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« Ecorche - Skull | Main | American Art Collector Feature »

Écorché - Skull drawings

Last week was the first day of my ecorche class with Andrew Ameral.

Ecorche is studying anatomy by sculpting a "flayed" figure - as if it has no skin, so you can see the bones and muscles. We sculpt the bones first and then build all the muscles over the skeleton.

Every week we will have drawing homework. This week we were assigned to draw a skull from 5 different views. It took me exactly 10 hours to draw these 5 skulls - very, very difficult to get the proportions correct.

These two sheets of drawings are each are 8x10 inches, drawn with graphite on mylar paper. Mylar is a translucent vellum that is my new favorite paper for pencil drawing. It grabs the graphite with a silky/dusty feeling and is capable of getting a huge range of value from graphite. These drawings were all done with 2H (very hard) pencils.

I also need to label these with all the names of the bones of the skull - did you know the skull is made up of 22 different bones?

I bought my skulls at The Bone Room. The store is near me in Berkeley, CA, but you can also buy from them online. The cast skulls with the brand name "Bone Clone" are amazingly high quality for a very reasonable price!! I bought the two skulls (one real, one cast), a whole pelvis, and also a fibula (which nicely illustrates the tapered, spiraling nature of organic form!). I contemplated lots of other things to buy, but had to hold off for now. Next I am going to save up for a whole skeleton....

Andrew's class runs through June, and I'll be blogging it as much as possible, so stay tuned!

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Reader Comments (4)

These are wonderful drawings and the clay modeling seems like the perfect teaching exercise. Thanks for posting these. I have heard about Ecorche classes before but never seen a step by step following.

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichael dean Springer

Hi Sadie,
I wanted to know with the plaster cast of the skull, which one did you purchase? I see that they have two and I wanted to know if you recommend the more expensive one (there is quite a price difference) or if you think that for study reasons the more affordable one is okay?

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHRH Heather

Thanks Michael!

Heather I got the "Bone Clone" brand for about $200. I would not recommend artistic study from the cheaper imitation skulls, when you see them together you can see a big difference.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSadie J. Valeri

Excellent work, your studies are quite inspiring, thanks for sharing and keep up the hard work!

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterP. Greenwood
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