whoa, so it turned out that when my team asked me if i could actually fabricate that sketch into a sculpture and i said, "yea, sure," i wasn't bluffing. what a relief. honestly, i haven't sculpted for four years so i just assumed that i'd be able to deal haha.
received some valuable advice from the lovely sarah greenfield on how to work with paper clay-- so big thanks to her :)
I still have a bit of sanding and painting to do, but for the most part, i'm finished with the basic structure. here's the process thus far.
DAY 1: additional sketches for turning reference and a wire/foil skeleton for gesture and stability.
DAY 2: loose first coating of glue and paper clay. this stage reminded me of plaster casts from Pompeii (was that insensitive?)
DAY 3: started digging into her right hand, back, and legs
DAY 4: completed her left arm and chipped away at the feet (i'd accidentally made the wire/foil skeleton too large)
DAY 5: was only going to work on the feet and legs, but decided to start on the face as well. i actually had to use a size 00 brush and sewing needle to work on her lips. it was a late night...
DAY 6: finished off the face by filling out the cheeks a bit (it didn't turn well from the previous night) and added hair...exactly how i'm going to paint between her hair and face is a mystery to me...
phew! she stands about 11 inches tall and sits around... hell i don't know. the point is she's rather tiny considering she's going to sit in a 16"x16" shadow box. hopefully i'll be able to sand/paint her this weekend and start sewing her clothes/everything else/paint the actual shadow box before the due date.
one minor lesson learned from this project: breathing paper clay dust gives you volcano lungs. unfortunately, i was too lazy to buy a dust mask...though i had six days to do so. perhaps that means i haven't learned a lesson, rather, made an observation.