Sunday, February 23, 2014

SCULPTURE: Monster Heads! Pt.4

Run for the Ozark Hills...KING HOG ATTACKS!

Hard to believe it...but I started this project officially TWO years ago!  I had ideas of making a sculpture of an epic battle between two Giant Monsters: "KING HOG vs BULLZILLA" (Click the link to see the backstory.)  But it took seeing the movie "Pacific Rim" last year to get the ball rolling.  Granted, I may never do the full sculpt, but at least I've got a fun Monster Head series going now.  And I love making the "mini posters" of the creatures in action!
For any fan of the ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS, you'll see the inspiration for this creature. For those who have followed my blog, you'll be familiar with the general process I use.
For the other three monsters in this series, I did not create any sketches beforehand...I just let myself be surprised where things would end up.  But when I was having a new clutch put into my car a few months ago, I just figured I'd use the time to kick around some drawings of how KING HOG might look.  I wanted to exaggerate the tusks, and give him some "razor sharp" spikes on his back.
The project started with a wooden base and a nail to secure the foil that forms the core.  I often do a loose sculpt to get general proportions in place.  This will be totally replaced bit by bit with more refined elements.  You'll note the ball of foil with a dowel in it.  This was going to be the head, and I could rotate it for the best angle for "dramatic effect".  I decided not to use it with the rough sculpt.  But later changed my mind and redesigned the whole thing WITH the head as a separate piece.
Here are the various tusks and teeth that I baked separately. The gray color is from "Sculpy Firm", mixed with the pink "Super Sculpy" for better detail.  I then built a set of jaws with the teeth in place, and baked it again, so I would not keep messing them up with the rest of the sculpting process.
I worked from the snout to the back, adding details and fleshing out the forms.  As with the teeth, I made the spines separately, and baked them before putting them in place.
In the course of handling the sculpture, I found that the base had some cracks developing where I had quickly sculpted some rocks.  So I had to redo that area with a few simple shapes of clay.  Then I added a mixture of sand, small gravel and glue, to give the base some texture.
Here is the final sculpted piece before painting it.
Now comes the paint job...I always enjoy this phase of the's the icing on the cake!  I started everything with a base coat of RED acrylic, since that is the proper color for any self-respecting razorback.  I then added a very thin wash of black, to pop the detail.  After that, its just a matter of adding multiple layers of dry-brushing and glazing until I am happy with the results.
This is the finished color for KING HOG...
 Here is the current lineup of my KAIJU MONSTER HEADS.  I'm sure there are more to come!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

SCULPTURE: "Old Man Warren"

Since I am not quite ready to post about a sculpture I am currently working on, I thought it would be fun to show you an odd little piece I made back in 1994...20 years ago!!!

You might say I "made a new friend"...or an OLD one!  You might also say I was "beside myself".  I made a PUPPET of OLD MAN WARREN. (Yes...this project was a little family made me keep this guy in a bag in the basement, because it was deemed "too creepy".)
In 1994, I was a part of an in-house workshop sponsored by Hallmark Cards. We brought in a "Hollywood special effects make-up artist" (whose name I can not remember).  This process was very much like the make-up competition show "FACE OFF" on the SyFy Channel. We spent a week making these sculptures, then casting them in rubber.  Most folks in the workshop make cool alien versions of themselves.  I just made me look old.  (I guess it's because my favorite Muppet characters are the old guys in the balcony, "Statler and Waldorf".)

The first part of the process was to make a "life mask" of our faces.  We used some kind of dental algenate that they use for making impressions of your teeth. So I decided to cast my face with my mouth open.  NOT an easy thing to do...especially when I only had tiny holes around my nose to breath through.  Then we made a "positive" of that mold with cement.

I don't have any photos of the process from that point on, unfortunately.  We had a styrofoam upper torso to apply plasticine clay to.  We made a casting of our faces out of clay to apply to the styrofoam "skull".  Then we spent about a week of sculpting to make our "characters". After the sculpture was done, we made a giant mold of concrete around the piece, divided in the middle.  We separated the mold, cleaned out the clay, then put the mold back together with straps.  Then we painted in liquid latex rubber, in layers, until it was about a 1/8th inch thick.

Then we made a large mixture of expanding foam rubber to pour into the mold.  I decided to make my piece a "puppet", and stuck my arm down into the foam, as it expanded.  So afterwards, I could make the mouth open and close.

I finished the detailing with a set of crooked teeth cast from my own teeth (then modified them to look older), added glass eyeballs, and poked in hair for eyebrows.  then I painted it to be more "flesh" colored with some special make-up.

Below are a few photos of our "20 Year Reunion" this afternoon!  Guess in 20 more years...I will look exactly like my puppet. Ha!