Sunday, April 15, 2012


Here's a little sculpture project that I just finished this week. It's a side trip from what I was planning to be working on (i.e. my post on "King Hog Vs. Bullzilla"). I'll get back to that one eventually. This amusing little activity started during lunch break at work a couple of weeks ago. I brought in some Sculpy and my tools, and was joined by my friends Mark, Charlie and Edgar to just "goof around" and see what we came up with. For some time I'd been wanting to do a "Cowboy" series...looks like I've got the first one done now.

I started with a little wood block with a nail in it...added some aluminum foil to get a basic shape going, then added the clay. I had no pre-planned sketch this time. That came back to bite me later, as things got too heavy on the back side, and the direction the cowboy faced was too "upward". But it was interesting to just be spontaneous, too.
After getting the mouth, and kerchief completed, I added the nose and eyes and a bit more to the moustache.
That's all I could finish during two lunch breaks, so the rest of the project was completed at home. Next came the eyebrows, ears and hair. I used a heat gun to "cook" him...note the singed brows.
I used a piece of card-stock paper to make a pattern for the hat. I traced around that pattern onto the bottom of an aluminum baking pan. I doubled the shape side-by-side, cut it out and folded it in half for more strength. I poked holes into the metal, so that the flat, rolled-out clay would have something to hold on to.
After covering the top and bottom of the hat brim, I decided it would be better to bake the whole sculpt in the oven (200 degrees for 10 minutes). I put a piece of foil down in a pie pan and put it in the oven. You see it below on the stove-top cooling. Finally, I sculpted the top part of the hat, and baked it again.
Here's the final hat with a little rope hat band.
Because I had not thought ahead about the weight distribution, I had to add another piece of wood to the bottom for stability. Then I gave the whole piece a base coat of brown acrylic. Once dried, I could finish the painting with multiple glazes and dry-brushing.
And here's the final. If I do another one of these, I'll keep the hat as a separate piece, until all the bits are painted...a bit of a tight squeeze painting those hard-to-get-at areas.
Til' next time..."Happy Trails!"


Dee said...

I like him!! Reminds me of one of my friends! Maybe he's a "keep looking up" kind of cowboy. I like that he's

Christopher said...

He's tired of looking at the rear end of the herd! He's looking for familiar shapes in the clouds...
Can't wait to see you if you can make it this summer Warren! Tom, Mom, and Grandma put the bench down at the pier for the year today. Nice view down there!

Anonymous said...

fun dad! :) i like it!