One painter who I feel captures the freedom of movement of his marine subjects so well is Richard Ellis! I've long admired his work. Particularly his shark paintings. Take a look at his painting of a breaching Mako shark : Richard Ellis Gallery: Mako Shark . When I see a painting like that I get green with envy.
Unfortunately as a sculptor I have to devise supports to hold my subjects aloft. These supports need to be incorporated as unobtrusively as possible into the composition.
Recently I began making a base with just such a support to mount a sculpture on. I thought I'd post a few work in progress photos.
The first photo is of a hard wood dowel glued and wired to a painted and sealed piece of plywood.
The second picture shows Apoxie Sculpt clay beginning to be applied to the bottom of the dowel to strenghten this area.
Here I am starting to work the clay around the edge of the plywood base.
It is hard to make out in this photo but I've given the clay edge a textured look by using a piece of coral.
After the clay on the edge had a chance to cure I started applying the clay to the dowel being careful not to cover the drilled holes near the top. These will hold the bolts for mounting the sculpture.
When the clay on the dowel became semi hard I gave it a distressed wood look using latex and silicone texture pads I've created.
After I glued the bolts in place I wrapped a piece of Saran Wrap around my sculpture and pressed it against the still pliable clay.
It left an impression that will help to solidly mount the sculpture later. I then used a hot glue gun to add chunks of styrofoam to the base.
I make a habit of always using the leftover bits and pieces of whatever material I happen to be working with to make a surplus of rocks and pebbles. This way I have a ready supply in assorted sizes to draw from.
I took the base outside and shaped the contours I wanted into the styrofoam using coarse sandpaper.
The next step involved making a concoction of sand and white glue to paint over the styrofoam and around the base of the tree stumps.
After this dries I'll need to prime the base with lacquer spray paint before I can begin painting it. I'll show the completed steps in a future blog post.