After a year of blood, sweat, tears, and bizarre skin conditions, my bust of President Barack Obama is finally complete and ready for prime time.
In this thread, I’m going to walk you through my learning-curve, if you will, as an untrained amateur sculptor just “figuring shit out” as I go along. Though this isn’t my first attempt at sculpting, it was a first for a lot of things and I learned a hell of a lot along my journey.
NOTE: I was going to post the “making of” photos of all my sculptures in order of their creation-- but frankenswine requested to see the process of this one first, and I don’t want to keep someone named frankenswine waiting. So here we go…
(A little back story, skip if you don’t care): In the summer of 2008, I had just come off of working on an independent feature length vampire movie directed by two friends of mine, who employed me to not only act in the film but supervise and execute it’s special effects and prop-making. Long-story-short, the movie fell through and I had a bunch of useless wooden stake weapons, unfinished miniature sets, and Plasticine clay lying around, I’ll post photos if anyone’s interested, but for now, never mind-- So come November 4th, 2008, unemployed and pessimistic, I’m drinking beer in a Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn when it happens- CNN commentators project that Barack Obama has won the election. I jumped for joy. The next day I decided to create a bust of "The Prez". A year later, I finished. Why a year? Another long story. Okay, I'm bored already, moving on to the process.)
Okay, first off, I screwed up from the beginning. Having cannibalized the sculpts of my miniature set walls (refer to back story) I began inadvertently to mix various clays of different hardness, and poorly at that. You can see it clearly in this enhanced image from the finished piece:
What this meant was that for the remainder of my time sculpting this piece, I could never achieve a smooth surface anywhere (which if you look close is obvious). Not being mixed nearly well enough, each patch of clay would respond to my tools according to its respective hardness, making my life a living hell.
But for the most part, I was happy with the way it started out. I thought it looked like Obama already and I was really excited. However, the piece had no internal support and, just being a pile of clay sitting on a piece of masonite-- it fell over, flattening one side of his face. (No picture available).
What I should have been doing was working out the large shapes, profile, proportions, etc, using photo references - before implementing any detail work in the first place. But as I was and still am quite new to proper sculpting techniques, and principles of art in general, I was too eager and just wanted to render out all the detail right away!
Stay tuned for Stage 2 - AND BEYOND!!!