Here are some photos explaining my process for developing one of my recent sculptures. Step 1: Sketching out the design. Above is a small preliminary drawing of my concept. Below is the same designs enlarged to the actual size I wish to to sculpt it in. I used the grid method to scale the drawing up proportionately.
Step 2: I rolled out a slab of oil-based clay. Rubbed the back of my enlarged drawing with graphite. Placed the drawing on top of the clay slab. Traced the drawing onto the clay slab. Pushing down on the drawing with a pen makes the graphite transfer to the clay. Then I begin carving away the excess clay (see cross-hatched area) which will not be part of the final design.
Step 3 More carving an contouring of the shapes. This Bas Relief technique adds dimension and the illusion of volume to the shallow slab of clay. Here you can also see the heavy board I mounted the clay slab onto. I have found that rotating the board expedites this process and makes the work more comfortable. I can more the entire piece to work on different areas. It can also be held vertically to be viewed from a distance to check my progress.
Step 5 Here is a little more info about the molding process. On top is the completed resin casting of the flaming eye. Under the resin casting is a clay sculpture of what will be a second layer to the design. This test fitting of resin and clay elements helps me decide how the whole composition will work. The clay border surrounding the second sculpted layer is a retaining wall. This will contain the silicon when it is poured over the clay. This is a simple way of creating a one part or blanket mold." The brown circular shape on the bottom is my turntable. This allows me to rotate the whole assembly and work comfortably on different areas.
Step 6 Here is the completed sculpture. The top green flames are cast in opaque white resin. The orange base is cast in a clear resin and tinted with dye. This translucent feature allows light to glow through the material.