How can Google make you a better sculptor?
Every time I approach a new idea for a sculpture I always look at it as a learning experience. My personal goal is to challenge myself with each new piece. The more I push myself the more my skills grow over time.
If you want to grow as an artist then you should always challenge yourself with something new; always try to push yourself to the limits with each piece. No matter how difficult a subject matter may be for you today, if you keep practicing then over time you will master it.
One of my past challenges was sculpting a horse. I do not have a horse and know very little about horses but I do think they are beautiful creatures. The challenge I gave myself for sculpting the horse is that I had to add my own personality into the sculpture. It would have been easier for me to sculpt a horse just standing in a field but that would not have accurately reflected me as an artist.
My personal favorite types of sculptures are those that are dynamic and create a sense of power. So for my horse I wanted something that demonstrated speed, agility and power. The only way I knew how to do that was to create a very muscular horse that was running through a field. Now as I have already stated I know very little about horses so for me to sculpt a horse was going to require some serious research. I do not have access to a horse either so the internet was the best resource I had to start gathering various images of horses.
Using Google Images for your research
Research is one of the key ingredients to creating great art and the internet is probably one of the easiest places to start gathering data. Instead of going through hundreds of websites looking for horses, I used a great tool that Google offers called Google Images. Some of you may already be familiar with Google Images but for those that are not it is a collection of images from various websites on one or more pages. Let’s use my horse as an example.
1. Open up Google in your web browser (www.google.com)
2. Click the Images menu item above the search bar
3. Type in horse and click on the Search Images button.You now have access to hundreds or in some cases thousands of photos of horses.
The key in my situation was to study the photos of the horses that were running. I wanted to try and understand what the individual muscles looked like while the horse was in the middle of a sprint. Keep in mind that if you do not find what you are looking for you can also restrict your search more by changing around the keywords that you use. For example you may lookup “horse running”, “muscular horse”, and “wild horse” as some of your keywords. Each keyword variation is going to deliver different results so play with your word choices until you find images that help you create your artwork.
Going back to what I said at the beginning of this article, you have to challenge yourself to become a better artist. Is my sculpture of a horse technically perfect? No, it isn’t. I’m sure I made a lot of mistakes in the anatomy but I do now have a better understanding of horses. You see I have built a foundation to grow on for the next time I sculpt a horse and the more that I practice the better I will get. No matter what type of artwork you are interested in, always push yourself, use the free tools available to you for your research and go out and have a blast.