Monday, November 3, 2008

Own Art challenge: Part Two!

Hi all,
This is part two of my interpretation of the Own Art challenge. I have included full photos and instructions so YOU can have a go too!

In part one I started with my chosen subject of Wisteria vines and worked it into a sketch in my journal. I decided that I then wanted to try it represented as a textural sculptural piece.

Here is my result!:

This is wood base sculpture approx 6"x 12"

My goals for this piece were to
  1. Produce a 3dimensional representation inspired by my sketch and photos.
  2. Work in a textural medium
  3. Maintain a color washed effect
As I have reached these goals I am labeling this piece as complete in my mind however I ideas for further working it. More likely though, I will explore those ideas in another project.


1. First up I wrapped a block of wood in a piece of white tissue and baby muslin, hot gluing it securely to the back of the wood.

2. I then hot glued chunks of Floracraft Styrofoam onto the base in the general shape of my subject. This gave my piece height and stability for the detail to come.

3. Once the main shape was in place I started to cut into the foam to create more defined areas.

4. Using my sketch as a guide I continued to cut into the Styrofoam base with a scalpel and started adding a surface of Paperclay. Paperclay is an airdry clay that is receptive to detail. It dries fairly quickly so ideally it is best to start and finish this step in one go. If you need to leave your project during this step be sure to cover securely with plastic wrap to slow down the drying.

5. This photo shows the sculpture now covered in Paperclay and I am just working up the detail in shapes. My main emphasis here is to maintain the fluid motion of the shapes. Cutting lines into the background helped me visually differentiate between the background and forground as well as adding texture.

6. Once the Paperclay was dry I individually added small squares of baby muslin to the surface with Gel Medium. Using a pushing/dabbing motion with my paintbrush I could push the muslin into the cracks and creases. The baby muslin adds interesting texture and dimension to the piece as well as making the overall sculpture stronger. (much like a plaster cast! - and yes it does look like an archeological discovery!)

7. Using an old French dictionary I tore tiny pieces and used the gel medium to apply to the surfaces that would appear to be in shadow.

8. I then applied a coat of white gesso to the entire surface (going very light over the text) and allowed to dry. This is to even out some of the tones where the wood showed through and also give a good surface for applying color.

9. To add color to the piece I used the Derwent Watercolor pencils I had previously worked with in my sketch. Applying the pencil to the areas I wanted the most intensity of color then using my water brush to lightly bring subtle color the the highlight areas.

This was continued over the whole piece using a neutral color in the background.

Detail showing the coloring

Thankyou for following my process! I welcome your questions or comments and would love to see your Own Art results!

take care