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arachne behind the scenes

Journal Entry: Fri Nov 1, 2013, 12:03 PM

Watch this video to see the making of "Arachne"



I started this project months in advance of the shoot. I knew creating 200ish skulls would be long and arduous so I allotted myself 6 months from day 1 to the final images. To make the skulls, I simply used a skull cake making mold but baked paper mache instead of cake. I basically had my oven going for 2 months straight, making around 3 skulls per day. I have to give a big thank you to my mom for letting me take her oven hostage and fuming our house with burning paper smell (:


Here are some of the completed skulls. I'm spray painting them cream since some of the skulls caramelized in the oven. When you bake skulls everyday, it starts to become a habit and sometimes I forgot and left them in the oven for half a day :<


I had a blast shooting with Faith Lucille, who drove to my studio so I could photograph her little creatures! I really enjoy photographing both people and animals, so I hope to do more collaborations in the future!


Here I am gluing the skulls to tarp which has been laid over a stool and held down with sandbags. I was struggling to find a way to make a "pyramid" of skulls and thankfully my boyfriend came to the rescue with this idea!


Here is a visual explanation of how I made the chains for "Arachne's Lair". When compositing, it is better to get the lighting and perspective right in camera than to photoshop it. (1) To mimic the chains resting on the spider's fangs I stacked two towels under a sheet that was similar in color to the spider. This way, the sheet won't reflect any intrusive colors onto the chain. (2) To make the chain look wrapped around the spider's leg I put a 5 gallon water bottle under a sheet and wrapped the chain around it. (3) To make the chain hang between the spider's legs I just held it at the same angle.


Thank you for taking the time to read my journal :heart: These are some of my upcoming projects for 2014 that I'm super excited about!: Princess Peach, Ariel, Daenerys Targaryen, and Troll cosplay from World of Warcraft.

FREE PSD GIVEAWAY:

To enter, all you have to do is comment and favorite Arachne's Curse, and add me to your watchers. The PSD consists of all the layers, edits, and color adjustments done to this image. No one has been able to see my process- until now! The winner will be selected randomly, and announced on December 1st.

Arachne's Lair by michellemonique Black Widow by michellemonique Arachne's Wrath by michellemonique Arachne's Curse by michellemonique


Add a Comment:
 
:iconindofaon:
INDOFAON Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i really like this,Bro? 100% awesome La la la la and the woman is really beautiful I am a dummy! Love 
Reply
:iconsnazzie-designz:
snazzie-designz Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2015   General Artist
6 months making skulls.... that's dedication for you. They look amazing though so well done. Great job on the whole project, and nice to see the behind the scenes aspect.
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconsnazzie-designz:
snazzie-designz Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2015   General Artist
:)
Reply
:iconiggyvillagekoopa:
IggyVillageKoopa Featured By Owner Edited Mar 19, 2015
Those skulls look very realistic.

Also, when are you going to do your Princess Peach one?
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thanks! Probably won't be for a while, unfortunately. I'm still working on finishing another cosplay before I start on Peach. Super excited though!
Reply
:iconluna-fantasma:
Luna-Fantasma Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I have seen this video and let me tell you one thing, you are not only an amazing talented artist, but you are as stunningly beautiful as the models you choose, only that you have a prettier body :hug: I really really admire your work, your art skills. You are something beyond imaginations michellemonique. Lots of love and hugs from Argentina dear Huggle! Lovely Shoujo Emoji (Huggy Hug) [V2] 
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thank you :hug: that really means a lot :) I never would think of myself as pretty as a model but I'm flattered you think so :glomp:
Reply
:iconluna-fantasma:
Luna-Fantasma Featured By Owner Edited Feb 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I saw your pics and the video and I am amazed, you are not just nice but BEAUTIFUL, your beauty is perfect to make YOU one of your own models. 
Have you seen profiles like :iconhybridgothica: or :iconstarscoldnight: ? They make digital art of other models and themselves as well.
Both are gorgeous girls, just like you, and they make artworks with themselves as the stock model. Why dont you try? you have a stunning beauty!! you don't need to be super tall and skinny as supermodels of catwalks. I am not either of these, nor tall not skinny, and I also dared to use my own pics as model for some artworks. You are amazing, I am sure you'll surprise EVERYONE if you do so! Heart Love 
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thank you, you're too kind! :blush: I feel like the models I use fit my vision much better than I ever could! I'll just stick to selfies haha

