furniture side-trip

November 27th, 2015 by _d2_

this last week i spent at least half my time working on the chaise for plague and pestilence. i need to get it done ASAP so i can take some gallery shots, but now i’m slightly stumped with how to proceed since i’ll be making some cushions for it as well and covering part of it in fabric…. i want to be sure i sculpt it in such a way that the fabric can still be attached easily….

so i took pics of the chaise with my finished dolls, but the pics didn’t turn out so well… but i realized after the pics that i needed to cut the legs shorter:

kame decided to sit back and take a rest – she recently stole another doll’s wig and has been lording it up since.

i’m also trying to decide if i’ll put a fourth leg on the chaise, in the middle of the back…

the next step was to start with the sculpting to bulk it out – i decided to try starting out using some of the venus paper clay i’d gotten from dollmore… it’s an interesting clay, very soft/moist and when it dries, it’s nice to sand and carve… but it’s almost TOO soft when wet, as the clay easily sags… so i’ll be figuring out a different clay now…. i have some other stuff i’d also gotten from dollmore so i may try that.

but i did use it to make some emblems to go on the chaise from some press-molds i’d gotten (i think these are the mod-podge ones? i don’t recall for sure, but i got them at michaels and they’re supposed to be for hot glue, but i’ve used them now for flumo, resin, and now paper clay and they’re really nice, just a bit limited in the shapes)

the other thing i did was getting mononoke’s arm and tentacle pieces sealed up for molding and finishing up her hands and torso for the time being:

and while those molds are finishing curing, i’ve pulled out amaterasu to work on as well as realizing that i miss having big girls to wear all those awesome shoes BJD companies keep coming out with (looking at you, angell-studio and dollheart! ) so i started on a body for the saru head i had set aside – she’s all primed up as i had attempted to put her into resin at one point, but failed miserably… so i’ll probably remold her to pour with flumo in the next few days as well…. i have possible plans for a rabbit girl with a copy of this body as well, if it goes okay.

i must apologize up front for the straw – i clearly wasn’t thinking when i decided to use it to create the channel down the body (i was using the rest of the venus clay, and it sags so much that it needed to be supported as it dries, or else it would just sort of gloop into a vaguely human blob…. )

not a lot of progress…

November 20th, 2015 by _d2_

because winter came roaring in (though we were lucky to only have our power out for 4 hours) there was some stuff to do around the house that i thought we’d have more time to do (finish making winter curtains, cleaning gutters, gathering up leaves and trimming back all of the plants). so i didn’t get as much art stuff done as i’d like this last week, but i did make some progress.

first up i started a chaise pattern for plague and pestilence, and i found a potential frame for the drawing as well… i need to do some touch up on the frame, but here are some *cough*blurry*cough* pics of those two projects:

i’ve since cut the base of the chaise out of foamboard and started to glue it together. my goal is to then use paper clay or another airdry clay (i have some korean ones) to build up the piece and all the decoration since i don’t know woodworking really… and then stain it to look like really dark mahogany or ebony with dark velvet cushions/padding.

i’ve also made some slow progress on mononoke – her other hand has been mostly completed, and i’m slowly getting all her little tentacle pieces finished so i can try to seal them up along with the arm pieces while we have some sunny (but cold) weather outside – the primer takes forever to dry in the cold, but i can still spray it outside and let it sit for a few hours to off-gas, then bring inside to dry over night. and then i get to mold them and wait for the molds to dry and hope i can cast in the cold decently…

i must admit, i hope i never have to teach how i make hands because it’s not really a method i can describe… start out with vague baseball glove shaped lump of clay, cut and roughly position fingers, then… i just start carving it down into a shape that feels right for the doll… all my hands start out in roughly the same pose (which i’ll admit can be seen when you start comparing all the hands i do) and as i work them i’ll break fingers and reposition them, or carve them down and build up… it’s all very random and spur of the moment… and it happens FAST. as in one day it’ll look like the second pic, but by the end of the next day it’ll be almost completely refined, like the third one (i could probably even do it in a day if i used an oven to dry out my clay).


November 14th, 2015 by _d2_

i’m finally sharing pics of my octopus girl, mononoke. she’s named after the original word for what later became know as yokai and means something mysterious and fearsome (generally a natural force). i picked it because while there are a couple of octopus based yokai, nothing fit my girl… in fact, i was having a hard time defining her at all… i could see this elegant and evil creature lurking in the depths, but beyond that i didn’t know who she was.

i’ve been at work with this girl for a few months now, and i’m playing with some new ideas – including using imbedded eyes. she’s sporting a test pair that i made. i’m also playing with a new idea for the neck connection.

