*and other artwork by Rachel Young

8th April 2014

Photo with 6 notes

Komodo dragon sketch, Chavant Le Beau Touché, 2010. 

Just realized that I hadn’t posted this here. He’s old, but I still like him and his rather alarmed expression.

Komodo dragon sketch, Chavant Le Beau Touché, 2010.

Just realized that I hadn’t posted this here. He’s old, but I still like him and his rather alarmed expression.

Tagged: komodo dragonsculptureartists on tumblrreptilerachel young

6th April 2014

Photoset with 11 notes

Update on the base/landscape for the Black Rabbit and his minions. The Black Rabbit will be standing on the highest rock, and the rabbit minions will be gathered around him on the lower rocks. I’m very, very close to completing the sculpting on this! It’ seen a big challenge, but very fun, and I’ve learned a ton to boot!

Super Sculpey/Sculpey Firm mix over a wood, foil, and mesh armature. 20”l x 11” w x 5”t.

Tagged: sculpturework in progressartists on tumblrpolymer clayrachel young

2nd April 2014

Photo with 16 notes

oryus wrote: You know I’ve always really admired your paint jobs on your sculptures. How do you get them to be less flat? Or maybe if it’s not too inconvenient whats your process to painting on your sculptures?  

Blackrabbitsculpture:

First: thank you! I’m glad you like the way I paint my sculptures! 

The exact techniques I use when I’m painting a sculpture depend on that individual piece, but there are definitely some things that I do with each piece.

So:

I make sure the paint I use (I always use acrylic paint, though I know there are folks who use oil paints) is thin. Thick paint is going to cause a brush to leave brush strokes, and thick paint will also obscure fine detail on the sculpture. If I’m using tube acrylics, which are thicker, I thin them with water as I’m using them. The paints I use now (CelVinyl, also known as acrylic copolymer, from Cartoon Colour) are almost the perfect consistency out of the bottle, but I still thin them a bit in order to make them go a bit further. 

Step one for me is always priming the sculpture. Technically, polymer clay sculptures don’t really need to be primed if one plans to paint with water-soluble paints (like acrylic), but primer can even out the color of a piece, and it also has a bit more “tooth” to it, giving the paint something to stick to.

Next, after giving the primer at least 24 hours to dry and bond with the sculpture, I start with a basecoat of one layer of very thin paint over the whole piece.  At this point, I’m not all that worried about precision—I’m just blocking in some basic colors in the midrange, in terms of value. I use a big, soft brush and light, rapid strokes, making sure I spread the paint on the brush over as much as the sculpture as I can. On my Ganesha sculpture, I started out with a thin layer of a warm, brownish-gray all over his body. His dhoti got a layer of vermillion. At this point, I left the base unpainted, since I knew it might get messy and would need cleanup later anyway. I suppose I could have masked it off, but didn’t really see the point.

After giving the basecoats a 15-20 minutes to dry thoroughly, I just keep building up the layers until I can no longer see primer. On Ganesha, because the vermillion I used on his dhoti was translucent (it can be tough to find opaque reds and yellows, so these colors, and the colors mixed using them, obviously, often need more coats of paint), I lost count of the number of layers I put down. The gray of his skin was much more opaque, and consequently, needed fewer layers, which was good, since I put a lot of work into detailing his skin with tons of wrinkles and folds and I didn’t want the paint to obscure those. 

With the base colors done, I usually move on to detail work—blocking in areas of other colors, moving from coarse to fine, larger brushes to smaller brushes. On Ganesha, his dhoti got some very preliminary shading, with darker reds and purples in the folds. I added a layer of pinkish areas of depigmentation on his trunk, head, ears, back, torso, arms, hands, knees, and feet.

