Monday, September 30, 2013

SCULPTURE - Monster Heads! Pt.3


Here is the third entry in my ongoing series of Monster Heads.  These have really been fun to work on!  This particular design actually started over a year and a half ago. I had been kicking around the idea of a full-on fight scene inspired by two rivals from the world of college football. You can read about that original post here: "King Hog vs. Bullzilla!"  However...I may never get around to finishing that sculpture.  So in the mean time, I thought I'd see if I could get inspired with just doing the head of one of those monsters.

As usual, I start with a wood base, with a nail wrapped with wire.  This time I did not use a pre-made piece from the hobby shop.  I thought I'd try a base that looked like boulders.  I added aluminum foil as the core of my armature. Once I gave it a "skin" of Sculpy, I baked the basic shape with a heat gun.

Next came the teeth, which I sculpted and baked.  I didn't want to keep bumping the teeth in the process of sculpting, and had already decided to have the mouth closed.

I began to play around with various profiles.  I had intended on making this creature look more like a mutated BULL (a Texas Longhorn to be specific).  However, it started to feel too much like the "minotaur" from ancient Greek mythology. So, I decided not to lock in to being so literal with the details of a real bull, and just let my imagination run free.

Here are a few pics of the development of the back of the neck.  It just sort of grew into more of a spine, with the bones showing at the surface.  I roughly blended the forms, leaving the linear texture...then smoothed it out by painting on oderless paint thinner.

After adding the basic shapes of the face, I continued the process of smoothing things with the thinner.  But I tried to keep the wrinkles showing.  After I was basically done with the face, I thought it would be nice to add some battle scars!  Then I finished out the details on the horns.

The next images show the rock and sand mixture that I put on the base of the creature.  I'm not sure I'm so happy with how it turned out.  I would have done better to just use sand on the sculpted rock base...the bigger gravel bits obscured most of the details of the form.  Oh and learn!

The paint job came next.  That is one of my favorite parts of these projects.  I had decided to try to keep with a burnt orange color palette, to match with the Texas Longhorn school colors.  However, in the end, the paintjob wasn't quite true to those brighter colors.

Here are a few "turn-around" shots of the final sculpture!

 I will continue to add more to this growing little family...probably the next one will be a version of "King Hog" inspired by the Arkansas Razorback!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

SKETCHBOOK: "Plaza Art Fair"

Today, I had a blast at the Plaza Art Fair in Kansas City. Now anyone who knows me very well, is aware that I do not like crowds.  However, instead of just wandering around looking at all the artist's booths (which I did enjoy doing), I decided to MAKE some art.  Somehow that changed how I was seeing everything...I was in "the zone" and looking for then next thing to draw, instead of feeling overwhelmed with all the people.  Sketched for about 5.5 hours!  
It was a gorgeous morning when I did the sketch above.  I was walking out of the garage where I had just parked my car, and saw the view looking down the steep hill. I just set up my little stool on the sidewalk and began to sketch.  As usual, lots of folks stopped by and wanted to watch for a bit.  Several asked if I had a booth set up in the fair...and were surprised when I said I just did the sketches for fun.  I don't mind chatting with folks...I can handle crowds if it's only a couple of folks at a time!  :)
The sketch below was of Brush Creek and the main stage for the bands.  It was not supposed to be divided in the middle. I had meant to put all of the scene in the upper box.  But my drawing was "off" in scale from the start.  I hated to lose the nice shadows under the I just drew in another box and completed the scene.
The rest of the time was spent "people watching".  It was quite a challenge to capture a sketch...most people kept moving.  A couple of artisans were sitting on stools, though, and that helped.
The last page below was of some of the musicians there. The Art Fair has three stages at strategic locations.  The drawing in the middle was of the "acoustic" stage...five gals in that band.  The same drummer was playing with a jazz trio later in the day on the main stage.  I set up in several spots to catch various views.  The bass player was the most fun to draw...he got the most sketches on the page.
It was a terrific day.  I might go back on Sunday, just to listen to some more great music.  Who knows...I might even sketch!

UPDATE!  I need to add one more sketch to this post.  Tonight I went to hear "Sante Fe and the Fat City Horns" (all the way from Las Vegas)!  One of the most outstanding bands I've ever heard!!!  They were playing at the Johnson County Community College Performing Arts Series.  I did a quick sketch of their instruments about 20 minutes before showtime (from the front row).  Then I got most of the guys in the band to sign the drawing after the performance.  Such great way to end the day!!!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

SKETCHBOOK: "Yep...Summer's Over"

Today I decided to enjoy a nice quiet Saturday morning sketching at nearby Shawnee Mission Lake. I am always sad to see the rental boats all dry-docked for the season, as the fall is still a great time to be on the water.  Since I don't have my canoe anymore, I just have to enjoy the water from the banks.  The colors of the paddleboats all lined up caught my eye and I found a nice spot under a shade tree.

I've been trying to force myself to do quicker sketches, as I can get lost in the details for hours.  So the sketches above of the main dock were done with a looser feel.  Still not super happy with my technique yet...but will keep practicing.  In fact...I had a "total fail" on one sketch...ripped it up and tossed it.

The sketch below was done as I was walking back to my car. I saw the bright colors of a sailboat at the boat ramp.  As I was sketching, the owner appears, backs up his trailer, and loaded up the boat.  I was forced to work even faster than I had planned...but kindof like how this one came out.

Below is a sketch I did last weekend, after church, on my way home.  This is a construction site that I had posted sketches about a few weeks ago, next to a Methodist church.  I suspect that this won't be the last drawing I do from there!