Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lobster Sculpture

Sketches for the original lobster sculpture

I've been working on a project in my spare time over the past few weeks that was a big step away from my usual two-dimensional drawing world.
The lobster couple, (prior to changing the eyes)

A few years back I sculpted some cartoon lobsters for a client on the East coast, as a wedding gift to her fiance. (Playing off the theme that "lobsters mate for life".) At the time, I was not really sure about taking on a project that involved 3D cartoon work...but the client talked me into it. I'm glad she did, as it turned out to be a lot of fun, and the gift to her fiance was apparently a big hit.

Flash-forward to today. The happily married couple now has two kids, and they decided that they wanted me to add some young lobster characters to the original beach scene, now showing the whole lobster family.

It's one of those processes that takes time, as I need to take photos of each step and email them to the client, and then waiting for a response with comments or requests for changes. (Not the quickest way to create a 3D piece of art, but hey, it seems to work in the end.) After adjusting the claws, eyes, antennas on the kid lobsters, everything seems to be coming into shape.

The now growing lobster family, (one 'kid' added at this point).
I started with a Sculpey-like commercial clay that can be fired to become hard. Then to protect it, each clay piece had to be coated with a clear plastic resin, which smells and is hard to get off my hands and any tools I used. I added one 'baby lobster' and then after that looked right to the client, I added a second.

The client is happy, I had fun, and it has been a nice diversion from drawing. The real challenge: packing the whole thing up and shipping it so that it would not be damaged when say, the Fed Ex man drops/throws/kicks it. (I used rubber bands, padding and supports inside the box the first time...and will do the same this time.)