Entries in sculpture (51)


My Tutorials

Years ago, I wrote a little tutorial for Epilogue about my Hugin and Munin art doll sculpture. I just ran across it again, hadn't thought about it in ages! It's interesting for me to look at this now, because my methods for art doll sculpture have changed and evolved over time. For instance, I now prefer a needle felted body over the wire armature instead of the wrapped armature with a fabric skin. But the basics are still there, so have a look at the Hugin and Munin tutorial to see inside one of my creations. I did love that sculpture, it was quite a lot of fun to make.

Finding that tutorial made me think of a few others I've written over the years, so I hunted down a couple more links. I wrote an article for WetCanvas! about working with Magic Sculpt, which is a brand of epoxy clay. Epoxy clay is one of my favorite sculpting compounds because it is so darn versatile. Working with it takes a little getting used to, so I wrote this tutorial with beginners in mind. There was also a demo thread on the same forum that went into more detail about Eggbert, the little dragon I sculpted as part of the tutorial.

WetCanvas! has another tutorial I wrote about drafting a pattern for a dragon fabric sculpture, and the entire process of creating it. I haven't done any fabric sculpture of that sort in a while, I think again because I stumbled onto needle felting as a superior method for creating soft parts of figures. But it's another fun tutorial you can check out!


Smellybug's Maquette Tutorial

I just ran across an old bookmark of mine to a tutorial that was posted several years ago on ConceptArt.org. I still think it's one of the best sculpting tutorials I've seen in a while, I learned so much from it. Just seeing progress photos of this artist's work teaches me a lot. I guess that's why I post my own progress photos, in the hopes that someone else will pick up a good idea now and then.

Anyway, if you want to see how Smellybug takes this concept image:

And turns it into this polymer clay sculpture:

You must definitely go read the whole thread!


Cernunnos' Tree

Some more progress on Cernunnos' tree. Comparing these pics to the last ones I posted, I realize it doesn't like like a whole lot has changed. But trust me, there was a lot of work done! The texture is completed on the trunk and all of the roots, and it has been baked so I don't mush all of my hard work accidentally.

I discovered that I am going to have to sculpt most of the smaller parts of the branches completely in epoxy clay, because I had to bend the branch wires back on themselves just to get this to fit in the oven. Oops. Working too big isn't usually my problem. But I figure I'll be able to do the main part of the large branch in polymer clay, bake it, and then finish the smaller branches off in epoxy clay. This is probably a good idea anyway, because epoxy clay is stronger than polymer clay, especially when it gets thinner.


Cernunnos' Tree

A little more progress on the tree. I need to get the trunk as close to finished as possible before I do much work on the branches. That way I can bake it and not worry about smushing what I've already sculpted when I go to work on the branches. Plus it'll let me pick the whole thing up by the trunk and flip it around to work on it. So I started working on the bark texture for the trunk and roots. I want it to look like a dead tree so it's actually less of a bark texture and more just a cracked and weathered wood look. At least that's what I'm aiming for.

I must give Brian credit for the tree texture. He has a bunch of big pieces of manzanita that he picked up in California years ago on one of his rockhounding trips. One particular piece has a lot of nice cracks and lines in it. He suggested I use that for my texture, so I did. Literally! I used some silicone mold putty and made little push molds from the surface of the manzanita, and now I am pressing them onto the surface of my tree. Then I use sculpting tools to get the various imprints to join up in a believable fashion. I think it looks decent so far. Thoughts?


Cernunnos' Tree

I spent a lot of time on the tree today, I think it's starting to take shape. Long way to go still. It rained all day long here. It was a great way to spend the day, sitting in my studio playing in the clay with the sound of rain outside my window.


Bark Tutorial

Just found a holy-crap-awesome tutorial for sculpting tree bark over at the Clubhouse and had to share it!

Modeling Bark by Katherine Dewey



Another Cthulhu

This one was a request from someone who's bought several of my other little cthulhu sculptures. She wanted a cthulhu with a pumpkin and a mask, for Halloween.


Cernunnos' Tree

More work on the tree. Cernunnos is associated with the stag. He has stag antlers (though as I mentioned before, my version of him is going to have a stag's head along with the antlers). The word 'stag' can also refer to a dead tree, which is why I thought Cernunnos should be sitting on an old gnarled crook of a tree. The issue I have is one of scale. I don't want the tree to be enormous because I don't want it to overshadow the figure himself, but I also don't want Cernunnos to look like a giant sitting on an itty bitty tree. My idea here is to make the tree look like it was once much larger and all that's left is this smaller side branch. I'm going to try and sculpt a broken stump (the part sticking out on the right side of the trunk, in this photo) to convey this. Hopefully it'll work and look correct. I've started adding polymer clay over the epoxy clay, and added the branches. The little balls of clay on the ends of the armature wire are for self-preservation. I was working on the trunk of the tree earlier today and when I spun the base around to see the other side I swiped the snipped end of one of the branch wires right across my lower lip and cut it. D'oh. Gotta be more careful in the studio!


Cernunnos' Tree

Had to start actually sculpting it! Started with a wood base and aluminum armature wire, then I bulked it out a bit with foil. The foil is covered with epoxy clay and left to cure. Then I will probably cover that with polymer clay to give me more working time. I want the tree to have a lot of surface detail, so polymer clay may be the best route. But the wire/foil/epoxy clay armature gives it strength and creates a basic form for me to work on.


Magic Beans

Magic Beans by Peter Mayer

That’s not how the story goes
When do heroes play it safe?
You’ve got a job and a family-o
But not a single golden egg
And a pocket full of possibilities
Hey ho Jack, when
Will you plant them
Magic beans?

Jack, Oh Jack, what scared you so?
Made you hide those beans and run
Did you hear the rumors-o
Of the fee, fi, fo, and fum?
Were you frightened of the things you
Just might see
Hey ho Jack-o
If you plant those
Magic beans?

Jack, it’s not too late you know
To sow those seeds of fate
So throw them out your wind-o
Go to sleep, and when you wake
Things will happen
Things you never dared to dream
But they won’t happen
Unless you plant them
Magic beans´╗┐

This is my latest art doll! It's been a few years since I completed a larger sculpture. It feels great to get this guy finished. He's inspired by the song posted above. More info can be found in his listing in the gallery, and he's available for sale (with more pictures from different angles) in my Etsy shop. Oh, and there's a great video of Pete performing this song here on YouTube.