Lemmy and Zoot get color! I usually start with a couple of coats of black as a foundation. Then I dry-brush the color on top. Painting the eyes comes last. And I never forget to varnish the eyes to give them that extra little spark of life. Lemmy and Zoot’s mum was overjoyed when I delivered the pair. Lemmy and Zoot the actual cats didn’t seem to care.
I win every election because I get to collect free art materials in the form of yard signs. Sturdy, waterproof, lightweight AND free! I have a fantasy of collecting enough of them to make a tower of cards as high as a house.
In case you’ve been wondering what my sculptures look like on the inside, here is a step by step documentation on the making of Lemmy and Zoot. I start out with balled up newspaper inside a cage of chicken wire, then I cover the rough shape with my first layer of paper mache. In the oven I speed up their drying time so I can get to the next step. Paper mache takes a long time to dry, so anything I do has to be able to fit in the oven. Bigger projects have to wait until summer when I can dry them outside.
Next I make some eyes and teeth out of sculpey. My scale drawing comes in handy for that. I make some extra ones, so I’ll have plenty to choose the right ones from. Zoot gets a face, together with a second, smoother layer of paper mache. Lemmy has to wait for his face for complicated reasons having to do with the materials and the height of the oven. Back in the oven they go.
More bits get added. Lemmy’s legs and Zoot’s back legs get a layer of aluminum foil and then get covered with Magic Sculpt, an extra hard epoxy that I use for the most fragile parts. Back in the oven with them! I put a sign on the oven so that nobody accidentally pre-heats the oven to 500 degrees to make a pizza and incinerates my kitties. My family knows how to interpret signs like this.
Lemmy’s tail and Zoot’s front leg get a layer of a finer, harder paper mache and the lads get epoxy ears. Haunches get smoothed out. Back in the oven two more times! Zoot has quite the zombie look there.
Finally Lemmy gets his ears and face, Zoot gets a tail and they go into the oven one last time.
Next will be paint!
Project Lemmy and Zoot update! After a little back and forth, Lemmy and Zoot’s mom and me picked and fine tuned the couple from the drawings. I scanned and printed them out to the scale that the sculptures are going to be. Now I have a drawing to work from that is the right size!
Step 2 in my cat portrait comission: sketches. I filled a few pages with drawings but narrowed in on some favorite features pretty fast. Now I’m tweaking some details according to the cat mom’s specs. Then I’m ready to take it to the 3rd dimension!
And the cat theme continues! My friend Eryn, a great cat- and art-lover has commissioned me to do sculpture portraits of her two adorable cats Lemmy and Zoot. I went to meet the two and took some notes on their physical appearance as well as their character. They both have distinct personalities that are very different from each other (which makes my job easy!). Lemmy is long and thin and very shy. Chubby Zoot is extremely friendly, chatty and snuggly and has a funky tail. The two love each other. Eryn provided me with photos of her darlings and I’m going to start sketching. What a fun assignment!
I have some more kitties!
I made some big ass letters for CHAD chats, the satirical power point presentations that Mykle is the father of. They were on the stage at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival and looked great. Now, where to store them until the next CHAD chats?