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This forum has been a way to provide a public exchange of questions and answers for polymer clay sculptors. But, as I said in my final post, there comes a time when all things must end. That doesn't mean the forum used as an archive has nothing to offer. Indeed it is still loaded with questions and answers that remain relevant and which are searchable! For that reason, I'm keeping it available, though no new posts can be added. If after searching the forum your question isn't addressed, Join me on Facebook.com to ask it. As always, you'll find me there as Katherine Dewey. Hope to see you there. --  Katherine

Forum: Elvenwork Forum
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Packing Your Mental Tool Kit

Applying the rules of proportion will help you learn them. I call it "packing your mental tool kit". Reinforce this knowlege everytime you sculpt by stating the rules out loud as make your armature and build up your sculpture. In no time at all, they'll become second nature.

A Tool for Learning Female Proportions
HW = Head Width, HL = Head Length, Ew = Eye Width (these are measuring gauges you'll use)
Using the above drawings as a guide, fill in the blanks:

*The average adult female stands (how many)_____ heads tall
*The width of the head at the midline is (what fraction)_____ of its length
*The eyes lie on (what line) __________________
*The mouth is (what fraction) _____ HW from the eyes
*The nose is (what fraction)_____ HW from the chin
*The head is (how many)_____ eyes wide
*The nose is _____ EW wide
*The mouth is _____ EW wide
*From the nose to mouth is ________________
*The ears lie between (which landmarks) the _________ and _________
*The torso is _______ HL from the shoulder to the fork of the body
*From the shoulders to the pit of the stomach is _____ HL
*From the shoulders to the nipples is _____ HL
*From the pit of the stomach to the navel is _____ HL
*From the navel to the fork of the body is _____ HL
*The chest is _____ HW wide
*The torso is _____ HL wide at the waist
*The hips are slightly _______ than the chest
*The hollow of the collar bones is _____ HL wide
*The depth of the torso is (what fraction) _____ of its width along its length
*From the shoulder to the fingertips is _____ HL
*The arm is roughly ________ HW wide at the armpit
*From the shoulder to the elbow is _____ HL
*From the elbow to the wrist bone is _____ HL
*From the wrist to the fingertips is _____ HL
*The fingers are roughly _____ the length of the hand
*From the hip to the heel is _____ HL
*From the fork to the heel is _____ HL
*The thigh is _____ HL from the hip to the base of the knee
*The thigh is ______ HW wide at its widest
*The knee is roughly _______ wide
*The leg is _____ HL from the base of the knee to the heel
*The leg is roughly _______ HW at its widest
*The foot is roughly _____ to _____ HL long
*The foot is roughly ________ HW wide at its widest
*The inner ankle lies (above or below) the crest (dorsal arch) of the foot
*The outer ankle lies (above or below) the crest of the foot

Re: Packing Your Mental Tool Kit

Katherine,

This is such a neat exercise... i always find myself doing this when i am observing people... i know it sounds weird. I am always mentally placing their hands over their faces, or counting their eyeballs across their faces, or up and down, same with their heads and bodies... el etc.

This really helps in your creative process becoming more automatic.

I had trouble when i first started sculpting the face, mainly with the mouth then one my instructional dvds, one by Jamie Carrington, the way he was emphazing sculpting that part of the face, it dawned on me what was wrong, and i have been drawing people for decades, putting them in 3d was such an entirely different matter. From that i realized that i need to look at my way of drawing and turn it around into using my shadowing and highlights in a totally different 3d mental way, if that makes sense?

Great outline, for the exercise. It really works!

Thank you so much for sharing...

~joanna

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Re: Packing Your Mental Tool Kit (added image)

This image will help you determine the ratio of head width to head length:

Re: Packing Your Mental Tool Kit

Thank you Katherine...

~joanna

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Re: Packing Your Mental Tool Kit

I've seen this somewhere before...is this from an Andrew Loomey book?

(I'm not where I can dig those files up, at the moment)

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Re: Packing Your Mental Tool Kit

Quote: Doc Hogan
I've seen this somewhere before...is this from an Andrew Loomey book?

(I'm not where I can dig those files up, at the moment)


Actually, it's from my book. Those measurements are a combination of several sources acquired over the years: most notably paintings, drawings and sculptures by Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Bernini, Rimmer, Lanteri, the Vitruvius list, physical and forensic anthropology texts, osteology and kinesiology notes from college, etc. I've measured too many people (including students in my workshops), skeletons and skulls to count. The Andrew Loomis book, I believe is available somewhere on line. I'll see if I can find it for you.
Katherine

Re: Packing Your Mental Tool Kit

K,

Thanks for the reply.

No need for the Loomis link...I have his books, they're just on another harddrive ;)

Sorry about confusing that checklist with someone else...I've seen and read it before somewhere, and I haven't gotten my copy of your book yet. Hmmmm...

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Re: Packing Your Mental Tool Kit

Check your local library for books by Maureen Carlson. You'll learn the basics of polymer clay techniques, armature, proportion and finishing. The tools are simple and you will learn quickly. I especially like _How to Make Clay Characters_, without a doubt, the best book for the beginner. Yes, it's better than mine if you're just beginning; my book is more advanced, requiring either some knowlege of the human form or experience with modeling.

Hope this helps,
Katherine

Re: Packing Your Mental Tool Kit

I just figured out where I had seen those proportion guides and questions. In the 'Tips' section of the main Elvenwork website! Doh!

I'll definitely look for those books, too. Thanks, Katherine!

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