This year we got to attend Son Of Monsterpalooza for the first time, and I have to say it was quite an amazing show. It was also the last of the Monsterpaloozas to be held in Burbank, so we all spent time reminiscing at the Daily Grill. Next year Monsterpalooza moves to the Pasadena Convention Center, which will give the growing convention some room to spread out - and house many more amazing artists and creators. Check out our gallery from this year's experience, and stay tuned for updates about our next appearances!
The Stan Winston School of Character Arts has released part two of our video series on sculpting a figure in Cx5s! The title of this tutorial is Fantasy Maquette Sculpting in Cx5s, and in these lessons I focus on taking the rough figure of Jessica Dru that I sculpted in the first video, Female Figure Sculpting in Cx5s, and turning it into a fully realized fantasy character, using all kinds of finishing techniques for Cx5s.
Creating a fantasy character maquette is a multi-stage process that goes from creating 2D concept sketches, making smart decisions while translating those ideas into 3D sculptural elements, and creating texture and detail in your finished sculpture. Maquettes like these are used to pitch concepts for movies and video games, as small scale versions of much larger sculptures, or can be taken to completion as finished statues.
I had a great time working with Jessica Dru again, and this time she not only posed as a live model, but also collaborated with me on the final design of the character. Jessica's professional work as a costume designer was a great asset, and together we explain why sculptural decisions at the maquette stage are so important to the overall success of the character.
So what character did we create together? A dragon fighter with a huge free flowing cape and dragon scale armor, which gave us lots of opportunities to explore fabric dipping and cloth forming, sculpting delicate clothing folds, and creating texturally rich armor, hair and boots.
I also explore the fundamentals of head sculpting, and though we don't get into portrait sculpting in this video, I do go over all the basics that I use when creating face shapes, using hot-sculpting techniques in Cx5s.
Since Cx5s is a sculpting material with very unique properties, this video is a perfect in-depth guide to creating detail and delicate forms using waxer techniques, hot-sculpting, hot-sanding and solvent. I show the finishing techniques I use to get smooth, even surfaces, and convincing overlays of clothing over skin, as well as some tricks for duplicating sculpted forms quickly and easily.
Join us for a full day's worth of sculpting tips, tricks, techniques and strategies in Cx5s!
A couple of weeks ago I got a chance to sculpt with Frank Ippolito on the Rancor Project for Tested.com, and Frank slipped us some VIP passes to Cinephile (thanks, Frank!). The Rancor sculpture came out amazing, and it was also fully functional costume that Frank wore around Comic-Con before the party.
While we were there, not only did we get to hang out with fantastic people like Fon Davis & Amanda Franchini, Kit Quinn, Niko Gonzalez & Cat Paschen, and the amazing Danica Johnson, but I got to say hi to Rick Baker and of course Adam Savage, and Alexis met one of her favorite people of all time, Alton Brown. It was a fantastic night, and then to top it off, Deadmau5 took the stage a few feet from us and blew everyone's minds.
I can't wait for next year's Tested.com party, and I hope we see you all there!
This year we're celebrating Independence Day in two ways - first as an intrinsic part of our company's ethos, and second as goal for sculptors worldwide.
First of all, we're proud to manufacture all of our sculpting material here in the USA. As a manufacturer, we're supporting making products in the United States, and are always working with as many United States suppliers as we can. From our raw materials to our boxes and printed products, we look to United States companies first. We ship worldwide, but we're making an investment in our country and its small businesses every day.
And of course, the second way we're celebrating is with independence from armatures! We have a motto we like to share -- kiss your armatures goodbye -- because one of the most liberating things about Cx5 is the ability to sculpt without any armature wire, pipes or boards. Cx5 and Cx5s are both self supporting, and by starting your sculpture with a thin core and building up around that core you never need to use a rigid armatures again. Free yourself to make bold changes to your piece at any stage of the sculpting process.
This Fourth of July we hope you'll celebrate the essence of the day with us -- freedom -- in all that you do.
We had a great time at Monsterpalooza, with friends old and new. Here are some of the highlights from our time with this year’s community of creature creators.
We also got to visit with artists we've loved for a long time, and fantastic new acquaintances, like Miss Monster, soon to be based in Los Angeles.
We loved seeing our tutorial video, Sculpting the Female Figure in Cx5s, over at Stan Winston School of Character Arts, and I got a chance to do a demo for their live Monster Show on hot sculpting, detailing with the Beane Detailing Tip, hot sanding, and building up a form without an armature. Keep an eye out for the second half of the tutorial series, which they'll be releasing this summer.
There were some very impressive sculptures this year, including the new Court of the Dammed figures from Sideshow Collectibles, and Nick Marra's sculpture of Gunslinger from Westworld. The ever impressive Mike Hill had a new, particularly vicious sculpture on display; the Wolfman.
A personal favorite moment for me was getting to meet a young artist named Bella - you may have heard of her, since her story of reaching out to Rick Baker and getting his encouragement to follow her dreams in special effects and makeup went viral last year. I'm inspired not only by her enthusiasm and wonderful story, but also by her mom, Jesse Meriwether, who is helping her follow her dreams every step of the way. I remember being eight years old and fascinated by special effects, and that love has never gone away. Keep sculpting, Bella!
We had an amazing time this year, and loved getting to meet so many great people. You can check out our Monsterpalooza gallery for more photos, and we'll be back for Son of Monsterpalooza on September 18-20th. See you then!