Feb 3, 2013

Sparky WIP

Well, this is weird.

I'm a big fan of figurines. I appreciate the design and all the hard work that goes to them. But I'm not that huge collector of them (unless it is extremely cool or The Lion King related). Instead of that, I tend to buy collectible toys and figurines for others, usually as birthday gifts. 

So, last week I bought some figurines and got this irresistible urge to sculpt something. Anything! Instead of trying something hyper realistic and overly complicated, I thought it would be smart to sculpt something simple at first. Because let's face it, I haven't sculpted anything for.. probably over 10 years. When you have that kind of gap in any artistic field you have to start from the beginning or at least the simple things.

I haven't seen Frankenweenie (2012) yet but I really wanted to sculpt the dog character from the movie, Sparky. It's tiny, simple and quite cute character to work with. Luckily, I still had some Super Sculpey that I had bought one or two years ago so I could start sculpting right away.

For those who don't know, Super Sculpey is quite cool modeling clay. Many people like it because it is very soft  (a fresh Super Sculpey is so soft that you can easily push your finger in it) and it doesn't dry even if you leave it on table for weeks or even months. When it is baked you can polish it with sandpaper, drill it, paint it and do lots of other stuff to it. Many professionals use it to sculpt lots of awesome things. 

Now my Super Sculpey has a bit dried because it is almost two years old. But I could still sculpt something out of it. Because I'm not yet doing anything super detailed I don't need the clay to be extremely soft. The clay does get softer when you take little pieces and roll it in your hands but not as soft as it should be. But it's still workable and that's fine with me.

The sculpture is still  in process but it looks pretty promising.. Of course there's lot's of stuff to fix, like to make him more chubby, fix they eyes and eyebrows and stuff like that. But I'm optimistic. At least for now.

I can't really tell how I work when I am making a sculpture. It's the same thing with drawing and making paper crafts: I just do it. I don't make any plans beforehand unless I'm working on something that has very delicate parts and has to be done extremely carefully. When I was sculpting Sparky, I checked some images that I found from Google and just got into work. 

Maybe the most important thing that I have noticed while working on character that is not mine is that I don't even try to make it look on model right away. I make the character look like I think it looks. This way I can experiment a little bit and and pour out how I would work and stylize this character. 

When I have done a certain part, like the head, I check the reference to see what the head is really supposed to look. I check the differences and make the fixes. I don't feel bad for my mistakes, I just make observations and get back to work. It's more like "Oh, the head should be more chubbier.. More clay to the face then!". 

This sculpture doesn't have an armature inside of it because I don't have any wire to build one. The only tool that I use to make Sparky's tiny thin legs to hold his body is to put cocktail sticks inside the legs. I have tested them in my previous test sculpture and they worked very well. Nothing bad happens to them when the sculpture is put into oven.

I don't even have any fancy tools to sculpt. Just a toothpick, surgical knife and a small plastic spoon. Most of the time I use the toothpick to blend the clay pieces together and smoothen the surface.

Some pics of the early stages..

I'm curious will I ever actually finish this. I mean, it was never my goal to actually finish whatever I started to sculpt in the first place.


  1. Wow, that is amazing~! ^u^ It looks exactly like Sparky~! It is so adorable and cute~~!! ^u^