Ok. Took a hard look at the calendar this weekend and realized that if I'm going to get the large figure done this summer, I need to start NOW. I haven't totally finished the maquette, or even figured out what the legs are going to look like, but I know how the top is going to work, and I think I've figured out how to get the legs to attach to the body in the second stage.
Here's how it starts:
I cleaned and repainted the surface I used for "Self-Portrait", and gridded it out in 6 inch increments using a chalk line. I suppose I could have used an opaque projector but, even though I'm happy to use a grid and a computer, a projector still feels like cheating. A grid is pretty accurate, but it still opens up room for accident and inconsistencies. I don't really want there to be any distortion, but I think it's important to spend the time figuring it out, rather than just tracing the outline. I'm not sure why I think it's important, but I do.
After I get the outline drawn, I have the pleasure of heaving handfuls of clay at the silhouette...
until the whole thing looks like this.
This image gives a better view of the bargain basement clay I'm using. I should have bought fresher, cleaner, more consistently colored clay, but this is what I used for the last project and, again, good mojo trumps good sense.
From there, it's a matter of cutting the edges back to the penciled outline, and starting to work the form.
Things move quickly in the beginning. I'm trying to keep focused on working the whole form, and not getting seduced by detail. Even though I've done this a lot by now, it's still tempting to get a sense of how the whole thing is going to look once it's resolved. I'll think "she looks a little bulky right now. She'll probably look a lot more feminine with her features in place...", and then I'm off to the races, putting all kinds of detail on the face that I'm likely to have to scrub once the various depths start to resolve themselves.
This time, I'm making sure all the parts are in place - all high spots in correct relationship to all low spots - before I start modeling any details. It should be easy, but the reassurance that comes from working the details is terribly tempting, and it's hard to be good.