Monday, July 18, 2011

The Stump Tortoise

Having finished my Cthulhu idol and a majorly crazy ink drawing I was mulling over ideas for my next sculpture. I have pages and pages of sketches documenting ideas for sculptures, some of which are in relatively great detail. However, it's always the random scribbles that seem to  jump out at me and demand to be made RIGHT NOW.

I found this while cleaning off a pile of doodles, junk mail, and old grocery receipts from the kitchen table.

It immediately demanded to be made. RIGHT NOW. So, not wanting to piss off whatever Art God or Muse that makes these demands, I set to work on on the armature. I started off with the legs and head.

At first I wasn't quite sure how to approach doing a solid chunk like the tree stump shell. So I just started throwing on wire.

Holy crap that's a lot of wire!

And then I just crunched it full of foil.  And more wire. 

Holy crap that's a lot of foil!

This is probably one of the sturdiest armatures I've built to date, mostly because I sat back and enjoyed building it as a part of the creative process (as opposed to "Blar! Friggin armatures, I just want to get this done with so I can push clay!"). It's also so dense I could probably lob it through a window. 

Of course, with every armature comes the inevitable "Oh god, termites have chewed up my hands!" feeling, which you get from three hours of wrestling wire and foil and accidentally supergluing yourself to every surface in the vicinity. It gets worse the instant you head to the sink to wash off all the metal bits when suddenly you discover "HOLY SH---TINY CUTS EVERYWHERE! IT STINGS!" But it's all good, because the carpal-tunnel syndrome takes care of that, at least for the moment. I'm typing up this post by bludgeoning the keyboard with my half-numb fingers. 

Next up: clay pushing. Hooray!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Brief Break from Sculpting; The Forest Colossus

The Forest Colossus wandered. No one knew who had originally built it, or if indeed it had been built by the hand of man, or of some greater civilisation; many suspected it had been birthed from the earth itself. No one knew how it was powered, or what its purpose was. It had been around for as long as any generation could remember, and the growth of centuries had created its own ecosystem upon the creature's body. Great streamers of moss and vine hung from it, trees sprouted from its back, and its flanks were coated in lichen and fungus. Though its purpose and makers had been forgotten, none dared disturb the colossus; as it showed no malice towards man and weapons did not exist that could harm it, it could continue to wander, and likely would until the end of time, or until it crumbled to dust itself.

I have been having increasing difficulty focusing on sculpting; after finishing Cthulhu I decided it was time to take a break from clay and work on something 2-dimensional.
This has been sitting on my desk looking like this for about a year:

So, in a mad inking marathon over the past few days, I finished it.

I have mixed feelings on the result. Ultimately I have a love-hate relationship to this piece; I have alternately liked it, hated it, despised it, thought it looked awful, thought it looked OK, and mostly I'm just glad it's finished. I had originally started it nearly two years ago after being inspired by the game Shadow of the Colossus, and had almost abandoned it when my brand-new super-fine Rapidograph pen started failing, and I got frustrated, shook it violently, and it barfed ink everywhere. The finished photograph is admittedly terrible; I don't have a decent setup for photographing paintings. Every inch of the 16x20 inch board is covered in dots or extremely fine lines.

I had intended mainly for it to be an experiment with applying coloured ink washes to my pen-and-ink drawings. I've never really used ink washes before, and I'm not sure if I like them or not; they behave almost identical to watercolours except for being waterproof, so I don't have to worry as much about turning them into mud by applying multiple layers of colour. They're not very forgiving for the same reason, though.

Onward to more art!