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Sculpting tutorials on the Bernie Wrightson MINE! artwork sculpted by Mr. Shawn Nagle

 The first time I became aware of Bernie Wrightson's artwork was many years ago, actually in the 1970,s . I then sported a full head of hair and a shirt with a butterfly collar, but that's another story! KISS, the legendary rock band was in their prime, as were monsters, D.C. Comics and Swamp Thing, one of Wrightson's creations. All were featured in illustrated magazines like Creepy and Eerie and I lived for them. It was in these magazines that I first saw Wrightson's artwork. I was amazed by his drawings because they contained so many different dramatic elements such as lighting, shape and design.

 In my opinion, Bernie Wrightson is one of the best artists around, but I don't want to limit his artwork to just the comic field- not to slight comic artists in any way. I think they are some of the best talent that the art and illustration world has to offer since basically, they can do everything. A lot of other people who consider themselves artists have not mastered the technique of drawing, yet along have the imagination to create the wealth of images that Bernie has. He can do it all and has proven this with his artwork and illustration featured books, comics, movies and television. Vist the Official Bernie Wrightson website at www.BernieWrightson.com


 With all that said, now on to the sculpting article. I have documented my sculpting techniques on one of my creations which is a werewolf sculpture that is based on one of Bernie Wrightson's creations. Since realistic hair or fur can be a tricky technique to sculpt, I will focus on the hair patterning of the figure.

1. Make sure that you have perfectly silhouetted the sculpture from the artwork. Study it from every angle. It is very important that you do this, since if you don't it will not look like the artwork.
(Photo A)

2. Once the original sculpt has been baked, it will give you a steady foundation to work off of. Now you can start shaping out the flesh.

3. Now that you have fleshed out the sculpture, you can start to focus on the fur and hair.
(Photo B)

4. Since I couldn't find the exact tool that I needed to sculpt hair, I decided to create one myself. First I started with a small lump of clay, then I inserted a few straight pins into the end of the clay lump. be sure to take pliers and bend the pin heads so that they can't slide out of the clay. Next I glue these pins in place and then cover the whole thing with epoxy putty to hold it all in place.
(Photo C)

5. I use a sculpting tool to make a wave like pattern on the clay surface.
(Photo D)

6. Next I use the hair tool I created to make a fur-like effect on the surface.
(Photo E)

7. Using a #3 brush, go over the patterning with a solution of 40% mineral spirits with 60% boiled linseed oil. This will help to shape it as well as clean it up. You can see in the photograph that even though the sculpture is almost finished, I still have some final detailing and refining to do.
(Photo F)

The sculpture near completion
(Photo G)

The next step is to cut up the sculpture. I remove the piece from the oven. When the sculpture cools down but is still warm, I find my parting lines and cut them with an X-acto knife. I carefully cut and pull them apart and then cut through the armature with a saw or wire cutters.
(Photo H)

 I hope my quick tips will help you with your next sculpting projects in the future. the most important thing is to have a good time and keep on modeling!

Shawn Nagle

note: this sculpting tutorial article appeared in
Issue 16 of Amazing Figure Modeler


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