Tag Archives: skeleton

Art Challenge Days #1-5

Art Challenge: Day #1-5

Welcome to the 30 Day Art Challenge update for days one through five.

Sorry these art pieces are a little belated in terms of getting them out on their specified day. I have been working on these consistently day to day, but I am discovering that the scale of each of my projects are too large for the timeline I have set for myself. Clearly I need to scale everything back just a bit and concentrate on quality over quantity.

For now, here is the first batch of art pieces I have made this month! Enjoy.

Day #1 – Self Portrait

I wanted to start off with something I haven’t done in several weeks, and that was a photoshop piece. No banners do not count. For my self-portrait I chose to do something that is half way between my own style and something a little Tim Burton. The yarn is so that you definitely know it is me.

This piece is one of the main reasons that I fell behind right off the bat. Between the line art and scouring for textures, this piece is not something I could crank out in a short drawing session. Love how it turned out though.

Day #2 – Scenery

When I think of scenery right now I think of the game with some of the most stunning visuals and environments I have played in a long time. Unravel is so very detailed, saturated and immersive that I feel like I could reach out and touch the thistle patch.

Learning from my previous mistakes, I scaled this piece down significantly from my self portrait piece. This was done in water color and gouache, and measures at about 3×5 inches. I’m a little annoyed with the yarn along the bottom, but all in all I really like how this one turned out.

Day #3 – Love

I had a bunch of spare sculpy lying around, so I thought why not? This tiny sculpture is only about as big around as a toonie (for all of my Canadian friends). It is based on a sketch I did back in the summer titled “Until Death Do Us Part”. It was basically a darker take on couples merging into one person as part of the relationship.

This one is technically incomplete as I have no idea what I want the color scheme to be. I plan on finishing this before the end of the challenge. Any thoughts on colors guys??

Day #4 – Tattoo

Day four featured the tattoo challenge, and for some reason everything afterward ended up looking a lot like a tattoo design. This piece is done in black gouache and is 5×7 inches.

I tried to push myself outside of my comfort zone with this piece. Obviously this is not referring to the skull in the middle. We all know how comfortable I am with drawing bones. I actually dislike drawing and painting roses. I am fine with almost any other flower, but my roses always came out looking chunky and awkward. I think these might me some of the favourite roses that I have ever illustrated.

Day #5 – Skeleton

Day five’s skeleton is almost interchangeable with day four. I wanted to steer clear of a purely technical drawing, so I took a lot of artistic licences with the overall design and shape.

The ribcage ended up looking a little more cluttered than I would have liked. It is a little hard to see but the rib bones are meant to be branches full of bleeding hearts. Bleeding hearts are a type of flower that flourishes in heavily shaded areas, which is why I paired it with the moth motif. I may come back to this one a little later and add some splashes of color, but for now I am over all happy with how this turned out.

Next Time:

Tune in later this week for 30 Day Art Challenge Days #6-10. This challenge is making me sweat already, so let’s see how this goes!

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:

 

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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

 

November 2014 Featured Artist: Mythic Articulations

Featured Artist: Mythic Articulations

Jackalope by Mythic Creations
Jackalope by Mythic Creations
Website: Link
Etsy: Link
Facebook: Link
Twitter: Link
Tumblr: Link

My second featured artist for November I found while clicking around on etsy. Naturally, I spend my time looking up skeletons and mythical creatures, which took me to the Mythic Articulations shop.

Opened in 2013, the goal of mythic articulations is to create what nature won’t. Mythic articulations offers a variety of skeletons and skulls of all of the mythic creatures you could ever think of … and maybe some you have not.

With technology growing and becoming accessible there are new opportunities for makers to create things that would be impossible or impractical to make with traditional methods. The skeletons of Mythic Articulations are created with a 3D modeling program, which is then made into the final product with a 3D printer. Like traditional methods, this process is meticulous and time consuming in its own way, but the results are stunning. Check out the product for yourself.

Obviously one of the biggest advantages of 3D printing technology is that Mythic Articulations artists can create one digital “master” with incredibly small and fine pieces. Some of the items in this shop contain some crazy intricate detail. I am a huge fan of the 3D tribal skull!

For those interested in one of these pieces please visit the Mythic Articulations Etsy store. Please ensure that you order before the end of November if this is to be a Christmas gift … if you have someone in your life like me who would love a skeleton for Christmas. That is normal right? Skeletons are cool.

If anyone has a suggestion for the next featured artist please feel free to comment.

Cheers,

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