June 25, 2012 begun

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Here's the finished life-sized model, with how DeepGroover did it below.


Wolfman framed

Work in progress:

wolfman - started painting
June 25, 2012

All right y'all....I've officially started the werewolf. Today I spent some time sanding a few spots along the back where he goes flat, and washed him in the kitchen sink. He dried for several hours, and I just finished putting the first base coat of flesh on him a little while ago. Despite the hue in the photo I can say it appears more realistic in person. I'm taking a big risk sharing the progress with you. If I don't like how its going it'll be too late to keep it a secret. Everyone cross fingers. I'll be on this one for a while....

wolfman in progress 2a
June  30, 2012  (two angles)

Well, everyone, here's the current status of Wolfie. Sorry about the tint of the photo. Trust me...his flesh tone is much more realistic than my photos are implying. I've added shadows and highlights, and the dark areas under his eyes.

I also did some basic eye area lining, and have begun on the mouth. Thankfully the resin was the sort to allow a bit of soaking in. This most definitely works to my favor, as I can do a slightly better job blending colors.

I used basic flesh with white for the highlights, and for the shadows (after studying my own color) I mixed flesh, rust, and a hint of red. I also used this color to feather the edges of his head near the hair.

wolfman painting in progress 2b
The bags under his eyes were done with a mix of dark grey, red, and a bit of flesh.

The linings of his eyes consist of red and rust together.

For his mouth, I used a mix of red, rust, and a bit of white for lighter areas. Later, for a darker tone in some spots I used the red-rust combo but with a hint of black.

Next step will be to further detail the mouth, including shading and "veining" his tongue, painting his back teeth, and further defining his lower lip. I'll paint the lower gum/teeth insert prior to installing it. I'll also dark out his nostrils.

Doing his eyes will be a mini project in itself. I've read several articles on how to get a realistic look, and I'll use those along with my own methods. I'll be anxious for that part to be done, and hopefully just as excited to share the results with you. I plan to have him gazing to the side.

wolfman in progress 3a
July 1, 2012 (two angles)

Well, I was very busy yesterday, and basically got Wolfie's mouth done.

I created what I think was a wonderful shade for the teeth. It came from experimenting, but consisted of a mix of white, yellow, light grey, and finally dark brown oil for a subtle shading. I painted his entire inner mouth, then the lower partial. The partial was test-fitted to make sure no unpainted areas were visible. The last steps were to generously coat the inner mouth with clear acrylic gloss, and then the partial. When the partial was dry to the touch I glued it into place.

If you look closely at the eyes in both photos you'll see a pencil outline for his irises. I cut circles out of napkins for templates. I chose napkin over ordinary paper because the napkin is softer, and therefore more likely to contour where needed. I held the cutout in place and traced the outline with pencil. This will help ensure a proper circular shape, even though it disappears into the eyelids.

wolfman in progress 3b
Based on information provided from the owner of the company, I will be painting the eyes green, and the hair a darkish brown. I'll feather a bit of grey into the hair around his face.

Also, according to my source, both the shirt and bow tie are white. I'll probably paint the tie off-white just for a little contrast.
It seems I won't need all of July for this after all. In fact, despite taking my time to get it exactly like I want it I'll probably be done by mid-month...at the latest. Once he's done I'll look for a suitable shadow box or frame to display him.

wolfman in progress 4a
July 4, 2012 (three angles)

I was very busy the last few nights, as you can see. I spent one whole evening session on the eyes. There's a really good "how to" article on the Black Heart website about this, so I read it and adapted the necessary parts to my painting style. Once I was satisfied with the color applications of the iris and orb, I sealed it with that Devcon epoxy.

wolfman in progress 4b
Last night I spent my time painting the base color for his "soul patch", eyebrows, and his eyelashes. At first I planned to use dark brown as the base, but considering I lighten from my base color it seemed too light for my taste. I chose black instead, and when dry-brushing brown over this I should get the shade I was wanting. I'll also heed some expert advice and add a hint of grey to the temples and such.

wolfman in progress 4c
At the pace I'm going I'll probably have him completed by the end of this coming weekend. If not surely by the next one. I must say its a kick to stare at this thing on my worktable, and have it look back at me.

I plan to add the highlights to the parts of his hair I painted. I'll also add some shading to his ears before starting on his main hair.

wolfman in progress 5a
July 7, 2012

Well ladies and gentlemen, I put the final touches on Wolfie this morning.

I spent Thursday night giving his hair a black base coat. Friday night was spent giving the hair brown highlights and a bit of grey near the temples and slightly lower.

I also painted his bow tie and shadows on his shirt. I opted to leave his shirt unpainted since the white resin was a suitable look.

