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Thursday
Dec202012

Cernunnos: Hands and Staff

Small progress on Cernunnos tonight. I want him to be carrying a staff, or walking stick. At first I liked the idea of a scepter, since he is Lord of the Wild. But I think I prefer a staff, not least because it allows me to sculpt one more gnarled tree branch. I want his staff to be crooked like a twisted branch, but I also want the line it creates to pass through an imagiary center line that IS straight (if that makes any sense). So I used floral tape to wrap a length of armature wire to a dowel rod in four places, and then bent the wire around those four joints into a twisted staff. I covered the wire with epoxy clay to set the position, and when it has cured I will cut away the dowel rod so just the wire and clay remain. We'll see how it goes! Current state photo is as left. Cernunnos has been depicted in association with a ram-horned serpent, so that's what I will sculpt on the top of the staff. Hopefully when it's done it will all look like it's carved from wood.

Then I bent wire hand armatures for the figure. The right hand is going to be resting on a branch of the tree-throne, so I started curling the wire fingers into position there. As always, I have to adjust the plan as I go. I had wanted his hand in one particular position, and then realized that the branch is far too small to look natural with the hand position I wanted, argh. So I changed it. I'll get there. I think I will sculpt the hand directly to the branch, as well. Many of my art dolls I've created such that the figure can be removed from the base, but Cernunnos is going to be quite solidly attached to his tree! Then I can paint the hand and tree all at the same time (as well as the head, feet, etc.) before I clothe him. Speaking of which, I haven't truly figured out what he's going to be wearing ...

Anyway, the left hand will be holding the staff, so I made that armature as well (see below). I won't be able to pose it at all until the staff is completed, so I've just left it rudimentary for now. I hope to work more on this over the holiday weekend! Everything starts to fall into place in my head. Finish the staff, sculpt the hands, sculpt the feet, finish sculpting the head and neck, sculpt the antlers and ears, paint everything, bulk out his arms/legs/torso with wool, maybe gesso the body, finish the base, make and attach clothing ... so far yet to go.

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