Monthly Archives: February 2008





The Ecorche figure is usually achieved by sculpting the skeleton first, then adding on musculature/tendons etc. Creating an Ecorche figure can be a good exercise, but should never be the manner one actually creates a figure. Too much focus on anatomy tends toward medical illustration and lifeless overworked figures. I would argue that beginners should not bother with it, and instead focus on working from the live model for volume, balance, and gesture. The beginner’s introduction to anatomical concerns  is better served via figure drawing, and anyone attempting the sculpted figure needs to first have a strong figure drawing background, which will help them learn to see more expeditiously. A good rule of thumb for the beginner is to remain with their scultpure while the model goes on break, and with an anatomy book draw upon the sculpture and make some “daring” cuts and additions, then check those changes against the reality of the model when the pose is resumed.
As the artist’s abilities mature the intellectual process of anatomical rendering will arise in response to creative exploration, ie at some point the artist will see areas in their modeling that demands greater anatomical language- at this point an Ecorche figure may be worth the time.
With all that babbling out of the way, exposing anatomy has been a method of abstraction I have employed for years- although I reveal “emotive anatomy” which involved revealing shape and organic form to augment gesture and viewer response. There are a few examples of this on my website, such as the following:
I may begin to add some of that formal language to this figure, but first will likely focus on a few more poses from imagination as I’m not too jazzed about how the gesture reads in relation to the hoop (or what’s left of it now).

Read and post comments |
Send to a friend







After diddling around with the two half-life-size gals for way too long, creating a little 1/4 life size figure from out of my head seemed necessary. I’ve had an idea of having a model pose with a heavy hoop that pulls down and directionally (like by a rope attached to the hoop that pulls away); the hoop isn’t very heavy or pulling too hard, but whatever. I created the armature and  modeled out the figure in about a day. This is the first time I’ve sculpted the figure without a model, and it seems like a good idea to do a few more and really begin to push the gesture by activating the hoop. From this experience of working from imagination I have found many anatomical blank spots, and reveal a personal shorthand of the figure I have subconsciously adapted and now can begin to grapple with more overtly.
Plus I got to work with the little bit of nice white clay I have around, vs the 8 buckets of ancient pink stuff. It’s like going from classroom waterbased clay to porcelain…

Read and post comments |
Send to a friend










This pose has been worked in-between the figure with ball and everything else. Some time ago I really should have had E take the pose again, but it has been pretty cold- and I discovered that the fireplace flu had been open, which added to the studio freeze out. Although many things have improved, there has been an overall loss of volumetric gesture, and many subtleties that only come into play with a live model have been fussed out of existence.

Read and post comments |
Send to a friend

Her gesture and balance is reading better, after adjusting her pelvis front and back. This led to a lot of work on the abdomen, ribcage, and shoulder blades etc . To achieve a sense of weight in the ball I have been exposing and hiding musculature, the trick is to show her physical strength and allow her femininity to remain as an equal strength.
Some of the angles feel quiet, that she is in repose with the ball, while at other angles she seems to struggle with it. When moving around the sculpture this dichotomy adds vitality, and she seems animate and vigorous, yet tenuous. It is finally getting near to where I want it. Her face needs more work, as do her arms/hands- but it is close!

Read and post comments |
Send to a friend