negotiating gaps in knowledge

Working from life, where form is present to observe, is a comparatively easy proposition in comparison to the creation of a posthumous head where one relies on intuition and luck to fill in the gaps.

There are now two clays of Brown, one fired and one unfinished. The earlier one feels caricatured whilst the second definitely has something at certain angles.

The feel of the portraits is that Brown’s head is quite ovoid or ‘egg-shaped’. He has a receding chin line. Overlaying the two images, we can see that the 2nd clay, developed through the same observation but over a longer period with slightly more rigour (and not referencing the first clay), has:

more jut on the chin

a less developed, smaller forehead.

The two have slightly different angles between the nose and the upper/lower parts of the head.


overlaying the portraits, by matching the line of the noses

My next task is to revisit those differences and see if the second clay develops further through adding some of the characteristics from the first. The danger is that if one changes the wrong bit, the character goes; the head becomes weaker. But where the evidence is compromised, it is the only way.

At all times, reassessing the clay in relation to its common angle with the painted portraits is essential.

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