Ecorche: flayed anatomy





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).

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