Doris Marshall

April 9, 2011

This character is based on an old lady who, in the guise of ‘housekeeper’, terrorized the inhabitants of an old Victorian house in Glasgow.

Although it was several years ago I still remember her beady little chameleon eyes behind thick rimmed glasses and her brown, bri-nylon slacks.

Sadly I never took a photograph of her – I wouldn’t dare – so I drew this sketch from memory (but it’s a near photographic likeness, honest)

Based on this drawing I started modeling the clay head and gnarly hands. I seem to remember that hers had quite blunt fingers with big nicotine stained fingernails that looked as if they’d been carved out of goat horn or something.

Knarly fingers

These are the clay ones ready to have a mould made of them and below, the mould for the glasses which I haven’t cast yet.

Continued soon when hopefully I’ll have time to do some more work on her…

Mould for glasses


The next stage in making the model head is to cast it in silicone.

I tinted some silicone with flesh coloured pigment and cast it. When cured I filled the cavity with urethane foam to support the outer skin.

The cast face removed from mould

Slicing out the opening for insertion of glass eyes

The hollow glass eyes are so fragile, I like the way they are packaged – nestling snugly in foam rubber inside a clear box.

The next stage : applying paint.

I used pigments added to psycho paint to add the more subtle touches, freckles lip colour, and the pink bits in the corner of the eyes etc.

applying freckles and pink lipcolour

Now that the painting is completed the final stage will be to root the hair, eyelashes and eyebrows.

The finished result


clay wall with registration indents

After re-stocking with silicone I was able to move on to the next part of the process:

I built a clay wall on the finished sculpture where the separation line would be – this had indents to provide registration points. As this is a test piece I didn’t worry too much about the neck and shoulder area and kept it simple by doing a 2 part mould with the most obvious separation line.

I left the sculpture uncovered for a few hours to lower the surface moisture level and then painted the whole thing with button polish.

The next stage was to cover it in a thin layer of silicone with added thixotropic agent to capture the surface detail. Once that had cured I removed the clay wall and trimmed off any excess silicone.

untrimmed silicone coating

I applied some general purpose resin and fibreglass matting on top of that to provide a rigid shell, then repeated the whole process on the other half of the mould.

The edges of the mould were trimmed off before the resin had completely hardened to provide a neat edge. Finally I gave it a quick hand sand to remove any stray matting fibres (that can embed themselves in your fingers) and drilled holes in the flange for the hex bolts to go through.

The view of the inside of the mould looks like this.

interior of mould

Next stage (in a wee while) : Casting

Ruan Sculpture

January 29, 2011

I started a clay sculpture of Ruan a few weeks ago and worked on it in between jobs and this is how it progressed.

I’d like to do a series of posts on all the different processes involved starting with this first one – the clay modelling stage and ending with the finished model. The subsequent posts will feature all the different stages including mould making, casting in silicone, painting of the model and hair rooting process. Depending on the results I might carry on and  make a whole figure.

(Further pic’s in Sculpture Portfolio, PAGE 6)

Initial stages:

earlier stages of sculpt

working on capturing a likeness

after this stage it took ages to put in the more subtle modeling of the features.

untextured stage

finished head, untextured

view 2

ear detail

eventually, when I thought I could take if as far as could, I started putting in some surface texture (also put in plastic eye blanks the same size as the glass ones will be).

surface texture views

close-up, finished head

The next post will feature details of the mould making stage!

( Ruan, I hope you recognise yourself!)

More Sculpture Pic’s.

October 15, 2010

Selected examples of work: (more in Sculpture Portfolio in the pages section)

painted silicone cast from sculpture

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The whole process of photographing; sculpting; mould making; casting; painting and hair rooting takes quite a long time!

Hyper-Real Sculpture

October 15, 2010

Inbetween model making jobs I have a chance to get on with my own work. I’ve been sculpting in clay then casting the sculptures in silicone. They’re then painted and, if needed, hair is rooted with needles for a realistic effect.

I’m planning to make a whole figure sculpture soon – probably 3/4 life-size, and the process will start with taking many photographs of the subject. Here’s some samples I’ve already done – there are more pic’s in the Sculpture Portfolio pages.

small silicone hand

early stages of sculpt

More pic’s coming up…