Gresley statue – sculpting the clothing

Gresley statue, adding the trousers
Gresley statue, adding the trousers

Having spent time getting the anatomy of the figure right, it’s time to clothe Sir Nigel.  It may seem an odd process, but it really works. If the anatomy isn’t right, the final clothed sculpture won’t be convincing.

There are so many points where clothing touches the skin and bone. The waistcoat needs to pull tight to the stomach and chest. The back of the jacket needs to be pushed out by the shoulder blades. The trouser-fabric needs to fall from the knee.

I re-borrow the tweed three-piece suit.  Barry, the model, provides a nice dress shirts and tie, and a trip to the charity shop finds a pair of sturdy shoes.

Gresley statue, adding the clothing
Gresley statue, adding the clothing

Regular visitors to the studio – of which I had many – find it quite amusing to see Sir Nigel slowly getting dressed, layer upon layer. Trousers first, then shirt and waistcoat, followed by the jacket and shoes.

Once the points closest to the skin are sculpted, I shift to the movement of the fabric. The most complex are the folds and creases as a result of bending parts of the body; the front of the trousers because of his bent left leg and the jacket arms, due to his right hand being in his pocket.

So much of the surface of the sculpture is fabric, I need all the time I can get.  When Barry isn’t at the studio I use a mannequin or I draft in my dear dad, always happy to don the tweed jacket at a moment’s notice.

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