portrait bust – part 1

today i want to start a sequel of posts on which i will show my carving of a portrait bust, in a little more than half of life size, and fully in the round. so, for me somewhat new terrain after all the high relief portraits …

however this project was prepared long before… it started with doing a clay model, and then cast it in plaster :

several pictures of the clay model are on my homepage. … so, i have a model to base on, to make measurements from if i feel i need to ….

i did something more, since i am curious to see how it works, to learn if it is useful… and that is, i made additionally a digital model of the same person… i used zbrush as software (zbrush from pixologic), and here is what i came up with (please click image to enlarge):

digital portrait bust created in zbrush 4.0

why i think this is useful is, that it shows the stages i have gone to create the head. in the top left you see the first stage, a model consisting only of a few flat planes that contain the basic proportions and the main (strong) angles. the bust in the lower left has the planes a tad bit more refined, i.e. split up into smaller planes with slightly different positions in space. we recognise now already the hair, the area where the eyes will fall, an indication of the ears, and a refinement of the shoulder area despite no details are there to actually show these … and the right images show again refinements of these with the final sculpted bust in the middle…

hey, why is she showing that on a woodcarving blog ?

because, this is at the very core of carving… i am still visiting woodcarving sites, and very often i hear “how do i carve this, how do i carve that ?” … the answer to all these questions is the same and presented in the picture above : look at your model what you want to carve, squeeze your eyes to see blurry, and you will see the basic shapes and volumes only, no details, like in the top left image above, that with the very few planes… carve that, with some “safety wood” around it, ,,, then look a tad closer, and now refine your first approach to match what you see now… go on this way, as long as you think it is needed to present what you desire to show…

i know, it sounds too simple… but really, in carving we create shapes in space, volumes,,,no matter what the subject is we carve. …

ok,,, thats for today, i have already glued up the block of wood, and started carving, soon pictures wil come from the first stage,,,

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ralph Giarnella MD
    Jan 10, 2011 @ 19:42:55

    I am looking forward to following the steps in your carving. It is too bad that the program you are using is so expensive ($600).


    • dorisfiebig
      Jan 10, 2011 @ 20:26:23

      hi ralph,,, well it is a professional software, and for that not expensive, its like with the chisels … i am working sometimes with wings 3d, which is a free software. it is not that powerful and comfortable as zbrush, but you can create portraits if you like… its available for all main platforms, too


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