Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Making of Peter Cushing

I began my sculpt by gaining the initial shape of the figure. Using my calipers I measured out certain aspects such as the chin to tip of the nose reference, the width of the head and the eyebrow level. Underneath this was a wooden armature. Using the Chavant NSP medium was difficult at first because it is hard but heating it with a heat gun made it melt down more to a butter like consistency. I was then able to spread it onto the armature and build up the shape quickly. If there was one thing I would have done differently then it would have been to build out from the armature more before applying the NSP because it would have saved me a lot of clay.

I kept refining the shape of the face and head, turning the sculpt frequently to make sure that it was not flat and measuring distances every now and then. Another technique I used was to build areas up with small smudges of clay so that I could build up areas easier.

Next I added the ears. In a sculpting class last year we were taught one method where the ears, eyes and hair come last. However I felt that I needed the ears to get the jaw line right so I put them in which personally I found quite helpful. One thing about Peter Cushings face is that his cheek bones are very prominent and his face shape is very skeletal. I had to make sure that these angle were right throughout the sculpt. Occasionally this meant that I would draw lines with my tool on to the surface of the clay to show myself how the face was built up and see more clearly the planes of the face.

To do the eyes I tried using a few different techniques that I had either been shown, read about or watched online. The best one for me was to scoop out the eye sockets and place larger eyeballs in, sculpting onto the ball with the eyelids. This part of the sculpt was by far the hardest as positioning the eyes was very difficult. I probably positioned them 4 separate times before I got them level with each other and the right width apart. Another thing that I did was to put a very rough hair line in so that I could amend the forehead and facial shape as it helped to have that extra reference point.

Here are pictures of the final sculpt. Although it is not finished to the standard that I would like due to time constraints, I am pleased with the outcome as I have improved my realism skills and learnt more about the way that the material works and the techniques behind doing a likeness.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kat!
    Saw your pics and text here...I manage the Peter Cushing Fan Club on Facebook...have managed the club (PCAS) since 1970's....would you mund giving me permission to put this article on our FB page also our sister website

    Great work...thought it needed to be seen by fans too!

    Marcus Brooks