Second Quarter bust sculpts for 2018

A quick snap shot of this years Bust Sculptures. Trying to decide if I’m going to get back into doing full figures, or keeping with the busts, but adding in one or both arms to help tell the story. So far I only have plans for a Wolverine® and a Koko the gorilla tribute bust. Will have to plan out something for the Markham Fair this year, not certain if I’ll use the Goblin Warrior from January or not. Faces are getting better, but I do need to clean up the ears, and make the eyes more consistent. Bilateral symmetry is also eluding me thus far. May have to bust out the calipers instead of trying to eye-ball it.

All of this years bust sculpts.
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Recent Photo Retouching Work

This stuff was for some pretty big names : Coca-Cola®, Starbucks®, Desani®, Sprite®, President’s Choice®, and at this time I don’t recall who the Salsa Bowl was for. This is part of my regular day job as a graphic designer. I am sometimes tasked with Illustration, 3D rendering flat box packaging that I have mocked up, photo retouching, page layout, and branding.

All of this stuff was from 2017, so it has gone to market and they have moved on to new promotions and this isn’t spilling any trade secrets by showing it off here. The agency’s may have made some other tweaks to these items after I hand them off, I have no control over that. I’m not certain if these items made it to market “exactly” as I left them, but I put my fingers in that pie, and felt like showing some of it off. It seemed as though all I was posting was my personal sculpture work, and not any real paying “Day Job” type stuff.

In no particular order:

Affogato coffee press_header card
Iced coffee glass_cleaned up

Coffee press caraf

New sculpts for the first quarter of 2018

The first nine items I’ve sculpted this year. Have started to see a plateau, and even a regression in some elements, so I’ll have to work diligently to correct those mistakes, and find some new perspective to tackle these pieces from. No point working harder and doing the same thing, time to take in some new technical lessons and work smarter. I have the shelf space for around 35 more on the two remaining shelves I have open in my office. Best be making the most of it!

Extended sculpture list for 2017

This has been a really solid year for me as far as creative output is concerned. I have just completed my twelfth sculpture of 2017. The last four items have been busts about 5″ – 6″ in height, so they use less material, and allow me to focus on details and the anatomy of the head / facial features. Not going to lie, that is a real weakness of mine, but I’m trying to tackle it head on, and have been reading up on it, and watching tutorials, and having a real great time exploring other sculptors works for inspiration. It has been a really great hands on experience. I do love the graphic design work that I do, but this just seems to be more visceral. The fewer successes I have early on in the process, the happier I am towards the end with the final product; usually. Means I’ve had to tear off and rework areas again, and again in order to get it to look like the reference materials. It helps when the reference materials I have been using are these fantastic pieces done by Giorgos Tsougkouzidis. All bar three of this years sculpts have been sight copies or have been based upon artwork done by some on else.

Barbarian_Bust_Reference
The reference sheet for the Barbarian done by Giorgos T.
Bust sculptures
The last four busts grouped together.

As you can see from the reference material, I got close, but i have no where near the same skill as the original sculptor. Gives me a tough space to aim for over the next few years.

-M

Sculptures of 2017

As promised, here is the updated group shot of all of this years sculptures. Some good, some bad, a couple that test out new substrates (Super Sculpey®). Mixed media used in a couple, with fabric, and wooden dowels, wire and such. More than double the amount of work than I have ever put out in a single calendar year. Moving along nicely. All but one of these are copies of other amazing artists work, so you should go check out, Sideshow Toys, Cyril Roquelaine, Giorgos Tsougkouzidis, David Lemon & Julian Khor.

All ten sculptures that I have completed this calendar year.

Keeping myself busy during slow periods.

The best part about being a freelancer is that when I have down time, I can pursue some off the beaten path personal art, that doesn’t necessarily coincide with my day job. Although I have done a few renderings of what some labels I have done could have looked like a 355mL cans, mainly what I like to do to fill my time between projects, contracts or obligations in general is to sculpt copies of images I come across on Google, or items that have been sculpted but are priced well out of my price range by groups like Sideshow Collectibles, Jordu Schell, Steve Wang, or Simon Lee.

Since my day job (besides being a stay at home dad) is that of graphic designer / retoucher, I generally enjoy a more traditional medium for a hobby. Getting my hands dirty and pushing clay around feels really great, and is an entirely different set of motions and movements than using a mouse or tablet. I’m not the most talented sculptor, but I genuinely enjoy it, and I plan to carry on for years to come.

This years crop of sculptures. A generic zombie, a warrior, Skeletor® based off of a Sideshow items and an alternate universe Donatello from a picture I found during a Google image search. I did edit the Donatello to make him seem more tribal than the source image.
Product line up of brands that didn’t make it passed the label stage.

