How to Sculpt Creatures / Working with a Live Model with Alfred Paredes
Full disclosure: I've known Alfred since 2009 when he joined a sculpting forum that I am a moderator of. He's always been very giving of his advice, knowledge and critiques, so I was pretty excited to learn that he was doing this video for the SWSoCA. One lament that he's mentioned numerous times is that once he gets started on a sculpt, it's very difficult to remind himself to stop and take pictures in order to document how he works. Thanks to the SWSoCA, we get to see it as it happens, in the studio, in the round.
Let me start by saying, you get what you pay for. Clocking in at just over 5 hours and 16 minutes, this video is a great introduction for anyone interested in the art of sculpting and the concerns and considerations needed when working with a live model. Even if you don't have access to a live model, the material covers pretty much all you need to know to create your own human anatomy sculpture.
The material is presented in a well lit studio with great audio. On a few occasions, the view is momentarily blocked by Alfred's movements around the sculpture. This is inevitable, considering the nature of the production. But not to fear! The process is covered by different camera angles, and the editing picks up one shot where another left off, so you get full coverage of the scene. If not, a few moments of patience on the viewer's part will reveal all that was missed.
Which brings me to the next point: overall presentation. Alfred's method of sculpting is a very active one, in both verbal and physical manners. Verbally, Alfred interacts with the viewer throughout the entire presentation. The dialog feels as though you are in the room with him and that he is speaking directly with you, not to a group of people or to a camera. The instruction flows naturally, as if you are having a mutual conversation and it doesn't feel forced, scripted or rehearsed. The few moments when there is no dialog, Alfred lets his fingers do the talking and that speaks volumes on it's own.
In terms of physical presentation, oftentimes it seems as though people tend to think of sculpting as an isolated, individual pursuit performed as stoically as possible by the "suffering artist". Not so! Alfred's preferred method is to move about the sculpture and model, taking from one and giving to the other. It's a triumvirate of kinetic energy that transfers between artist, model and sculpture, creating a lively and engaging atmosphere.
Alfred's passion for the art form of sculpture really shines throughout the video you can't help but want to grab an armature, sculpting tools and some clay and join along with him. Highly recommended.