Friday, September 12, 2014

The lion transforms

Yikes! Looks kind of horrible at this stage - everything is too big, though I have begun blocking in the basic planes of the face.  I began carving stone by the direct method - no model.  I always left lots of room around the form just in case.  As a result my sculptures always go through ugly duckly phases.

I am defining the neck and should as well as removing stone surrounding the lion.

By using a Roloc air sander with a 2"disc (36 grit) and die grinders for the eyes, nose etc. I begin to make the face more presentable.  At this point I am using the model any more but I have gone back to photographic reference from picture books I have had for years - Big Cats of the World, African Wildlife, etc. 
The American Lion was incredibly large and was in some ways like the Siberian Tiger so I have decided to split the difference and give the big cat a Lion face with a Tiger ruff.

A lot of stone still needs to be removed over the Lions head...

Taking off sections of stone meant pieces falling onto the head of the lion and possibly dinging something.  I put a lot of carpet sections across the head to protect it.  And there was an added bonus - it was really tiring to reach over my head with a ginder to cut off the stone, the carpet made a comfortable place to put my elblow as I cut.

The face is far ahead of the rest of the sculpture but it needs a great deal of the refinement.  The paws and body are just formed and still need a lot of work.

The left side of the muzzle and cheek are too far forward.  I have crayoned onto the muzzle ( a bit too much actually) but I will cut the muzzle down slowly with several passes.

The underside of the head was far too low and needs to be removed.  This is marked in crayon.  The marks on the leg show where the muscle is and where the leg bone is.

Crayon marks the leg bone and toes to be.

I make fairly hard cuts defining the leg muscles of the lion and are a bit exaggerated.  I make them a bit too much as I will be coming back with a pistol grip sander which will smooth out the form.  If the form was really close to right the sander would be too aggressive and I would lose the form I'm after.

A line down the middle of the face helps me to keep the face symmetrical.  I am just beginning to form the shoulders and paws.