the artist can manipulate
the pose to mimic that of a human.

Next to consider are the eyes. Since the eyes will


often convey the personality and intention of an
animal, the eyes of the manipulated animal must
be imbued with a sense of being very cognizant of
its existence and surroundings.

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Anthropomorphic Owl
Here we see an owl that seems like an owl, but seems more intelligent looking. Questions to
consider are what makes an animal seem more intelligent or cognizant? One answer is: the eyes.
Therefore you will see anthropomorphic representations of animals have slightly different eyes or
enlarged eyes. Slightly morphing some of the animals body parts to resonate with human anatomy
will of course create anthropomorphism as well. Note the upper wings of the owl mimic the
shoulders of a human and even have some gesture.

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Summary
Hopefully this publication has been a useful
introduction to figure drawing and sculpting.
The artist must embark on a long journey of
drawing the human figure before ever hoping
to become competent. In time, the artist will
develop a personal way of approaching this
subject, learning how to see and how to
render the figure.
In closing, I leave the reader with a quote
from Leonardo da Vinci: Every now and
then go away, have a little relaxation, for
when you come back to your work your
judgment will be surer. Go some distance
away because then the work appears smaller
and more of it can be taking in at a glance and
a lack of harmony and proportion is more
readily seen.

Table of Contributing Artists


The following is the alphabetical list of artists who enriched this publication.
Juan Jose Cbbos Artist and sculptor from Columbia and has completed several monumental
public sculpture projects throughout Columbia.
Lance Dooley American artist and sculptor from Washington State.
Kristin Frogner Norwegian artist and sculptor.
William Mangan American artist and sculptor from Michigan State.
Kelly Rathbone American artist and sculptor originally from Texas.

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Appendix A: Relative Proportions


This list of relative proportions is grouped by various segments of the body. A segment of the body
is listed as the baseline measurement and the other body parts that are most often equal or very
close to being equal to that length are listed below it. These relative comparisons are not one
hundred percent equal, but will often come close enough that the artist will be able to use them for a
good approximation. It is up to the reader to study anatomical charts and the human skeleton for
referencing the named items.
Height of Normal Adult is approximately (6.5 to 7.5) X CC
CC Head (distance from mentalis of chin to crown of head)
FC Face (mentalis of chin to hairline)
Base of Palm to end of middle finger
Length of CL Clavicle
Measurements of the Portrait
CC (chin to crown)
GO (glabella to occipital)
ZZ (zygomatic arch to zygomatic arch)
CE (outside corner of eye to eye)
CM (outside corner of mouth)
WN (outside corner of wings of nose)
OO 2/3 = CC
CN = NB = BH

CN (bottom of chin to bottom of nose)


NB (bottom of nose to brow line)
BH (brow line to hairline)
OO (occipital to occipital)

ST Sternal Length (distance from top of sternum to bottom of sternum)


Base of Nose to Pit of Neck when head/neck are in normal facing forward position
Clavicle
Scapula (height)
UL Ulna (olecranon to the head of the ulna)
FT Foot (calcaneous to end of longest toe)
1.2X CC
HM Humerus
1.4X CC = HM
Olecranon to end of the middle finger
FM Femur (top of head of femur to bottom outer Condyle)
1.6X CC = FM

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Appendix B: Artistic Terminology


The following is a short list of artistic terms used throughout this publication and the fine art world.

Line, Shape, Form, Gesture


Line A design element that has length but no depth.
Line Quality The thickness, intensity and movement of a line.
Shape A 2 dimensional area enclosed by lines or curves that separate it from other shapes.
Form A shape having volume and thickness.
Gesture The overall dynamic appearance of lines, shapes and forms.
Static Appearing still, lifeless and straight.
Movement When a line or form exhibits a perceived nonstatic quality. More gesture produces
more movement.
Abstract Shape A specific shape that does not resemble any shape in the real world.
Amorphous Without shape or form.
Contour Line A line going around the perimeter of a form.
Cross Contour Line Lines that indicate form or shadow by mimicking the surface topology of an
object.
Block-in A contour with internal information added.

Spatial Relationships
Proportion How objects or parts of an object relate to each other in size, scale or emphasis.
Relative Comparison A method of determining the proportions and dimensions of an object or
multiple objects.
Scale Refers to how large or small an object appears or seems. An objects scale depends on a
comparison with one or more objects of known size.
Overlap - An area in which 2 or more lines or shapes intersect and one of them optically is in front
of the other. The line or shape overlapping the other is (at that point) closer to the viewer.
Negative Space The empty space between the contours of 2 shapes or outside the contour of 1
object.

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Light & Value


Value The artistic term for light and dark; the brightness or darkness of light or shadow. Often
used in a scale containing discrete values, like 0 to 5 or 0 to 9. The lowest number represents the
darkest and the highest number represents the brightest value.
Cast shadow A shadow that is a result of light being completely blocked by an object or form.
Form shadow A shadow that is the result of a surface or plane turning away from the light, often
referred to as a half tone or Penumbra.
Sharp shadow edge A sudden and high contrast value change between light and shadow.
Soft shadow edge - A subtle and low contrast value change between light and shadow.
Lost and Found Lines and Edges Lines and edges that are indicated in one area and seem to
disappear, only to reoccur again in another area. The viewer will mentally fill in the area where the
edge was lost.
Reflected Light A region in the shadow zone that is slightly lighter because it is receiving light
reflected from another object.
Highlight A spot on a form where the light reflects the most and has the highest value.

Composition
Visual Elements (2D): Point, Line, Shape, Form, Space, Value, Color and Texture.
Visual Elements (3D): Line, Plane, Volume, Mass, Space, Texture, Light, Color, Time
Principles of Design (2D): Unity, Emphasis & FocalPoint, Balance, Proportion & Scale, Contrast,
Movement, Rhythm/Pattern, Geometry, Variety and Harmony.
Principles of Design (3D): Unity & Variety, Grid & Matrix, Balance, Scale & Proportion,
Emphasis, Repetition & Rhythm
Unity A design element that helps the image be perceived as one unit instead of random objects.
Emphasis and Focal Point Emphasis is used to draw the viewers attention to one area of the
work.
Balance The distribution of the visual weight of objects in a scene: symmetrical, asymmetrical or
radial.
Continuance When an object in a composition leads the eye by pointing or looking at another
object.
Continuity The organized visual movement created by regular, flowing or progressive rhythm.
Rhythm Repetitive movement characterized by a series of objects with variations in
spacing, size, alteration and or progression.
Pattern Repetition created in an image by duplicating the size, shape, position, symmetry, value,
contrast and color of one or a group of shapes or objects.
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Harmony When every individual part of an image or scene adds to the overall pattern making the
whole feel complete.

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Appendix C: Anatomical Terminology


Anatomical terminology arose from the need to describe the wide variety of features on the human
body and other living things. At the time these terms were being assigned, Latin was the language
of learning in Europe. Scientists, medical specialists and artists now have an efficient and
unambiguous way to describe every single feature on the human body, instead of pointing to
something and saying that thing there.
The most important terms are listed here, because they will be referred to heavily as I describe the
human anatomy.
Descriptional Terms
Arch a curved shape spanning an opening beneath it (zygomatic arch).
Fossa a shallow depression (temporal fossa)
Cavity a relatively deep depression of a bone often filled with another type of tissue such as an
organ or muscle (orbital cavity).
Eminence part of a bone that projects only slightly (frontal eminence).
Process Part of a bone that is an outgrowth from its surrounding bone (mastoid process).
Condyle a rounded protuberance at the end of a bone that is part of a joint between two bones.
Tuberosity An area that appears swollen looking.
Furrow A line or wrinkle on the face.
Locational Terms
Supra above
Infra below
Medial towards the middle
Lateral towards the outer
Dorsal behind
Anterior front

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Appendix D: FIGURE DRAWING SYLLABUS


This appendix shows a suggested college or university level syllabus for a Figure Drawing course.
This syllabus was designed, written and used for a three Quarter Figure Drawing course series. Each
Quarter becomes successively more demanding on the students, while allowing students from all
three levels to be in the same class and share the same model.

Syllabus for Figure Drawing I, II, III


ART XX1, XX2, XX3

Course Description & Objectives


These three courses will introduce both objective and creative methods for drawing the human
figure. Live models will be used extensively as drawing subjects. Emphasis is given on rendering a
likeness of the model. The student will become very familiar with the following topics: gesture,
proportion, light & shadow, anatomy and composition. Reviews will be given on the elements of
art and principles of design.
Each class will be conducted in a drawing room with the instructor giving an introduction of the
days topic or a review of previous topics and then the students begin drawing. The instructor will
devote attention throughout each session to the individual student or to the entire group as
necessary.
Occasionally, videos or other multimedia teaching aids may be used to fully articulate the
explanation of a subject. This may include discussions on some of the leading figurative artists
throughout history and modern times, as well as analyzing their work and how they produced it.
Discussions of topographical and skeletal anatomy will also take place, with the usage of a skeleton
or other materials, along with pointing out the features on a living model.
The objective for the student is to combine all the knowledge and skills learned in the class to create
charcoal (or other medium) drawings of the human figure.

Textbook and Recommended Reading


Though not required to purchase, the student will greatly benefit from reading the following books:
Master Class in Figure Drawing,
Robert Hale
Anatomy Lessons from the Great Masters, Robert Hale
Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters,
Robert Hale
Artistic Anatomy,
Paul Richer & Robert Beverly Hale
The Practice and Science of Drawing,
Harold Speed
The Human Figure,
John H. Vanderpoel

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Grading
The grading of this course is based on the students ability to learn the topics discussed and to apply
that knowledge & skill towards drawing the human figure.
There will be one midterm test (multiple choice, fill in the blank, short answer, label the diagram).
The test is focused primarily on the familiarization of terminology and concepts dealing with figure
drawing and art concepts. The instructor will make it very clear which terms need to be understood.
In Class Drawings
Homework & Sketchbook
Midterm Test
Final Project

