A little living masterpiece, Gabriel has been my ‘not always so willing’ model for the last 2 years. I have been following his development with a series of sculptures. It is quite amazing the anatomical changes that occur as an infant grows.
Creating a portrait bust of a small child can be a bit problematic as they don’t have the patience to sit (unless there is a Winnie the Pooh DVD) and creating a life mask is not possible. This series of busts were developed from drawings and measurements that I did from life. He really enjoyed the calipers and kept measuring his own face. Luckily I am able to spend plenty of time with Gabriel every morning, where I study him and memorize parts of his face. In the afternoon, I work on the piece and then check him with the sculpture every so often.
Below is an example of the type of sketch that I use with measurements. The drawing is pretty much life-size.
The following two pictures are of the first sculpture that I did of him at 3 months. The crayon marks are on the forehead are Gabriel’s recent addition to the piece.
The second bust was completed at 9 months and the resulting bronze is at the beginning of the post. Below is the terracotta of the original model It is very interesting how the medium affects the perception of the final modeling. In fact each particular medium(bronze, marble, terracotta) requires a different approach in modeling in order to read well in the final piece. I did a lot of reworking on the final plaster, wax, and, clay adjust the surface of each version.
Below is the plaster done from the fresh clay original and used to produce the wax for the bronze.
I am currently finishing up the latest bust at 20 months. Here is a sneak peek: