Monday, December 17, 2012

Making the Planet Of The Apes appliance sculpts

These are some of the process photos I shot while working on the Planet of the Apes makeups and costumes.  I made alginate life casts of my husband and myself.  Then poured plaster in the life cast to make a positive copy of our faces in order to sculpt the appliance on top. 

This step isn't necessary, but I often like to paint the life cast with an acrylic color that will match the color of the clay I'm going to be using. For these particular pieces, I used Van Aken clay in orange.  

Here are the final Zira and Cornelius sculptures.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bug Man, the space traveler.

Earlier this week I started sculpting a new concept for a mask.  The original idea was to create a giant insect mask that resembled an ant, fly or a bee.  However, as my sculpture began taking form, the piece looked more and more like an alien bug from outer space. Here are some W.I.P. photos of the new concept I'm exploring.

This is the original sketch.  It's very rough.

 This is the progress so far.  There are some obvious symmetry issues that will be fixed, and there's texture that will be added later on after I've reached a satisfactory place in the sculpture's overall shape.  In addition, I will be sculpting a set of antennae and pincers that will be molded and cast separately as individual pieces.

Here are a couple of profile photos.  Bug Man has a protective hood and neck piece shielding him from the dangers of space travel.  When the time comes to paint the mask after molding and casting this piece, it will be much easier to differentiate the protective coverings from the actual bug. 

More to come. 

Two character masks, before paint

Here are some work in progress pictures of the latest masks I've been working on.  I haven't had the chance to paint them yet, but as soon as I do I'll post the results.

Here is a look at the first pull I did of the zombie mask:

Here is the result of a demon sculpt I molded in the beginning of November.  The horns in the latex mask were filled with polyfoam.  Both masks need a little work.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Monsterpalooza Oct. 2012

Last Sunday, my husband and I put on our Beetlejuice Adam and Barbara costumes and attended the Monsterpalooza horror convention for the first time.  Here are some photos of the event.

Trick Or Treat Studios had a booth with their Halloween masks.

Rod Maxwell from Face Off applying his strawberry man makeup.

We had the honor of speaking with Academy Award winning makeup effects artist Steve LaPorte.  

 Francisco Hernandes monster designs. 

Bruce Fuller, master sculptor for Legacy Effects and Spectral Motion.

Standing with the Monsterpalooza 2012 winning makeup.  I didn't catch the artists name, unfortunately.   

Artist Mike Hill's Bride of Frankenstein tribute. 

Overall we had an amazing time and I wish we would have gone all three days.  Thankfully this convention happens twice a year (during the spring and fall) and we'll certainly be there with brand new costumes in April.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

New mold/new sketches

Hey everyone.  Yesterday I opened the zombie mold and everything looks pretty good.  The only problems with it are that part of the right ear broke on a spot, and there were a few bubbles on the gum line. These are fairly easy repairs though.  I'm out of latex so I'll buy some later today and see about casting a mask this afternoon.  Very exciting.

In the mean time, while brainstorming for ideas, I made some rough sketches of the next project I'd like to tackle.  I used a lot of reference material from Fangoria, the art of Warcraft, and even the new 6th edition Warhammer rule book.  I'm thinking about ordering The Art of Diablo from Amazon as it could be very useful for reference.

I have never sculpted a demon before so I thought I'd give it a try.  My plan is to have the sculpture finished by tomorrow night, (Saturday afternoon at the latest) and begin the mold by Sunday morning.  My husband and I are planning to go to Monsterpalooza this weekend, so I'm not sure how all of this work is going to fit into the schedule.  Maybe if I sculpt really fast we'll have enough time for everything.

Monday, October 22, 2012

B is for brains

I started a new zombie head sculpture last week. I've been using WED clay a lot lately and I have to say, unless I become rich and can afford buying a whole lot of Chavant, I think I'm going to stick with this stuff.   It may be relatively high maintenance trying to keep it from drying out, but you can sculpt pretty fast with it. Besides, I really like it's tactile quality; it's much different than working with oil based modeling clays.  I've tried using Van Aken and I found it to be super messy and I overall don't like sculpting with it as much.  Here are a few sketches I did before getting started on the sculpture.

Here are a few pictures of the work in progress.  I'd say it will probably be ready to be molded by early afternoon tomorrow.   


Barbara Maitland

Note: This is a continuation of the Beetlejuice masks of Adam and Barbara Maitland which I started in the previous post.

For the Barbara mask, I used a dummy head to sculpt on top of.  In the movie Beetlejuice, Barbara contorts  her face by stretching her upper and lower mandible outward, making her mouth look like a gigantic beak with teeth.  In order to successfully sculpt this shape, I needed to use a wire armature as a support structure, and sculpt around it.

For this project I used Amaco Permoplast oil based modeling clay.  Something I forgot to mention in prior posts is that I use a dedicated toaster oven to warm up and soften the clay to speed up my sculpting time.  Since the modeling clay comes in blocks, I cut them into workable pieces using a drywall knife and gradually heat up small amounts of clay at a time.  This makes the rough out stage go by much faster.  I filled in the negative spaces and began roughing out the general shape of the head.  Similarly to Adam, the Barbara sculpt wasn't very challenging.    Once the desired general shape of the sculpture was achieved, I began sculpting all the details.  

The mold process was tedious, to say the least.  I made a four part mold using Ultracal 30 and a lot of patience.  I also molded the tongue separately. 

It wasn't perfect but it would do the job effectively. After I pried the mold apart and cleaned any clay that had stuck to the crevices, it was ready to be cast out of liquid latex and polyfoam.  Once the mask dried and was ready to come out of the mold, I noticed the seams weren't great and the mask had mold lines everywhere.  I tried my best to repair these, but some of them were just to big and noticeable.  I sewed some together and patched others with latex to make them less apparent.  Then I painted the mask using Liquitex acrylics mixed with a Polycrylic protective coat. 

The eyeballs were made out of ping pong balls that were painted and glossed with 5min drying two-part epoxy resin.  I also cut a hole in the back of the throat for visibility which I hot glued a black screen to.  Then I hot glued a store bought wig I got from a local Halloween shop that looked similar to Gena Davis hair in the film.  And there you have it!