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« Ecorche - Skull and ribcage drawings | Main | Ecorche - Skull »

Ecorche - The skull is refined a bit

Today I worked on my ecorche skull for about 4 more hours and did not get close to finished.... I never knew I could spend so much time on 3 inches of clay! I think I over-emphasized the "worried" look.

As difficult as it is getting all the proportions and forms correct... then it has to be symmetrical.

Andy has shown us key landmarks for keeping the whole thing in proportion, but while I whittle away at the details with tiny dental tools I back up and realize the main proportions have been distorted - then it's back to hacking away with the bigger tools.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and I started to get a feel for how the clay works and what the different tools do. I began to get a real appreciation for plastelene (non-hardening) clay. It's amazingly structural, takes deep carving easily but also holds up when you want to just take a tiny shaving off.

Neat-o stuff!

Above is my current setup in my studio for the anatomy drawing homework. I open every anatomy book I have and pick the best images and prop open the pages for easy reference while I am working.

This week I'm drawing the ribcage. I didn't realize how difficult it would be, it's not the sheer number of ribs that's the hard part, it's getting the correct angles, width and spacing.

I have more appreciation every day for the efficiency and complexity of organic engineering: Twelve ribs and not one is parallel to another, yet together they form the most perfect, graceful cage.

If you bend your fingers slightly, with a bit of space between them, into a soft, almost-fist, you'll see at no point are any of them parallel... the ribs are the same way, every facet converging or splayed, but all together they look evenly spaced.

It's a feat of engineering!

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Reader Comments (7)

Thank you Sadie for sharing with us. it's fascinating!

February 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTerry Strickland

Thanks for sharing this.
What is the book in the easel?
I have a few anatomy books but I have never seen that one.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjeff

The one on the easel is a book of drawings by contemporary students at the Repin School in Russia. They are beautiful figure drawings, and they have drawn them with the skeleton visible inside the pose.

The other one (up on the shelf) is Richer, which is excellent.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSadie J. Valeri

Were did you find the Repin School book?

It's amazing how well the Russian training is.

I was speaking to someone about this at a drawing class, she was Russian and she said it's extremely hard to get into some of the schools.

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjeff

The Repin student books are only available through a Chinese publisher:

Yes the Repin school is very impressive. I recently heard they offer a prep course Western students can take to get ready to apply to Repin - most students apparently cannot get in, because we don't get the intensive early training Chinese and Russians do as kids. But I did hear of a friend-of-a-friend who went, so it is possible! Apparently they teach in Russian though, and so the teachers just come draw on your drawing to instruct. Sounds great to me!!

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSadie J. Valeri

Thanks for the link.
I bought both volumes.
Man those Russians can draw.

Do you know the Bridgeview School of Art? It seems they have students going to the Repin School.

It's interesting as they have all this great structure and put an impressionist painting style on top.

If you get in it's 6 years!

February 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjeff

Hey thanks for telling me about the Bridgeview school, that place looks amazing!! Yet again, wishing I live in NYC....

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSadie J. Valeri
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