Monday, 24 January 2011

The Making of the Sea Monster

I started my sculpt by making a wooden armature which I could then build onto, giving it a sturdy frame for the clay to sit on. Next I bulked out the main shape which was easy to do using the WED clay as it is soft and smooth to work with which meant that I could do it faster. Then I began refining the sculpt, putting in the gills roughly and shaping the brow and jaw. After some advice from a tutor about the brow bone looking too heavy I decided to slim it down more, making it more skeletal. I studied pictures of Cats skulls for reference and also had some fish pictures to study for the lips and jaw. 

Another thing which I did was to draw centre lines on the sculpt to help me recognise what was lop sided and uneven. I messed around with the jaw line quite a bit after I did this, trying to get the undercut of the bottom lip right and the jowls at an even level. 

After some deliberation, I decided to build back the brow bones again as I felt that they should be more fleshy and more similar to the original sculpt that I had done as a test. Once I did this I was much happier with the sculpt. I used a mixture of wooden tools, metal loops and metal sculpting tools to work on this model. I found that I got attached to certain tools and would use them for more or less everything although a lot of the time I used my hands and fingers. 

Next I put in all of the wrinkles and saggy skin, using a cocktail stick to get in to the folds of skin and paintbrush and water to smooth things out and give it a smoother finish. I also added the nostrils and eyes which took me a few attempt to get right. The eyes were inserted as clay balls which I positioned and filled in around the edges. They had to be shaped with a scraper once they were in as they didn't match each other properly at first. The nostrils were difficult as I had to get all four of them to line up properly and be the same shape.

The last step was to create scales on the skin as this monster sculpt is a cross between a fish and a lizard. I got pictures of various scales and lizards but the best was of a monitor lizard. To create this texture I squashed on tiny balls of clay to the surface, starting with the face and working my way round the jaw line and eye sockets.Once they were all lined up and on the surface I went around them blending the scales in with each other and making them more of the hexagonal shape that they were in the reference pictures. I was doing this at first using a cocktail stick to roll the edges down but i then changed my tactic to using a flat head screwdriver which happened to be the exact shape and size that I needed. This shows how it is up to you what tools you use and what works best in certain circumstances.

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