Monday, April 12, 2010

Illustration Friday: Linked-princess process

'Azure Princess'
paperclay on vinyl Baby Qee toy with jewelry findings, yarn, and ribbon

More and more I understand and respect how everything in life is linked, and how life is one big chain of events leading us to that next step. It's the same in art creating as one step links to the next, and jumping ahead will spell disaster. When you're lucky all those steps can be really fun as they were in this this Baby Qee toy project.

For the Toy2R 15th Anniversary World Tour show at Rivet 20 artists were given vinyl Qee toys to customize. Since my 'Aviator Piggie' got his own post I thought I'd show the process on the princess. My 'Azure Princess' started out as the elephant Qee.

I knew I wanted to make it a girl, so I hacked off the trunk with an X-Acto blade (after warming the Qee in a heating pad). I popped the head off thinking it might be easier to work on, (and out of curiosity). The very tip of the trunk ended up being cut and re-purposed as the Princess's crown later.

I decided to use Paperclay for her reconstructive rhinoplasty becasue it air dries, so I wouldn't have to worry about baking and possibly melting the vinyl. Epoxy Resin Clay is also often used, but I didn't want to deal with the toxic fumes. I had first roughly sanded the vinyl to help the Paperclay adhere (which you may be able to see on the ears). Sculpting the eyes was giving me lots of trouble before I realized I needed to sculpt the eye sockets first then place in the dry eyes, and then sculpt eyelids onto them. The Paperclay re-wets with water, so this, while helpful, was still tricky.

Her big hair was a big challenge, and took much longer than anticipated. Again, I found I had to let the first layer of Paperclay dry a bit before creating details on top. Eeks!...she's still naked. Don't stare!

I wanted the entire surface to have a consistant Paperclay texture, so I covered even her arms and feet, but to help the Paperclay stick I applied some Elmer's glue first which was a bit gooey to work with, and increased drying time. Originally, I planned for her to have this green ribbon, and to be more of a woodland character, but seeing her hair I knew I didn't want to hide the details with the dark paint that this plan called for, and this thin ribbon alone wasn't as wild with movement as I envisioned, so I brainstormed new ideas.

During a trip to Hobby Lobby I found a yarn that had the loose fun quality I was looking for, and her new identity was born.

Some glazing of silver paint over her hair and dress was the final polish.


She, and 'Aviator Piggie' are now on exhibit & available for purchase at Rivet Gallery in-shoppe or online here.

Here's some photos of the opening night I attended.

A nice review by Tomopop with great photos of the show can be found here.