Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hands Project

This project is an interesting and challenging one. Novice artists often avoid portraying hands because they are anatomically very complicated, but still they can be the most expressive part of a portrait. We're all familiar with the "Praying Hands" by Durer, so we know they can be memorably portrayed.
In this commission, I'm sculpting the hands of a couple, the man with notably large hands and the woman with dainty hands. I haven't settled on the composition yet, so I'm starting by creating clay models that I can bend and manipulate into a composition that communicates the sense of love, strength and grace that I would like to show

1. Top Picture: I start with a drawing and then create a wood and wire armature that will hold the clay. Aluminum wire is easily bent, so I use that for the flexible parts of the hand.

2. I model the hands straight with no particular pose in mind.
3. I put the hands in various poses to explore the focus I want.
4. Then I set up a possible assembly with a sample base.
5. I check so that it communicates from various angles.
This composition is interesting. I particularly like the "lacework" the overlapping fingers create. The beautiful grain of butternut wood will only enhance the form.
It looks ready to be carved into wood.

I'll show more of this process as I procede.