Monday, January 16, 2017

Class Finished Reconstructions


Our 2017 Forensic Sculpture class with their finished reconstructions. Thank you to the NYC Medical Examiner and instructor Joe Mullins.

Study for Large Painting 3 - Drawing 3

Study for Large Painting 3 - Drawing 3,  Oil Paint over Shellac and Ink, 18"x 24" 2017
This is the third of these drawings. I took a large couple chunks out of the sculpture, literally cutting out huge chunks at leaving the remains hanging from the armature.  I am really liking how the figure distorts and then seems to collapse.

I have to create a second figure and then add it to this scene.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Study for Large Painting 3 - Drawing 2

Study for Large Painting 3 -  Drawing 2, Oil Paint on Shellac and Ink, 18"x 24", 2017
So I worked with the same clay sculpture and did another drawing from a different angle.  I working on defining more of the sculpture I have two immediate thoughts.
  • I am going to need to add another figure to the mix 
  • I think the breaking down of the figure has to be more obvious.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Study for Large Painting 3 - Drawing 1

Study for Large Painting 3 - Drawing 1,  Oil Paint over Shellac and Ink, 18"x 24" 2017

This is in the planning step but this is hoping to get my goal of 5 large scale figure paintings for my master's thesis. I am still running with the insight from the last large scale painting where I was working from a sculpture I had done for a master class last spring.  I am able to alter/change/destroy and then control the lighting of the image.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Forensic Sculpture 2017 - Day 5

Forensic Sculpture - Day 5
So the last day was a lot of finishing. Evening out the hair, carving the face then a lot of smoothing (so much smoothing).

This is the completed sculpture

I will re-post this initial information found about the person:

M-85-3894
Sex: Male 
Age: 18-25
Ancestry: White, including Hispanic 
Height: Approximately 5'7"
Tooth Loss: All missing teeth would have been present during life.
Damage: There is an autopsy cut along the cranium. The right zygomatic arch should be completely (the space is due to a 3-D printing error). There is missing bone associated with the nasal (top of the nose) that is the result of damage. 
Circumstances: Body found in 1985
Other information: Black, wavy hair approximately 3-4 inches in length.




There is the feeling of accomplishment after doing this class that is really hard to describe. I consider myself pretty much a secular humanist these days but find my thoughts keep returning to Catholic teachings about the Parable of the Talents.  That this class is an opportunity to use my skills for a greater goal in this case giving a face to an unknown person and hopefully finding this person's identity. 


So this is the final step of the process where the clay sculpture is scanned into the computer.  Again this class was a lot of fun.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.




Thursday, January 12, 2017

Forensic Sculpture 2017 - Day 4

Forensic Sculpture 2017 - Day 4
Day 4 is always the magic day where there is the likeness of a person gazing back at you. The main parts were adding the mouth and the rest of the tissue for the lower jaw. then working on the hair.

I ended really late today after 9pm. There was a lot that had to be done.

The first job was adding the mouth to the sculpture. The inside of the iris is the general marker for the ending of the mouths structure. The lip size is then determined by the size of the front teeth's enamel. We then placed them with a toothpick and smoothed them to the rest of the face.

With the lips complete we then worked on the rest of the tissue depth markers.


We then added to the ears to the sculpture. I did not have enough time to carve them nicely so there just blocked in for a while.

I then filled in the markers roughly then distinguished the parts of the face i learned from Che's Ecroche class (Mouth Muzzle and rest of the face). I also started to add the hair. 


When working on the hair I realized my first pass was not nearly enough so I added a lot more. It was also getting late and so I stopped for the day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Forensic Sculpture 2017 - Day 3

Forensic Sculpture 2017- Day 3
So Day 3 of the workshop. We worked on the eyes and the nose today. The process is very linear in a way as we are working down the skull adding features from top to bottom, working from the base levels to the surface structures very systematically.  Taking this class a second time really lead me to appreciated this.

The likeness is also starting to emerge from the clay.  It really is remarkable. 


