Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hairy bits

I had a sudden and undeniable urge to sculpt some hairy ponies. Hair has never been my thing and I have struggled with 2 dimension V's 3 dimension ...but I seem to have found my groove whilst sculpting Weathergirls tail.
I was particularly pleased with my new customs feathery legs when using this method, so I thought I would share :)

Step one is the armature. I cut a channel along Bluebell's crest, the exact same way as when I am doing braids (tutorial here). Once this is done I run a wave or fin of apoxie along the groove, squished and pressing with my fingers. I want this completely random, but still following the general shape I want the mane or tail to end up.
As you can see it is pretty awkward and ugly. I allow this to set completely.


3 Dimensional!

Next step is the real hair. I am using Aves Apoxie Sculpt and Methylated spirits. Metho will thin Magic Sculpt as well, but gets crumbly after a certain point, whereas Apoxie Sculpt goes gooey. This gooeyness is what I want.

I dip the Apoxie into the Metho ...


and knead. Dip and knead (maybe 3 or 4 times) until the clay is paste like, the consistency of peanut butter. It will be very very sticky, I have to to keep all tools and fingers wet with Metho to prevent sticking.


I now take that paste and smear it onto the armature. For this stage I keep the reference firmly within full view, squishing the clay around to create flow, valleys and hills with fingers and metho.


Tool time. For tools I use skewers that have been sharpened/rounded on sandpaper to different points, and a ball tool.


Dipping the tools constantly in the Metho, I begin to shape the hair. At this stage the detail is rough, very rough due to the clay being so soft. I am trying to add depth to the hair, individualise the clumps, and pull the clay out so it flows.


Once I have worked the clay, and am basically happy with where it is going, I take a really soft paint brush, dipped in the Metho, and begin to smooth out the lines I have just applied. I don't want to see any hair lines, just depth.


Bluebell was then left for an hour or two until the Apoxie firmed up, and became more like it's old self before being mixed with the Metho . This is when I go back with the ball tool and the sharp skewer and add the hair. Between scoring with the tools, I liberally paint with the Metho and soft paint brush to keep crumbs to a minimum.


End result :)

More soon ...