Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wow...I really have been very busy at work lately. I now have very little time to devote to painting thanks to my unyielding work schedule; but I did find enough time to show another piece I completed a few months ago.
As a follow up to my previous Spiderzero Mantis post, I present to you the painted clear Spider head that Simon provided me with. This piece was completed before the Mantis, and it was my first attempt at experimenting with painting onto a clear medium.
The entire approach to painting clear or translucent castings is quite different than working with an opaque material. One must be light handed and use a good bit of forethought. I'm fairly pleased with the way this turned out, but after looking at it I decided to make a few subtle changes. And when I say subtle, I mean very subtle... you may or may not even notice them in comparison to the post of the Spider head next to the Mantis in the previous post; but it needed to be done in my eyes.
I believe I would've liked this piece to turn out to be a bit more translucent, but I did achieve the look I was initially after: that of an old and withered creature. A few people who've seen it commented on how it even looks as if it's been burned, and it does appear that way; which is perfectly fine by me.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
In 2008 Simon Lee, (aka Spiderzero), of Big Blue Tree released a piece of Art named 'Butterball'. I'll discuss Butterball at another time, but let me just say that that piece replenished my faith in the possibility of original designs still having a pulse in the post Fewture Models era.
With the purchase of Butterball, Simon also included a bonus piece along with the first run of castings of the kit: a small resin mini bust of a Mantis creature. The Mantis mini bust is 3.25" tall and the largest of the succeeding bonus creature designs, and was cast in an opaque off white resin.
After painting several of these amazing creature busts I began to fantasize of the possibilities of working with one of these pieces cast in a clear or translucent resin. I went on to plead my case to Simon, and after pestering him for some time about it, he finally buckled and sent me castings of both his Mantis and Spider creature busts.
After combing over some photos of Praying Mantids I opted to go with a very simple, pale color scheme with a subtle green cast. I experimented with a incomplex dark pattern, but I felt like it was far too distracting. The antennae 'stalks' were sculpted using translucent Super Sculpey, and the antennae proper were made from guitar string. I finished it off with a scrap piece of 2x4 which was stained with dark acrylic colors.
The Mantis is my favorite of the mini creature designs Simon has released. It's bulbous eyes and extraterrestrial looks are so appealing to me, and I hope that one day Simon will realize this creature study as a full figure piece. To see more of Simon Lee's wonderfully original artwork, visit his website at: bigbluetree.com