Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Exhibition Time!

Setting up our "End of Year Exhibition" was so fun because I got to spend time with my friends on the course and put together our final walls. Seeing everyone's work altogether, what we'd been working on for weeks all finished was amazing! Behind each of my characters I wanted to create a collage of pictures, photos and objects to enforce the characters personality and backstory. 

For Todd Cunningham the fox I used maps, two passports for multiple identities, an old work ID, safe combinations, blueprints, coins, photo of his family and lock/keys. As he is a criminal, but only for the safe of providing for his family.

For Warren Mahoney the dog I used a Ritz menu, cake decorations, photos of cakes, luggage tags, a drivers license, orders, photo of his partner and a cork. As he is a waiter, quite feminine as he enjoys going on holidays, sipping cocktails and cake decorating. 

For Aeron Llewelyn the lion I used love letters from/to his wife, medals, photos of his badges, Carys his wife, artillery, other Welsh Guards and cards, a passport page, stamp, map, Welsh flag. As he is a Welsh Guard and was away at war.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Maquette Photoshoot

So to have some good quality photos of my macquettes I hired out the photography studio on campus for the day and had some help from one of my best friends Gwen Thomas who is a photography student - so thankyou Gwen! Here are some of the results...

Close-up of the Lion

Close-up of the Dog

Close-up of the Fox

My Final Macquettes

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Final Major Project from Foundation

Since it's been way too long since I blogged last, I'll start again from where I left off, my Final Major Project from Foundation. I was so proud of my final pieces, everyone who came to my exhibition said they loved them and they were enough to get me a Distinction from Foundation so it's only right I blog about them!

Making the Armatures/Sculpts

I won't put all of the design process on here because that would include so many photos! But in total I produced 6 sketchbooks of design and research work for this project - and loved every bit of it! I went to Bristol Zoo and Folly Farm so I had good solid primary research for my characters. I love working in different media so lots of my observational drawings are in a range of medias. So onto the best bit (my favourite bit!) - actually making my models.

I started with the aluminium wire frame, using twisted wire to ensure it was as strong as possible. I made sure there was enough wire to go through the board, thus allowing the armature to have a solid and stable base.  

 I used styrofoam to build up the body shapes of each of my armatures and used masking tape to hold the styrofoam to the wire framework. I did this for each of my three armatures, so they all had been packed out as much as possible with styrofoam and are secured to each of their boards.

Then I started adding a thin layer of white Newplast plasticine over the three characters. Then with more plasticine adding more detail on top, for example, the accessories and clothing that will be on the armature. I used black beads for the eyes of each of the armatures. 

For the fur detail on each armature I decided to do small centimetre plasticine curls and build up the lion's mane, dog's ears and the fox's face by adding and building that up. I think this style is very effective and it works very well, I will continue with this style in the future. The lions mane took the longest amount of time to make because the were so many tiny curls to build up this big mane! It was also very important to keep referring back to my reference and research when it came to doing the facial features. Each of the animals snouts were slightly different and I wanted to get them spot on so my final pieces would be recognisable as to what animal they were.

The completed plasticine sculpts for each of the armatures include: The Lion - curls for the main, nose and mouth, lapels on the shoulders, Welsh Guard uniform, medals, buttons, trousers and shoes. The Dog - curls for the ears, snout, shirt collar and sleeves, waistcoat and tie, buttons, trousers and shoes. The Fox - curls for the fur on the face, nose, mask around the eyes, jumper, trousers and shoes.

 After the plasticine work was completed, I sprayed two coats of white car primer on the three sculpts to give me a complete white base to paint on top of. I needed the two coats because once the first coat had dried they were still an off-white colour. 

After the primer was completely dried, I started to paint my macquettes with acrylic paint. The colour scheme for each were: The Lion - a light cream colour for the paws and face, brown nose, a golden yellow for the mane, a vermilion red for the coat, bronze medals, white belt with a bronze buckle, blue stripes on the material part of the medal, black trousers and shoes. The Dog - a pale cream for the face and paws, brown nose, brown for the ears, white shirt, crimson tie, grey waistcoat, black trousers and shoes. The Fox - orange for the fur and paws with white parts, white and black striped jumper with black trousers and shoes. (Each of the eyes were painted with black acrylic then left to dry with a white glint on each. 

For each of the characters they have their own props and accessories. The Lion has his Welsh Guards bearskin hat - I made this by using styrofoam on the inside so it would be lightweight as it would have to stay on the lions head. I filed it into an oval shape kept together with masking tape, I bought black fur and cut it to size and glued it together with hot glue. I then used a cocktail stick through the base of the hat and push it through the head of the lion. The Dog needed a cloth over his one arm and he was carrying a tray with a plate of food and a bottle of champagne. I made the plate by getting two different sized bottle tops, using the larger one to cut out a rolled piece of plasticine and the other to indent the groove in the plate. I sprayed this with white primer also. With the cloth, I used a thin piece of cotton. I cut a template out of paper once I'd measured how long I wanted it to be and then cut the piece of cotton around it. The sides of the cloth I folded over and sewed them so the cloth had tidy edges. For the tray, I took two tomato sauce holders from McDonald's flattened them out, stuck them together with hot glue and painted both sides with silver enamel paint for strength. For the food on the plate, there was a cheap bracelet in Claire's that had little food charms, so I cut them off and glued them to the plate with hot glue. For the champagne bottle, I found candles that were the right size, so I cut the wick off it, took the label off, re-painted it bronze and wrote on it with black permanent marker. For the fox, he needed his bag of 'swag', I created this by using a piece of canvas material and gluing it into the shape of a bag, painted a '$' in black acrylic on the side of the bag. I used crystal pieces, broken parts of earrings and sequins for the contents of the 'swag'.

After all of this was completed my macquettes were finished! I had so much fun making these and trying different techniques out to produce the props, etc. The very final thing left to do I had to tidy up the bases using plastic corners, polyfiller and white paint. But here's the final three! Look at my next post to see the photoshoot I had done with them, exhibition prep and my final show!