Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Steampunk Pirate Cat sculpture gets a paint job

Sculpting the cat himself was only the beginning of this little polymer clay adventure.  I am very thankful that my pirate cat has survived every trip in and out of the oven so far.  I added a lot more more fur, black paw pads, and glow in the dark claws since I last shared with you.  This is how my furry Steampunk Pirate looked after his last bake.
I love the way Calcifer's mane looks, and tried to imitate that look in clay.  And while I adore Calcifer's cute kitten face, I wanted the sculpture to look like a more mature cat (and trust me, Calcifer is anything BUT mature- LOL!).  Here's a tip for sculptors adding things like teeth, claws, or horns to their creation.  Bake the claws first, let them cool, apply a drop of TLS (translucent liquid Sculpey) to the end, then press them into the unbaked clay of the paw.  This is so much easier than trying to attach those tiny unbaked pieces of clay without distorting their shape.
Now that we have the body completely baked, it's time for his paint job.  I started with a light tan wash, since that's the color of Calcifer's undercoat.  I wish I could replicate his coat exactly, but I just don't think it's possible.  Each fur has at least 3 different colors on it, and his coloring is different depending on the light.  So, I'll do the best I can and make good use of artistic license.  This is how he looks after the first wash of color.
There will be many more layers of color added before this piece is done.  Then of course I still need to add the details that will make this creation Steampunk.  I've been thinking hard about those wings I was planning (while watching things like Dr. Who to spark my imagination), and I think I have a pretty cool idea on how i want to do them.  I'll be adding an eye patch too (he IS a pirate after all!), as well as his gun, and possibly other accessories.  I'm in no rush, so I'll just feel my way through and add what seems right.  Pieces like this have a timetable all their own, and they can't be rushed, or forced (not if I want to end up with something I'm proud of).  Thank you for continuing to share my creative journey! =)
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

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