This morning I refined the grey, added a lighter brown highlight to the top of his hair, and shaded his bow tie. After one more close scrutiny I declared him done.

wolfman in progress 5b
These first two photos are in my work area, and done very basic with my little Canon camera. The third one is for those not so familiar with models to see how big this guy is. If you look carefully you'll see a soldier head in the background at top right. That head is 200mm in scale. Of course being able to say this thing is life sized makes size reference much easier. :-)

wolfman in progress 5c
Today my father will take some good photos, including one I hope you'll find amusing. I plan to pose next to it, so not only will you see the true size but some of you haven't seen me in a long time. I can only say I hope to be more handsome than Wolfie. :-)
Also, I'm going to make a formal display for him, which will include mounting him to a frame. My plan is to purchase an 11 x 14 (ideal for him) frame in a style suitable to his character. I have a trophy shop that makes all my name plates, and they agreed to cut me a blank metal plate in 11 x 14, to replace the glass. I'll then glue a bunch of flat magnets to the back of Wolfie's head, and stick him to the plate. The final touch will be a custom name plate at the bottom just below his bow tie. I'll hang him in my room with immense pride.
I'm flattered to say I've been asked to share my creation with the website that makes the product. I can certainly be added to the many thrilled customers who came before me, and while I can't exactly say my home will be filled with life-sized pieces, I'm no longer afraid to tackle such a project.

wolfman in progress 6a
July 8, 2012

Dad and I set up the lights and background to do it proper. Photo one and two are over-all shots.

wolfman in progress 6b
My last work on him was to add shading to his tie, and a hint of highlight to his hair near the top of his head. The grey accents near his temples really turned out good. The fade is smooth like I'd hoped for.

wolfman in progress 6c
Photo three is one more close-up of his eyes. I really enjoyed doing this part. This was just the type of challenge I found exciting rather than scary.

wolfman in progress 6d
And yes....photo four is yours truly holding the finished piece, mostly for size comparison. I look like a tomato with a face in that photo, and don't know why. Now you can see why I don't like being in photos.

And that brings to conclusion my first ever life sized piece. Looking back I spent more time being eager than apprehensive. Saturday I purchased a neat 11 x 14 frame, and Monday I'll order the metal plate in that size. He's gonna look like a really cool 3D painting in a frame when I'm done.

PS: I'm the one on the left in the photo, in case there's confusion. :-)

Wolfman framed
July 14, 2012

Well, here he is, now properly displayed as I intended.

It started with approximating the frame size, which thankfully was about 11x14. I picked out a suitable one at Michaels last weekend.

Now came the challenge of how to mount him to it. Magnets wouldn't work...a ton of them still wouldn't hold his weight. Same with velcro. Finally I got the idea to screw him to a metal plate. Fortunately the folks at Monarch Trophy (where I get all my name plates) were able to provide me with an 11x14 steel plate, and more importantly, tap holes where I wanted them. 1/8th inch holes were tapped in the plate in a diamond pattern, based on an outline drawing of the head provided by me. A whole week passed until I could collect the remaining items I needed. It was torture. I wanted him up already.
Today I went to Lowes and purchased some small wood screws (#4x1/2in.) to attach the head to the plate. I also bought some self-tapping wall anchors for putting him up on the wall. Now, armed with everything I needed, I finally went to work getting him mounted. Not the easiest chore, but I got it done. I tapped small holes in the head where the screws would go, to help them along. I soon found out I needed to bore the holes out a bit. That did the trick. They took with minimal effort. I placed the plate with head attached into the frame, then put the glass piece (for added thickness and reinforcement) behind it. (Note: my sister [Elwing-V] gave me some flat 5x7 magnets, 2 of which I used in the center of the glass to reinforce the middle of the metal plate and prevent bowing). Finally, I attached the frame back and secured it. Now Wolfie is elegantly displayable.
The last steps were to tap the place for him on the wall (easy enough), and rig the wire on the frame for hanging. I took no chances...I ran the wire about 5 times through the eyelets, making it about 5 times stronger. Last, I hung him up.
I realize most folks won't go to as much trouble, but I thought it is such a cool piece it deserves a fancy display. I like to think of it as a 3D photo. I like the glossy black of the metal giving the impression of him "floating" on the frame. Next week I'll have a small name plate made to provide the actors name, character, and year of the movie.
I've certainly learned a lot during the whole process, and you can bet when I do my next one (and there WILL be a next one!) I now know what to do for displaying it.

Note: DeepGroover-(T)'s how-to was later picked up for the gaming site: Black Heart Enterprises. Here is the link to their pdf version from their Tips section.