Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Finished Brontosaurus

Here is a photo of the completed brontosaurus shot in my yard. The colors of the sculpture came out closer to how they really appear in this photograph then the ones I shot in my studio under florescent lighting.

For fun I took a photo of the bronto in B&W.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Creating A Base For The Brontosaurus

Once the tree and brontosaur were painted it was time to mount them on the base. I set the sculptures on a piece of pine wood.Then they were positioned so the eye lines between the sailor and dinosaur lined up.Using a pencil I carefully traced around the sculptures and marked their locations.

After drilling the holes for bolting the sculptures to the base the wood was sanded, stained and given three coats of polyurethane. For the ground cover on the base I used a 50/50 mix of white glue and water to which I added my soil and leaf litter.This mixture was painted around the tree roots and the trunk of the brontosaur's neck.

While the soil/glue mixture was still wet I worked in some dried moss around the base and partially up the base of the tree.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Painting The Brontosaurus

The eyes and mouth of the brontosaurus were masked off and the sculpture was given a light coat of grey lacquer auto primer. When the primer had thoroughly dried I peeled off the masking and began dry brushing white and light gray acrylic paint over the brontosaur to bring out the scale texture.

When I was satisfied with my light toned hi lites I sprayed the sculpture with Krylon clear matt to protect my work. Next I mixed a grayish green color and dry brushed that over over the entire brontosaur.

After another coat of clear Krylon matt spray it was time to give the brontosaur sculpture a wash of thinned down acrylic paints. The wash would help tie the dry brushing work together and accent the scale texture.

When the wash had dried I top coated the brontosaur with Kylon clear matt followed by a light misting of Testors Dull Cote. This left the sculpture with a slight sheen like the brontosaur was still a bit wet after emerging from the swamp to chase the sailors from the rescue party.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Super Sculpey Brontosaurus

After mounting the wooden skull to my aluminum wire armature it was time to begin working on the brontosaur. I began sculpting using Super Sculpey polymer clay. The advantage of polymer clay is that it stays workable for a considerable length of time. This allowed me to send pictures to my client as work progressed.

He would advise me to any changes he would like made and I'd rework the sculpture. We went through three revisions of the brontosaur's look till we hit upon the one that pleased him.

At that point I stripped the polymer clay from the wooden skull and switched over to sculpting in Apoxie Sculpt clay. The final sculpture was built up in layers allowing each layer to cure before adding the next.

The final layer of Apoxie Sculpt was given a scaly texture. Here is the finished brontosaurus posed in front of the unpainted sailor and tree trunk.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Brontosaurus Update

After the teeth were primed white it was time to install them into the jaw. I snipped the wire near the base of each tooth and used Zap a Gap to glue them in place.

Once I had all the teeth secured I began sculpting the gums and interior of the mouth with Apoxie Sculpt clay.When the clay had cured the mouth was painted with acrylics and given a top coat of clear gloss lacquer.

After the teeth and interior of the mouth where completed I could glue the balsa wood skull halves together.

Sculpting The Brontosaurus From King Kong

Using balsa wood I carved a skull for the brontosaurus. Then it was on to drilling the locations on the jaws where the teeth would be.

The teeth were sculpted of Super Sculpey clay over a stiff piece of wire.

When I had my teeth completed I baked them at 350 degrees to harden them.

The teeth were then taken outside and sprayed with white primer.

Painting The Tree

When I was finished sculpting the tree and sailor they were sprayed with grey auto primer. The tree was then base coated with light tan acrylic paint.

Next I dry brushed some brown over the whole tree trunk.

After dry brushing the trunk it was sprayed with Krylon clear matt and then given a wash of dark acrylic paint to hi lite the texture of the bark.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Update On Working On The Tree

I hot glued Styrofoam to the dowel and used a rasp to begin to rough out the shape of the trunk.

Next I coated the Styrofoam with mache and drilled holes in the wood block base to accept sections of wire coat hanger. The wire would be the foundation for the trunks roots.

After the mache had dried I began building up the tree trunk in Apoxie Sculpt clay.

I drilled a hole in the trunk where the unlucky sailor would be positioned and inserted a section of brass rod. The rod would serve as a post to secure the armature of the sailor figure.

After the first application of Apoxie Sculpt had cured I applied a top coat which I textured to look like bark. Then it was on to beginning the sculpting of the brontosaur's helpless victim.

Sculpting The Brontosaurus From King Kong

I recently got an interesting commission. I was asked to create the brontosaurus from the 1933 version of King Kong. My client wanted a likeness of the nasty sauropod as it menaced a sailor from the rescue party that had climbed a tree to escape.

I began by cutting a block of wood which would be the base of the tree.I affixed a nut into the wood so the finished tree could be securely bolted to a display base.

