Creaturiste's Laboratory

Techniques, works in progress, and everything that doesn't fit in the portfolio. Comments and questions are encouraged, custom orders are welcome!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Free Sculpting Tutorials & backstage

Pumpkin Sculpt by Ray Villafane

Some of my favorite sculpting artists take the time to share with the world.

This list will grow as I remember or get exposed to more tutorials and sites that I can wholeheartedly recommend.  A trend that I noticed and partake in: Facebook pages are being used by artists to showcase their works, and quite often, they include work in progress shots, and answer people's questions. 


Sculpt by Andy Berghotlz

Sculpting DVD Library

by Philipe Faraut

I was just sharing a list of my favorite DVDs with a colleague, and realized I haven't compiled it before. Let's share it with the world!
Happy Holidays world!

I consider each one of the following a precious resource in enhancing my skills as a creature designer.
I learn as much by observing as by doing. Books are neat, but video is better for immediate clarity, at least for some of us.

Working on new designs as I watch these videos is almost as if the instructor was right there with me, helping me with details and approaches. I can even rewind and pause them!
Additionally, I love to watch those videos as a work on repetitive tasks that don't require me to problem solve. The techniques get absorbed further into my memory.

I hope these will be of great inspiration to you, like they never cease to be for me.

The Art of Sculpting, by Philippe Faraut.
Definitely the series that will make every motivated person into at least a decent head sculptor.
His method takes you from the total beginner to the advanced results in just hours.
I'm eyeing his books too, especially volume 2.
I wrote an article about the series here.

Creating a Faerie Figure, and 
Creating a Character Figure, by Wendy Froud

Sculpting Movie Monsters, by Mark Alfrey
this one has a lot less step-by step clarity, but you learn a lot by listening to his comments, and watching him work. Not a first choice for a total beginner seeking total clarity (Faraut's method is perfect for that), but still a useful resource, and I'm glad to have it.

Sculpture with John Brown.
First series of DVD I tried. It is and will remain a great learning source. I own volume 2, but saw other volumes as well, and it's all top quality. Judge for yourself, each product's page has a video sample.
I want to own the whole series someday.

Pumpkin Carving Tutorial, by Ray Villafane
It's been a really good tool to help get more comfortable carving subtractively, even in clay.
Learn by carving on pumpkins, and the skills are transferable to other media.

The Ama - Soft Sculpture Body Construction, by Lisa Lichtenfels.
I thought I could use this for puppetmaking, but found it  difficult to adapt to moving puppets.
Still, I use some aspects of her method, and the set is worth the price for the anatomical lessons on the first DVD. She shows you with illustrations, then color codes everything, then  re-sculpts it all in clay, then does it with her polyester batting on an armature of wire. Fascinating!  I'd love to see her other video!

On my Wish list:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Félix Mirbt

Woyzeck & Marie, photo: Nir Bareket

Last night I went to see the finale of the show "Die Reise ou les visages
variables de Félix Mirbt"
by Théâtre de La Pire Espèce and Marcell Hudon.
It was happening in Montreal, but I hope this show will live on a bit longer and performed elsewhere.
For the credits, see this page, in French.

The show was complemented by an exhibition of puppets, masks, props and
photographs of the career of Felix Mirbt. I wish there had been more to see, but it was a beautiful exhibit. I even learned a few techniques by studying the puppets and masks.

I was inspired by both the exhibit and the show, fascinated almost against my will!
I'm grateful to have gone and experienced it.
Even though I did not know the artist, nor ever saw any of his whosws, this retrospective, created by people who were close to him, made me feel nostalgic and almost like I had met the man. I can definitely see some of his influence on what has been done in Canada since.
He is a defnite pice of puppet history.
Some lessons and techniques people have learned from him have been passed on to me over the years.

What spoke to me the most was his use of the materials and the methods as an integral and visible part of the experience of seeing the show performed.
a lot of people try to hide the process, to make the illusion work.
Mirbt was not hiding a thing: "I shall not forget to mention my tutor at my first (Tecklenburg) festival: Make your strings visible or people will be more concerned about 
how you do it than look at your show."

Strings were very visible on marionettes, some other types of puppets were missing hands or the hands were only there when needed, some body parts came from separate props or body parts from the puppeteers. One puppet had a large mask for a head, while the body was a large piece of cloth, and the neck linking iot all together was a very visible ring of wood.

Mirbt had and still has a big influence on Puppetry being done nowadays in
Quebec and Canada. The man loved experimenting on every asopect from puppetmaking to how thw show was constructed, to how the music played a role, and it showed in his results.  Refreshing and thought provoking.

For those curious to learn a little bit about his life and work, a website
has been created. They mixed English and French texts, on the same pages.
Beware that a loud sound file will start once the page is loaded.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Custom Banners

Click on picture to enlarge.

If you like these, or even if you want something completely different, consider me for the job.
Really, I enjoy transforming images and drawings (yours or mine) with a bit of digital magic.

For rates, send me a detailed description of what you need, and I'll reply promptly: