Completion Date: 08/14/2017
Time: 72 hours
I had been following the Rainbow Brush 2017 narrative and decided that it was almost definitely not happening this year, and had already moved on to a Crystal Brush project, when I saw that it had sprung back to life. I knew I wanted to enter, especially with 2017’s theme of environmentalism. I also had a desire to sculpt something original. I had been playing around with Mudbox, practicing on some bust ideas. So, I trolled around on Google image search looking for inspiration for a possible sculpt. I found this image:
I decided I wanted to do a similar dual bust theme. However, I wanted to keep it in the realm of fantasy, so I went with a vampire. I slapped together this concept art while simultaneously starting the sculpt:
My workflow was Cinema 4D -> Mudbox -> Cinema 4D -> Meshmixer -> Shapeways. My first “Nature Head” print was accidentally sized too small, so I took the opportunity to use it as a testing ground for water and foliage techniques. After a bunch of iterations, I decided on melted plastic and water effects. Not a ton of pics, as everything was so rushed.
I had some ideas for a base that tied it together, but I was running out of time, so I put them on a thematically appropriate feeling wooden plinth.
I started with a rushed 2D sketch to find my pigments:
I decided on a common warm shadow tone, which mixed up through a green range on the nature side, and a cyan range on the vampire side. I started each bust with a sketch:
…and basically kept doing passes to refine the sketches until I ran out of time.
I tried a few new techniques, including using some gloss varnish on the eyes, on the spilling oil, and inside the mouth, in order to produce environmental rather than forced matte reflection.
Good: I tried a ton of new effect techniques on this, including the water effect, the mixed foliage, the oil effect, and the rust. It also won ‘Best Interpretation’ at the Rainbow Brush.
Bad: The sculpt has some anatomical issues, a product of my amateur level sculpting ability. I find that I can push through crudely painted areas that don’t work by simply wiping them clean and iterating them until they are where I envision them… kind of a brute force approach that requires a lot of time and effort to compensate for lack of technique, but eventually produces results. I haven’t yet found any success with that approach in sculpting.
Ugly: Because of the aforementioned sculpting shortcomings, I think the entire thing looks kind of wonky.
Oakwood Studios for the plinth.
Shapeways for the 3D prints.
Massive Voodoo for the endless tutorials on any and all effects.
Aaron Lovejoy and Ben Komets for protips.
Marike Reimer for starting the Rainbow Brush, and Will Thompson for carrying the torch.