The next few weeks will be focused on completing a new set of sculptures to serve as references for the final drawings. I’ve always kept the modeling of the figures fairly ambiguous, but I’ve been rethinking this approach over the past few days. Lately I’ve been leaning towards becoming more specific in the forms of the sculptures, so that additional information is there in the sculpture if I feel that I need it. I’ve also been thinking more about ways to emphasize the surface and sense of tacility in the sculptures.
On a technical note, I’ve discovered that the radiator in my office at Wellesley College is great for heating up chunks of plastilene. I’ve always preferred ceramic clay for modeling because of it’s soft and malleable characteristics. However, maintaining even moisture in ceramic clay throughout the modeling process becomes cumbersome and difficult, especially over extended periods of time if I’m away from the work. The radiator in my office gets hot enough that the plastilene gets as soft as ceramic clay, which significantly speeds up the modeling process.
At the same time, I’ve also been working on some more developed compositional sketches. The specifics have yet to be worked out yet in terms of the poses of the figures, but it helps me get an understanding of what I want to achieve in each composition. Recently a primary concern has been how to sustain interest in the passages of water. In this new vertical shape, the water takes up a significantly higher portion of the image than in previous pieces.