Tag Archives: anatomy

Art Challenge – Day #6-10

30 Day Art Challenge

Day #6-10

Welcome back everyone to the better late than never post! All the art more or less got done, I am simply horrible at documenting my work. So let’s get on with this shall we? Here are another five installments of the art challenge:

Day #6 – Microscopic

Day six was a weird day for me. This part of the challenge just so happened to fall during the worst days of a flu which wrecked everyone in my household.

So, high on cold medicine, I scoured the internet for microscopic organisms. I ended up combining three or four types of organisms into one psychedelic freak of nature that probably should not exist. I think what I am trying to say is don’t do drugs kids.

*Watercolor and gouache 

Day #7 – Anatomy

On day 7 I think I was coming off of the drugs, but I was in a dark place. We all know this point of being sick where the symptoms begin to fade but we are still not well enough to actually be productive. My face felt like it was on fire from blowing my nose, and I couldn’t breathe to save my life.

Sadly, I took out my frustration at being confined to my couch on this poor teddy bear. I wanted to know what made him tick, and what made him so damn happy and cute all the time. I am probably one of the few people on this planet that finds the idea of a teddy skeleton adorable.

*Gouache 

Day #8 – Fungi

Day eight I painted the fungi zombies from the video game The Last of Us so I could tie this challenge in with my fungi study article. The Last of Us article ended up being pushed back anyway, which contributed to both of these posts being unforgivably late.

For those of you not familiar with the game, the zombie hoards in this universe are created by a parasitic fungi. There are different stages of infection ranging from the early stage “runner” (bottom), and the deadly “clicker” (top). I wanted a brighter color palette so they ended up looking a little psychedelic. Don’t do drugs kids.

*Watercolor and gouache

Day #9 – Hate

I struggled with day 9 well past the deadline where I was supposed to have finished this piece. I thought I would maybe tie it into the “love” day’s sculpture, but I felt I just could not translate hate properly. Finally I settled on another painting, this time of a cute little voodoo doll that resembles Lilo’s doll from Lilo and Stitch.

In the end this piece really came together in the end. It is actually one of my favourites so far in the challenge.

*Gouache

Day #10 – Comic

Day 10 was another one that really gave me a tough time, which is not what I expected. When I cobbled the list together I expected that I would do a tiny three panel comic of some sort, but for some reason nothing came to mind.

Then it occurred to me that it has been years since I have done a traditional India Ink comic book style illustration. This is another multi-day project that put me farther behind, but it was worth the effort!

Say hello to one of my favourite comic book protagonists, Cassie Hack from Hack/Slash, dressed as my favourite villain Freddy Krueger. I’m a huge fan of pin-ups and pretty burlesque girls, and Cassie is no stranger to seductive posing.

Next Time

Thanks for joining me again. Come visit next time for days #11-15 … hopefully in a timely manner, but at this point I make no guarantees.

The List - LINK
Days #1-5 - LINK

Cheers,

Starchip13

Bones and Beasties

What makes a monster?

The best monsters were made from the inside out; from bones to muscles. Even impossible creatures should have a basis in reality. Otherwise it becomes so unbelievable it is no longer frightening.

In short: bones and flesh make a monster.

For the same reason that every artist benefits from life drawing classes, anatomy classes are an invaluable tool. Learning how bones and muscles fit together under the skin creates an understanding of proportion and realistic movement.

Here are a couple places I reference when I need some inspiration:

 

book-cover
The Resurrectionist Cover Art

The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Doctor Spencer Black by E.B. Hudspeth. 

 

Strangely, this was in my amazon recommendation list. I cannot imagine why. I never knew it before I read this, but I needed a 1870’s style medical textbook. This is monster design at its best.

Ever wondered what the most well known mythical creatures through history look like under the skin? The Resurrectionist is here to answer all your questions about everything from dragons to mermaids. This book is beautifully illustrated and a heck of a fun read. Delve into the work of Doctor Spencer Black, son of a grave robber, as he travels the globe with carnivals gathering research for The Extinct Animalia.

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Mermaid Anatomy – The Resurrectionist

Body Worlds – Gunther Von Hagens 

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Body Worlds Display by Gunther Von Hagens

As educational as it is macabre, Body Worlds gives you an inside look at everything you could possibly want to know about the body.

These displays look like models, but make no mistake these are real human bodies. German doctor Gunther Von Hagens developed a process called plastination, which is the process of infusing tissue with plastic. The bodies are perfectly preserved, cut into cross sections, and dynamically posed.

I had the opportunity to see one of these shows while I was a student, and it is still, hands down, the best opportunity to study anatomy and muscle movement.

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Gunther Von Hagens at Body Worlds Exhibition

As a side note: I highly recommend looking up videos of this man on Youtube. Particularly for the clip of him crashing a plastic head on a toy car to demonstrate brain damage. It is actually funnier than it sounds.

Pinterest

https://www.pinterest.com/starchip13/

Last but not least, pinterest has been a valuable tool for me when I find I need to compile references and tutorials. I use my pinterest account for everything from doll making to skeletal references.

If any of my readers share similar interests I invite you to follow me (or one of my boards) on pinterest. Let’s share the pictures that inspire us.

Starchip13

 

Jackalope Skull

Some of you probably recall me posting about my rabbit skull and skeleton studies a while back. For those of you just now joining me, the project currently holding my attention is a study on mythical creature anatomy and skeletons. To be specific, in this instance I have decided to begin my journey with something small and simple in design. Say hello to the mighty majestic Jackalope … or at least the rough base for what will be a jackalope.

Roughed out sculpt
Roughed out sculpt

The jackalope was made famous as a hoax in the 1930s when a couple of clever gentlemen grafted deer antlers to the head of a taxidermy hair. It has some basis in a disease known to cause abnormal bone growth in rabbits, but it was mostly just a way to rope in tourists as far as I can tell.

You can begin your jackalope journey here on the jackalope wiki page if you would like more information on the cutest hoax of the 1930s.

Moving onto the project proper, I of course began this journey by staring at a model rabbit skull for a few hours. To get a true sense of proper proportions I drew some preliminary sketches from side, bottom and top views. That is what professional artists do, right?

For this sculpt, I am using chavant (also known as monster clay). It is an oil based clay which behaves a lot like Plasticine. It is commonly used for sculpting movie makeup prosthetics because it does not dry out, it can be easily reheated and reused, and it is incredible for holding detail. It comes in three densities: soft, medium and hard. I prefer to use medium for my projects as soft holds less detail (and gets damaged easier when casting) and the hard version is a pain to work with (literally, it is killer on my wrists). One of these days perhaps I will do a sculpting tutorial with chavant to demonstrate different ways to sculpt with this material.

I happened to have a tub of recycled chavant left over from making my zombie makeup. Since the scale is going to be about one half of a true sized rabbit I decided I had more than enough for this project. It is refreshing to work on something small scale after spending weeks building a nine foot fur monster.

As you can see from the above picture, I have the size and overall shape of the skull mapped out. The next step in the process will be to add the horns and then start in with the details. I don’t use any sort of special tools for this job. Mainly I stick with a pin tool and a pointed wooden sculpting tool you can find in any beginner sculpting kit. For the final texturing I will be using a course sponge to give the illusion of porous bone. The sponge will also get rid of any unusual ridges or burs from the sculpting process.

From here it will be on to casting. I have personally never made a mold of something this small, and I am a little concerned about bubbles forming either in the silicone or in the plastic I will be using to make the copies.

I will post progress pictures as this project gets underway. There will likely be a delay in updates for the jackalope skull as my due date for my large monster project is fast approaching. If this turns out well perhaps I will start sculpting skulls for creatures of my own design. That could be a lot of fun!

Cheers,

Starchip13

Sketching Animal Skulls

I’ve always loved skeletons and skulls so I thought it might be fun to sculpt some mythical creature skeletons and cast them. That way I can make multiples in plastic to sell. My first idea is mainly just to do the skull, but with extended plans to do an entire skeleton once I work out the technical bits. Maybe for Christmas I will make them with little Santa hats included. You know, to be festive.

I like to be fully prepared and do my research before starting any project so I have been staring long and hard at rabbit skulls for the past couple of weeks. I’ve done some rotation drawings to try and get a grasp of all the different shapes and sutures involved. While I don’t expect to include every single bone in the body, I do intend to keep them as accurate as possible. I fully intend on counting ribs and vertebrae to acheive a realist feel.

Here are some of the sketches I have come up with so far. Can anyone guess what the first mythical animal is going to be?

Yes, it is the majestic jackalope of North American folklore. The fluffy bunny rabbit with antelope horns. One of the more well-known hoaxes of the 1930s, the “authentic stuffed jackalope” was made by grafting horns to a stuffed taxidermy rabbit. For a full description of the origin of the jackalope and its role in popular culture a very informative wiki page can be found here.

Yes, I will admit I am doing this one simply because I wanted an excuse to draw bunnies (and bunny skulls). The jackalope is truly the cutest of all mythical creatures.

As far as construction for my purposes goes, the references are rabbit and deer. The placement of the horns is a little awkward as a rabbit skull is not sloped in the same way as a deer. I also discovered I actually hate drawing antlers.

As of right now I have started blocking out a miniature skull in monster clay. If nothing else it is good anatomy practice.

The casting process for this project is going to be a major hurtle. Either this will have to be strategically posed, or this will have to be cast as separate pieces and glued together later. Regardless, the antlers of this project will be done separately. Having it be hollow verses solid plastic is also something to consider seeing as the ribs will be delicate if cast as a hollow sculpture.

These are all things to consider. I simply wanted to share my thought process as I go along so I have a record of each step. As I go along I will share was does and does not work, and I will post updates when (and if) I decide to include this in an Etsy store. If I can figure out a way to make these with any sort of efficiency you can bet I will make it available in a variety of fun colours! That is festive, right?

Cheers,

Starchip13