200 points
100 points
100 points
100 points

If a student misses more than 5 class sessions, then it is not possible for that student to receive an A
grade.
STANDARD GRADE SCALE
98-100% A+
93-97
A
89-87
B
86-83
B
79-77
C+
76-73
C
69-67
D+
66-63
D
59 & BELOW F

92-90
82-80
72-70
62-60

ABCD-

Turn In Drawings
In the early weeks of the course, the grading emphasis will be on the student's ability to consistently
attend each session and simply turn in the drawings.
Employ Techniques
As the quarter progresses, the grading emphasis will be shifted towards the student's ability to
employ the techniques being taught and the success of the drawing. Success in a drawing is
categorized as having the appropriate gesture, accurate proportions, a sense of volume being
conveyed by use of light & shadow (chiaroscuro) and finally, creating convincing anatomy.
Advanced techniques are composition and color.
Creativity & Style
While the focus of this course is on developing draftsmanship abilities, creativity is encouraged and
the student may choose to have this reflect in both the style and composition of the drawing.

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Weekly Topics
Week 1: Gesture
Introduction: Review Handouts, Discuss Goals, Proper Equipment/Easel Setup, Discuss Materials &
Mediums, Introduction on working with models.
Gesture and block-in (contour) drawings.
Week 2: Proportions
Introduction of proportions, ideal/realistic/relative
Incorporate believable proportions with shorter to mid length duration drawings
Week 3: Light & Shadow
Introduction of light & shadow effects, value scales, shadow mapping, soft/sharp shadow edges, variation in
shadow edges to produce realistic effects
Week 4: Anatomy
Introduction to anatomical landmarks and the importance of using anatomy for achieving believable
proportions
Week 5: Review
Putting it all together review: gesture, proportion, light/shadow and anatomy.
Review for Midterm Exam
Week 6 7
Midterm Exam
Foreshortening and reclining poses
Kneeling and seated poses
Week 8
Stylized Approaches, Abstraction, Series & Sequence studies
Week 9
Special emphasis on the Portrait (head/neck/shoulders)
Week 10
Students choose poses and duration of poses.
Aesthetics & Composition
Review weaker skills and areas of confusion.
Students can explore different mediums other than charcoal, if desired.
Week 11: Final Drawing
Putting it all together final long drawing
(Create a drawing that harmoniously incorporates everything learned for the quarter)
Week 12: Final Critique
Review of portfolio & Final Critique

Materials List

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Drawing materials can be expensive.
First buy all of the materials with an * asterisk and as the class proceeds, you can buy the rest if
needed.
PAPER
LARGE drawings are encouraged if you have access to large paper, bring it in and you can tape it
to a board or bring your own large board.
* Strathmore Drawing Pad, 18x24, 24 sheet pad
(1)
Medium sized drawing pad, 11x14
Charcoal Paper, Strathmore Storm Gray or other neutral color
(you can have different colors: beige or light blue are good)

(1)
(4)

CHARCOAL & PENCILS


* Generals Charcoal Pencils, medium 2B
* Willow Charcoal Sticks
Generals Chalk Pencils (white)

(5)
(5)
(3)

ERASERS
* Erasers, knead-able

(1)

DRAWING AIDS
Fan Brush or other type of brush with long thin handle
(may replace fan brush with wooden or plastic chopstick)

(1)

MISC
Metal Calipers (about 12 span)
Container for storage equipment (tackle box type)
Masking Tape, vanilla color, width
* Sharp Edge Box Cutter with movable blade
Blair workable spray fixative

(1)
(1)
(1)
(1)

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Homework Assignments & Sketch Book


Shown below is a list of the type of homework assignments required for the student to complete.
Size: the paper must be at least 18x24 inches.
Medium: Charcoal or Pencil preferred, but you may use any other medium. Color pencils, pastels
or ink & pen are fine. It is even ok to use oil or acrylic paints (though, a limited palette is
recommend).
* The 11x14 Sketchbook may be used to augment homework assignments
Level I
Draw Ribcage & Pelvis (torso)
Draw the Hands
Draw the Feet
Draw the Head/Portrait
Draw the Arms
Draw the Legs
Draw the Portrait
Level II
Every single bone in the human body (except the small ears of the bones) must be drawn. They
should be drawn life sized. Accuracy is encouraged and proper light & shadow effects are
recommended in order to make the bones seem more 3 dimensional. The student may use medical
literature, artistic anatomy books and the skeleton in class as reference materials to complete this
assignment.
Level III
At the end of each week, the level II student will select one of the life drawings done in class and on
the same or separate sheet of paper, the skeleton and/or muscles will be drawn. The student can use
anatomical books or the skeleton provided in class as aids.

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Tiers of Mastery & Progression of Skills

(contour, block-in)

Proportions
(relative comparison)

Anatomy
(skeletal, surface)

Light &
Shadow

Figure Drawing III

Gesture

Figure Drawing II

Figure Drawing 1

The Figure Drawing Course Series (I, II & III) is divided into tiers with a natural progression of
skills. The diagrams below will help illustrate the expected progression of the students skills. The
emphasis for each level is shown below from left to right and each level builds and depends upon
the mastery of the previous level. The student is of course exposed to all of the skills at each level,
but is only expected to master that which corresponds to their level.

