June 24, 2011

AAEA Workshop Day 5 - Faces

I really had the best time all week, the time just flew by. What a privilege it has been to learn from Kathy Friedenberg (below). I have long been an admirer of her work and have always hoped to be able to attend one of her workshops. Her pieces are not only accurate, but so dynamic and alive! Click on her name above to visit her website. Her work is so inspiring!

And not only is she a great artist, but a great teacher as well. She understands the anatomy and how it changes with the movement of the horse and is able to explain it so clearly. I only wish I was able to absorb it all more quickly.

I did make significant progress on my piece throughout the week. I can see how years of customizing models has given me some exposure to the equine form. And I appreciate my human anatomy class, if for nothing else to help me remember the names of muscles!

We focused on heads for our final day and mine is still very, very rough. I find the clay I'm using, Classic Clay, to be a bit sticky compared to the Apoxie I use to customize models. The texture of my entire piece is very rough and I found it difficult to work in detail, which is fine while blocking in the structure. Kathy taught us not to sculpt with our fingers, but to use our tools for a more professional finish. Of course, bronze sculptures have a very different surface desired than do resin sculptures.

I'm not completely sure how to proceed after this point. Of course, I need to finish the head and refine the legs. My proportions are pretty good and I'm happy with the head and leg placement finally. I think I might try putting the whole thing in the freezer for a bit to stiffen up the clay before trying to work on the detail and smoothing out. I've heard Goo Gone can be used for smoothing, so I might give that a try. I'm still a far way off from finishing this piece, but I do have every intention of finishing him. He is in the suspended stage of the extended trot, so will require acrylic pegs to stand. And I really have no idea how I'll go about getting a hard copy made once I reach that stage! Oh well, that's a long way off yet. We will be moving next week and then I will be back into real life school, family and work.

I hope you have enjoyed the journey with me. If you ever have the chance of attending a workshop with the American Academy of Equine Art, I highly recommend it. This is the second workshop I've attended and I find them to be an amazing experience for the aspiring equine artist.


  1. looks good danielle!
    to make a hard copy you make a rubber waste mold and cast one in resin.. then do the fine details there.. Im sure you could learn to do a waste mold if I can! what you do is you paint rubber all over the sculpture and when its thick enough you can then make a shell or mother mold over that ( I use a product called plastic paste ..its like spreading peanut butter all over the cured rubber.. lol) so when you cast one it retains it form as the rubber can sag and move if not held in a firm mother mold.. sometmes you can get away with not making one though..
    then when the rubber is cured you cut the horse out of it.. then pour resin into the mold.. usually with this kind of clay you may have to clean some clay out of the inside of the rubber though and your first casting will have bits of rubber in it.. I use my 2nd castings as a production piece and then you could use parts of the 1st casting for a new head lets say on a resin or breyer or a leg or tail.. lol if you need help I can show you some links that kind of show you how to make one..( or there are books that do that also) its actually how I learned to do a waste mold.. I only knew how to do a production mold before which is more work and a heck of a lot different.
    Sounds like the class was fun.. something I always wanted to do but Im just too far away to do any fun stuff it seems.. and cant afford to fly places right now.
    Rebecca Turner
    SolticeArt studio

  2. Thanks Becky! I might have to take you up on that. The casting part seems so overwhelming. I worry about the chemicals being in the house. Is there outgassing with any of it?