Traditional Media: sculpting

Realizing that I advertise myself as a graphic designer / production artist, it might seem strange to show work here that is neither of those things. But sometimes, it’s really great to get your hands dirty and feel something come together at your finger tips. I don’t do much painting or drawing anymore, as I’ve really been on a model building and sculpting kick these last few years. So as a healthy way to decompress, and to better myself artistically I dabble in rough maquettes. I definitely prefer Chavant NP Hard plastalina clay. I’ve tried two items in the soft and I am not a fan of the sticky, mushy mess it makes. Seems like it would be great for free wheeling gestural mock ups. But that’s not my style. I’m still working part time as a freelancer and full time care giver to my two year old daughter, so I’m more likely to carve out some time during the week to work on a longer project, rather than bolt down to my office to whip up a 1 hr gestural sculpt. I also don’t have a tonne of space to store these things once I’m done them either.

But it is fun, and I’ve completed four this year, which is a new record. I have plans for one more that is a bit more ambitious. Not in scale / size, but in that it’ll be a dynamic action pose held aloft in the air on pins. I might also see if I can finagle a diorama base into the mix, but we’ll see about that.

Cheers!

-Msculptures

Sculpting again: TMNT

So I realized it had been a while since I last sculpted anything (That item being the torso of Sagat from Street Fighter®) And felt like getting back into it again. I felt as though I learned a fair bit when working on Sagat, so I tried to bring that knowledge over to these new projects. I tackled a newer version of Raphael from TMNT: Out of the shadows. As I had previously tried a version of Raph from the original 2014 movie (or whenever it actually was) that I have posted about before, with a series of images based on the figures progression below. So early in November I began a newer Raphael sculpt based on the movie from this summer and I wasn’t very happy because I made a pretty major error in posing the wire armature early on, and wasn’t able to compensate for it once it was epoxied onto the painted base. I tried to remedy that on a companion piece Leonardo, got the balance right, but ultimately made one leg far too long and out of proportion to the other leg. I really need to go back and spend some time drawing anatomy reference to get better at sculpting it. I bent the armature into position over top of the photo reference I was using, but didn’t account for how much/little I would need to use as a pin by the feet to epoxy into the base. I must have missed a pre-bend mark and used more of the wire in the leg than I had intended. Things to take away from this; Slow down during the armature/posing stage and get the measurements right. Don’t epoxy the armature to the base until after sculpting is done, that will give me a clue as to whether or not I have the subjects balance correct without the base itself carrying more counter balance load than it really should. Mark bend locations clearly.

I have started to use Chavant NSP Hard for sculpting because it’ll take and hold little details rather well. I do like the Medium version as well, not so hard on the fingers if you don’t have the stuff up to working temperature yet. My heat lamp set up is fine, as this obviously isn’t my day job but a fun escapist hobby. I am just having a hard time locating this stuff locally, as it seems both Curry’s and Michael’s don’t carry it any more. Plus they seem to be selling individual 2lb blocks on Amazon.ca for close to $100 which is ridiculous. Amazon.com has it for cheaper, but it’s also in US Dollars, and the shipping / handling and import fees are fairly high. I’ll have to find a local sculpture supply place and see if I can order any within Canada.

Anyway, here are some shots of the newer stuff. Nothing too special. I see the mistakes made, and I look forward to doing more next year. As an update from yesterday, I meant to say that I am really truly impressed by anyone who is able to sculpt a l portrait likeness of another person. I really don’t seem to command the patience to tease out anything the looks close to an actual characters facial features. I almost got semi-close on my Groot sculpt, but in that case I spent more time on the face than the whole rest of the body, extremities and surface details combined. I have also found a Toronto based sculpture supply store that carries Chavant NSP Hard and has reasonable pricing compared to the highway robbery going on over at Amazon.ca.14940220_10155224757375476_7173599421348707094_o15025469_10155230494005476_4284103693560062396_o15068364_10155259705570476_3713566389144049727_o15137689_10155259705575476_2543988669044051188_o

TMNT_Sculpture_series 2014
Roughly 1/6 scale Chavant Clay Medium sculpture

 

Markham Fair – 2016

markham-fair-image

It’s that time of year again, as the summer days are winding down, and the cooler air settles in, we begin to smell fall in the air! But best of all is the Markham Fair! A great place to go with family and friends, where they have a little bit of everything. It is the kind of spot where they have something for everyone! So this September and October take a memorable trip with the whole family. Get a Blooming Onion, or roasted corn on the cob, candy floss and all the other carnival treats you’ve been dreaming of! Stuff yourself silly with Tiny Toms donuts and visit each of the pavilions to discover something great about old school Canadianna. This year you can even check it out on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter!  Come for the monster trucks or Ram Rodeo Tour, and stay for the cooking demos and fireworks every night at dusk. FREE PARKING!

Markham Fairgrounds, 10801 McCowan Rd, Markham, ON L3P 3J3