Composition
Color

(shading, volume)

Composition

Gesture
(countour/block-in)

Proportions

Anatomy

Thought of in another way, each time a


student creates a drawing there is a conscious
circular process that occurs. Starting from the
gesture stage, the drawing is built up in a
logical manner, which incorporates more
advanced concepts. If the student completes
all three levels of the Figure Drawing series,
they will be expected to thoroughly
understand each skill and its importance.

(relative comparison)

Light &
Shadow

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Appendix E: FIGURE SCULPTING SYLLABUS


This appendix shows a suggested college or university level syllabus for a Figure Drawing course.

Syllabus for Figure Sculpting I


ART XXX

Course Description & Objectives


This course provides an introduction to sculpting the human figure. Live models will be used
extensively as subjects. Emphasis is given on rendering a likeness of the model in clay. The student
will become very familiar with the following topics: armature construction, working with clay,
gesture, proportion, modeling form, light & shadow, human anatomy.
Class meets once a week in a studio and the student will have access to the studio at other times in
order to work on the final project.
There will be approximately 10 sessions where a live model will be present.
Each class will be conducted in a studio with the instructor giving an introduction of the days topic
or a review of previous topics. The instructor will devote attention throughout each session to the
individual student or to the entire group as necessary.
Occasionally, videos or other multimedia teaching aids may be used to fully articulate the
explanation of a subject. Discussions of topographical and skeletal anatomy will also take place,
with the usage of a skeleton or other materials, along with pointing out the features on a living
model.
The objective for the student is to combine all the knowledge and skills learned in the class to
create a life sized clay sculpture of a human.

Textbook and Recommended Reading


Though not required to purchase, the student will greatly benefit from reading the following books:
Master Class in Figure Drawing,
Anatomy Lessons from the Great Masters,
Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters,
Artistic Anatomy,
The Human Figure,

Robert Hale
Robert Hale
Robert Hale
Paul Richer & Robert Beverly Hale
John H. Vanderpoel

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Grading
The grading of this course is based on the students ability to learn the topics discussed and to apply
that knowledge & skill towards sculpting the human figure.
Throughout the course, the student will be responsible for completing a set of drawings that will aid
the student in understanding human anatomy.
The Final Project, which is the creation of a life sized clay sculpture, will determine the majority
of the students grade as shown below.

Drawings & Studies


Final Project

100 points
400 points

STANDARD GRADE SCALE


98-100% A+
93-97
A
89-87
B
86-83
B
79-77
C+
76-73
C
69-67
D+
66-63
D
59 & BELOW F

92-90
82-80
72-70
62-60

ABCD-

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Weekly Topics
Week 1: Introduction & Material Requirements
Introduction: Review Handouts, Discuss Goals, Proper Equipment and sculpture stand setup,
Discuss Materials & Mediums, Introduction on working with models.
Week 2: Armature Construction
The milestone for this week is to have a complete figure sculpting armature constructed with bendable
diameter aluminum wire, plumbing pipes, metal flange and wooden board.
Week 3: Establish Model Pose and Shape Armature
The milestone for this week is to shape the bendable aluminum wire to mimic the shape of the human model.
The student will also create 4 simple sketches of the model as viewed from 4 different angles, in order to
understand the pose better.
The following weeks will be primarily concerned with creating a low detail block-in of the human
figure in clay.
Week 4: Torso & Legs
The milestone for this week is to develop the correct dimensions of the torso and legs
Week 5: Torso & Legs & Feet & Portrait
The milestone for this week is to continue developing the correct dimensions of the torso and legs, while
adding the ankles, feet & portrait.
Week 6: Shoulder Girdle & Portrait
The milestone for this week is to develop the correct dimensions of the shoulder girdle & re-assess the
correct dimensions of the portrait.
Week 7: Arms & Hands
The milestone for this week is to develop the correct dimensions of arms and hands.
Week 8: Review & Analysis of Gesture & Proportions
The milestone for this week is analyze the sculpture as a whole, with regards to its dimensions, proportions
and gesture
Week 9, 10, 11: Modeling of Forms
The milestone for these 3 weeks is to correctly model the forms and complete the surfacing of the sculpture,
as necessary.
Week 12: Final Critique
Review of Final Project & Final Critique

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Materials List
Clay sculpting materials can be expensive. This is a list of all of the materials necessary to create a
life sized sculpture of a human (approx 33 inches high)
Bendable Diameter Aluminum Wire
Approximately 10 feet of bendable aluminum wire that is diameter
The wire can be purchased online or in Seattle art stores.
Metal Plumbing Pipes for Armature
Pipe, 12 long
(1)
Pipe, 4 long
(1)
Flange
(2)
Elbow
(1)
T
(1)
Cross
(1)
to 3/8 converter
(1)
3/8 Pipe 6 long
(1)
Metal Screws
Number 14 wood screws, 1.5 inches (8)
Wooden Base
24 Diameter Circular Board
(or cut one to preferences)
Sculpting Medium
Plastilina Clay (Oil based)
Approximately 20 lbs
Water based clay may be used if student desires.
Sculpting Tools
Several Wooden Tools
Fettling Knife
Steel Putty Knife
Aluminum or Steel Caliper, 10 minimum

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Appendix F: SCULPTURE PROJECT GUIDE TEMPLATE


Most professional 3D Designers and Sculptors have developed an efficient process for creating
work. This visual guide template can be used to help establish a process for how one goes about
starting and completing a project.

