Part 4, Ripping into the first part of constructing the paper sculpture caricature.
Having decided on the face and pose is the most important step in building a paper sculpture caricature of any choice, let alone my first venture into representing someone prominent. The next step is turning the drawing into a lively 3D sculpture.
Firstly, I need to predict how I’m going to convert a flat drawing into all the pieces of paper, that when moulded into shape will together make a complete dimensional object. Interesting because, now you see that it all starts out in 2D, becomes 3D only to wind up back in 2D! So why do it? Because the nature of paper determines a look that is totally unique to the medium. Ok, you can copy “the appearance” on computer, but then it’s no longer an art with an authentic origin, and in a world saturated with imitations, authenticity is what you’re after.
That said, here’s how it comes to be. Experience tells me what sits in the foreground and what’s in the background. Now I go back to the uncoloured pencil drawing and lay a sheet of tracing paper over it. I then use a very thin 0.3mm clutch pencil to trace out what I can see will make a single cut out piece, of say, the hair or face. His hair for example is made of seven pieces; his moustache and beard of three, but besides that, his face is made of 19 pieces! I draw overlaps and notches where needed, thinking ahead about how the parts will assemble. Moreover, I also need to think about how the pieces will distort when I mould them. More on this another time.
Once the sheet of tracing paper is covered in odd looking shapes that will assemble into the final sculpture, I turn it over and rub the lines onto the relevant pieces of paper stock from the palette I’ve selected. It’s a simple and precise way of transferring the part tracings.
Now I use my scalpel to accurately cut out the shapes by following the transferred lines.
There’s an exception: the Paperartzi “rip-torn” characters, as Richard Branson will be, have torn face edges. Instead of the knife, here I carefully tear the outer face edges back to the guiding outline. Now all the parts are roughly laid out on the red background card, (see the featured image), to ensure I haven’t missed anything.
In Part 5, it’s time to start the moulding, piece by piece to build paper sculpture caricature.
Paper sculpture caricature