Sunday, June 17, 2018

SCULPTURE: "Steampunk Mecha-Gorilla"

Today I finished my paper mache "Mecha-Gorilla"! This might seem like a strange thing to post on FATHER'S DAY, but my Dad would have thought it hilarious. He's been gone for 9 years now, but his love of all things APES continues in me. One of my favorite memories while I was in college was getting to see the original "King Kong" on the big screen with Dad (since he was too scared to finish it as a kid and made his brother take him home)!
As with all of the other paper mache projects I've posted on this blog, the process is basically the same. I construct an armature from cardboard, heavy paper stock, newspapers, hot glue...whatever is a light-weight core to build on. I usually have a piece of wood as a this case, a nice circle that I bought from "Home Depot". I drilled a hole in the back to add wire, so I could hang this on the wall.
The next stage, after the basic form is the way I want it, is to add a "mulch" type paper mache product called "CelluClay". It's about the consistency of thick oatmeal when you add water. After that dries, I add a layer of "Creative Paperclay" for the smoother details. This material acts very much like other water-based clay. You can smooth it down with water on a brush for a nice surface.
Above is the completed sculpture. I've added a few details using bits made of wood, plastic PVC pipe, wooden "rivets" and a couple of plastic bottle caps. The rounded "gears" in the jaw are bottoms of styrofoam cups with peel and stick foam strips for the gear "teeth".

Once the paper mach is dry, I begin the process of painting. It takes a while to build up the effects that I like. I coated this project with a dark brown acrylic paint. Then added glazes of watered-down black, golden brown, along with various layers of metallic copper, silver, gold, and gun-metal gray. I work back and forth, glazing...dry-brushing...glazing, etc...until I get it where I want it. I also used a toothbrush to add various flecks of color and "rusty" areas.
And this is my "Wall of Weirdness" that is finally complete...for now.  

Friday, June 15, 2018

SKETCHBOOK: "A Week in Colorado"

I recently returned home from a week of visiting my daughter Jenni and her beau Brad (and also house/cat sitting for 2.5 days) in Longmont, Colorado (northeast of Boulder). I was really looking forward to my "free time" had been a long while since I've been out and about drawing. I sketched at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Red Rocks, Eldorado Canyon State Park, and then on Hwy 66 near Jen and Brad's house. A lovely time with gorgeous weather!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

SCULPTURE: Monster Head Pt. 5

It's been a while since I've played with some Sculpy clay. I got inspired by some of the recent movies with giant monsters in them ("Rampage" and "Pacific Rim 2"). It was time to return to my series of sculpts featuring "Kaiju" (giant monster) heads. For your viewing ICE DRAGON!
I began with a core of aluminum foil and wire. The wire is set into some holes drilled into the wooden base. I originally thought I would add some bits of dragon wings to the base, but decided not to.
I kept the head as a separate element, so I could sculpt the finer details. Little by little, I added more horns and skin textures. I also worked down the front of the neck with some horned armor.
You will see below left that I started adding armor plating to the sides and back of the neck. But I just didn't like how it was going, so I scraped it all off and started over.
As usual, I painted the whole sculpture in a unifying base coat. Since this was to be an ice dragon, I wanted the colors to be a variety of "cold" colors. I gave the mid-tone blue a watered-down acrylic wash of a darker blue. When that dried, I dry-brushed several layers of aqua, green, blue and purple.
Below is the finished paint job.
My new Ice Dragon fits nicely on the shelf with my other "Kaiju" monster heads. I'm sure I'll add some more to the family.