Those profiles are lovely, thanks for sharing.
Reply
:iconevertrey:
EverTrey Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
awesome,,
:la:
Reply
:iconkimoz:
kimoz Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
how i can get the PSD? please
Reply
:iconspirtdancer:
SpirtDancer Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I sent an angel to watch over you last night but it came back.
I asked "why?"
The angel said "angels don't watch over angels."
Twenty one angels are IN your world. Ten of them are sleeping, Ten are playing, one is reading this message.
Send this to ten friends including me. I guess if I don't get it back I'm not one of them. As soon as you get five replies, someone you love will quietly surprise you.
Please read, not joking. God has seen you struggling with something. God says its over. A blessing is coming your way.
If you believe in God send this message on. Please don't ignore it. You are being tested. God is going to fix two things BIG tonight in your favor. DROP Everything and pass it on. Tomorrow will be thebest day of your life. Don't break this chain.
Send to 14 friends in 10 minutes. It's not that hard.

writer of this story is: wintermoon95
please do! X3 :D (Big Grin)
Reply
:iconphoto-by-l:
Photo-By-L Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014
Wow, Excellent work :D
I love your work so much >w<
Reply
:iconkueebreeze:
kueebreeze Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
wwwhaaaaa, im late T_T  Y_Y
Reply
:iconamaranthinerain:
AmaranthineRain Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013   General Artist
What do you do with all those skulls when you're finished with the shoot?
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Professional Photographer
I threw them out. I normally keep all my props but there were just too many.
Reply
:iconamaranthinerain:
AmaranthineRain Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013   General Artist
Gotcha. What about selling them online? Or offering give-aways?
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2013  Professional Photographer
Interesting, but I doubt anyone would seriously want those things laying around their house! They looked pretty terrible in real life.
Reply
:iconamaranthinerain:
AmaranthineRain Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013   General Artist
Ya never know, especially around halloween :) Were they paper mache?
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Professional Photographer
yes
Reply
:iconamaranthinerain:
AmaranthineRain Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013   General Artist
cool
Reply
:icontheartributor:
TheArtributor Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Very well done!
Reply
:icondonzellini:
DonZellini Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
Absolutely outstanding!  Shows what you can do when you put imagination and hard work into it.
Regards.
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Professional Photographer
:hug:
Reply
:iconsweetiris:
SweetIris Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I love love love this set! :love: Even if I still find spiders creepy and icky. :XD:
I'm still apprehensive with photographing furry insects upclose (I don't mind dogs and cats, but photographing creepy crawlers aren't really my thing lol).
I always enjoy watching your BTS video. :D
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Professional Photographer
Even though I'm absolutely terrified of spiders, for some reason tarantulas have never scared me. I don't even mind one crawling on me. It's like they're so big and fuzzy they become less creepy than house spiders :p

or you could use a 200mm lens so you can be on the other side of the room :p
Reply
:iconyokoky:
YOKOKY Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Professional General Artist
sorry- i dont understand,pls explain- you want that artits to edit one masterpiece of your art- and to add colour?- i can  try....im a makeup artist- and you talent is fabulous,thanks so much for faves,MAESTRO- PLS answer me....thanksKisu Kisu
Reply
:iconsweetiris:
SweetIris Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hahaha that suggestion is the best! :lmao:
Reply
:iconbrunovalu:
brunovalu Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
greattttttttttttttt
Reply
:iconcutemikeylalove:
CuteMikeylaLove Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful! That's it. Keep doing the amazing work ;) 
Reply
:iconaltair-e:
Altair-E Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This  is a fantastic work you do, I'm a fan! :love:
Reply
:iconmadsdesignz:
MadSDesignz Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013  Professional Photographer
Great work as always...I loved it so much I blogged about it on my site.
My Blog
Keep up the good work.
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Professional Photographer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconmadsdesignz:
MadSDesignz Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Professional Photographer
no prob.
Reply
:iconfer0citykills:
fer0citykills Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013
This is awesome! Vince and I keep laughing at the scene where I poke the tarantula in the arse and then there's his crotch in the shot along with your squinty face. 
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013  Professional Photographer
hahaha yes, it's quite the artistic shot (: I just wanted to use something where everyone was shown (sort of) :p Anyways, thanks again for coming up to shoot!
Reply
:iconfer0citykills:
fer0citykills Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013
No prob at all! I'd love to come up again anytime :)
Reply
:iconsoki-the-deviant:
Soki-the-Deviant Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
oh my god I can't wait for you Ariel project!

Not that I don't like the rest. I'm just. .. .... .... very afraid of spiders?  :'D

but your work sure is amazing, as usual.
Reply
:iconmichellemonique:
michellemonique Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013  Professional Photographer
haha it's no problem. I'm terrified of them too. Just this morning I was trapped in my bathroom for a good 20 minutes because there was a spider hovering over the door :<
Reply
:iconsoki-the-deviant:
Soki-the-Deviant Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
eeeeh why the door... WHY THE DOOR OF ALL PLACES /sobs

I FEEL YOUR PAIN.
Reply
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November 1, 2013
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