Work-in-Progress, Working Process

More from the ongoing project with Sean Downey:



First we shot some photo reference,  then we drew our creature here onto tracing paper, then pasted that onto some foamcore. Then Sean cut some hardie board into the general shape and we sculpted over it using Sculpey over a paperclay base.


Because we’re building pieces to be photographed and only seen from one angle, we’re working in relief


Which leads to one weird-looking sculpture when viewed from the side.



UPDATE 12-22-13:



Lonely Monster

FvZ Hallway Comp Test 04

Very glad to share more work-in-progress pictures of my ongoing project with Sean Downey. This was photographed by Tony Martins. This will be part of an illustrated book which we hope to show people sometime next year.

It’s amazing working in collaboration, particularly with a photographer. You really see what ideas hold up and which don’t.

More to come!


Here are some behind-the-scenes pictures from this photo shoot at Hub Comics in Somerville, Massachusetts.


Green gels were used over the backlighting.

(Note also Sean’s tiger-stripe arm hair.)


Since it wasn’t supposed to appear in the shot, the “roof” was just cardboard draped over the walls to block light.


Here’s Sean. He’s holding the monster, I think.


You can see how the room was built using forced perspective: it gets bigger as it gets closer toward the camera.


Back at my house, this was how one of the walls looked when we started.




Sean added on 11/13/13:

In the making of this I made a brush by cutting a thin sponge into the shape of a hand roughly to scale with the set.  It was then dipped in a red/brown paint and lazily dragged across the wall. Thinking about it now, I can hear The Stroll by The Diamonds as i look at the smeared blood trail.  When I painted this, the sponge/brush fingers touched the doorknob with a foggy memory of how to open a doorknob.  It was a chilling.

The brushes’ name is Richard.

This Is My Design

Working on some caricatures. I enjoyed the first season of HANNIBAL.

These are made of some kind of hard modeling clay. Hannibal was relatively easier to caricature; Graham was more difficult.


Next, they’re both boxed up- like so much take-out dinner- to be molded. Later, they’ll be painted.

Faces, Casting

I just made some brush-on silicone molds with Smooth-On Rebound 25 for four of the faces I’ve been sculpting.

Ordinarily I’d cast these pieces in some kind of plastic resin. The problem is I wanted to make several of these, and the resin heats up when curing, which can warp the silicone mold. Plaster, another cheap alternative, does the same thing.  Eventually I settled on Creative Paperclay, which air-dries. It worked really well! The innermost parts of the mold, noses, brows, chins, were still wet when I pulled them out of the mold, but they held the shape and just needed to be exposed to air to dry.


I’m pretty pleased with the results. Now to paint ’em.

Ending 2012 with a Question

Question 001

Just about finished Rene Montoya as the Question (based on artist Cully Hamner’s version). As always, more work to be done.

Happy New Year! I hope 2013 is good for everyone.


I’m working on an ongoing project with Sean Downey, and here is some of the what we’re working on.

Sean posed for reference photos, which I digitally painted over (those are really his clothes, though. He’s a fashion plate).

Quick and dirty, but it gets the idea across.

Sean built a couch and we put a sculpted figure on it. We built a room and put in a test window, and took test snapshots with a digital camera.

Still more work to do, but I’m encouraged by the test shots.

Just don’t look below his knees.