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Creating a likeness
The story of Bill

Recently, I was commissioned to sculpt a likeness of  36 year old CH William (Bill) Leonard of the U.S. Army, for the US Army Chaplain Museum in Fort Jackson South Carolina.
Based on the limited information and combining the two main photographs, being that the two photographs were taken years apart and that Bill had lost some substantial weight, I was able to come up with a good likeness of Bill. The museum also requested that he should have a bigger smile than photo 1 and less of a grin than photo 2.

CH William (Bill) LeonardBill, a few years lateradditional photo
Photo - 1, younger                Photo - 2, older                              additional photo

Getting started...

For the sculpting medium, I chose Chavant NSP (Non-Sulphurated Plasteline) in medium hardness. I find that this type of clay is excellent if you are going to make your mold out of silicone.

To speed things up, I acquired the assistance of Shawn Green to do a rough sculpture of Bill (photo - 3) while I worked on the rest of the project. Then I would takeover and refine Bill's sculpture (photo - 4).
I regularly hire local talent, this promotes their work and also assists me in other projects.

   Photo - 3                                                         Photo - 4

Refining the sculpture...

This is where you get into the "nitty-gritty" of things. You will notice some of the refining I'm working on (photo - 5), like smoothing out the lower lip, rounding out the cheekbones, straightening out the jaw line, lengthening the chin also raising his left ear, this was caught by Marcia (thanks Marcia). These small details do a lot for giving the sculpture a more organic look (photo - 6).

  Photo - 5                                                          Photo - 6


My favorite part... this is where you start to give "life" to your sculpture.
Wrinkles and texture is very important at this stage, you want to be as believable as possible, and that means having an organic (there's that word again) flow to it, not being too subtle and not over-exagerated.
Wrinkles, for instance, should flow in the proper direction and also have a reason to be there! (photo - 7) ... other reason, you don't want your model to look old with too many wrinkles and heavy texture.
From a different angle (Photo - 8).

close-up of detail
  Photo - 7                                                             Photo - 8

Next, we take a silicone mold.

Click here to continue...

My E-mail address is: Email me

Guy Louis-XVI SFX
2137 Hubbard Crescent,
Ottawa, Ontario.
K1J 6L3

Any questions? please E-mail me at Email me
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