When painting, the difficult part is often creating a believable figure from one vantagepoint. When working from life, this can be frustrating since even the best models inevitably move. However, when I carve stone, I do not use a model. I suspect the two major reasons would be obvious - the time involved and the dangerous flying chips.
Working in the round means that as I move around the figure, the view and the line must flow in a way that fits. Anatomy may be “wrong,” but if the artist is either lucky or clever (or both), the viewer will never think of these things and simply admire the work.
As I have mentioned before in my art newsletters and in the descriptions on individual works presented on my Web site, often the view most helpful to me as the creator of the work, is the one least likely to be seen by the viewer. That is, the view from above. In this first image, I am standing behind the “Gymnast” marble carving and looking down her rib cage to see the shape of her hips.
Not entirely happy, am I. You may see that the bum sticks out behind the figure on the left more than on the right in an unflattering way. Perhaps you may see the brown crayon mark denoting the separation of the gluts. I have drawn a pencil line to the left of this where I will carve off extra stone to remedy the form problems. I must be careful not to get too “efficient” because not all of the cheek needs to come off. It is only from that ONE vantagepoint -- that one edge -- that needs removal of material.
The next two images show different views of the same area. The first is a profile from the left and the form looks very different! Just a side note: in my markings to myself as a direct carver, the back and forth squiggles indicate places I will remove stone, while the circle is an area I wish to keep. I mark the latter sometimes because it means that I am getting close to the final surface, in relation to the areas surrounding it.
The last image is taken at eye level with the hips. Can you see that this viewpoint gives me a completely different batch of information (while lacking others)?