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  #1  
Old 05-01-2007, 10:48 AM
hoffel hoffel is offline
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Question Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

does anyone have any idea how MacDonald gets his models into such difficult positions. It simply is not possible to hold some of those positions for any time. They are more like photo snapshots.
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2007, 08:27 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

I think this question was asked about a year or so ago, and people said he does use photographs. Possibly he has models pose for short periods as well, to adjust the static work.
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:22 AM
hoffel hoffel is offline
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

yes thanks. i figured he used photos to an extent but i just cant believe he gets such fantastic energy primarily from working from photos even if he does back it up with brief poses.
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  #4  
Old 05-03-2007, 01:23 PM
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

I will be part of this year's Masters Workshop (in July) and from what I have learned just by talking to his workshop director and from going to his galleries and watching videos of him sculpting. The process is very fluid. The models get into the poses for short periods and he works on specific areas. He also takes a lot of liberties with the posses. They serve as inspiration for the sculpts, not direct reference. He also video tapes the model sessions so he can go back and catch things he may have missed and pause the videos at the right moments. If you are interested in seeing him sculpt, I suggest visiting one of his galleries and picking up a video of him sculpting. They're kinda short - about 15 min or so, and they're usually a montage of various sculptures, but it is worth seeing him in the process. If I could afford to have world class atheletes as my models, I would be doing the same thing. I have used photos in the past for very difficult poses, where the model could only hold the pose for about 30-60 secs, and then I would have them hold partial poses (a foot, or a shoulder bent back, or even have them sit down and put their legs into position so that they are not holding any weight). Visit his web site and I think you might find the videos there.

Cheers

Alfred
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  #5  
Old 05-04-2007, 02:55 AM
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffel
does anyone have any idea how MacDonald gets his models into such difficult positions. It simply is not possible to hold some of those positions for any time. They are more like photo snapshots.
it is not that difficult. Just think it over !
Anna Chromy or Daniele Anjou may tell you more about this
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  #6  
Old 05-05-2007, 08:08 AM
hoffel hoffel is offline
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

Thank you very much for those useful suggestions.
The idea of video is excellent. I had certainly never considered that. So much easier now itís all digital. Now to look for a world class athlete with some time on their hands and a willingness to swing naked from my ceiling!
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  #7  
Old 05-05-2007, 08:56 AM
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

There is interpretaion going on here. His figures seem over idealized and the poses excessively dynamic but only in the best ways. The surfaces look rugged and the characters he is creating seem like real superheros, aggressive and potent. If there is a down side it is their illustrative qualities...his style makes me wish he sculpted axe-brandishing barbarians. His monument to Conan the Conquerer would certainly be a hell of a sight.
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  #8  
Old 05-05-2007, 11:14 AM
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

He seems to definitely be interpreting the human figure and not sticking to exact realism. I took some pictures of his work up close at the foundry the last time I was there. I like to examine up close the work of all the artists there. Everyone has a personal style and his shows a lot of energy partly because of the hatch marks and tooling of the skin.

His style isn't appealing to me but that just my own personal taste. The inaccuracy in the neck and feet just bugs me but again, I need to loosen up some. He certainly has.... (Hope it's o.k. to post pics of his work up close- don't want to offend the artist )





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Last edited by HappySculpting : 05-05-2007 at 11:40 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2007, 11:36 PM
BobClyatt BobClyatt is offline
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfred
I will be part of this year's Masters Workshop (in July)

Alfred
Alfred,
I'll be there too. Looking forward to meeting. Know of anyone else here that is going?
Tamara, did you take these snaps during a workshop? They look like pix of the plastilena, and works in progress? Very instructive, though.
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  #10  
Old 05-05-2007, 11:45 PM
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobClyatt
Alfred,
I'll be there too. Looking forward to meeting. Know of anyone else here that is going?
Tamara, did you take these snaps during a workshop? They look like pix of the plastilena, and works in progress? Very instructive, though.
No, these are bronze pieces ready to be welded together. If you look on the picture of the foot you can see part way up the leg that there is a notched out area; This will be fitted to another piece of the figure.

I've heard that his classes are pretty expensive but informative. Hope you guys fill us in all the high points. :-) Have a good time but not too much fun without the rest of us.
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  #11  
Old 05-06-2007, 12:13 AM
BobClyatt BobClyatt is offline
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

Tamara,
Got it -- that explains the notch and what looked like an armature but I guess is a supporting rod for the bronze itself.

