Since I do not have the expensive equipment and setup
of a photographer, all photos I took did not do the figure justice.
Early December I was asked by my sister-in-law to create her wedding cake topper. I do not usually get such strange requests, but I assume she must have been partly impressed by the cake toppers I did for my wedding. Along with her request she also wanted the figure to be abstract, melted-looking, and facial-featureless. She supplied a couple photos of figures she thought mine could relate to.
What my sister-in-law did not realize is that she asked me to do several difficult things at once. One was to create a figure, while the other was to create something serious and abstract at the same time. I am a little confident in making figures, but nowhere as confident as I am with illustrations. The other point I wanted to make was that when I made the cake toppers for my wedding the subject was funny, therefore highly interesting to me.
SO putting those differences and excuses aside...
Here is my process:
Much like an illustration I approached this figure in a point by point progression...Create a rough draft to visualize certain elements and then create the final.
THE SKETCH: Here is the sketch I submitted for approval. I spent many hours perfecting and trying to get a pose and subject that would be fairly interesting (despite the abstract and somewhat boring subject.)
POINT-BY-POINT rough drafts: Pictured here is some of the many point-by-point creations I did. THe white figures were quick impressions I did from my sketch made out of Crayola air-dry clay. I made sure to create them separate so that each character could be equally designed. Next I created the wire frame using the clay figures as reference. Eventually I began to expand and made one more rough draft of the inner-wiring. Finally I made a couple small "finished" versions of the figure testing new and different clay methods to me. I also, after this picture, painted the small figures to be sure my painting ideas would look good.
FINAL FRAMEWORK: Here is the final framework. I utilized methods and supplies I became acquainted with while taking my sculpture class. Also note I wrapped the braided wire in tiny aluminum wire so that the clay would stick to the wiring.
CLAY IN PROGRESS: As you can tell the figure is incomplete. At this point I am still exploring and since I left everything pretty general (how the two figures would relate and so forth) I had a lot of fun creating here. For the clay I used a mix of Super Sculpey and Scupey III. 1 part Sculpey III to 3 parts Super sculpey. The Sculpey III made the Super sculpey a little more firm and not as sticky.
ALMOST COMPLETED FIGURE: At this point I was practically done. I probably brushed the clay a couple times after this picture with Rubbing Alcohol to get the clay smoother, and adjusted and touched up the clay a bit more, but from here, off it went to bake! (Also note that the woman figure does not have her veil...the head was too lose so I had to bake the whole figure before I could make it).
COMPLETED FIGURE: As you might or might not tell this is my workspace at the completion of the figure. WHAT A MESS! Normally it wouldn't be THAT bad but we had some water problems so I had to tear my office apart...though there ARE a lot of strange things pictured I did use...haha
well anyway, for a more complete figure-making tutorial and reasoning for many parts of my process or any figure building ideas....go so this guys awesome post here: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=18287 I learned a great deal from this tutorial!