Monday, November 17, 2008

Painting Preview

I'm working on a very large (somewhat experimental) digital painting that I hope to finish next week. Here's a small portion of the painting that I have mostly finished:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mask Making tutorial

Bianca requested a mask-making tutorial, so here it is! I may update this at a later date with pictures once I start my next mask.

What you need:

1 Box of Wheat Paste
1 Bottle of Wood Glue
An armature/face-form
Lots of brown paper bags (thinner preferably – like liquor store bags)
Clay (each Wild Thing Mask took one 25lb bag)
Tin Foil
Cooking Spray
Masking Tape

1. The first step you’ll need to take is to prepare your armature/face form. If you are making a large, full-face mask like my Wild Things, you’ll need to build up the foundation on an armature that you can reach from all sides. I used a pipe screwed onto an old lazy-Susan so that I can rotate my in-progress mask 360 degrees. If you are making a smaller more form-fitting mask, you can follow the instructions for making a face form here.

2. Once you have an armature, you should take your newspaper and start building up an inner core for your sculpted mask. This will enable you to make a large-scale mask without using tremendous amounts of clay. Crumple the newspaper and tape it tightly around the armature until you build up a ball just a little bit smaller than the size of your intended mask. You want to make sure to reinforce the newspaper the most at the top of the pipe because once you start adding clay, this is the point where your mask is most likely to break through. Because of this I like to add extra layers of newspaper or styrofoam around the top of the pipe. If your mask is going to have appendages like a long nose or big ears, you’ll want to reinforces these areas with styrofoam or wooden dowels so that the weight of the clay does not cause them to break off once you start your mask. When you’ve finished creating the newspaper core, you’ll want to spray it lightly with a little water so that they clay sticks better to the surface.

3. Now you add the clay. Treat this like any other sculpting project. Cover the general area of the mask in a layer of clay and then begin to build up the forms. Use whatever sculpting tools you have available to refine the shapes and add details.

4. Once you have a pretty good shape sculpted for your mask in clay, you’ll want to cover the clay in tinfoil. This allows you to smooth out the surface, refine details, and allows for easier excavation once it comes time to finish the mask. Slightly crumple a large sheet of tin foil a then press it down covering the entire surface of your mask. Use your sculpting tools to smooth out the bumps in the foil and to add stronger details.

5. Spray the tinfoil covered mask with a thin layer of cooking spray. This makes adding the first layer of papier mache a bit more difficult but again it makes for easier excavation once the mask is finished.

6. To make the papier mache mixture I use about two or three large scoops of wheat paste with a few cups of water and then add wood glue until the mixture becomes the consistency of snot. To prepare the brown paper bags, you’ll want to crumple each bag until the fibers break down to the point where each bag is as pliable as a piece of fabric. Allow each piece of bag to soak in the glue mixture for about 30 seconds to a minute and wring out the excess glue before putting it on the sculpted form. I try to use at least three layers of bags, sometimes a few more depending on the mask, before letting the mask dry. As the glue dries I like to refine the details even more.

7. Let the mask dry for at least 48 hours. If you remove the clay before the mask is completely dry on the inside it could warp. Once you’re sure your mask is dry, pull it off the armature and pull out the inner newspaper core. Now you should be able to reach between the clay/tin foil and the papier mache and pull out large chunks of the clay from the inside of the mask.

8. Once the clay is completely removed you’re pretty much done. You’ll now have a very solid, lightweight form that you can finish as you choose. You can cut eye holes/decorative elements easily with exacto knives and you can sand down the surface for a smoother texture. If you plan to paint the mask I like to gesso the surface first and then use acrylic paint, but I encourage you to experiment with different materials!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

As promised...

Group photos!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Photos!

Here's the first round of photos from our night out as the Wild Things! No group picture yet, but I know some were taken

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Costume Update!

Here's me in the first of the four costumes (Two others are finished but I don't have pictures yet). Still missing here are the fangs, the claws, and the duck feet. I'll post more pictures as I have them!

Friday, October 17, 2008





Daily DIY

Monday, October 6, 2008

Where the Wild Things Are - Masks!

