Monday, March 11, 2013

Done? Noah..I mean Yessah

While there are one or two little things to highlight, the noah mural is completed.  I'll put some mounting pieces on the back so that my friend Jason can pick it up tomorrow.
Most of the animals are sculpted, and I'll try to get some good close-up shots before tomorrow, but I thought I'd share it now:

I must admit that the reference images for some of the work came from images sent to me by Jason as well as some reference I found.  While the photos were a help, the job of sculpting them into dimensional forms was the real fun and where this piece becomes very different from a painting.  It was a combination of cnc carving, hand sculpting and layered painting.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Magic Sculpt

I've discussed Magic Sculpt in the past, but wanted to talk about it just a bit more.  Magic Sculpt (also known as Abracadabra Sculpt) is a 2 part epoxy that is very much like and totally dislike clay.  I've been using it to further build up a 4' x 5' piece based on the story of Noah's Ark for a local church.  First, here's the progress.  Essentially, the sculpting is completed. I'll do a bit more, and then begin paint.  Additional creatures that are very small or in the background will be painted.

I did give the animals a quick coat of primer.  The thing I love about Magic Sculpt is the ability to shape things and then smooth it all with water.  The working time varies, but I mix relatively small batches (2 golf ball size pieces at a time).  What I've found is that if you spend the time early on just blocking in the shapes, by the time the epoxy firms up a bit it hold detail really well.  If you want to "micro-sculpt" pieces- you can put them on parchment paper.  For some odd but useful reason, it does not adhere to parchment paper like it does everything else in the universe.

Here is a close-up from a couple days ago as I was blocking in some animals and the ark.  Another great thing about Magic Sculpt is that you can build it up...additional coats will stick to itself.

So- now it's on to paint.  Time to break out the airbrush and brushes.  I'll begin by giving the sky and ground a base coat, avoiding the animals and ark as much as possible.  There will be plenty of glazing, too. 

It occurs to me that at the time the Halo video game came out- I never saw anybody connect the "Flood" with the Noah's Ark here you go:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ark...Who goes there?

I am currently working on a carved semi-dimensional mural project among my other projects.  A local church has hired me to create a piece based on the Noah's Ark story.  I suppose I could get into a discussion about my own religious beliefs, but I don't think that's important.  What is important is that it serves my client well, and is something I can enjoy working on.  It is a memorial piece for the father of a good friend.  I'm happy to participate.

Having said that- I bagan the project with a general plan. I would include a quote from near the end of the Noah's Ark story and include the name of the church and person for whom the memorial is being created.

I began by doing something I have needed to do for awhile- I resurfaced the cnc table.  Basically, this means I removed a small portion of the top of the table in order to bring the surface to a smooth state and for it to be perfectly in balance with the router.  Once that was done, I loaded up some pvc and cut the border and lettering.  Next, I took an image of my very loose sketch and converted that to black and white (greyscale) and carved it into a second piece of pvc.  This primarily gives me the rough location of all the animals and the ark. 

Once that was complete, I have begun to take magic sculpt and sculpt details into the material.  I've begun on the Ark and trees...

I work on the piece with the border removed, but included it here so you could see them together.  Once I finish the sculpting, I'll begin painting it!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Some assembly and paint was required.

Well, I'm just about completed my little robot friend.  He is supported by the wheel, which is mounted to the board.  I still have a couple little shoulder covers that go above the arm...and a wee bit of detail painting to do, but I thought I'd show you what I have so far. 
I found that pictures in my shop tended to lose much of his detail, so I looked around for somewhere with some good turned out that just outside the door was perfect.

Just so there is some scale to let you know how big he is, I put him next to his other robot buddy in the shop:

One great trick that I have been asked about is the worn paint look, especially the white band near his middle.  It's really easy.  Once I had the base coat of yellow on, I dabbed some latex rubber in that area.  Once it was dry, I painted a couple layers of a white glaze. Once that was dry, I could rub off the latex rubber, revealing the yellow underneath, and making it look like worn paint!