Wednesday, 1 July 2015

#648 Modeling a Moose and waypoints . . . con't


Please start with Blog # 644 for more information about this series of posts about anatomy.

Moose are the largest members of the deer family with broad, palmate antlers, long legs,
and a bulbous-shaped nose and like most quadrupeds, walk on their toes.

When I'm blocking in a sculpture of a quadruped, the first form, proportion, placement, waypoint,
 and bony landmark that I identify on my subject is always the scapula and where it joins the humerus.
I pay special attention to the silhouette on the top line caused by the the bulge of the scapula.
It is where the humerus joins the scapula that is paramount and of special interest to me when starting a block-in. 
Note:  In man the scapula is fixed, in quadrupeds it moves forward and backward as the animal moves.

Moose are the largest members of the deer family with broad, palmate antlers, long legs,
and a bulbous-shaped nose and like most quadrupeds, walk on their toes.

Below, is a drawing of a deer skeleton.  Note:  The rearward waypoint of the hipbone, the ischium is identified.



Below, is a rough clay block-in of a moose showing waypoints and bony landmarks.
Notice, the three waypoints in the pelvic bone region"  The highest point is the top of the hipbone; the middle
is where the femur attaches to the pelvis with a ball socket joint; and the rearward waypoint is the part of the hipbone called the ischium.  As I work toward completion, I will constantly compare the clay model with the skeleton.

Notice where the scapula joins the humerus, where the humerus joins  the radius/ulna at the elbow, and where the radius/elbow joins the wrist.  Also, notice where the femur is attached to the hipbone, where the femur joins the
tibia/fibula at the knee, and where the tibia/fibula joins at the ankle.



Below, is a small clay sketch of a moose in progress, created recently in one sitting.



Below,  is a bronze casting of the small moose shown above in clay.



Below, are 2 photos taken recently in Yellowstone.







Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish



Sunday, 28 June 2015

#647 Modeling a Grizzly and waypoints . . . con't


Start with post #644 for more information on this series of posts about anatomy.

While sculpting an animal with thick fur or hair such as a grizzly, the waypoints and bony landmarks can be hard to see . . . but the sculptor must always organize the sculpture by indicating the skeletal structure with quadruped waypoints.

The fur tracts should be studied carefully in order to avoid a shapeless mass . . . indicating waypoints prevents this.
Show where the joints articulate by breaking the fur patterns in the right place . . . even if you don't see them.
I've obtained great reference by observing and photographing grizzlies emerging from the water in Alaska.

Below, is a drawing of a Grizzly skeleton.



Below, is a drawing of a Grizzly showing the superficial muscles, the waypoints, and points of articulation.
The drawing also shows where the humerus connects to the scapula and where the femur attaches to the pelvis.
Note:  Most quadrupeds walk on their toes, bears walk like man with their feet planted on the ground.


While a bear's skeletal proportion is unique, the muscular form compares with other quadrupeds such as dogs.
The animal has a high shoulder, an up-tilted pelvis, and is heavily muscled.

Below, is a small clay model in progress of a Grizzly.



Below, an image of the above sculpture cast in bronze.



Below, is an image of the bronze sculpture, "Tail Hook".



Below, is an image of and early monumental bronze sculpture, "Chum Run".





Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

#646 Live models and comparative anatomy . . . con't


Please see the previous two blogs for more information about this post.

Before an artist can properly represent an animal in either action or at ease, an understanding
 of nature's one pattern, waypoints and bony landmarks must be understood. 
Comparative anatomy is a logical sequence of anatomical understanding and once the artist understands
the special peculiarities of various species and grasps the different characteristics of the animal, whether wild,
domestic, or even human, splendid opportunities exist for artistic expression!
Nature's one pattern, waypoints, and bony landmarks can be reviewed on the previous two blogs.  

