Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ears, Nose and Lips Materials, Prep, and Process

So I decided that because my pieces were relatively small in comparison to some others, that it would be best to use materials that would allow me to get as much detail as possible for the closest anatomical configuration. Rather than focusing on function, I decided to try and make my ears, nose and lips resemble the real thing as closely as possible, while also incorporating my personal (apple) story into the lips, and the Pinnochio story into the construction of the (what ended up looking God-awful, but in a good way) nose. Styrofoam/floral foam was really my only option. The downside to this choice was that it was expensive- not just the foam itself, but also the tools required to try and shape it. I had to be very careful not to screw it up because it would force me to buy more, which wasn't going to happen! I ended up spending $50 on the stuff, so my process had to be exact and I basically had to just deal with whatever happened because I wasn't about to spend any more money!

In order to make the lips and ears, I had to get a little creative because the only foam available was flat, rectangular and thin.. so I cut out a few layers into the shapes I needed and glued them together in order to achieve the proper thickness. It took about a day or so for the glue to dry, and afterward I was able to sculpt and shave them into the proper shapes (or close enough!) The tool was bulky and annoying to use, plus the styrofoam really stunk when it was being cut, but other than that it wasn't too difficult getting the shapes cut. The shaving and sculpting was a little bit trickier, and overall it took about 8 hours to get close to what I really wanted. The nose was somewhat easier, since I had the basic cone shape already, and just had to manipulate it. However, the cutting and gluing of the nose was much harder, and required some imagination because the pieces weren't flat. I ended up using toothpicks to keep it from falling apart because the glue just wasn't sticking. After that, I just had to spray them with the air gun and some acrylic paints. The only difficulty there was finding a decent skin-tone color, but it ended up looking a bit on the orange side. It was fun using different colors to shade the ears, I think they turned out really well
(which I wasn't expecting!)

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