Sunday, October 23, 2011

Alice Update

Hi there. Last night I had a chance to set aside all the Dracula set design, props, etc and get back to sculpting for a few hours. Ah, therapy!

 The clay is conditioned and applied to the armature so it will be about 3/8" thick.

The major topography of the torso is laid in with a sculpting tool.
These features include establishing an anterior and posterior center line which follows the twist of the body. Markings for the pectoral muscles, the ribcage, and the pelvis.
 The same markings are laid out on the back.
 The armpit and other features are marked.

The muscles are laid out and the final smoothing is done.  A few odds and ends like arms, hands, and feet are started. More to follow as I am able to get back to her. Thanks for looking, have a great day!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Alice Down the Rabbit hole Armature

Sorry it has been awhile since I posted but the set and directing of Dracula is taking much of my free time. Here is what has happened since last we spoke (well, I wrote, you read).

 I started by enlarging the sketch of my figure to the actual size of the finished piece based on the size head I will be using.

 I have decided to build up my support rod with steel and brass (so I can solder to the brass later if needed) rather than using a larger diameter steel rod. I am using a 5/32" steel rod which is covered by a 3/16" brass tube which, in turn, is covered with a 7/32" brass tube. If you look at the picture you can see how the rod and tubes will align inside the leg. The rod will stop about 1" short of the brass tubing at the socket in the thigh. This way the upper armature can slip into the brass sockets of the leg.
 I slip them together and bend the support assembly following my pattern.
 I keep bending and shaping the support assembly.
Next I draw the size of the finished rabbit so I can get my support assembly bent and cut to fit the final sculpture.

 The same process is used to create the support assembly for the upper body with the exception that the steel rod is 1" longer on the bottom than the brass so it will insert into the lower assembly.
A 14 gauge wire armature is bent and cut as if I was making a simple wire body armature. The free hanging leg gets a brass tube slipped over it for strength while the supported side is cut to the length of the separation point of the armature.
The body armature is bent to the pattern.
 The armature is foil taped together.

 The final structure of the armature is ready for padding. Please note the assorted dog toys on the floor. Can you say "spoiled dog"?
The body is padded with foil so the clay will be about 3/8" think when finished.

The armature is wrapped in masking tape to keep the clay cleaner while the body is being created.
That's it for today! Have a great day!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Armature layout

Had the opportunity to work up the armature layout. Here it is.

The figure will separate at the thigh under her dress. the rest is a basic armature of wire and tubing. The main support is going to be a steel rod which will run through the rabbit and up the leg.

Had a moment to work on these guys as well.

 I added her hair and a sheer white wrap with gold glitter in the weave.

Thanks for looking! Have a great day!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Alice work starts

I like to start each piece with the head. If the face does not work for me, the rest just won't happen.

 I start with a polymer clay skull into which I have set 6MM white mountain jade beads.
 The skull is cured and then the lower jaw is attached in the position for an open mouth. This is cured as well then the tongue is inserted. Be sure that the jaw opens in an arc rather than just dropping straight down to recreate the natural hinge pattern of the skull/jaw structure.
 I use a sharp knife to bevel the front of the upper and lower jaw area so I can attach teeth. Note the two slices of clay under the skull.
 The bevel is coated with Translucent Liquid Sculpy so the new clay will stick to it better.
 Teeth are sculpted onto the front of the bevel.
 *** I am using an old step by step of a previous face for this demo. We will return to the open mouth head later. For those who have come to a class here, or who have my DVD, this will look very familiar.

A 1/4" thick layer of clay is added to the forehead and seamed to the skull on all sides.
 The lower part of the face is bulked out. Keep the clay over the nose thinner than the clay on the sides of the face. Seam the clay to the skull and the forehead clay. Seam around the eyes so there are no air pockets.
 First layer complete.
 The nose is added. The sides of the nose clay will sweep onto the planes of the cheeks. Do not make sharp angels where the planes of the nose and the cheeks meet.
 The upper lip is laid in and seamed to the face. The lip is formed by cutting a parabola of a cone (see figure 88) the section sliced off becomes the upper lip. It is tapered from the top to the bottom, also gets wider as we travel from top to bottom, and arcs from side to side.

 The lower lip is added.
 The side view of what we did so far.
 Extra meat is attached to the cheeks as needed.
 Lower lids are attached. They should be the same thickness the entire way across the eye. The lid follows the arc of the eyeball or "wraps" itself around the eyeball. The lower lid will start and stop about halfway up the eyeball..
The upper lid will start at the nose by butting up against the lower lid. Once again, it wraps itself over the orb of the eyeball to where it meets the outer edge of the lower lid. I prefer to have the upper lid overlap the lower lid slightly on the outside when I am done.  The thickness will be consistent the entire way across the eyeball.
 The area between the upper lid and the brow line is filled and seamed to the face
Nostrils are shaped as are the lips.
 From the side. Notice that the eye has roundness to the side. You can see the white of the eye from the side. If not, you have too much clay on the lids.
 Now the detailing gets done.

 The ear is attached behind the jaw.
 The outer crease of the ear is pressed in place.
 The clay in front of the ear is pressed into the ear canal forming a ramp from the side of the head into the ear.
 The ear canal is formed with the tip of a tool. The final shaping is done on the ears. (Our black lab, Jack, decided to sit under the sculpture for this shot)
 The ear should be tight against the head in the front.
In this shot you can see the final details of the face.
The ears stick out in the back like a wedge. (Jack got bored and went to bark at the harvesters outside)

Thanks for looking, hope you have a great day!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Let's play with clay (again)

Hi there. thought I would do a new piece while finishing some of the others still sitting around here. I will try to include as many steps as I can remember to photograph along the way.

Here is the design;

She is to be Alice following the white rabbit down the hole. Simple design and armature but I hope she will have some movement.

We will look at the armature when next we meet. Hope you will join us.

Have a great day!
Thanks, Mark