A necessary point to remember is that our principle joints correspond to those of other mammals and birds. 
All have shoulder blades that connect to the humerus, which is attached to the radius/ulna at the elbow.
These join the bones of the wrist and hand.  There is a pelvis connected to the femur with a ball-and-socket joint . . .  
the tibia/fibula is connected to the femur at the knee and a heel, hind foot, and toes are  connected to the 
tibia/fibula at the ankle . . . all of this, common to man, mammals, and birds alike and all are vertebrates.

In man , the scapula is across the back and turned at a right angle to the plane of the body.
The scapula on a bird is covered with feathers of course and not visible . . . but, it is there.









It's not always possible for the sculptor or painter to work from live models.  Wild animal subjects such as grizzlies, 
wolves, cougars, moose, caribou, African species, etc.  are not usually available to pose for the artist.   
Much can be learned by comparing wild animal anatomy to a household pet or domestic animals that you have access to.  Begin by locating the joints (waypoints and bony landmarks) on a drawing or blocked-in clay model of your wild animal subject, then find the same joints on a pet such as your dog, cat, or horse.

Dog


The scapula or shoulder blades on quadrupeds typically stand almost upward and lean slightly in.
The scapula are easily identified by feeling down the slope of shoulder on your dog or cat to the place
where the scapula joins the end knob of the humerus . . . then follow the humerus to the elbow . . .
it is the elbow on the front limb of your dog that thrusts upward.

Dog Front Leg


Next, locate the top of the hipbone and run your hand to where the femur emerges.  Then, run your hand along the femur to the knee.There's a bewildering array of shapes and proportions in the dog family . . . making them a favorite subject!

Dog Back Leg


It's important to remember, that whether you're modeling a short-legged Dachshund or
 a long-legged Borzoi,  proportion is determined by the length of the skeletal bones.


"Painters paint what they see - sculptors sculpt what they know."

                                                                               - Sandy Scott




Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish


Sunday, 21 June 2015

#645 Nature's one pattern and waypoints . . . con't


Please see the previous blog for more information about this post.

The artist who perceives nature's one pattern will realize there are significant bony landmarks or waypoints
where the skeletal structure consistently reveals itself.  These prominent waypoints
identify the location of  joints and thus movement within the mass of the body.

The artist must understand that a waypoint presents a bulge, projection, or angle on the form.   
Realizing nature's one pattern will take the mystery out of  organizing skeletal and muscle structure. 
The most important mammal bony landmarks and waypoints are:  Elbow, wrist, knee, heel, top of the humerus (shoulder), and top of the femur.  Included as waypoints are the shoulder blade (scapula), pelvic girdle, and connecting spine.

Below, is a drawing of nature's one pattern with the important waypoints identified.



               Below, is a drawing of a dog with the waypoints and bony landmarks identified.



Below, is a drawing of a recumbent rabbit's skeleton.  When waypoints and bony landmarks are understood by the sculptor, any pose or gesture can be realized . . .  even though the animal may be fur, feather, or hair covered.



Below, the five most important waypoints on a bird are:

   1. - Wrist:  The angle where the wing breaks . . .  the primary flight feathers originate  from the      
          hand and the secondaries from the radius/ulna.   
   2. - Elbow:  The joining of the humerus to the radius/ulna causes the thickest part of the wing.
   3. - Knee:  Causes the bulge along the bird's flank . . . the femur, like the humerus is imbedded and
         covered with feathers:  Bird sculptors must understand feather groups and where they originate.
   4. - Pygostyle:  Fleshy imbedded shape where the backbone ends and where the tail feathers originate.
   5. -  Bill (or beak): - Along with the wrist and foot, one of the few hard places on the feathered bird. 




"My goal while creating sculpture, is to make sure all of the shadows fall in the right place."

