Friday, March 5, 2021

Mountain Maquette


Yesterday on Instagram I shared my painting "Palace in the Clouds," and some people asked: 
@martinez_lucas.psd What did you use for reference?
@marcbanks_ Is this completely from imagination?
@s.error_ Have you made a model to help in this scene?

The answer is yes! 

For the mountain forms I draped a piece of plaster-impregnated burlap over some chunks of styrofoam, then made the buildings out of scraps of mat board hot-glued together. 

On top of all that I attached bits of white foam for the snow. Bringing that outside into the sunlight was a huge help for imagining the pattern of light and cast shadows.

6 comments:

Kessie said...

I have stared at that illustration for years, wondering how in the world you could envision something clearly enough to paint it like that. Now I know your secret! I must round up some supplies to make maquettes. :-D

Susan Krzywicki said...

What a fun job/life you have!

E Snook said...

How big is the maquette, and roughly how much time did you put into it?

Steve Kobb said...

James --

I have some questions that others may well have asked you before, but -- if they did -- I can't find your response anywhere.

So, first: We all know that you are a skillful master of maquette-making. We've seen lots of proof that you know how to create stunning 2D pictures based on those models.

Given that, I would like to read your thoughts on the issue of DIGITAL sculpting with 3d software VS. REAL sculpting with clay-based models. Where do you stand on that comparison?

For example: I could make a preliminary model in Blender software. Would that effort prepare me for 2d painting any better than if I had sculpted with Model Magic clay?

I can imagine a variety of responses from you, such as:
- No, it doesn't matter what tool you might use. Whatever feels most comfortable. OR...
- YES! It matters A LOT!
-- And all positions in between.

As I'm sure you know, Blender is free. It has perspective built-in. Lights and surface materials can be adjusted. Etc. Nevertheless, physical models give the artist a direct contact with form and structure.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this comparison... and I bet a lot of others would be curious, too.

James Gurney said...

Steve, it's hard for me to give a good answer because I'm not familiar with the digital sculpting tools; I've never used them and can't compare the results with physical models. If other artists find them preferable, by all means I think that's great. I'm just sharing how I do it, and I find that way works well for me.

Steve Kobb said...

Thank you so much, James! I appreciate your perspective.