Friday, January 21, 2011

Spiney head - turpenoid smoothing

I used turpenoid to  brush the skin smooth. I first tried turpenoid natural but that did NOT work. It took about a minute to soak into the clay and then just made it gummy. Regular turpenoid worked great, quick acting solvent and it didn't soak too deep into the sculpey.
I like how it smoothed it out. Hoping to wrap this guy and start on the next bust. I will cast this guy once I figure out how to make a nice base.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Progress on the monster guy bust

 Started adding details, perhaps too many. I don't want this to become Harryhausen Kraken mixed with the Creature FTBL.

Probably going to change the horns and stuff and looking forward to firmer clay next time. Still not sure how to keep my surfaces nice. Some details seem random but I would love to have all textures and marks feel "intentional"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WIP my first clay bust

My first clay bust. I had a good time building this armature and sculpting platform (scrap wood, lazy susan, pipes all cheap at the hardware store).

I'm using Sculpey classic recipe. It's really soft but I have it already and since this is my first attempt it's probably going to be ok..

Started out doing an "innsmouth look" guy but I want to do that right, this guy turned into a dragon man of sorts. Still not sure what his skis is made of but I do want to try some really fine details. Seems hard in the soft sculpey.

The initial take, just threw some nav'i ears on there to see what it could look like. Ears always seem far too fragile and impossible to sculpt so I really want to have them.

Added a twist to the neck, also some 3/8 inch ball bearings as eyes. I guess I could actually make eyes out of sculpey and fire them then have nice hard eyeballs to sculpt around but I didn't think about that before I got these. Looks cool - hope it fires ok. Might be hard to paint but I don't think I will paint this one.

His profile. Next up is really digging into the skin texture. I'd love to do the entire piece by hand and take it to 100% finished. I'm pretty happy with my first sculpt. His anatomy is decent (although alien is more forgiving than real life for sure)


Making the frame again for the second half - I pulled off the plastelina and flipped him over (plastelina in this pic is just filler and I maintained a 1/2 inch between the wall and the figure)

Mixin' and pouring the second half. Kitchen counter.. drop cloth..

Separating the mold and pulling out the original, went pretty smooth but somehow I got a slight mechanical lock on the hand due to some silicone seeping over the edge, got it out anyways)

Two halves ! No clay!

So I realign, tape them together to get a nice tight seal. Tested the seal by blowing in the pour hole

Casting in plaster to test it out. realized my pour hole was too small and I need to strategically place some bleed holes.. Eventually cut his foot out and poured there. This mold is UGLY, need to remake it if I want a serious cast.

Final fellow. Notice how his finger tips didn't fill in. Air bubbles got trapped. Thinking about bleed holes or knocking the mold around a pit after pouring to get those out next time... Also he has a fat foot frrom the crude pour hole I had to make. Next up, a straight pour mold then a brush on mold with a 2 part support shell.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Concept for the next sculpture

The spaceman casts came out ok but actually want to try a brush-on mold with support shell so I'm going to remold him.

In the meantime! I'm liking rhinos this year so I'm going to try a detailed rhino-thing head. This might not be the final design but it is sketch 1.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Pouring the first half of the mold

 Demolding the first half. I made a predicable error and didn't have enough silicone Oomoo 30 to create both halves of the mold so I decided to make one half for now. There is an iphone app for calculating how much you need - should have checked PLUS I had a small leak in the plastelina block so I lost about 15% of the silicone to the interior of the clay blocking.

I used plastelina to displace as much silicone as I could knowing that in the end I'm gonna have to wrangle with that when I cast - having each half made of nice solid silicone would have been great or even if I had used plaster as a support shell (I'm watching vids and tutorials as I go so I didn't have that technology when I started using plastelina.)

Overall I suspect that for this kind of figure - pourable silicone might not be the way to go. Brushable (thick paste) silicone like Rebound 25 with a plaster support shell is what I'll try next.
Building the box for the pourable silicone and using plastelina to block off the front - I might have gotten away with a flat pour but since I didn't have a good sense of how forgiving the Oomoo is when demolding an underhang like the hands would have created I tried it this way.

Cosmonaut in his coffin. My workspace on the back porch and after using sealant and release agent, pouring the silicone so it is 1/2 inch over the highest point of the figure.

Overnight curing and then demolding. You can see the plastelina I used to block off the bottom. The surface of the mold is VERY ROUGH, I guess that is ok but still pretty ugly compared to the nice clean mold halves I was dreaming of. This is due to the surface of the plastelina used to block off the front side.

Mold-making and casting step-by-step THE COSMONAUT UNDEAD

First sketching out ideas and a concept painting.
Sculpting the pieces with Sculpey, I fire them and continue to sculpt the hardened pieces - sanding and gessoing to fill in small crevices until the surface is fairly smooth. I sculpted and fired the pieces separately for ease of sanding and because I didn't have a mold plan yet.

After attaching the head and arms by  "gluing" with more Sculpey - spraying gesso and giving it a final sanding pass. The surface is fairly rough but since this is my first mold I'm not worrying too much, I'll clean the flash and bumps on the final if need be.

I've seen some truly inspiring designs in the urban vinyl community plus some drool-inducing stuff from ThreeAToys sooooooo, decided to try to translate my own character design into a physical sculpture and learn a bit about making my own vinyl figure in the process.

As a concept artist I've always wanted to do maquette work so this is a bit of a jumpstart - doing a physical sculpture and taking it a step further by creating a reusable mold and casting it in hard plastic/vinyl. 

Starting conservatively, I decided to go with a pretty smooth cartoony cosmonaut character. I used Sculpey Original recipe 12 herbs and spices ( next time I'm going to use Premo which is firmer, original Sculpey gets pretty tacky when warm and conditioned).
I'm making the mold with "Oomoo 30" silicone rubber and Smooth-On hard white plastic casting material.

So.. I'm going to do a step-by-step of this project and future mold and casts.. Warts and all.