Sometimes, at this point, when preliminary details are done, I like to go in and do a wash of brown (burnt umber or raw umber {I can’t remember which} plus a little black, in Ganesha’s case) over the whole piece. I make sure the paint is thin, watery, and translucent. I also try not to put a ton on my brush—since it’s watery, a little will go a long way. The wash will find the nooks, crannies, recesses and wrinkles of a piece and accumulate there. This is a very useful property, since it acts to accentuate shadows and details. Sometimes I use a damp paper towel or a clean, damp brush to spread the wash even thinner over select areas, or to remove os much of it as possible so it doesn’t obscure too much of the detail I’ve already blocked in. With Ganesha, the wash layer succeeded in toning down the overwhelming brightness of the pinkish brown areas, it increased the amount of warm brownish tones in the gray areas, and it united both areas of his skin. I also used the wash in more than one layer in areas that I wanted to shade a bit more. I didn’t use a wash on his dhoti, but I did begin to shade the folds and wrinkles in the “cloth” with very thin, watery layers of purples, reds, and oranges, almost like one would paint a watercolor. I also went back in and did some more work on the pink “freckles” to increase the illusion of depth and translusency of his skin. 

Another very useful technique is drybrushing. I add a very miniscule amount of paint that is in the same range of color as my base coat colors, but lighter in value to a dry brush and go over select areas of a piece with light, rapid strokes. Since the brush is dry and there isn’t much paint on it, what little is there will dry quickly. In drybrushing, the paint on the brush tends to be deposited on the high points of the surface of the piece. The paint doesn’t tend t get in to the areas where the wash did, and lightens the high points just enough to create the illusion of a highlight. It also does wonders to bring out all the detail and texture in the areas where it’s used. I did quite a fair amount of drybrushing in progressively lighter shades of gray-brown on Ganesha, since I wanted to bring out as much skin detail as possible. The dhoti got some vermillion-yellow-orange drybrushing on the highest points of its wrinkles. 

Lastly, I go over the whole piece and add fine detail, cover any errant blobs of paint with the appropriate color, paint the eyes, and clean up any areas where differently colored elements of the sculpture come in to contact with one another. For Ganesha, that ended up being the area where his belly came into contact with the edge of the dhoti, and the area where his thighs emerged from the dhoti.

And that’s it, more or less, other than a coat of matte varnish for the majority of the piece, and gloss for things like the eyes, mouth, and claws, for example. The only other things I want to stress are:

1.) How important it is for an artist to experiment with their paints and brushes to figure out what works best for them. This experimentation is key to discovering new techniques (well, new to the individual artist, anyway, right?) and figuring out what works for a given piece. You can always use rubbing alcohol to remove the acrylic paint and start over with the paint job. 

2.) How tough this type of work is on the brushes used! Painting a sculpture is not painting a canvas (obviously), and the brushes just don’t hold up the way they do when used on a flat surface. I buy inexpensive brushes, and make sure I buy multiple brushes of the styles I like best and use most. I’m not the biggest fan of Michael’s, but one thing they’ve got a good selection of is nice, cheap, synthetic and natural brushes that I don’t feel guilty about being rough with. 

Well, I hope this novel of an answer about my painting process is helpful. I’m really sorry that I didn’t get to your ask sooner, but I hope that this reply makes up for my tardiness! Sorry about the length, too, but brevity really isn’t my strong suit. I guess my painting process is more involved than I thought, now that I’ve put it into words. :)

Thanks again, and happy painting/sculpting/art-ing! 

oryus wrote: You know I’ve always really admired your paint jobs on your sculptures. How do you get them to be less flat? Or maybe if it’s not too inconvenient whats your process to painting on your sculptures?

Blackrabbitsculpture:

First: thank you! I’m glad you like the way I paint my sculptures! 

The exact techniques I use when I’m painting a sculpture depend on that individual piece, but there are definitely some things that I do with each piece.

So:

I make sure the paint I use (I always use acrylic paint, though I know there are folks who use oil paints) is thin. Thick paint is going to cause a brush to leave brush strokes, and thick paint will also obscure fine detail on the sculpture. If I’m using tube acrylics, which are thicker, I thin them with water as I’m using them. The paints I use now (CelVinyl, also known as acrylic copolymer, from Cartoon Colour) are almost the perfect consistency out of the bottle, but I still thin them a bit in order to make them go a bit further. 

Step one for me is always priming the sculpture. Technically, polymer clay sculptures don’t really need to be primed if one plans to paint with water-soluble paints (like acrylic), but primer can even out the color of a piece, and it also has a bit more “tooth” to it, giving the paint something to stick to.