anyway – here is what i have so far. her face is done (for the most part). i will be closing up her head once she’s all done, so i’m not bothering too much with the back of the head right now. which is good, because i have enough pieces to try and keep track of as is (when all done, this girl will have roughly 112 pieces in total…)

with each doll i try out new ideas to try and allow for both better aesthetics and posing. it’s a fine line to balance on, but can be well worth it once you get it.

so for her neck, i decided to imbed a hook in the bottom of her head which the elastic would then loop through. the top of her neck then has a hole and slit system to allow movement – it’s not as free moving as a more traditional method with the hook inside the head, but it also allows for a sleeker look than when i was putting a ball on the bottom of the head while still letting me do more strange head shapes and what not.

now why does she have no mouth, you might be thinking. simple – her mouth is lower down. she’s sort of a siren-like being – someone who lures men to their doom. she’ll have a pretty face and a fan to hide behind coquettishly.

truth be told – i had perhaps too much fun making her beak and little radula.

and i’ve also gotten one of her hands done – the one which will hold the fan… i don’t know why i keep starting with the left arm…

i also have a tentacle mostly done – she will have eight “legs” but to keep things more even, i plan on molding the prototype pieces and casting 8 legs to use.

creature sketch dump..

November 9th, 2015 by _d2_

well, okay, only a couple of creatures – the rest are from my sketch-a-day project this month….. not only am i doing animals, but i’m also trying to play around with different face types and expressions….

however, while i’m managing to get different expressions, i’m afraid i don’t have much variety in my features… sigh…

but still having fun:

these first few are just random ideas that i really like…

and here are the rest of the animal portraits that i’ve done so far -

bamboo pit viper

peacock spider

praying mantis

northern bald ibis

hercules moth

i swear i’m still sculpting!

November 3rd, 2015 by _d2_

but since the two main projects can’t be shared (one is work for a class, and the other is a present for a friend) i’m going to continue with my sketch dumps.

this time around i have a few monsters, since halloween just happened. once, long long long ago i enjoyed this holiday… but not so much anymore. only good part is that nickelodeon plays an invader zim mini-marathon on halloween, and i just adore the zim halloween episode! (i’m also a huge fan of dib, he’s my favorite, but there’s almost no dib stuff out there… my roommate on the other hand loves gir. i suppose it evens out the TMNT inequality i described in my donnie post).

i also started my next big picture – this one of amaterasu. yes, my spider girl – she will be finished soon! once i clear off the 4 current dolls on my plate (the other two i’m working on are mononoke – an octopus – and 3 fingered jack – a pumpkin head. however i have no real progress pics on them because they’re at the boring lumpy stage of being made).

i finished up the one for plague and pestilence, but i’m having a killer time finding frames… i’m working on 14×17 paper – which i *thought* was a standard size… but i’m having a heck of a time finding a frame that will work – they’re either all 16×20 or 12×16 – and while i could mat the picture to fit the 16×20, my parents are currently out of town for the next month so i can’t get one custom cut – they have a mat cutter so all i have to do is buy the mat, and my mom will cut it for free ^^ )

anyway – enough babbling… here are the drawings:

first up, amaterasu of course. she might not look like much here – i’m working with iphone pics of my artwork right now… but she’s maybe only 1/3 of the way done anyhow.

also this last week in october, nickelodeon played the “ninja tribunal” season of the mid-2000 TMNT… well… that was certainly an experience… but i won’t go on about that. perhaps the best part were some of the new weapons. okay, it’s true, i’m a sucker for scythes and sickles, so of course i loved raph’s new banrai, but a weapon alone can not save a series from bad writing and pathetic research on japanese mythology. someone managed to convince the show writers that the word “tengu” meant demon – so every monster was such-and-such tengu… painful, i know. however, that said – my guy here is NOT a tengu, but rather inspired by the idea of a bird demon. his little bird companions are also featured in another drawing idea i have, but i don’t want to share that until i get it started.

next we have my monsters – the first girl is inspired by the creatures from the halloween zim. the second boy is… um… well, i don’t really know where he came from, but he makes me smile. he seems goofy to me and perhaps not all that evil.

and the last one is the first from this month’s sketch-a-day series. this time i’m doing animal inspired portraits, and for the first day i did a secretary bird. my second day was a bamboo pit viper, but he didn’t turn out as well as i was hoping… today, i’m not sure what i’m doing yet…

and you might wonder – what the heck am i doing with all these drawings – they’re not even finished! well, i use them for ideas – some for sculpting dolls later (the two monsters might become dolls), and some i use for inspiration for bigger, more finished pieces. but mostly, it’s because i love to draw and it helps me relax when i’m stressed.


i've been drawing for as long as i could hold a pencil and art became my first language. though i've only been sculpting since 2007, i fell in love with the idea of being able to bring my drawings to life. i am heavily inspired by medieval macabre artwork, japanese yokai, and oddly enough, sherlock holmes. currently i'm living just south of beautiful portland oregon ^^