This is where we left off yesterday.  Filling in around the eyes was the first step of the day, reinforcing the area around the eyes and readying for the eye lids to be added.  


Then we added the eyelids. There is a depression in the eye socket that corresponds to how the eyelid folds on the eye. This skull had a lateral depression, so it meant the eye lids would pull up on the outside of the eyes.


With the eyelids completed, the next step was to work on the nose.


This is done by using toothpicks to determine the shape of the nose based on the structures of the skull. Using this gives an idea of the general size of the nose, but tells very little about the structure of the nostrils of the bulb of the nose itself. The instruction was then to make it very generic other then the size of the nose.   


After completing the nose, we ended day 3.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Forensic Sculpture 2017 - Day 2

Forensic Sculpture - Day 2
So Day 2 of the Forensic Sculpture Workshop. Above is where we ended after Day 2. You can see that we added the eyes and the tissue depth markers.

Even at this stage, I am struck by how narrow the sides of this person's face was. I even got a comment from the forensic anthropologist. He also commented that the body was found with a substantial amount of hair. 

So the main part of the class was the adding of the tissue depth markers to the skull

 

Here is a website with the tissue depth markers we used (So the internet literally has everything). Putting them on a piece of paper made it way easier to keep my place when working. This was a real improvement from last year.


Here is the skull with the markers in place.

The next step was to create the eyes.

The Eyes were just created with glass marbles and brown and black sharpies. It was kind of amazing how simple yet effective this was.


So the final step for the day was to place the eyes in the skull. The main rule for placing them was to center them in the eye socket. Depth in the socket was my main problem. The Eye has to protrude from the skull enough to block a putty knife from resting across the socket diagonally. The real challenge was getting both eyes symmetrical and embedded at the same level.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Forensic Sculpture 2017 - Day 1

Forensic Sculpture - Day 1

So I decided to retake the Forensic Sculpture workshop at the Academy. I had a blast last year, learned a lot, and felt like my artistic skill was being used for a novel purpose. This year again, I will be creating an accurate skull-to-face reconstruction.

So this is the information about my Skull:

M-85-3894
Sex: Male 
Age: 18-25
Ancestry: White, including Hispanic 
Height: Approximately 5'7"
Tooth Loss: All missing teeth would have been present during life.
Damage: There is an autopsy cut along the cranium. The right zygomatic arch should be completely (the space is due to a 3-D printing error). There is missing bone associated with the nasal (top of the nose) that is the result of damage. 
Circumstances: Body found in 1985
Other information: Black, wavy hair approximately 3-4 inches in length.

I was shocked by how much I had forgotten from the first class, so I am going to use this blog to document the steps of forensic sculpture. 


The skull stand is made up from bits of hardware screwed together with a piece of metal sandwiched between. The idea is to create an adjustable stand for the skull's palette.

After the skull stand was complete, we now begin to prep the skull. First step is to connect the jawbone to the skull. This is done by recreating the cartilage that connects these two bone together, using super glue and cotton swabs. The super glue fumes from the almost 20 skulls in the tiny room got a little too much for me to handle. I had to step out of the class for a bit to catch some air. 

After the fumes subsided, stabilizing my the skull in the stand was the next step.  This is done simply by creating a clay plug around the base of the stand.


Now the skull is stable and passed the requisite test of turning the whole structure upside down and seeing if it would fall off.

Next, we covered the pipe and began to fill in the mouth. That was where we ended Day 1.

Did I mention I had a blast last year in this class? Here I am in the foreground, working the class:





Sunday, January 8, 2017

Master Class: Vincent Desederio


The New York Academy offered a weekend of Master Classes. As always, I jumped at the opportunity  and had had a great experience at Vincent Desiderio's Master Class.

I really enjoyed listening to his lectures on the "Anxiety of Influence" by Harold Bloom and now have another book to read. His idea of looking to literary criticism as pointing to viewpoints to art criticism is really intriguing.

Above is about five hours between the drawing and the painting. I'm pretty happy with it

The models were Ryan and Adrian.