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Medardo Rosso: Post Impressionist Sculpture

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You can learn more about Medardo Rosso here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medardo_Rosso


Poetry and atmosphere. A moment captured, made eternal, a gesture or moment that is seen and gone in a second. These works are so powerful and capture so much with so little hard edged information.  Please spend time looking at each of these images, quietly and not in a rush to digest them. Try to quiet the noise and hunger of wanting to be better at sculpture and see how it can give voice to what has no words. Rosso's sculptures are subtle and quiet, quite different than Rodin and Camille Claudel.  Look at the bits of information he gives to you as well as the large masses that the details emerge from. Is there a benefit to leaving parts of a sculpture to the imagination? the human eye fills in and reads light and dark to determine what something is from very little detailed information, this is why squinting helps you see and make artwork. The first eyes in the evolution of life are just li…

Rodin's Drawings and Watercolors

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Here are a few of Rodin's watercolors to see how fluidly he drew and paid attention to the largest movement and shape of the figure. In order to create sculpture, you have to see the abstract shapes of light and dark, the negative space and the overall geometric simplifications that make up all forms in space. In order to sculpt realistically, you need to see and think abstractly.  These drawings are a way to see into Rodin's way of approaching the figure and what is most important when capturing the figure in space.  Thing of associations besides anatomical details when laying out a figure, think of rectangles, ovoids, circes, S curves, arcs, lines that connect from top to bottom and the sub-rhythms that carry your eye across a form slowly. Remember it is not different than music in the way it is composed. Large themes, sub-themes, large movements, sub-movements, etc.  I show these drawings because many of you are familiar with Rodin's work and know he can sculpt with an…

Camille Claudel

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You can research more about Camille Claudel online. She will finally be given a museum dedicated to her work. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/mar/25/museum-rescues-sculptor-camille-claudel-from-decades-of-obscurity

Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camille_Claudel

When looking at sculpture, as well as when sculpting, close your eyes (squint) to see the large and small areas of light and dark as well as the masses of form in space. The key to sculpting from life is being able to see the large connections and masses in their simplicity and organizing their complexity within a larger rhythm and form. Repetition, variety, large and small lights and darks are key. Each sculptor will have a different way of handling light and dark. When you are sculpting you are always looking at the direction of light and by turning the clay, in varying degrees, away from the light, you change the intensity of the values from darkest darks, to lightest lights.

Rodin's Portra…

Examples of Figurative Sculpture

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Background: This blog is created for students studying figurative sculpture. Below are figurative sculpture examples by various artists. There is no chronology in the listing of these artists. I will send a notification when I add more examples or technical information to share. If you respond to a particular artist, continue your search and seek out where to see examples of their work in person. There is nothing like seeing a work of art in person. You will be able to observe the pieces in terms of the three-dimensional flow of movement, form, and surface. Take note of the artists you respond to and why. It is essential that you learn from the art that you love as much as from the study of technique.  Unless you are a forensic artist, anatomy alone will not provide you with the tools to make sculpture.


example of an ecorche (flayed figure)sculpture
Houdon-Ecorche


Ecorche created in Z-Brush (computer software)

Examples of Figure Sculpture 
Please notice that the details are always subordi…