How about we do a 'my summer in Monterey' report when we get back?
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  #12  
Old 05-07-2007, 11:54 AM
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

Sounds Like a plan Bob. I don't anyone else who's going. Ed (the workshop director) has become a friend of mine over the last 6 months. He and I have shared many e-mails and stories. He's prepared me quite well for what to expect. I went to Atlanta in March and he was going to hook me up with a sculptor out there who will also be going, but by the time I had to leave, he was not able to contact the guy.

I know we're a bit off topic for this thread, but I see that you're comming in from out of state. Are you bringing your materials or do you plan on buying them there? I've been making armature stands and I'll be buying a whole lot of armature wire to start making the armatures themselves. In the end I should save quite a bit of money this way, but I do have to cart everything up there. Lucky for me it's just a six hour drive. (some books on CD or my IPod hooked into the stereo and I'll have a good drive) One more question: Where are you staying? I managed to get a room at the Econo Lodge Monterey, it's not the greatest place in the world, but all I need is a place to rest my head at night. Besides, I'm only about 3 miles from the studio and I got the room for just over $1200.00 for both weeks.

Look forward to meeting you there.

Alfred
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  #13  
Old 05-07-2007, 12:02 PM
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

Sounds like a lot of fun for you guys.:-)

I'm going to nearby Carmel (very close to Monterey, Ca.) and will be attending the annual art festival May 17th - May 20th. It's a 4 hour drive south for me. Just thought I'd mention for others to attend if they can....
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  #14  
Old 05-07-2007, 12:06 PM
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

Congrats Tamara, I'll be at the Beverly Hills Affaire in the Garden the weekend of the 19th and 20th this month. Good Luck, I hope you sell out completely!!!!

Cheers,

Alfred
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  #15  
Old 05-11-2007, 09:28 PM
BobClyatt BobClyatt is offline
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

Alfred,
I was just talking to Edward Eyth today and because I am flying to CA he has convinced me it is probably a good idea to get my armatures and plastilina from the studio. I haven't quite worked out whether if I break down all my pieces at the end of the workshop and give them back to him whether I'll still have to pay, but hey, it's sculpture and sometimes you just have to pay up. If I were driving, though, I would definitely bring my own.

I'm doing about as well as you on housing, though, by staying at Asilomar conference center during the week (weekends were booked long ago) and then going out to a nearby meditation/retreat center for the weekend. I think it is about $60 a night, and also just a few miles from the studio.

Looking forward to exploring Carmel -- haven't been there since I was too young to remember.

See you in July.
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  #16  
Old 05-12-2007, 12:33 AM
Claywhore Claywhore is offline
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

Hi All:

I took this seminar back in 04 I think. It was good, a reel kick in the butt in regards to technique. He said during the week long seminar that he never worked off pictures he only used live models, I didn't quite buy that and it make sense to use the video I guess it more accurately captures the experience of working off the live model.

I responded to a similar thread back on 03/03/2006 but I don't know how to link that here.

You guy have a good time.
Please take a lot of pictures and share them with us.

Jerome.
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  #17  
Old 05-12-2007, 04:53 PM
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

Hey Bob, I asked Ed that same question a couple months back and he said that once you use the clay it's yours to take home, there's no sell-backs. I personally don't like the roma, but I'm willing to use it durring the class just so I don't complicate things. Will you be doing the Anatomical class the week before with Andrew Cawrse?
Hey Jerome, did you feel that the Business side of the workshop helped you with ideas for how to improve your success as a sculptor?

Looking forward to the experience.

Alfred
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  #18  
Old 05-12-2007, 08:58 PM
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

The reference Claywhore mentions above is
http://www.sculpture.net/community/s...6&page=2&pp=25
It's post #28, on the second page of the thread..
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  #19  
Old 05-12-2007, 10:11 PM
BobClyatt BobClyatt is offline
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

Alfred,
Yeah, I'll be there for both weeks. I love Andrew Cawrse's male figure from Freedom-of-Teach and refer to it constantly, so it only stood to reason I'd want to study with him, and bug him first hand to finish the female figure he's rumored to be working on -- I need that one too!
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  #20  
Old 05-15-2007, 10:36 AM
Claywhore Claywhore is offline
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

Hi Alfred:

Sorry for the Tardiness of my reply.

(Hey Jerome, did you feel that the Business side of the workshop helped you with ideas for how to improve your success as a sculptor?)

I sculpt every day for the man, so I can't say that it did. If I were to quit my day job and go out in to the big scary indifferent world and try to make it as a independent sculptor, or fine art sculptor, I think the business side of the workshop was invaluable. Wether you like Richard's work or not, he has been very successful as a independent artist. Having access to his experiences and the methodology that led to that success is the opportunity you are paying for. I think as long as you realize there are many ways to achieve and define success, taking what Richard has to teach and reinventing your own way of marketing yourself is the lesson to learn.
The one thing that hit me hard is that Richard MacDonald has his $#@% together when it comes to Business.