Concept

The Concept phase is when the artist asks the questions


what, where, how big, etc Be as creative as possible.
Drawing in this stage is important.

Research

The Research phase is when the artist begins to learn


more about the subject matter so the project will have
importance and relevance.

Design
Process Plan
Budget
Construction
Installation/Presentation

The Design phase is when the artist formalizes the


aesthetic and structural value by using the elements and
principles of 3D Design. Creating a small 3D maquette
is done in this stage.
The Process Plan is usually a diagram or written
sequence of steps or diagrams that explain how the
project will be carried out.
The Budget inherently implies that a complete list of
materials has been listed and an estimation of total cost
is projected.
The Construction phase is the hands on
implementation of the final form of the project.
Installation and Presentation involve placing the 3D
object in a setting or different settings and showing to
an audience.

A formal project document is often required in real world commissioned projects or proposals. The
project document will contain at a minimum; Design, Process Plan and Budget. Additionally,
readers may want to know details about the materials and construction as well as how the 3D object
or sculpture will be affixed to a surface, hung from a ceiling or wall.

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Appendix M: A GUIDE TO MOLD MAKING


An illustrated guide for how to make a mold and a proof cast.

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Introduction To Mold Making


Mold making is an ancient process by which the shape and dimensionality of an object can be
reproduced. In this publication we use the term mold making to encapsulate the process of making
the mold and then making a cast from the mold.
A mold is a mass of material(s) that has a hollow chamber matching the exact 3 dimensional shape
of an object. Liquid material can be poured inside the hollow chamber to make a reproduction of the
original object.
This guide will explain the art of mold making using a small sculpture as an example. It is
recommended that before the artist uses this guide for making a mold of their own work that the
artist read the entire document to become familiar with all the steps and materials involved. A
shortcut is to simply review the Table of Contents on the previous page for a chronological step-bystep preview of what must be done.
This guide shows one of many ways to make a mold by demonstrating the process on a small figure
sculpture that has many of the common technical challenges presented to the mold maker. If the
artist understands this process and can repeat it on an equivalent project of his own, then it will be
possible to scale the process up or down to any size or complicated mold-making project.

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Materials
This section contains a list of all the materials needed to make a professional 2-piece mold for the
example sculpture used in this guide.

Listed in the chronological order in which the materials are needed:


Silicon Rubber Mold: Rebound 25 - Brand: Smooth-On
Thixotropic thickener for silicon rubber mold
Box of disposable vinyl gloves: 100 pairs
6 plastic (1 quart) containers
4 long wooden paint stirring sticks
4 medium wooden stirring sticks
1 bag of wooden lollipop sticks.
1 common house sponge
I bag (50lb) of plaster
4 plastic or rubber containers (1 quart)
2 plastic putty knives (for stirring plaster)
I jar of petroleum jelly
1 paper towel roll
1 cutting blade
2 steel bladed putty knives
1 plaster sander

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Preparing the Sculpture and Work Space


Before the mold making materials can be applied, the artist must prepare the sculpture.

Water Based Clay


If water based clay was used to create the sculpture then it is recommended the surface state be
slightly moist, not muddy or soggy.

Oil Based Clay


If the sculpture was created using oil based clay (containing sulfur), then the artist must pay
attention to the type of rubber mold material being used, because most silicon rubber mold material
will not catalyze correctly when in contact with sulfur.
Oil based clay containing no sulfur is safe to use with most silicon rubber mold material.
Undercuts and negative spaces in the sculpture are other things to consider.
Undercuts are areas in which it is not possible for material A to pass by material B without catching
or dragging.

Negative Spaces
If the negative space is small enough, then it is wise to cut a piece of plastic and fit it into the space.
This will (later) allow the mold separating process to go easier, without having to cut into the
sculpture.

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Phase 1: Rubber Mold (RM)


The most commonly used material for creating a rubber mold is silicon. The silicon used in this
guide is liquid and brush-able (with the aid of a Thixotropic agent).
The terms silicon mold and rubber mold are used interchangeably throughout this guide. It should
be noted that not all rubber molds in the industry are made from silicon and latex or polyurethane
are other available materials.

RM Step 1: Cover Entire Sculpture with a Thin Coat


As shown in the photo, the first step is to cover
the entire sculpture with a thin coat of the liquid
silicon. As shown in the materials list, the silicon
used for this example is called Rebound 25, made
by the company Smooth-On. This is a
professional grade mold making silicon.
Silicon will usually have a catalyzer and it is
important to follow the directions to make sure
the silicon catalyzes correctly. It is wise for the
artisan to wear disposable vinyl gloves from here
onwards in the mold making process. Latex
gloves cannot be used because latex will impede
the silicon from catalyzing correctly.
This first step is the most important step in the entire mold making process and it is absolutely vital
that this first layer of silicon catalyzes correctly. It is wise to give the silicon a full hour before
proceeding to the next step.

