Monday, August 29, 2011


Good old Irene kept us a bit busy but while we awaited her arrival, I had a full day to just work on the rest of this piece. A big "sorry" to the folks who were coming to sculpt all day with me in the studio but better safe than driving home in that mess! Here are some of the hilights;

Started the day by giving her skin a wash of Adobe Red Acrylic mixed with extender to add just a bit of color and depth to her green skin.

Took a stroll up stairs to my fabric storage area and pulled a bunch of textured black fabrics which I may use for the dress. Spread then out over the table so I can pick and choose as I go.

Changed the length of the support rod and added a base before I started layering fabrics.


 This entire outfit will be glued to her using parts of old clothing from the local thrift shop. To start, I choose a thin fabric with a black-on-black pattern for the sleeves. These are taken from the sleeve of a blouse so the bottom hem is already sewn for me. They are cut to fit around the widest part of the upper arm and are long enough to give me some puffiness at the shoulder.
The sleeve is glued in place on the underside of the arm.
 It wraps around and is folded under and glued down to make the seam up the underside of the arm.
A black leather upper arm brace  is laid in place and stitched on the arm using  waxed cotton cord and a large leather needle. It is tied off and a drop of super glue is used to secure the bow so it does not come undone.
A ruffle of lace is added under the edge of the leather brace at the elbow. This is ripped off the larger piece and the raw edge is torched to give it a "witchy, worn look".

A bodice is glued onto the torso. The top edge is already seamed and the bottom is left as a raw edge.
The first layer of shirting is a textured black satin which is wrapped around the hips and glued in place with a little leg showing. It is long enough to hide the support rod. The second layer is a front piece of lace which is gathered between the legs to obscure the crotch. it is treated with a flame like the smaller pieces at the elbows of the sleeves.
I have added the first section of the leather vest as well. It is a standing collar of leather which is turned under and secured to her neck.
 This is the material from which the bodice was cut. It will be used for the shirt as well. It is a multi-layered piece from a woman's vest.
Decided I should take a moment to finish some of the broom before I lay the skirts in place. The broom is a layer of raffia which is glued onto the brass support rod and wrapped and tied in place with another piece of raffia. 
The final layer of the skirt is attached and the skirt is glued to itself so it sweeps up and back to give a look of movement.

Sorry for the bad shot! Wanted to show the vest. It is made of three parts. The collar - as noted above.  The body - which covers the back and wraps around over the shoulders to the armpits and wraps around the sides to the front. And lastly, the straps which are attached across the front and secured with decorative tacks.
I included this shot to show the finished dress and the translucent quality of the monkey's wings. The monkey has had his fur attached at this point.
The base and support rod have been painted black and the broomstick has been wood-grained.
Next her hair is applied and a leather hat is crafted for her head.
Her boots are also added.

 I added these photos so you can see the layers of different black fabric The high camera settings burn out the face but show the dress well.
 Here you can see the hat.
 The front layers of fabric.

This is the finished piece in a large format "moody" photo.
Thanks for watching.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Hi! As a general rule about myself, if I do not keep working on a piece until it is done it never gets finished. I stopped work on Red and the Wolf and started a few other pieces over the last few weeks. Not really sure where I am going with them. Decided to paint them and perhaps it would inspire me to work on the. So, here is the finished painting (except eyebrows).

 Both figures were wiped-down with acetone to remove finger prints and open the pore of the clay for painting. Red was painted with a wash of extender/retarder and Adobe Red acrylic paint which was brushed on the wiped off. An other layer of red was dry-brushed onto the cheeks, chin, forehead, and nose. I also do the same to the high spots of the body.
The wolf is painted with a wash of Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, and extender/retarder which was wiped off. The same mix was then used to darken the lupine parts of the wolf while the human parts are left slightly stained.
Bad shot, sorry! lips are done with the same red wash but left a little thicker. Eye makeup is done just like street make up but done with paint rather than powders. You can use powders if you wish. I prefer to paint since my training is in theatre make up which acts more like paint than powder make up does.
They are ready to have their hair attached. Perhaps this weekend. Now back to Elphaba!
Have a great day!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Alice in Slumberland

Hi, finished her today. Here are some shots.

(High resolution image)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pose worked out!

I took a few minutes to work with these guys and I think I have the pose worked out a little better. Now I should be able to get her finished and back to work on them, the new Alice piece, and the Mermaid and Sailor wrap up. Posting "The Chase" on Ebay this week , I hope!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Little bodywork

I thought I would take a closer look at the steps I follow to make a full body sculpt. After completing the armature, I condition a batch of clay and pack it onto the armature so it is over-sized. I have found that ProSculpt clay works best for me if I add too much clay at the start then cut away the excess.
 The back. You may want to run the clay onto the arms and legs so you can sculpt the torso without having to add or reduce clay to your finished work at the shoulder and hip joints.
 Use a tool to run a series of markers on the surfaces of the torso. This include the spine, hips, ribcage, and larger muscle masses.
 The same is done to the front.
 And the side.
 A sharp knife is used to cut the planes of the torso.
 The large planes are then knocked down a little at a time.
 A smaller flat edged tool is used to begin smoothing the shapes of the muscles.
 The finished rough-in is done and is ready for the final shape and smoothing.
 This piece will have more defined muscle so before the final smoothing I mark the muscle groups by adding slight depressions with a sculpting tool.
 The final smoothing is done on the right side of the figure. You can see the muscles showing slightly in the surface of the smoothed surface.
 The front is smoothed down.
 The arms and legs are sculpted in the same way. Final details are added including surface texture, creases, and skin tension.

 The two figures are almost ready. Now is the time to make final adjustments to the pose.

Thanks for taking a look.
Have a great day!