Last year I began a portrait study of my father. Below are some images showing the progress. This was one of my favorite pieces I've worked on lately.
Here it is blocking in the main shapes and proportions. It's important that it is already beginning to develop the likeness here, otherwise it never will. I try to keep shapes simple and angular at this stage.
Here the forms are getting fleshed out and more fully described. Now the weight and curve of forms start to come into the composition.
Here is the clay version nearly complete. I use a water-based paperclay that is grey when moist, and fires to a bright white color.
For this piece I decided to make a rubber mold so that I could make multiples. I wanted to be able to keep one for my personal collection!
Here is the first layer of silicon rubber (pink!) with the beginning of a card shim to divide the two halves. Actually the shim is made from Barbie cards.. and in the shape of a tiara! I'm not sure my dad would approve ;)
Here is a finished cast. I used Hydrostone, which is a gypsum product. It mixes similarly to plaster, but is MUCH more durable. I will also make another cast with a variation of patina color, to a darker tone.
This piece is headed to the Sidney Fine Art Show this October.