So I know I've been neglecting this blog recently. But there's a good reason for that. All of my spare time after work for the past month and a half has been spent working on these masks:

I'm so excited with the way that they've turned out. The only thing left to do is create teeth and horns for three of the four masks. Here are some individual pictures

Now to make the body suits.....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Where the Wild Things Are - Mask #1

My housemates and I are going to go as the characters from Where the Wild Things are for Halloween and I'm starting making the costumes. This is the beginning of the first of the four masks. I made the base shape out of clay and covered it in tin foil to refine the shape. Next I will add papier mache and then the mask will be ready to paint. The pictures are not the best, especially with the tin foil, but you can see the beginnings of the face of the monster with the striped fur

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Kitty Sketch

Another doodle of one of the cats at work done while waiting on a render

Friday, August 8, 2008

Trying again

Another Threadless submission
Leaf Peeping - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
Even if it doesn't get printed, I really enjoyed doing the illustration. I had the idea for the drawing very exact in my head, and I think I was very successful in translating that image to the page (or well, computer screen in this case). I like the effect of coloring with gradients. I think it is an effect that I will continue to explore.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Peter and the Wolf

The very end of Peter and the Wolf came on the radio a few days ago (though unfortunately not the one narrated by Boris Karloff) and I was inspired to do an illustration. Right now this is just a sketch, I may take it to a complete picture in the future

Monday, August 4, 2008

Animation-ish Doodle

Just playing with the trial version of Animation-ish.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kitty Doodles

Doodling one of the cats at work during a break.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Little Gremlins and other things

I've been having fun this weekend designing T-shirts for various contests online. I did two for This American Life's contest, and since it is a good way to get my work out there, I've been working a bit on some Threadless submissions. Check out my newest one here:

Gremlin Dance Party - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Festival Updates

Hooray! Drawn Conclusion was selected to be shown at the Frame Damage Animation Festival in Colorado starting August 15th. I'll have more information about the day and time later, but if you happen to be in Denver on those dates you should definitely go check it out!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lazy Day Doodles

There's nothing quite like sitting in bed, watching trashy TV, and doodling.


A few days ago we had a very sweet, but very sickly looking stray kitty hanging around our house. My boyfriend started calling her "Jupiter." We fed her and she kept returning to the back porch every afternoon. After a few days, we decided to take her to the vet (and on the way there she managed to pee all over the seat of my new car). As it turned out, she had some pretty major thyroid problems. The vet graciously offered to take her in. This is in tribute to Jupiter. Hopefully she is doing well in her new home.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Silly Face Doodles

Just some experiments I was doing with different base face shapes for different types of people (with apologies for the dark picture, it was drawn in my sketchbook and photographed with my laptop's built-in camera).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mask Doodles

Working out some ideas for masks that I want to make in the future

Drawn Conclusion on Youtube

I've finally uploaded my Div III film to youtube! You can also view it and learn more information on my website (which is now no longer hosted from Hampshire's site).

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Cutest Thing I Saw Today

As seen on the walk to work: Rock-and-roll-Dad reading a well-loved copy of Harry Potter 1 to his small child wearing over-sized plastic Harry Potter glasses. Adorable.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Flapper Sketch

Just a flapper doodle to get myself thinking about a music video that I may be working on in the next few months.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Old Kappa

Four years of Japanese with my high school Sensei instilled in me a pretty healthy appreciation for the kappa. For those unfamiliar with the creatures, basically they are crusty little water demons that eat cucumbers and hang out in toilets waiting to grab the asses of unsuspecting patrons. I woke up this morning thinking about the little guys and this is what emerged. He's pretty old and feeble, but he can still manage a few slick tricks now and again.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Chicky doodle

Just a little chickadee sketch. Playing around with quick, gestural drawings in Photoshop.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tests and Sunsets

This is a test and a first post. I plan to make this blog a place for news and updates about my thesis film Drawn Conclusion as I begin the process of entering it into festivals and well as become a place for me to collect my recent sketches and new project ideas.

For now I'll leave you with a quick sketch done as I was nearing the end of production on this film. It is the view out my bedroom window.