Next I screwed a couple of pieces of metal strip to the block which I covered with some Apoxie Sculpt clay. I gently pressed a wooden dowel into the top of the clay to make an impression. When it had cured I attached the dowel which would be the spine of my tree.

After gluing the dowel in place I checked the tree size next to the aluminum wire and Styrofoam armature of the brontosaur.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Finishing The Son Of Kong Model

After gluing the wooden dowel into Son of Kong's paw it was time to sculpt the lower portion of the log. Using Apoxie Sculpt clay I covered the dowel and textured it to give it the look of wood grain.When the clay had cured I primed it and painted it with acrylics.

Using 5 minute epoxy I glued the model to the base. In the near future I will be sculpting a cave bear to menace little Kong.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Son Of Kong Update

The Son Of Kong model was sprayed with Krylon Clear Matt to protect the areas already painted. When it was dry I began brushing on a dark grey wash made of thinned acrylic paint.Working a small area at a time I wiped off the wash with a soft cloth.

While the model was drying I set to work on the base. Apoxie Sculpt clay was added where the Kong figure would stand. I then pressed the models feet into the soft clay to make an impression. Now the bottoms of the feet would make solid contact with the base when time came to assemble it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Dry Brushing Son of Kong

Since I last posted I got little Kongs face, chest and paws painted. Then I dry brushed a light gray color over the fur to give it some contrast. I began work on creating a base from plywood which I covered with mache.I thought a base (besides helping to stabilize the figure) would give it a more finished appearance.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Son Of Kong

Since I last posted I filled in the seams on the Kong model with Apoxie Sculpt and primed it with white lacquer. Here is a photo of the model with the section of uprooted tree I made in its upraised paw.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Son of Kong Project

Recently I was asked by a client to create a Son of Kong diorama using a Tsukuda vinyl Kong model. He wanted Son of Kong brandishing a log as he did in the film to fend off a bear.

The model had a manacle on the wrist of the raised arm that had to be ground off. After grinding and resculpting the area with Apoxie Sculpt clay I drilled out the hand to accept a wooden dowel.

Next I began building up the log by gluing balsa wood over the dowel.After sealing the wood I added some paper mache to rough out the shape of the log.

I then covered the mache with Apoxie Sculpt and gave it a wood texture. When the clay had cured I sprayed it with grey lacquer primer.

Using acrylics I painted the log and gave it a wash to bring out the detail. The final step was gluing on dried moss to the base of the log.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

King Kong Pays A Visit To My Studio

When filmmaker Eric Kessler came to my studio to pick up the miniature Skull Island wall and altar I had worked on he brought along a special guest -- King Kong!

I had often admired Kessler's stop motion puppet from afar. Watching as Kess put Kong through his paces dispatching his stop motion adversaries on YouTube: YouTube - Kong vs. Spinosaurus

As good as the YouTube footage is it doesn't come close to doing this unique piece of articulated artwork justice!

Getting to examine Kong close up in my own hands was a great treat. Kess and I concluded the visit by having some fun posing Kong attacking the Skull Island gates for a few pictures.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Painting The Skull Island Altar

After finishing adding the carvings to the altar it was time to prime it for painting. I used the same grey spray primer on the altar that I used on the Skull Island wall.

When the primer was dry I began dry brushing acrylic paint on the altar to bring out the hilites.

An application of thinned down acrylics was brushed on and then wiped off with a soft cloth. It tied all the colors together and accented the cracks and crevices.

I allowed the wash to dry overnight and then sprayed the entire altar with a light coat of Krylon Matt Clear to protect the finish. I then used a 50/50 mix of water and white glue to add bits of moss to the altar.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ornamental Carvings On The Skull Island Altar

I sculpted four of the ornamental carvings that decorate the miniature altar. From these originals I made one piece latex rubber push molds.

Using Super Sculpey polymer clay in these molds I was able to create multiples of the carvings I would need to adorn the altar.

Starting at the top of the altar I applied a veneer of Apoxie Sculpt clay.

I textured it to match the stone work I had done on the Skull Island wall.

When I was finished I carefully pressed the baked Super Sculpey carvings into the wet Apoxie Sculpt clay. When the clay had cured I moved on to the next tier of the altar.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Skull Island Altar Pillars

The Styrofoam I had added to the sides of the original altar to enlarge it was covered with a layer of mache. The mache gives the Styrofoam some strength and also acts as a sealant.

I sawed off the old pillars in preparation of replacing them with taller, thicker pillars.

After inserting a hardwood dowel in a block of Styrofoam to act as a handle I proceeded to shape the pillar with a rasp. When I got it to the approximate shape I was looking for I began covering it with water base stoneware clay.

The carving was done with miniature wire loop tools.