                                                                                                                           - Sandy Scott


Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish



Wednesday, 17 June 2015

#644 Nature's one pattern


Last Saturday at Prix de West I was a member of a wildlife art panel which included Greg Beecham,
Ralph Oberg, and moderated by Walter Matia.  During the discussion, I talked about nature's one pattern. 
For more information about Prix de West and the panel, see the previous post.
Nature's one pattern is a phrase I use when teaching bird sculpture workshops and it refers to comparative anatomy. 
 After the panel, I was asked to elaborate on the phrase by someone in the audience who follows my blog.  
While I've mentioned it before in a blog, the focus of this post is a review of nature's one pattern

Like humans, quadrupeds and birds are vertebrates . . . meaning they have a backbone and nature has designed
 just one pattern for all vertebrates.   Below, are drawings comparing humans with quadrupeds and birds.





Variation in the length and shape of the bones indicate how and where an animal lives, feeds, runs, crawls, hops, flies, breeds, and exists on this planet.  All of the approximately 4,500 known living species of mammals fall into one or
another of 19 orders and all of the over 10,000 species of birds fall into one or another of 28 orders and
all species can be compared to and realized by knowing and understanding nature's one pattern.

Below, compare the horse skeleton with the cat, dog, deer, bison, and bear skeletons;  
then compare all to the human and bird skeletons . . .
while the quadrupeds are similar to the human on all-fours . . . 
the bird, being upright,  is actually more similar to the human skeleton!

Horse skeleton


Cat skeleton


Dog skeleton


Deer skeleton


Bison skeleton


Bear skeleton


Human skeleton


Flamingo skeleton


Ostrich skeleton
   

All are vertebrates and note the skeletal similarities:  nature's one pattern.
All have a backbone, humerus, radius/ulna [the bird's wing compares to our arm], 
femur, tibia/fibula,  rib cage, sternum, scapula, pelvic girdle, digits, toes,  etc. 
Interestingly,  while all mammals have 7 neck vertebrae - even giraffes -  birds, on the other hand, 
have a very flexible neck consisting of 13 - 25 neck vertebrae.

The artist must know how the skeleton is arranged and how the joints articulate.
The artist must understand that it is the skeleton and length of bones that determines proportion.
The artist must understand the skeletal structure and similarities of animals and
know how to use nature's one pattern which is inherent to all vertebrates.

Understanding comparative anatomy will revolutionize the artist's approach to figurative sculpture:
be it a figure of a human, horse, cat, dog, deer, bison, bear, bird, and beyond:  nature's one pattern.



Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish




Sunday, 14 June 2015

#643 Prix de West, 2015 . . . con't.



Please see the previous two posts for more information about this blog.


Prix de West weekend is over and my work was well received.  Happily, sales were brisk for not only my work but for the entire exhibition.  This year, 99 artists presented over 300 paintings, drawings, and sculptures.  For more than 40 years the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City  has hosted the Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition and Sale, making it the nation's longest running contemporary Western art show.  This year marked my 27th year participating in the prestigious event . . .  the sculptures I exhibited this year can be seen in the previous two blog posts.




Below, are pictures, notes, and memories of the 2015 Prix de West.






Above and below, I was on a panel discussion about wildlife art, moderated by fellow sculptor, Walter Matia.



Below, while on the panel, I respond to good-natured banter with longtime friend and fellow sculptor, Walter.



Below, Tim Shinabarger, T.D. Kelsey, and Veerla and Kent Ullberg were in the audience.



Below, fellow artists: Matt Smith, Morgan Weistling, Dean Mitchell, and Tom Browning at the awards banquet.



Below, I'm talking art with Chris Blossom and Len Chmiel . . . two great painters!



Below, I'm with longtime friend and fellow sculptor, Shirley Thomson-Smith.



Below, two friends and two of my favorite artists:  David Leffel and Sherry McGraw.



Below, I'm with (left to right) Dan Smith, Tom Dailey, and Curt Walters in front of Curt's breathtaking painting.



Below,  Wyoming gallery owner, Sue Simpson Gallagher,  and artists, Carrie Ballentine, and Chris Blossom.



Below, Andy Peters with his Prix de West award-winning painting - "The Lake of Glass".






Left, Steven Karr, Ph.D.,
President of the museum.









Right, Logan Maxwell Hagege,
an extraordinary painter.






Below, a picture of the 2015 Prix de West Artists.





Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish