Friday, June 14, 2013

Making personal challenges

Personal challenges are fun and can help a great deal in your progress as an artist if you decide to let it. I have done a few in the past and as long as you look at it as an exercise and you keep your purpose in mind you can achieve new goals and have a stronger skill set for your next piece. Think about issues you are having or something new you would like to try and set aside some time to accomplish the task. Are you having an issue with expressions or a certain facial feature? Take some time to master this issue and take control of your final piece.

Here are a few of the pieces i did over the years and my main goal or purpose.

These first two i did a basic character and messed with different expressions and what it was that made a certain expression show through.

This is one to learn more about the transformation from man into wolf

The following are 3 hr sketches. With forcing myself to work on a piece for 3 hrs i had to come up with an interesting design. Sometimes when i first create a piece and after 1 hr i might not like the idea, but with 2 hrs left for the project i was forced to see why i didn't like the piece and fix it.

Finally here is a 5 hr challenge i did to try to complete a full head sculpt. I looked at the challenge to see what i could create, not rush to get it finished in 5 hrs. Here is the start and every hour.

Here is the final piece approx. 6.5-7 hrs.

Make some time for your own challenges. Make them fun, interesting, challenging, and successful. Make some strong goals and tackle them with pride.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The importance of an honest critique

One very important task that is constant during the sculpture process is critiquing your work. Be honest with yourself from early on in the process and dont be afraid to change things up or start over from scratch. If the piece you currently have in front of you doesn't have the correct structure or form it wont matter how long you take on the details and features, the piece wont be as strong. I have had a couple pieces that in the past i created life size busts but after 1-2 hrs in the shapes didn't seem right. It was easier for me to pull the clay and restart rather than try to figure out and fix the problem areas, and the pieces turned out better when i had a fresh new piece in front of me.

The picture above is some of my mini-busts i have set aside that i like. In this case i do studies everyday to get warmed up and work on my techniques in this smaller scale. The ones i like i will work on further, but with me doing new pieces every week i have to judge each piece to make sure it makes the cut and is strong enough for me to spend my time and money on to complete the sculpt and make the mold.

So always remember to critique your own work with an open and honest mind. If the piece your working on doesn't give you a chill of excitement down your spine then somethings wrong. 
Figure out what it is and fix it or start fresh.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Juggling Projects

How many different projects should one handle or juggle at any given time frame? The answer - there is no right answer, only the right answer for you.

For me i really enjoy doing sketches and concepts. Doing these helps me learn new techniques and it helps to get me warmed up and the creative juices flowing. The pieces i hold onto and like i will try to finish, but i try to focus on only 2-3 pieces at one time. Doing it this way helps to step away from a project when i get stuck or don't know the exact direction i'm going. This process also gives me time to step away to get a fresh eye. Working on a single project sometimes you don't step back and take different views of the piece as a whole, which can reveal certain problem areas.