Next, after giving the primer at least 24 hours to dry and bond with the sculpture, I start with a basecoat of one layer of very thin paint over the whole piece.  At this point, I’m not all that worried about precision—I’m just blocking in some basic colors in the midrange, in terms of value. I use a big, soft brush and light, rapid strokes, making sure I spread the paint on the brush over as much as the sculpture as I can. On my Ganesha sculpture, I started out with a thin layer of a warm, brownish-gray all over his body. His dhoti got a layer of vermillion. At this point, I left the base unpainted, since I knew it might get messy and would need cleanup later anyway. I suppose I could have masked it off, but didn’t really see the point.

After giving the basecoats a 15-20 minutes to dry thoroughly, I just keep building up the layers until I can no longer see primer. On Ganesha, because the vermillion I used on his dhoti was translucent (it can be tough to find opaque reds and yellows, so these colors, and the colors mixed using them, obviously, often need more coats of paint), I lost count of the number of layers I put down. The gray of his skin was much more opaque, and consequently, needed fewer layers, which was good, since I put a lot of work into detailing his skin with tons of wrinkles and folds and I didn’t want the paint to obscure those. 

With the base colors done, I usually move on to detail work—blocking in areas of other colors, moving from coarse to fine, larger brushes to smaller brushes. On Ganesha, his dhoti got some very preliminary shading, with darker reds and purples in the folds. I added a layer of pinkish areas of depigmentation on his trunk, head, ears, back, torso, arms, hands, knees, and feet.

Sometimes, at this point, when preliminary details are done, I like to go in and do a wash of brown (burnt umber or raw umber {I can’t remember which} plus a little black, in Ganesha’s case) over the whole piece. I make sure the paint is thin, watery, and translucent. I also try not to put a ton on my brush—since it’s watery, a little will go a long way. The wash will find the nooks, crannies, recesses and wrinkles of a piece and accumulate there. This is a very useful property, since it acts to accentuate shadows and details. Sometimes I use a damp paper towel or a clean, damp brush to spread the wash even thinner over select areas, or to remove os much of it as possible so it doesn’t obscure too much of the detail I’ve already blocked in. With Ganesha, the wash layer succeeded in toning down the overwhelming brightness of the pinkish brown areas, it increased the amount of warm brownish tones in the gray areas, and it united both areas of his skin. I also used the wash in more than one layer in areas that I wanted to shade a bit more. I didn’t use a wash on his dhoti, but I did begin to shade the folds and wrinkles in the “cloth” with very thin, watery layers of purples, reds, and oranges, almost like one would paint a watercolor. I also went back in and did some more work on the pink “freckles” to increase the illusion of depth and translusency of his skin. 

Another very useful technique is drybrushing. I add a very miniscule amount of paint that is in the same range of color as my base coat colors, but lighter in value to a dry brush and go over select areas of a piece with light, rapid strokes. Since the brush is dry and there isn’t much paint on it, what little is there will dry quickly. In drybrushing, the paint on the brush tends to be deposited on the high points of the surface of the piece. The paint doesn’t tend t get in to the areas where the wash did, and lightens the high points just enough to create the illusion of a highlight. It also does wonders to bring out all the detail and texture in the areas where it’s used. I did quite a fair amount of drybrushing in progressively lighter shades of gray-brown on Ganesha, since I wanted to bring out as much skin detail as possible. The dhoti got some vermillion-yellow-orange drybrushing on the highest points of its wrinkles. 

Lastly, I go over the whole piece and add fine detail, cover any errant blobs of paint with the appropriate color, paint the eyes, and clean up any areas where differently colored elements of the sculpture come in to contact with one another. For Ganesha, that ended up being the area where his belly came into contact with the edge of the dhoti, and the area where his thighs emerged from the dhoti.

And that’s it, more or less, other than a coat of matte varnish for the majority of the piece, and gloss for things like the eyes, mouth, and claws, for example. The only other things I want to stress are:

1.) How important it is for an artist to experiment with their paints and brushes to figure out what works best for them. This experimentation is key to discovering new techniques (well, new to the individual artist, anyway, right?) and figuring out what works for a given piece. You can always use rubbing alcohol to remove the acrylic paint and start over with the paint job. 

2.) How tough this type of work is on the brushes used! Painting a sculpture is not painting a canvas (obviously), and the brushes just don’t hold up the way they do when used on a flat surface. I buy inexpensive brushes, and make sure I buy multiple brushes of the styles I like best and use most. I’m not the biggest fan of Michael’s, but one thing they’ve got a good selection of is nice, cheap, synthetic and natural brushes that I don’t feel guilty about being rough with. 

