Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Getting the wrong thing wrong...

Been thinking a little about one of the curious sculpting phenomena that I live with as part of my process and thought I'd share. We're into sculpting theory territory here...

Okay, we've all been there. We've sculpted a part of a figure that's wrong and we can't seem to get it right no matter what. Drives you up the wall because you're sure that head is right and yet it looks wrong. Well, sometimes it's actually right and what we haven't noticed is the something else we got wrong that is making the part we thought wrong, but is actually right... err... look wrong (hey, I never said I'd make sense).

One little problem I've had in the past is that a head has seemed too big on one of those ladies in dresses that I've sculpted a million times and I've finally worked out that it's not the head at all. I'd measured it twenty times and it was right. No, the problem turned out to be the collar bone that was too high and jutting too far forward. I fixed that and the head becomes right.

So, when you're sure you've got something wrong and can't quite figure out why be sure to check the rest of your figure to see if the actual problem is elsewhere. You maybe surprised how often this is the case...


  1. Yes!
    My error is usually that I forget to inspect my model from ALL angles when sculpting... This can lead to situation that the stuff looks right in one angle but not all of them..then I spend lots of time trying to fix things that are right until I discover my original mistake much later.

  2. theres so many rights - real or stylised - heroic or just plain aweinspiring - and thats just for illustration - theres so many adjustments made for scale and range esthetics when sculpting ....

  3. Tell me about it!
    I love how there's so many different ways to get there - John design his characters in 2-dimensional world, where there's certain "rights" and "wrongs" - then sculptor takes the designs in to the 3-dimensional realm, where those same "rights" may become "wrongs" but eventually it's a compromise from both worlds.

    Truly fascinating!