RM Step 2: Build up thickness


After the initial thin coat of silicon has catalyzed and is
tacky to the touch, it is safe to begin adding more layers.
The rubber mold must be thick enough so it does not
tear. In this step, we applied another 2 coats of silicon
onto the sculpture.
If you have purchased a thickening agent for the silicon
then you can add it to the silicon and paste the silicon
onto the mold more efficiently.

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RM Step 3: Adding Shims


In this step we add shims to the rubber mold. If you think for a moment, you will realize that the
rubber mold will eventually be taken apart. In this example, the rubber mold will have two halves.

The line in which the rubber mold is taken apart


(or cut apart) is called the separation line. It is customary to build up a wall along the separation
line. The wall may or may not have shims. Shims are used to help separate the rubber mold when
the time comes. The shims can also have small dimples in them, which will then act as registration
marks. The registration marks are what professionals use to help the rubber mold have a good seal
and prevent leakage.
As you can see from the photos on the left, we have inserted shims along the separation line. The
shims are nothing more than plastic candy molds which were purchased at a craft store. It would be
possible to use pieces of plastic with no dimples if that were desired.

Or, it is possible to use no shims at all. If no shims are used at all, then the mold maker must build
up the rubber mold so that a small wall exists along the separation line.
It is even possible to have no wall at all. However, the artisan will risk have extensive leakage of the
casting material along the separation line.

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RM Step 4: Cover Shims & Finish Wall


With the shims firmly in place, it is now time to completely cover the shims with the rubber mold.
At the end of this step, we hope to have a rubber wall the thickness of an index finger, with the
shims embedded inside the wall along the separation line.
As stated earlier, it is most beneficial if the silicon mixture has some thickener added to it. Making
the silicon thicker will aid in covering the shims, which in most cases will have vertical sides.
Without adding a thickener to the silicon, the silicon may run off the sides or take a very long time
to build up enough thickness around the shims.
As seen on the photo at the left, the shims
are now being covered with the rubber
mold. Slowly but surely we will have the
shims completely covered and there will be
a slightly geometrically shaped wall tracing
a path all along the separation line of the
rubber mold.
You may also notice the small pieces of
sponge that are now placed on the mold.
This addresses the issue of filling large
spaces or undercuts with a less expensive
material. In the demonstration mold, we
have placed 2 sections of sponge into areas
where filling with rubber mold would
otherwise have been extensive.

In the photo at the left, we can see a


slightly different view of the two sponge
sections. The piece of sponge on the right
side of the photo was placed there in
order to fill a large undercut area. Both
pieces of sponge will then be covered
with the rubber mold material.
After the shims have been completely
covered on both sides of the wall and the
wall is now fully formed, the mold maker
can allow the mold material to fully
catalyze until the material is no longer
sticky to the touch.
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RM Step 5: Trim Wall


The mold maker may then take a pair of scissors or a sharp cutting edge and strategically trim up
the outer edge of the wall until the shim is just barely visible. This should be done all along the
wall where possible. By creating a flat surface along the edge of the wall, we will allow the mother
mold process to be done easier.

With the edges of the wall trimmed in a


geometric fashion, we now have completely
finished making the rubber mold and we are
ready for the next phase of the mold making
project: the mother mold.
Finished rubber mold shown at the left.

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Phase 2: Mother Mold (MM)


In this second phase of the mold-making project, we introduce the mother mold. The mother mold
gets its name from the manner in which a mother holds a child: securely and firmly. The mother
mold is always a material that dries or catalyzes into a hard shell. This hard shell will keep the
forms of the rubber mold underneath safe and secure.

MM Step 1: Begin Applying Plaster to One Side


We begin the mother mold by selecting one side of the mold to apply our new material to. The
material we will be using for the mother mold in this demonstration is plaster. See the appendix for
directions on how to properly mix plaster or ask an experienced artisan.

As shown in the photos above, we begin by applying the dripping plaster onto the rubber mold with
a plaster mixing tool. Cover the entire surface as evenly as possible.

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MM Step 2: Complete One Side and Refine Contact Surface


In this step, we finish applying layers of the mother mold material until adequate thickness is
achieved. With plaster, this thickness will be approximately an inch. However, this depends on the
overall size of the sculpture and its mold. The trick is to use as little material as possible to reduce
overall weight, while allowing the mother mold to provide adequate rigid body strength.
In this photo we can see the rubber
mold with the plaster mother mold
being creating on the other side.
Ideally, we want the mother mold to
extend past the rubber mold and
slightly over the rubber mold wall.
The portion of the mother mold seen
from this view should have a clean
surface, hence the tool shown in the
photo cutting of excess plaster.

After one side of the mother mold has


adequate thickness and it is extending
over the height of the wall on the
rubber mold, it is advisable to take a
metal tool and make the edge as linear
as possible by scraping off excess
plaster.
When this step is done, the artisan will
be able to situate the mold as seen on
the left. In this view, it is able to see
the rubber mold with the mother mold
extending past all the edges. It is
important what we are able to see the
mother mold in this state so we know
when we make the second half of the
mother mold that both halves will
carry out the function of mating with
each other correctly and protecting the
soft rubber mold underneath.
Finally, apply a coat of Vaseline to the
section of mother mold visible from
this angle. This is absolutely essential. Forgetting this step will result in two mother mold halves
being bonded together.

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MM Step 3: Complete The Other Side (other half)


With one half of the mother mold completely formed and the Vaseline protecting the contact
surface, we are now ready to create the second half of this two-piece mother mold. For some
projects, the artisan will need to design and create more than two pieces for the mother mold and I
leave it up the artisan to deal with those complex situations.

For convenience I have turned the mold making project on its side for easy application of the
second half of the mother mold. This does not have to be done nor can it always be done this way
because the artisan may risk damaging the sculpture or the mold. When in doubt, do not turn the
project on its side, and just leave it upright.
In the photo above we can see an initial application of plaster onto the second side of the mold.
Continue in this fashion until the entire side of the mold is covered with plaster and its edges
mirror in contact with the first side of the mother mold. Now you will understand why we put the
coat of Vaseline on the edge of the first side of the mother mold. If we did not do that then the
plaster would bond to the plaster on the first side and instead of creating two halves for the mother
mold, we would have created one single body of plaster and disassembly would be incredibly
tedious and messy.

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MM Step 4: Clean Up Mother Mold


At this point in the project we have completed both halves of the mother mold. Before we continue
to the disassembly phase, it is advisable to clean up the edges of the mother mold along the
separation line.

In these photos (from top left going


clockwise) we can see: the entire mother
mold along the separation line, a metal tool
scraping horizontally along the edge of the
mother mold to help expose the separation
line and a hole that is a result of a large
negative space in the sculpture that appears
along the separation line.
In summary, we want to clean up the edges all
along the separation line.

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Phase 3: Disassembly of Mold


At this phase it is necessary to remove the sculpture from within the mold. We do this by first
separating the mother mold and then separating the rubber mold. This must be done carefully so the
mother mold and the rubber mold are not damaged.

DMM Step 1: Disassemble Mother Mold


Shown on this page is the mold before it is disassembled. The tools needed to disassemble the
mother mold are usually some metal putty knives and a plaster scraper.

We begin the mother mold disassembly by first locating


the separation line. If it cannot be located easily, then the
artisan will have to probe with a metal putty knife and
chip or dig into the mother mold. Once the separation line
has been found, the artisan runs the metal putty knife
along the seam and slightly digs into the plaster. The
metal putty knife can be wiggled slightly to help spread
the mother mold. At this point, do not attempt to
completely separate the mother mold.

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The process of sticking the metal putty
knife into the seam is repeated for all
areas where the mother mold touches
any other objects, such as the wooden
base or stand that the original
sculpture was created on. The goal is
to free contact between the two halves
of the mother mold and anything else
they touch.

Now the artisan can gently begin prying apart the two halves of the mother mold. As shown below,
the two halves are gently wiggled free. Usually only one half of the mother mold comes off easily
and the other half may be slightly stuck. The artisan must be careful when getting the second half
free and avoid damaging the soft rubber mold, which is now exposed.

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With the second half of the mother mold now freed,
it can be pulled away from the rubber mold. It is
now a good idea to place both halves of the mother
mold next to the rubber mold as shown in the photo
below.

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DRM Step 1: Disassemble Rubber Mold


Now that the mother mold has been disassembled into its two halves, we focus our attention on
disassembling the rubber mold. The rubber mold must be cut off the sculpture along the seam line.
At the left we see the rubber mold with the primary tool needed to disassemble the rubber mold: a
box-cutting knife.
Below at left and right we begin to
separate the rubber mold along the
seam. Sometimes the seam can be
separated with just the fingers. Other
times the artisan will need to use the
box cutter to cut into the seam all the
way to the clay or cut just deep
enough to reach the shims.
As we can see here, the plastic shims
have rounded depressions in them.
These rounded depressions act as
registration marks for the rubber
mold, so it is important to be careful
when removing the plastic shims.
Carefully remove the plastic shims
and then use the box cutter to
completely separate the rubber mold
in two halves.

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Continue separating the rubber
mold along the seam and
removing the shims. Youll
notice once a section of shims
have been removed that it
becomes easier to peel the
rubber mold away from the
sculpture and continue to
expose more of the shims.
Keep in mind that you will
likely have to rely upon the box
cutters to occasionally cut
through a section of rubber to
find the shims or cut into the
clay to separate the last bit of
rubber mold.
As the rubber mold is separated into its two halves, more of the sculpture will become visible. As
the rubber mold is pulled away from the sculpture the artisan can begin looking for any problems
with the mold. If the sculpture has no unexpected deformations and the rubber mold has no
deformations, then this is a good sign.
Here we can see much of
the rubber mold has been
peeled away from the
sculpture. At this point
the artisan may be
tempted to hurry up and
remove the rubber mold
at an accelerated pace.
The artisan must keep a
slow to moderate pace
and be careful not to tear
the rubber mold.

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When the rubber mold has been completely peeled away from the sculpture and all of the shims
have been removed, it is always a good idea to immediately lay the two halves of the rubber mold
into the matching halves of the hard plaster mother mold. Place the sculpture between the two
halves of the mold and take a few moments to compare the positive forms of the sculpture with the
negative forms of the rubber mold.
Now that the original
sculpture has been
removed from inside the
mold, we want to
reassemble the mold.
This is where all the
hard work of making the
registration marks
begins to pay off. If we
have made a good mold,
then it can be
reassembled easily and
there will be a good seal
between two halves.
Lay out both halves of
the mold with the rubber
mold inside of each
mother mold,
respectively. Get 1 or
more straps and some
Vaseline.

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Phase 4: Re-Assembly

With the mold lying on a counter top, look directly down onto the mold and put a thin coat of
Vaseline directly onto all areas of the mother mold that are exposed or protruding beyond the rubber
mold.
As shown in the picture, it is a good idea to
use vinyl gloves, but not necessary. Here
we can see the Vaseline being applied to
the mold.

With the Vaseline coating the exposed contact points on the mother mold, we can now place one
half of the rubber mold on top of the opposing rubber mold with its mother mold underneath (as
shown in the picture). Carefully inspect that all of the registration marks are matching up between
the contact area of each half of the rubber mold.

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After the two halves of the rubber mold are matched up, stand back and verify that there are no
unexpected anomalies. The next step will be to put on the other half of the mother mold and hence
this might be the artisans last chance to notice any problems for a proper re-assembly of the rubber
mold.

Now the second half of the mother mold must be put on


and a strap or other chord must be wrapped around the
entire mold to assure it is held securely in place.

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Phase 5: Pouring the Proof Cast


Pouring a proof cast is the only way we will know for sure if our mold making process was done
correctly. The mold has now been reassembled and secured with straps or chords. We place the
mold upside down in a bucket or other container so that it will not tip over, as shown in the photos.
A bucket or container is not always
necessary and in some cases not
possible if the mold is too large. The
artisan will have to decide what type
of mechanism or setup is necessary to
hold the mold up side down.

Now the artisan mixes some plaster


and water and pours the plaster into
the mold. This has to be done so that the
plaster covers every part of the inside of
the mold. The artisan will most likely
have to pick the entire mold up or rotate it
a around to assure the plaster has covered
all of the inside of the mold. When the
plaster begins to setup and harden,
another coating of plaster may be poured
into the mold Do this multiple times until
there is an adequate thickness built up
inside of the mold.
In the last photo here we see the entire
mold has been turned on its side. This is a
good time to scrape along the bottom of the
newly poured cast to make it even and flush
with the bottom of the mold. There will of
course be some slight shrinkage of the plaster
and possible warping the bigger the plaster
cast gets. But, this is the best we can do at this
phase to assure a good plaster pour. The
artisan will begin to notice some heat is given
off because of the thermotropic reaction of
plaster setting up.

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Releasing the Cast


Now the plaster has been poured into the mold and several hours have passed to assure the plaster
has had enough time to set up (cure) properly. The artisan must now carefully extract the plaster
cast from the mold without damaging it.
Set the mold right side up and remove the straps. Remove half of the mother mold and also remove
the corresponding half of the rubber mold. This will allow the artisan the first glimpse of the plaster
cast.

The other half of the mother mold is


now removed and finally the other
half of the rubber mold is gently
peeled away from the plaster cast.
It can be a wonderful feeling to
experience a successful mold
making and plaster casting project
and see your plaster cast without
defects. That is why this is called
the proof cast. We are proving that
the mold can or cant deliver on the
promise of reproducing the original
clay sculpture.

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Chasing the Cast


If the plaster cast produced by the mold is in overall good shape and there are no major
deformations then the artisan only has to contend with occasional spots where the plaster did not
come into contact with the mold, air bubbles in the plaster which cause voids and areas where the
plaster was too thin.
Repairing these areas is referred to as chasing the plaster and a few metallic tools and a little more
plaster + water are needed to carry out this process.

The above right photo shows an example of an area of the plaster cast that did not receive enough
plaster. Perhaps there was an air bubble in the liquid plaster that did not allow the plaster to settle on
the part of the rubber mold corresponding to this spot. In any case, we simply mix up some plaster
and patch the spot. A syringe is a good tool to have handy for repair jobs because it can inject the
exact amount of plaster needed in the exact spot that needs repairing.

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Mold Making Summary


The entire process of making a mold and an exact three-dimensional cast of an original object is an
art form that has been done for thousands of years. The materials used in the process of mold
making have advanced significantly over time and the artisan has a wide array of choices.
The author prefers to use Silicon for the rubber mold and Hydrocal for the mother mold.

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Citations
Citations inserted here

Drawing and Sculpting the Figure, by Lance Dooley 2012