Friday, April 04, 2014

Somebody Maded a Pud!

I had a plan to surprise Handsome Bryce for Valentine's Day. I wanted to redo our cool (but unfortunately peach/orange and green) bedroom. It turns out, that is kind of a time consuming project, especially with two little kids, so I bumped it to be an anniversary surprise instead. It also turns out that two little kids have totally reduced my ability to be sneaky, and I ended up leaving clues everywhere by accident. So Bryce got surprised by the plans and pieces, but not the finished product. You can still be surprised though! I'll post finished pictures as soon as I finish painting. Here is a sneak peek at my redecorating project:

Blue Pug Sculpture

I want our bedroom to be comfortable and pretty, but still look like a bedroom where a man lives. So I have been looking for decorations that are neither pointless hoarder-items, nor floofy frilly girl-stuff. I was pretty excited when I stumbled on these dog sculptures by White Faux Taxidermy, but they were a little out of my price range and I wanted something a little more personal. So I decided to make one!

 I started with tinfoil. I made a big ball on tinfoil and shaped it roughly into the shape of a pug's head.

 Then I rolled a piece of Sculpey and fit it over my armature.

 In the background here you can see that I used pictures of Bryce's pet pug Bubba as a reference for the whole process. I used about 3 pictures, and spent a lot of time going back and forth between front view, side view, and 3/4ths view, to try and get it right. I used a dental pick to trace the features onto my clay, and carefully began adding features

Sculpey is an incredibly forgiving medium. It never ever ever dries out (until you bake it) and it allows you to easily reshape mistakes.

For my finished product I wanted to mount the bust on a stanchion. I just happened to have an old lamp base, but you could easily pick up a lamp from a thrift store or make your own base. My sister and I agreed that using the whole lamp looked a little "Lord of the Flies", so I got out a hack-saw and trimmed that baby down.

Ta da! Much more respectable! I hot glued those pieces together and then spray painted it with black primer.

 The black primer looked great, so that could definitely be an option if you wanted a more classic look.

 I wanted it to look more whimsical though, so I painted it bright shiny blue!

You should know that this is the first time I have ever tried to sculpt something to look realistic. I'm not an expert and it's not perfect, but I am really happy with how it turned out. I am a firm believer that if art is something that you want to do you should not feel discouraged because you weren't "born with that talent." I was fortunate to grow up with a Dad who is a professional artist and who always helped me to feel confident in my artistic abilities, but I think it was really the confidence my parents worked to instill, and not Dad's genes that help me make art.

I've taken art classes and throughout this project I spent over an hour, total, watching Youtube videos to teach myself to sculpt better. Aren't we so lucky? Anyone can do a search and have dozens of professionals offering training and technique tips in pretty much any artistic medium! So if you think, "I wish I could do that, but I can't." I would like to encourage you to give yourself some credit, art is a skill that is developed just like any other skill. If you want to pursue it you have the potential!

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