Friday, October 22, 2010

Cotton-Gesso Maquettes

Artist Dragan Bibin has developed an interesting method to create reference maquettes using gesso-saturated cotton.

He begins with an armature made from aluminum wire and tin foil, wrapped in masking tape.   
This framework is coated with acrylic gesso. Then bits of dry cotton are applied to the wet surface and shaped with a small brush, adding more acrylic gesso until the cotton is saturated enough to hold the desired shape.

All the shaping is done with a small brush. The forms are built by adding layers of patches of the saturated cotton. This method is actually very fast, because you don’t have to wait for the surface to dry to build upon it.
The resulting maquette is inexpensive, lightweight, airy, very tough, and durable, since the acrylic polymers are fairly elastic. Once it is fully dry, it can later be sanded and painted with acrylic paints.     

Thanks, Dragan!
Dragan's Blog with more pictures
Dragan's Website


Unknown said...

That's amazing! Really great craftsmanship. Thanks for finding/sharing!

Rachel said...

I like the reference models better than the paintings!

Craig Daniels said...

Paper mache all grown up!

Kevin Hedgpeth said...

Interesting! This process is very similar to the old "build-up" method for creating stop motion puppets. The difference being that liquid latex is used to coat the cotton.

ricardo said...

Very cool.
I wonder if it wouldn't be better to use something like latex, as Kevin said above, so that it would "trap" some light inside of the model once lit, then it might look more like real flesh, I suppose. But maybe it would take more time to dry, so...

Kessie said...

Now that is a fantastic idea. I wish I'd known about this back when I was still in art classes, because we had lots of cotton balls and gesso lying around. A bit messy for me to attempt in my apartment!

Christian Schlierkamp said...

I just checked Dragan's Website. I think he's a genius:
Just look at this picture:

Focus for about 30 seconds on the blood stain in the middle of the picture, then take a look at a wall near you and start blinking.
You'll see an Apparition.

Today I bought me some wire to start working with maquettes for my next project!-I try to work with maquettes for the very first time.:-D
Thanks for posting this!

Unknown said...

THese are awesome!

Daroo said...

Great stuff.

Yeah -- I've done the latex and cotton method --but it ruins the paint brush (use disposable) Gesso would probably give you more detail (course you could make little texture molds out of plasticene clay, pour the latex in and then, once dry, attach the textured latex to the sculpture).

In light of the season, the latex/ cotton method is also good for mask making -- a kind of poor man's foam latex without all the casting.

My Pen Name said...

there are now sub 5000K 3d printers on the market - probably cheap services will spring up too - that should add a whole new dimension to maquette making - though i do thing there is something about making things with one's hands that makes a deeper imprint on the brain

Chibi Janine said...

Thank you for finding this. I was trying to find a quick easy way to make models to help with my art work and you posted about a method super