After buying a plaster cast of the left eye of Michelangelo’s David, I found it was oversimplified and many key anatomical features were absent or misunderstood. I used the plaster as a reference to set the measurements for my new clay original, sculpted to match the plaster, then set about correcting it. I used a nice virtual tool to do this, a scanned 3D image of the eye from an online art school.
Bringing a sense of expression similar to musical Color was my ultimate goal. This is the fierce eye, the eye that is sizing up Goliath: it needs to have passion, strength, and determination- with an underlying sense of concern/worry/fear.
Anatomical understanding must be partnered with the motivation of the sublime muscle of art. I really can’t stress this point enough. When working the figure, these are necessarily synonymous. I generally sculpt from the latter, and as the work matures I bridge to my latent remembrance of anatomical structures, or look things up to check myself. Of course, Michelangelo knew this all so well he sculpted fluidly in a native language of anatomical structure as his pure artistic voice. In marble. 16 feet tall. When he was 24. yikes.
So the lifeless mannequin-like plaster, I hope you can see, is not all there. I intended to use the plaster for my students, which would be a huge disservice to them. Aspiring to mediocrity is already way too common in the arts. I’ll pull a mold from this, and cast some plasters for my students.