A new adventure has begun. Yes I suck because I haven’t been painting. One might think I’m darting around between projects – which I am. I have an oil painting and a graphic novel in progress, and yet I have started another art project. I’ll explain what happened.

So as a figurative artist, I draw people. I spend much time studying and drawing anatomy. Working from live models is always the best, but that is not always an option. Many old master artists (and non-master artists) have employed the use of what are called “artist mannequins” to assist them when live models are not convenient. Gainsborough’s early paintings are an obvious example.

I’ve been looking all over the web at what our technological age has to offer for artist mannequins, and I have been sorely disappointed. Now there are some phenomenal muscle anatomy figures out there for hundreds – even thousands – of dollars, but they don’t move. You can’t pose them. They are just statues. And the models that you can pose are more like action figures with strange joints. So that is what has led me to my new project which is to design, engineer, and create an anatomically-correct POSABLE model for artists (and possibly people in anatomy fields). I am working on the skeletal frame first, which must be light but also able to hold poses using strong joints. Once the frame is good, I plan to sculpt every single muscle by hand and then cast them so I have molds of each muscle. Then I can experiment with different materials to make the muscles out of and attach them individually to the skeletal frame.

So that’s my newest plan. I’ve just ordered some parts for the frame to begin experimenting on what will work. I’m excited. Wish me luck!

By Cody Deegan

Cody Deegan is a life-long artist versed in drawing, painting, sculpting, and design. He studied filmmaking and character animation at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles as well as figurative oil painting at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle.

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