After a busy four months of sculpting the first and most important stage of creating the statue is now complete! I have now finished sculpting the figure out of clay which goes on to be moulded and sent to the foundry. It's hard to step away from sculpting as I always feel like there is more to do, but I'm happy with the final result and am excited to see it progress towards the final bronze statue.
I was visited by Riette and Sue from the 'Wells in Woking' team, who seemed very happy with the work and it was great to have such positive feedback. I've also had some input from other sculptor friends, as it always helps to have some additional technical critique when you are working on your own. One of the most useful areas of input was on the portrait where I picked up that the measurement of the eyes was slightly out. While only a small change was needed this required some dramatic cutting out of part of the face to reposition the eyes and ensure the most important part of the face is correct.
With limited pictures available of H.G. Wells at the age he was when living in Woking it has been difficult to gather good information to create an accurate 3D image from flat photographs. Certain angles and lighting within photographs affect how you can interpret features, particularly facial features such as the nose, where front on lighting can make the nose look wider and flatter than it actually is. At these last important stages I have taking care to look at as many pictures at different angles as possible to get an accurate feel of facial shape and features. Even a bad photograph can be useful if it shows the subject at a different angle or lighting.
The last few weeks have also kept me busy pulling together many of the different final details across the sculpture, from creating the cactus like red weed at the base, laces on the shoes, and crisping up the jacket sleeves. But it has now all come together and I have been able to put in all the details I wanted on time. I'm getting some expert help with the next stage of moulding the sculpture, so can enjoy taking the back seat for a while!