Well, I hope this novel of an answer about my painting process is helpful. I’m really sorry that I didn’t get to your ask sooner, but I hope that this reply makes up for my tardiness! Sorry about the length, too, but brevity really isn’t my strong suit. I guess my painting process is more involved than I thought, now that I’ve put it into words. :)

Thanks again, and happy painting/sculpting/art-ing! 

Tagged: replieslong readssculpturerachel youngarthow I work

29th March 2014

Photoset with 123 notes

All five of the Black Rabbit’s Owsla-minions, in one post!

I’ve made steady progress on the base, and it shouldn’t be that much longer before it’s ready to be cured in the oven.

I also wanted to thank you guys for being such awesome supporters of what I do. I’m thrilled that so many people enjoy my work.

Tagged: jackrabbitpolymer claysuper sculpeyartists on tumblrsculpture

28th March 2014

Quote reblogged from ♛ griot| king |queer ♛ with 179 notes

We live in an age where for ‘art’ to be accepted, the process must often first be glamourized. The truth is that some roles are thankless and art does not exist to be accepted. Art exists simply because it must. It’s not a hype thing. It’s a life thing. As artists, we create because if we didn’t, we’d be dead.

Source: ventureandvirtue

23rd March 2014

Photoset with 62 notes

And here’s the fifth and final minion! This one’s got a stumpy ear and spiral designs on his/her eyes, muzzle, shoulders, and haunches.

SS Original/Firm blend over a wire, foil, Apoxie Clay, and mesh armature.

I’m going to be working toward finishing the base within the next two weeks. I had a blast sculpting these minion guys, and I’m really excited to see how they will look on the base.

Tagged: jackrabbitsculpturepolymer clayartists on tumblrsuper sculpey

12th March 2014

Photoset with 15 notes

Rabbit minion number four is done! One to go, and just a bit more work on the base, some paint, and I can call this project complete!

SS Firm/Original over a wire, foil, and Apoxie Clay armature.

Tagged: jackrabbitpolymer claysuper sculpeyartists on tumblrsculpture

7th March 2014

Photoset with 7 notes

Minion number four, in progress.

SS Firm/Original blend over a wire, foil, mesh, and Apoxie clay armature.

I’m nearly done with this one, and then then I’ve got just one more minion to go after that.

Edited with Snapseed.

Tagged: jackrabbitpolymer claywork in progressartists on tumblrsuper sculpey

6th March 2014

Photo with 1 note

Here’s another version of that drawing I posted yesterday, this time with post-processing that is less ham-fisted (though I do like the other version too). 

Snapseed’s so addictive that sometimes I get a wee bit carried away (but I bet more than a few of you fine people out there had already noticed that).

Pentel brushpen and white-out on toned paper. Just an experiment that proved to be pretty fun. I lovelovelove my brushpen; before I bought it, I’d never really used one, and was very pleasantly surprised. I’m planning on using it for the preliminary gesture drawings and more refined concept sketches that are crucial to planning armatures.

Rabbit minion number four WIP photos will be coming soon!

Here’s another version of that drawing I posted yesterday, this time with post-processing that is less ham-fisted (though I do like the other version too).

Snapseed’s so addictive that sometimes I get a wee bit carried away (but I bet more than a few of you fine people out there had already noticed that).

Pentel brushpen and white-out on toned paper. Just an experiment that proved to be pretty fun. I lovelovelove my brushpen; before I bought it, I’d never really used one, and was very pleasantly surprised. I’m planning on using it for the preliminary gesture drawings and more refined concept sketches that are crucial to planning armatures.

Rabbit minion number four WIP photos will be coming soon!

Tagged: skullartists on tumblrbrushpeninkdrawing

5th March 2014

Photo with 3 notes

An experiment in using my new toned sketchbook, my even newer brush pen, and some white-out. 

Needless to say, this weird fellow was really fun to draw. 

Edited with Snapseed.

An experiment in using my new toned sketchbook, my even newer brush pen, and some white-out.

Needless to say, this weird fellow was really fun to draw.

Edited with Snapseed.

Tagged: skullbrushpenartists on tumblrcartoonhornsink