Visual Arts

This MOC is based on an existing piece of art, Czech Art Nouveu artist Alphonso Mucha's Study on Visual Arts, which is a sketch for one of four decorative panels depicting arts forms (visual arts, poetry, dance and music) from 1898. Like the previous creation, bust of Archchancellor Ridcully, this is an old WIP rescued and finished after moving. This is not that ancient though, I began building it around one of a half years ago, perhaps.         

The goal was to achieve a likely pose unlike those I've done before; Mucha's line is very lively, especially on these studies, and it felt something like a building from a live model (I don't know if anyone has ever done it). Actually, it began with a pair of arms, but they were too big: Too long, too thick, completely off the scale... But I proceeded with them for a while, made most of the torsoa and the legs, and experimented with a cloth made of those tail pieces, and had a head similar to the finished version, but due to overscaled arms it didn't work out, and was abandoned. 

The early version had one large difference and it was the setting. I had experimented with 1x3 bow pieces and built some cool lattice-like tablescraps that looked a bit like sliced mushrooms. With couple of those I built a chair that consisted of swirly yellow curves; it was a beautiful piece of furniture, but after all it didn't work. The back rest looked awkward with the figure's forward-leaning pose, and the style was more akin to cast-iron neorenaissance designs from 1800s than swan-neck-lined Art Nouveau objects. I tried to remodel it with more elegant legs, but it didn't have the knack. I must use those tablescraps on an another build, because this figure went outside, to a riverside, where admiring a flower made more sense and gave the creation new fresh atmosphere. Round rainbow is a call-back to Mucha's round ornamentation motifs in his work.

The new arms have a unique design that works only on a models with specific posing; this enables natural width as complicated joints are not needed; making them on this scale would be very hard on monochrome tan. I like how the curved slopes add some shape to the elbow. A tan tap is used on the shoulder, and 1x1 quarter round tile hides it nicely without making the joint too blocky. Another large challenge when finishing the build was the hair. Realistic hair colours, especially on lighter tones, are quite hard - as the skin here is tan, it can't be used on the hair. I was skeptic how medium dark flesh would work - I didn't have too much trust in my collection of it. But in other hand, the "persian arch" pieces created very nice texture, and even though the hair has bit of thrown-together look on it, I think the shade is beautiful and the whole is decent. It's quite close to the mundane colours on Mucha's original.



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