Tag Archives: portrait artist


Step by Step Portrait

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Bust is finished in Museum White Advertisements

“Till we have faces”

As a portrait sculptor,  I suppose it is a bit ironic that some of my favorite pieces of figurative art do not have faces!  The Venus of Willendorf is powerful because her lack of a face points directly to her role as any-woman, earth mother, fecundity personified.

How exciting was the news today that another very early  fertility statuette has been found! Dating back some 35,000 years ago, this may well be the earliest known sculpture that depicts a human.

Yahoo news, May 13, 2009

Yahoo news, May 13, 2009

Where her head would be is an eyelet instead, which suggests it might have been worn as a necklace or amulet. Somehow it’s ok that she doesn’t have a head.

I am  struck yet again, when I ponder these ancient little figurines,  that we are all of us indeed  simply “specks of sand, dust in the wind,” and yet  at the very same time  each profoundly special.  How can we be both? Just ask a portrait sculptor. So individually unique are our faces!

The Beam in my Eye

Ok, so it wasn’t a beam.  But it was a big splinter that shot into  my eye, and I had to remove it with  tweezers. Ouch!  That will teach me   to never again make just one more cut without the safety glasses!!

Top Bar BeehiveThe top bar beehive I am building is almost finished, and except for the splinter in the eye,  has come together without a hitch.  Download this wonderful design for free at www.biobees.com.  I have ordered bees, which are slotted to come on May 2nd, and I just can’t wait.  Hope they stay with me for at least one season!

As a portrait sculptor, who really must pay attention to the shapes of peoples faces, I have found that eyes blank-eyeare truly the hardest feature to capture well.  It is interesting to note the many different ways that eyes have been sculpted through the centuries.  There is that strange blank stare of many Greek works, and a variety of ways to suggest both corneas and pupils. eye with cornea eye-with-pupilThese three eyes are by Richard W. Bock, sculptor for Frank Lloyd Wright.

Houdon,  the renowned 18th c. portrait artist who sculpted the faces of numerous American forefathers developed a style in which he captured a gleam in the eye. I think that is an important quality, and one I strive for in my own work.  These two eyes below are mine, the second one replicated directly from Houdon.

A  lively feel is achieved through various texturizing affects around the eye & in the cornea, textured-eyeor the addition of a spot of clay before the pupil which is perceived as a glimmer of light.Eye after Houdon

In with the gleam, out with the beam. 😀


(Sculptor:  Lydia Shalanko, last two photos courtesy of Statue.com)