Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Illustration Master Class 2011

Illustration Master Class was in full swing in Amherst, Massachusetts, when we arrived yesterday.

Here's student Mark Helwig with his dragon reference maquette, made of Super Sculpey. He told me that it's his first time using Sculpey. There are about 100 students from all over the world, some using digital, some traditional, and some combining the two.

The workshop lasts a week, and at this stage the students have already gotten their sketch approved, gathered reference, and transferred the drawings onto the painting surface. Many of the students are professionals themselves, but everyone is trying something new, sharing techniques with each other, and staying up late hours.

IMC is team-taught by a faculty of guests and regulars, so students get plenty of opinions (not always agreeing opinions) about their sketches. I'm here for a day and a half as a guest speaker.

Back row: me, Greg Manchess, Dan Dos Santos, Irene Gallo, Scott Allie, Jeff Mack, Donato Giancola. Front Row: Adam Rex, Scott Fischer, Iain McCaig, Rebecca Guay, Julie Bell, and Boris Vallejo (Peter d.S. was away on a phone call).

Here's a sketch of Mo Willems, who did a slide show, explaining the anatomy of a children's picture book.

Peter de Sève did a wonderful presentation about his life in caricature and character design. Later on, Rebecca (left) treated us to a faculty supper at a Chinese restaurant, where Peter and Mo showed us other ways to think about those take-out containers.


MrCachet said...

LOL. And what did they do with the chopsticks?

Jazz Siy said...

Wish I can attend a master class one day and learn from the best artists. =)

Amy Thompson said...

How does somebody make a Sculpey sculpture that big without breaking the bank? At my local art store, 1 pound of Super Sculpey is $21 Canadian, and 8 pounds is $133. Is this just a necessary expense, or what?

Andrew said...

Amy, with a sculpey project that big, he's probably filling out the interior with aluminum foil to save on clay. You can fill it out quite a bit and do a thin base sculpt over that. A quick bake will harden it all up and keep it from feeling mushy as you start to really sculpt.

Depending on the art store, they could be trying to give you the runaround. I know the Michael's Arts and Craft near me is poor when it comes to their pricing - waaay more expensive than it needs to be. See if there's a decent online source that you can get some clay from, it might be cheaper, even with shipping. An average price for a pound of super sculpey should be ~$15 USD.

If you're just using it for reference and have no intention of keeping the sculpture, you could also an oil-based clay - you can't cure it, but you'll be able to reuse it quite a few times. I've liked using Chavant NSP in the past.

Jason Pruett said...

I'm sure you know about this - but I thought it was interesting.


Amy Thompson said...

Thanks Drew. Actually, mushy Sculpey is another problem I've been having. When I work on it, it will warm up and soften. It's a nightmare to work with it like that. But won't baking it make it unworkable, (except to add new bits to)?

Kiri Østergaard Leonard said...

It looks like the IMC is truly a blast.

I am hoping that I will eventually be able to afford attending, because it looks far too good to miss out on.

James Gurney said...

Amy and Drew--thanks for that price break idea.

Mark H. told me that he builds an armature in copper wire, bulked out with tin foil and then wrapped with masking tape. He then added maybe a half inch layer of Super Sculpey, and said the oven heat isn't enough to burn the tape.

I do a similar process, using aluminum armature wire and bulking out with tin foil.

Another student who is actually a professional modeler says he uses Castiline sculpting wax, made by Chavant. Does anyone else recommend that stuff for maquettes? I haven't tried it yet.