Friday, December 25, 2015


I was not expecting to be posting this second chapter of my GIANT CRAB CLAW. But the same day I had finished this creature (see my previous post below), I was having some misgivings about my final design. The "crab trap" did not turn out like I had originally was quite a bit larger than I wanted. I conducted a little POLL on Facebook, and the majority of responders liked a simpler approach. So...the next day I went to the basement with my claw...and cut off all of the "trap" (many hours and days of work).

Below you can see that I removed the outer edges of the weird shape that was the "water" and cut out a circle. I felt like the circular shape went better with the motif of the companion piece (Giant Squid) porthole.  I filled in all of the turbulent water surfaces with more mulch paper mache. I then sanded down the surface to try to get it a bit smoother.

I decided to play with some Art Nouveau influences on the new base. I drew up a design of swirling waves. I simplified it a bit from the drawing below, but liked the "mosaic" feel instead of going with a more sculptural approach.
I bought some sheets of foam rubber with peel and stick backing from the hobby store. I freehanded the swirl shapes that were influenced by my sketch. But I had to modify them as I went, since this was going onto a dimensional sculpture. It was like creating a puzzle. Once I had the basic shapes in place, I cut out little grooves to form individual "tiles" for my mosaic.
Here is the finished mosaic, before paint was applied.
I mixed up some GESSO with a bit of acrylic paint, to start building a good base coat. I then switched up the colors, so I knew where I was going. I layered in three different colors, then finished it all with a watered-down glaze of dull brown washes. This unified the whole thing, and allowed color to get into all of the grooves between the pieces.
I then began to paint all of the details with "metallic" acrylic paints. I had five different colors that I used. I liked the "pearlized" sparkle that looked different from the surface of the crab. Then I gave the whole base another wash of the thinned down brown. This gave a bit of aging look to everything, and warmed up the palette a bit.
I am happy with the final results of this, and like the way the simpler curving shapes echo what is happening to the swirls of the squid sculpture next to the crab claw.
Here's how they both look on my studio wall!  I might make one more sculpture to go on the left side, to have a "trio" of giant critters from the deep.

1 comment:

Jenni said...

I love the mosaic!!!!! Nice job!