Friday, 13 July 2012

Puttng skin on the sculpture

This post is going to be all about putting skin on my sculpted head, and doing the various bits of fine tuning that will make it look like a head, instead of a work in progress.

This is what it looks like now.  For an in-depth look at how it got to here:  





...from here, which is what it looked like at the end of the last post:


...see after the jump.

I used two kinds of paper here, and that's important.  The volume of the head is done with paper pulp, and for top quality paper pulp you can't go past our soft, absorbent friend the toilet roll.  By contrast, paper towels are designed to stay together even when wet and therefore don’t make great paper pulp, but they are good for doing skin.  Because I want pebbly skin like you see on some lizards, I added little lumps underneath the skin layer.




Finished knobbly skin


I started with the eyelids and lips.


At this point, I’m not very happy with the jaw on this thing.  The lower jaw is just sitting there with nothing that looks like it could be a hinge structure.  That’s not right.  It's okay though, because I'm working with paper pulp here and I can just add more volume where necessary.
That's more like it

I left the ears til last, and there's a good reason for that: I was putting them off.  Ears are one of the things that will make or break a sculpture.  It doesn't matter how good the rest of the head is, if the ears aren't right it will look like shit.  Ears are also complex structures, so it's best to start this step by taking a long look at pictures of real ears.


Finished ears waiting to be stuck on the head



Getting your ears in the right place is important.  Human ears sit roughly between the eyebrows and the bottom of the nose, but since these aren't human ears I've got a bit of wiggle room here.  The really important thing is to make sure the ear canal and cartillage structures are present and correct.




In this photo you can also see one of the things that makes paper towels good for simulating skin.  They wrinkle up nicely wherever you need some little folds in the skin.  You just have to gently push the paper towel around with your fingers.  


That's it for the head, apart from painting it.  Next time, I'll talk about hands.