Friday, May 29, 2009

SCULPTURE: "Flying Monkey Squadron" FINISHED

Before sculpting the Mandrill, I sketched a "to size" drawing to figure out the scale of the monkey. Then I roughed up a loose sculpt to get the proportions of my armature right. Later, I removed the head section of the armature, when the scale of things changed during later stages.

I decided that the "racing pose" seemed a bit ordinary for this character, so I sketched something that looked like a stunt biker from an x-games event. It was a little too comical for what I wanted, so I made it feel like he was riding a "jet-ski" jumping a wave.

I finished the hands and baked them first...then started working on the body.

I felt like the arms were a bit too long, so I did a little corrective surgery with my saw and belt sander.

When I got to the head, I made the teeth separately so they would hold detail while I finished the rest of the face and headgear.

The final sculpt with the stages of the paint job. Time for some Super-Glue! (A little Monkey Trivia: technically speaking, a Mandrill is not a baboon, though it is related to them.)
That's it for this series. On to something new!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

SCULPTURE: "Flying Monkey Squadron" pt.9

Since I've explained the basic process for this series in other posts, I'll keep things a bit simpler this time. Below are lots of sketches...for some reason, many more were needed to figure out the final shape of the "Aero-Bike".

These are all of the bits of "found objects" and wood pieces I crafted for the machine.

Now I start assembling the parts...I had to patch the landing gear with epoxy putty. As before, I coat everything with glue to give a bit of texture and seal up gaps.

Here's the "Aero-Bike" all put together, then painted with a base coat of brown acrylic.

Now, the final paint job.

Here's my desk in the studio, as I'm making the base for the piece.

I began to add more and more detail to the "swirling clouds". I probably made the base a bit too elaborate this time around...oh well.

I finished off the metal support wire with epoxy to give it a bit more strength than Sculpy would afford. You'll see in the inset image that I added another little "swirl" to support the tailpiece...I was afraid that the added weight of the Mandrill monkey would pull the "Aero-Bike" apart from the base.

All painted, but not glued together yet.

Next I made the Mandrill pilot.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

SCULPTURE - "Flying Monkey Squadron" pt.8

NEW! The third member of the "Flying Monkey Squadron" is finally my "MANDRILL on an AERO-BIKE"!

It took me a lot longer to get this baby done than I anticipated. But a nice Memorial Day weekend gave me a big chunk of time to play. This will probably be the last in the series for quite a while...I'm ready to move on to other sculpture ideas.

As I have done before, I'll share the process of how I made this over several posts. But for now, Enjoy!

Friday, May 22, 2009

SKETCHBOOK - "Walk About"

Here are a few random images from various days out and about in Kansas City.

We were up around 4:30 a.m. today to say good-bye to my wife's Mom and Sister, who were visiting this week (they have a long drive home). We couldn't go back to sleep, so we made a bright and early visit this morning to the Country Club Plaza to sketch and take photos. I drew/painted the "Lucky Boar" statue below. The sign on the bronze sculpture says that if you rub the boar's nose, you'll have good luck. Never tried it.
Here's an update to my original post...thought it would be fun to include these shots Cat took of the morning's fun. Other added images will be commented on in BLUE.

A couple of blocks away from the Boar is this nice Organ Grinder statue. Drew this one last Summer.

My wife tells me this plant is a "Cleome"...I'll take her word for it. The sketch was done in an arboretum not too far from our house. I'm not big on doing florals, but thought I'd give it a try.

The sketch below is from Kauffman Garden, near the Plaza. My wife spends a lot of time taking photos there.

I love trees...this huge old favorite is in Loose Park.

Here's a photo of me painting the same tree in the Summer a few years back.

This is a painting I did of that tree during a very wet Fall day, right after a rain.
This beautiful photo was taken by Cat, and is featured on her "Etsy" website where she sells her photography. Go check it out by clicking this link: Cat Ludwig Studio
This lilac bush is from the side of my house. Though it doesn't look this way now...I'm afraid that I had to cut it down to almost nothing last year. (But I had permission this time...I've gotten in trouble often with the limb-loppers...can't seem to stop, once I start trimming.)

Friday, May 15, 2009

SCULPTURE - "From the archives"

Here are a few sculptures I made over the course of several years. The first pieces below are all made of ceramic clay.

I'm really proud of my "Razorback" below (or wild decide). I participated in a week-long sculpture workshop at my job and learned the process of making a mold from my plasticine clay sculpt. The castings were made from a mix of porcelain and resin (the white version). I was able to have the pieces "electroplated" so it looked like bronze and put on a wooden base. I also painted one with oils.

This last piece was done for a gallery show at church. The theme was the "Days of Creation" and each participating artist was given a different "day" to interpret in various mediums. As you can see, my sculpture was of "Adam"...the hands of the Creator pulling/forming him from the earth. I did the sculpt in plasticine clay, but didn't have it cast. I had a fiberglass cube made to put the piece into for the show. In the photo below, upper left corner, you can see the little "maquette" prototype I made in Sculpey, before going to the final.

PAINTINGS - "One More Plaza Fountain"

I forgot to post this one with the other fountain paintings.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Here are some random robot sketches for your viewing pleasure. As I've often done before, I don't plan ahead...I just started drawing with a pen, and one thing leads to another.

This next series was a fun experiment that I'll try again sometime. I began with the image on the left...just another robot drawing. Then I decided to be inspired by the shapes of the first sketch, but make the next version "organic"...which, of course, means that it will be an "alien" of some sort.

I continued with another sketch, only I reversed the order, and started with an alien design...then went "robotic" with it. The process results in some ideas that I might not have tried otherwise.

Friday, May 8, 2009

PAINTINGS - "Plaza Fountains"

Time to post some more paintings I did while out with my wife, Cat, on our "art days". She takes photos while I paint or sketch. We love going down to Kansas City's Country Club Plaza...lots of interesting things to see. In the background of the image below is the "faces" fountain. I am working on the painting of the horses fountain.

I wanted to keep this as more of a quick sketch...the finished piece is shown below. I wish I could stay this loose and free on more of my paintings. (Note to self: "Stay loose and free on more of your paintings.")

Here's a more recent sketch of one of the other statues in the same fountain.

My wife, Cat, took this elegant photo below of one of her favorite fountains. Click HERE and you can check out her blog to see more of her beautiful work!

A side commentary on the "frog boy" fountain...we love sitting in Starbucks and looking out the window at this view. Little kids walking by always start giggling, and parents usually get embarrassed and shuffle them away...the frog is spitting right on the boy's weenie!

Now that the weather is getting nicer, we definitely need to get back out there and have more fun painting and taking pictures!