Happy New Year, mini painting friends. 2020 has finally released her crushing grip. We are, of course, no better off than we were two days ago, but I believe in the psychological power of beginnings, even when nothing has ultimately changed. The new year is a time to set goals and define success in the months ahead. So I shall.
I returned from a wonderful Thanksgiving trip with my family, which included a crackling fire at my parents’ cabin, a nice walk in a dark, quiet forest, and a ton of great food. Upon my return, my miniature Lovecraft was eager for some hair & clothing.
I’m fairly pleased with this result. I obviously have areas that could be improved, but it’s pretty close to my original idea and I learned some things along the way.
I used a mixture of Original Sculpey and Sculpey Firm. I built around a little wad of aluminum foil that I added for bulk and to help in evening out the baking. I baked at least 5 layers into the sculpture without cracking or even browning, which had been a concern.
Stay tuned to watch this little fellow come together!
I’ve got to let my streak of monster drawings lapse because once again it’s time for Eldritch Elf! This is the international gift exchange run by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. I really love this opportunity for creativity and generosity and look forward to it every year. I’ve sent weird little things to England, Argentina, and New Zealand, and this year I’m sending a gift to Sweden.
So far I have most of the work done on a little bust of Lovecraft himself. I still need to add the author’s hair and whatever clothes I think will work best. I haven’t decided yet whether to add tentacles or something explicitly creepy or just play it straight.
We’re out of town celebrating Thanksgiving with my family, so I had to put the sculpture down for a few days. When I return I need to finish off the figure and get it painted. I have an idea of how I want to approach that.
If you’re interested, there are quite a few posts regarding the creation of last year’s Eldritch Elf gift on the site, starting here. You can find the entire series under the Arkham & Environs tab.
Stay tuned for updates as I complete this little guy!
I’ve found time here and there to complete another little vignette. This one features a dead tree, which I haven’t done in a while. As usual, this one is a kind of lesson to be applied in basing minis, as well as a little imaginative refuge in its own right.
I finished off in just a few days another little test scene. I enjoy creating these little vignettes for their own sake, and I can practice techniques or experiment with ideas I might draw upon when I’m basing a mini in the future.
I think I’m going to call this little scene finished.
I experimented with my mushroom building process (that was useful), I tried adding some leaf litter (useful trial, but I’m going to keep working on it), and I failed, in my judgement, with the larger plants. I’ll keep working on that one.￼ Continue reading “Mushroom Preserve”
I’ve been building up the layers on my Yarry base. I felt that he needed to be in a fairly lush, healthy woodland environment. Middle Earth is the obvious point of reference (especially for a hobbit), and I wanted him somewhere wilder than the Shire but not so gloomy & forbidding as Mirkwood. Troll country, I guess.
Here’s the state of the base. There will be a few more additions, I think, but nothing major, I think. Read on for some WIP shots of how I created this scene. Continue reading “Grow the Land”
I’ve been off the blog for a little while as I visited my parents and spent some time in the woods. I’ve got some nice pictures from my little adventure for you to enjoy.
I chose not to bring any hobby projects with me, though it’s a good place to paint & concentrate. Pushing myself hard this Summer both in my painting and in my efforts to create a more exciting website left me a little lacking in direction as I finished up the painting phase of Yarry. Many people believe that you simply have to paint all the time in order to improve, but I’m not certain that’s true.
Sometimes it’s best for me just to recapture the desire to paint and the desire to better yourself as an artist before you get creatively burnt out.
Driving 8.5 hours from Pittsburgh to Connecticut, we broke up the trip by overnighting with my parents midway. I was happy to see these old friends again.
These are over twenty years old. I made them in high school when my imagination was deeply colored by the classic American weird writers Edgar Allen Poe & H.P. Lovecraft. Some classics merit acclaim, or attention, or whatever they merit chiefly due to their influence, but others stand on their own artistic achievement even today.
The urgent and concrete terror both authors can convey in their fiction holds up well to the modern reader. Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart introduced me to psychological horror around age twelve and has stuck with me for the next two and a half decades. The cataclysmic emotional release at the end of the tale demonstrated what a well crafted short story could accomplish. Lovecraft typically paints in dread rather than pandemonium. When I first discovered Lovecraft at fourteen I read (like so many of his protagonists) too much too quickly and ended up scared to walk down the dark hallway at night. I was certain that there were ghouls ready to pounce on me from the shadows!
My ceramics teacher, Jim Shirk, was a supportive mentor and always allowed me to create my own projects rather than follow his syllabus. I can remember the incredible schematic drawings he would spontaneously produce whenever we asked for creative advice and his beautiful, meticulous handwriting. Jim is a wonderful artist who, like me, loves to capture Nature’s beauty in his work. These two sculptures always evoke fond memories of my time learning from him.