Ok, so I've been MIA here on DA for over a month. I love DA, but I got so overwhelmed by questions that I just had to take a break. I knew I had to do a FAQ page in order to deal with all the questions I receive. So, here it is. This should make it alot easier on everyone, and I won't have to run and hide anymore.
Much love to you all.
DEVIANT ART FAQ
1. MY SCULPTURES
1.1 BACKGROUND INFO
1.1.1 How/where did I learn
I've been an artist pretty much my whole life. Born with the gift or "calling" you might say. My mom tells me that she saw it in me as a small child when I would bite animal shapes out of my toast. I was lucky to have a mom that let me run free with my artistic muse, even as far as letting me draw murals on my bedroom wall.
I have no formal training in art. Took some classes here and there in high school and some college courses but never got a lot from them. I have drawn and painted much in my life, but my true muse has always been in the form of sculpture. Horses were almost always my subject. (Ask my mom, there was a stables worth of modeling clay horses in our freezer at any given time)
I didn't sculpt the human form until I decided one day to make a doll for my mom. She had a large collection of dolls as a child that were given away. When she told me that story I knew I had to try my hand at it to give her something special. 20 years later I find myself here, loving what I do.
Recently I had the opportunity to finally learn anatomy from an expert. I can not recommend enough the anatomy workshops at AnatomyTools. I was even fortunate enough to meet Mark Newman at the level 2 course last year. If you want to get serious about learning the human form, it is worth saving every penny for this experience.www.anatomytools.com
Inspiration for me comes from everywhere. Quite an enormous chunk of which comes from right here on DA. I am also heavily influenced by movies, music, fashion and my very own imagination.
1.1.3 Artistic Influences
My favorite era for art is definitely Art Nouveau. There is a fluid, lyrical beauty to it that I have always been drawn too. I have been very influenced by this art movement. I also adore pin up art. Not really the typical 40's style, but the newer, edgier stuff. I also love Low Brow art. I don't neccesarily stylize my work in this manner, but it is a huge influence on me.
1.2.1 How often do I sculpt?
I try to sculpt a new piece each week.
1.2.2 Using reference
Oh yes, reference materials and images are a very important part of my process. I have thousands of images saved in files for just this purpose. They range from photography, (both pose, body studies, and fashion) to paintings and sculptures. Even movie stills. Anything and everything I see that catches my eye gets saved. I feel it is how I am able to get the subtle nuances of the body and pose.
1.2.4 How long do I take
I have 10 to 12 hour days which is why I am able to create a piece a week. It takes anywhere between 3 to 5 days to complete a sculpt.
1.2.5 Size of the sculpts
Right now my sculpts average about the 9 to 10 inch range. I have sculpted much smaller, and much larger in the past. This current size is what I am most comfortable with.
1.3.1 Polymer clays
This is the medium in which I sculpt. It is a petroleum based clay that is cured in a home oven at about 265 degrees. There are a lot of brands of polymer clays, but I have my favorites. I myself use Fimo and Kato brands. I use a mix of translucents and whites and different colors to achieve the flesh tone of the clay. The color of the skin on my sculpts is always the color of the clay, I never paint the flesh tone!
I use an aluminum armature wire that is designed for sculpting. I don't use an armature in my hands and fingers. I don't find that neccessary. I cover my armature in white floral tape. This does two things. It hides the metal color of the wire and it gives the clay something to stick to. I also swear by AnatomyTools small armature stand. My sculpting improved with this tool alone.
1.3.3 Sculpting tools
I have a variety of sculpting tools in my arsenal. My favorites are my clay shapers which are soft rubber tiped tools. The tapered point I can't live without. I have them in the smallest size available. I also can't live without my exacto knife. I have several pointed needle tools which are also indespensable. Dental tools are also quite handy.
1.3.4 Preping the sculpt
After a sculpt is cured I prep it for the blushing phase. I use pure acetone and cotton squares. I dampen the squares and squeeze out the excess. (if you don't do this it will leave a white haze on your sculpt!) Then I rub down the surface of the sculpt to clean it of lint, dirt and any imperfections. I use a Qtip for the face and hands.
I use Genesis Heat Set Oils. They are the perfect match for polymer. I mix them with the glazing medium to get a sheer wash of color. I also play with chalk pastels. They are becoming my new favorite. I seal them on the clay with a coat of Testors Dullcote.
I usually use Tibetan lamb hair for my sculpts. But I also use English viscose and sometimes silk fiber.
I probably receive the most questions regarding my eyes. Sorry guys, this one I've chosen to keep to myself. Too many ungracious people have ruined the fun. I share very openly with those who ask, but so few even bother to write back a thank you. I don't share the special stuff because I've worked really hard on the techinques. I hope you understand.
1.4.1 Polymer Clay
Here are a few places you can shop for clay.www.polymerclayexpress.com/www.clayalley.com/index.htmwww.theclaystore.com/
I find mine on ebay. There are lots of good sources there!
I often get asked for links to good tutorials, but I don't use tutorials myself so I can't really give any tips on that.
1.4.3 Miscelaneous art supplies
I find lots of great stuff here at Mr. Art. www.misterart.com/
They have the best prices I've found on the armature wire.
I do not do commissions. To me they are "work". They suck all the life and creativity out of me.
5.2 Requests + art trades
I'm sorry, I don't do requests or trades.
5.3 Where to buy my sculpts
I sell exclusively on Ebay right now. My seller id is Crimsonjabberwockey. I list new pieces on Tuesdays with the auctions ending on Sunday nights. As far as how much they sell for, they are auctions so the final price can vary from several hundred to up in the thousands.
I do have an email notification list that you can be put on. It will make sure that you receive an email with the link to the next available sculpt.