Suzanne Sculpted

She's done for the most part, some minor shaping left to do at the neck/shoulders, and some smoothing....I was really hoping to be filming by now, but a part of me knew at the beginning that I'd probably take 2 months to do the sets and pups...gives me 8 days or so to finish up the pups (mold, cast, costume) and a few last-minute props....I haven't done anything with a voice track yet either, forgot about that.....I think I can make the SMS deadline, but if I have to I'll pass on SMS to keep working on the film.....

I'm also thinking a lot about color again, I introduced a character specific color with 'Widow', the 'Pepper red'....with this one Ive got earthy oranges and reds contrasting with cool blues....this palette comes partially from the comic (the blues of the witch costume, swamp, and 'lights out' bedroom), but the lit bedroom is my design....I went with orangey reds to compliment the blue, which works out well b/c its the palette of one of my favorite films, "Devil's Backbone"....also, the last few panels of the comic are set against a stark red background, very dramatic, and I wanted to keep that and still have it make sense, hence the red bed curtains.....I can't wait to see the costumed Su puppet in her blue witch get-up, standing in her bedroom....I expect it to be visually pleasing, exciting to the painter in me....


jriggity said...


The colors are incredibly rich and bueatiful!


Sven Bonnichsen said...

I had a little moment of insight about your sculpts yesterday... I think all your female heads are *feline.*

See, Gretchin and I are fostering a cat for someone right now, and I was looking at its face... Very wide cheekbones, and a very narrow jaw.

Then I was looking at your blog and saw photos of Su, Pandora, Widow, and Jenny all together -- and they all have this same structure. Very wide cheekbones, narrow jaw.

Granted, Su is wearing a "mask," so the bone structure would have to be larger in order to go over her "real" face underneath... And Widow is supposed to be a desiccated corpse... But it still feels like I'm seeing a commonality in terms of how you sculpt heads.

I'm not entirely sure what it is that I want to suggest -- so forgive me if this doesn't quite hold together yet...

There's not a lot of flesh on the head. Sculpt a skull, and you're already close to done. (Unless you're at the level of trying to sculpt a portrait -- which is beyond me.) ...So I've got some anatomy books out, and I'm looking at skulls.

1. I think you may be giving the women too much brow ridge. My understanding is that if you're sculpting stereotypes, then you give men more brow line -- and women almost none.

2. I don't get the feeling that you sculpted the mouths with the idea in mind that there are teeth inside. If you were making a naked skull, then you could approximate the teeth by sticking a small ball into the cavity below the nose... And then you'd build up the lower jaw beneath it.

3. With Jenny, I can see a bit of the angle of the jaw... But it seems to be missing on the other women. I mean, if you touch your chin and then follow the line of your jaw back toward your ear, there's the corner where the bone turns at a 45 degree angle up to where it attaches to the rest of the skull. I'm thinking that if you built the jaw, then filled in the cheeks, it would help you capture that line.

4. I'm thinking that your zygomatic arch tends to come out to the side too far. The arch of the cheekbone is actually quite close in to the face, and then it wraps around underneath the ear. The sides of the head that are just above the ears come out a little farther than the arch at that point, I believe. (And the jaw just tucks under it, also right by the ear.

5. I think you tend to make the eye sockets too large... Which is probably part of why the brow and cheekbones are falling where they do. Again, I realize that you're doing horror stories, so having "sunken" eyes makes sense... But I have the feeling that you may also not have a grasp on the underlying structure yet.

(Yeesh -- listen to me -- not like *I* can claim to be some expert!)

I also have the feeling that you don't quite know the structure of the shoulders and the ribcage yet, either... But I think I'll leave the issue there for now.

Shelley Noble said...

That room looks amazing, Jeff.

Ubatuber said...

Thanks folkses....

Sven, I confess I haven't referenced the anatomy book at all while sculpting Herbie & Su....I had it open permanently next to Jenny G while working on her (still working on her), but thought since these guys were 'quick & dirty', I'd just shoot from the hip, working in short bursts....nice observation about the kitty face shape, I may be subconsciously incorporating these beasts :)
I think there's a fine line that I'm always walking, always have been, between realism and abstraction...I think I'll be able to find my style easier by abstracting, I feel like it comes more from my gut that way, produces more unique results....but its definitely difficult to get a grasp on, my painting professor used to say that abstraction isn't bad drawing....that you have to know how to draw something well before you can abstract it well....not sure where I'm going with this...I guess I'm thinking, are the elements you mention part of a developing abstracted style or just bad sculpting? Who knows, not me....but I'll pay more attention to facial structure in the future and see where it takes me...
As for Su, I just can't touch her anymore....I just can't.....don't make me :p

Sven Bonnichsen said...

I wouldn't dream of suggesting you change Su!

And I certainly enjoy your sculpting style as-is.

Observing the "feline" similarity between your women pups made me start thinking about anatomy again. Trying to figure out how your abstraction deviates from actual bone-structure was my own brief obsession, and can be left at that.

I recalled you writing at one point that you were waiting to hear more out of me about that Kim Graham sculpting class I took. This seemed like the moment. I don't usually have a lot of "critique" in me... But observations? When I think I've had an insight, that's when I feel like I've got something worth saying.

Whether "anatomically accurate" or "abstract," thank you for sharing what you make!

Ubatuber said...

And thank you for being occasionally briefly obsessed with what I make!
There are things that I notice with these pups right off, that bother me, but its more an armature issue I think....like Herbies big head and short legs, or Su's long arms...but the thing about the facial structure is, you're right, it pops up in all of my female sculpts (well, except Nola but she doesn't count)...so it is worth thinking about, or at least being aware of, thanks....
And yes, pass on your wisdom freely and as often as possible :)