Saturday, July 11, 2009

Écorché: A figure in the deluge

written by Allana Benham
An écorché is a sculpture or drawing which depicts the flayed human figure for the purposes of anatomical study.

I am just a couple short weeks away from completing my most recent écorché sculpture of a floating male figure. The legs and torso are essentially complete; I am now adding the musculature of the arm, and I will work more on the skull. More images will follow as I finish this piece.

I began this sculpture while teaching my Ecorché sculpture class. First, we constructed our armatures and sculpted a skeleton in proportion. Then we added each muscle individually, arranged in groups, to represent the gesture of a pose. When complete, this écorché will contain more than 200 individual muscles. I will post images of our completed sculptures in the coming weeks.

For advanced students of anatomy, making an écorché sculpture offers the best way of appreciating the structure, volumes, and mechanisms of the body. By completing this work, the student is better prepared to continue learning from various sources, texts, and 2-dimensional images. This augments one's perception when drawing, painting, or sculpting the human body from life, and gives the artist the means to draw the human body accurately from imagination.

Below is a work-in-progress photo of one of my student's sculptures. She has achieved a very precise resolution of the muscular forms of her figure. We plan to make a larger-scale écorché of the head once this figure is complete.

1 comment:

Jordan Lamarre-Wan said...

these exercises are really cool and helpful! thanks for posting!