Jerome.
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  #21  
Old 05-16-2007, 12:58 PM
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

Thanks for that Jerome. That is precisely what I was planning on doing. I too wanted to sculpt for the man but I don't have any contacts in that industry that could actually get me work. I happen to know several people who retired from the commercial side of sculpting, but their contacts aren't quite as fresh anymore. I did get to work for Dinamation for a short while before they went out of business. Lots of money and sculpting all day.... not bad if you ask me. Thanks again for sharring your experience!!

Alfred
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  #22  
Old 06-25-2007, 01:57 PM
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

I live in Monterey, and admire his pieces every time I walk through Carmel. This Saturday I was driving a few miles south of Carmel and stopped in at a real estate open house. Lo and behold, it was MacDonald's house! Asking price $5,000,000, not remarkable for the area. Good-sized house, I think 3,500 sq ft, fabulous view. He is building a house which will be entirely his own design, right on the rocks by the crashing waves, another mile south. I admire the athleticism of his work, but I never had the thought "how does he get the models to do that?" There was a model in one of my drawing classes when I was at the SF Art Institute in the 1968-71 time frame who could have posed for him. She was about 5 feet tall, a soccer player, wonderfully athletic, but definitely local (not world class) and affordable. She could hold any of MacDonald's poses for five minutes at a time. It made your muscles tired just watching her. And, yes, it's clear that he interprets the figure. Despite his background as in illustrator, he is not a 3-D illustrator. He communicates strength and vitality. I don't know how many of you reading this are athletes. I'm certainly not, but MacDonald, from his publicity shots, and from his work - I'd say he is more athletic than my sterotypical view of an artist.
While I'm chat(tering) away: next time you get to tell the model what pose to take, tell her to kneel, butt on her heels, with her toes pointing back of her, torso straight, head high, with her hands clasped behind her head. Look at her from the back. If she is not too thin, not too Rubens-esque, the muscles of her lower back will flow into the outline of her hips to form a Valentine heart. Best drawing I ever did.
Now: is it catty, simply-not-done, to ask: where does MacDonald have his pieces cast? I have heard that quite a bit of bronze casting is done in China. Clearly, the workmanship of his finished work is excellent. We have a good art foundry on the Monterey Peninsula that keeps busy enough to always have a waiting list. Are the foundries of America (and Europe) able to keep up with the demands for MacDonald's pieces? I understand that the patina, and matching the piece to its base is done here in Monterey. More, I don't know.
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  #23  
Old 06-25-2007, 03:26 PM
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

To answer the first question properly, "how does he do it?", would have to take into account, I think, MacDonald's drawing skills. His ability to interpret the form has less to do with a model looking a certain way and more with the plastic quality of his vision. He knows what the model's body can do and if it doesn't fit his idea he is at his ease in manipulating it accordingly. If you have seen his drawings you understand from them that he has spent countless hours studying it from a 2D perspective. (see below) Their vitality is way beyond most other drawings I have seen by other American figurative sculptors. His time as a very successful illustrator played no small part in this skill being honed to a razors edge.

He says something to this effect in the book out on him.
He is a poster child for "learning to draw to learn to sculpt".
That being said, he has some strange tastes in subject matter which, I think, at times has a tendency to marginalize his abilities by putting him into an almost corny part of the market....I'm thinking of his mime/clown motif. They make me shudder thinking about them. They could almost be called Neo-Rococo pieces.
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  #24  
Old 06-26-2007, 02:14 AM
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

Jason, I'm with you all the way. Drawing and understanding the figure is an extremely important part to being a good sculptor. As I believe that sculpting helps your drawings in turn. I also agree whole heartedly about the mimes. Yikes!!!! I actually die a little inside when I think of those pieces. That being said, I believe his work with the "Tango" and with the "Cirque" pieces has been incredible and I study those pieces often when I'm down in Laguna Beach.

It's two weeks (to the day) to the start of the Anatomical class. I'm all prepared but I do wish I could've had a little more sculpting time. It's been slim to none around here, and I miss having my hands in clay. Maybe a portrait before I leave would be a good idea.

Cheers!

Alfred
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  #25  
Old 11-29-2007, 12:11 PM
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Re: Richard MacDonald : how does he do it?

Used to work for Richard. What do you want to know about it? I'd be happy to answer any questions.
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