Sunday, August 29, 2010

Grabbing the limelight

"Ricky" is now up for grabs on Ebay.

Ready for action

This little guy is dressed in his Sunday best in hopes of impressing someone.  He'll soon be available on Ebay for the winning bidder.  He's a take on my "Henry" character, but because he's a redhead, I'll call him "Ricky" for now.  But whoever decides to make him his partner wins renaming rights, too.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The boy to annoy

He probably looks forlorn because he's lonely.  That's why he's listed on Ebay. If you can provide a little companionship, then click on the link and place a bid.  There's more information about him there.  I'm sure he'll repay your kindness by being totally annoying in public everywhere you take him.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Coloring on the lines

Now that I'm back home, I'm busy in my workshop.  I've painted my grouchy old guy with an Afro skin tone and enhanced the wrinkles with a darker color.  I also painted the lips with a lighter pink color.  I still need to thin out the darker lines in the lips by repainting the pink color around the dark lines.  In fact, that partially describes my method of painting wrinkles. 

First I paint the wrinkle with a slightly lighter color than the skin tone.  Then I paint a thinner line of color that's darker than the overall skin tone.  Then to make the wrinkles finer, I touch up the edges with the original skin tone color.  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Face to face

On our way back home to Oregon from Monterey, we arranged a visit with Buzz James, owner of Braylu Creations. I've been a Braylu customer for several years and we've emailed and Skyped many, many times, but never met. Glad to say Buzz is as nice and as gracious as they come. It was great to finally meet him and shake his hand in-person.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Size matters

A question from a reader:
Q: What size clothes do they wear? And is it without alterations?

A: My guys wear size 2T and don't require alteration (except for the
slit I cut and sew in the back for hand access). Also, sometimes the
shirt necks are a little big, but a paper clip or sewn tab tightens
them up.

Sent from my iPhoneo

Sunday, August 08, 2010

We are all unbalanced

Here he is again with 2 coats of paint.  His left nostril is higher than his right which gives him more of a snarl.  Also the left side of his face has more of a frown than his right. 

I think sculpting faces with uneven features gives the characters more personality.  Very few of us actually have facial features on one side of our mugs that are equal to the other side of our mugs. 

Keeps us humble.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Can dummies swim?

I hope you got a chance to read the post below "A dreamer and his dream". It might be a Paul Harvey "Rest of the Story". If you haven't read it, I won't give away the ending, though this little tidbit may rob you of its charm.  But first read the post and then come back to this post for the "rest of the story".


According to Wikipedia, the subject of the story eventually got tired of being the straight man while his dummy got all the laughs. So while on a troop ship (he was in the Army entertainment corps), he threw his dummy overboard. No more vent act.

That's one way to end a partnership.

I coulda been a contenda

He looks like an old prize fighter at this stage. He now has a coat of primer, so everything is the same color. It's a bit easier to see who he is, or should I say, is about to become. The addition of the furrowed eyebrows will make him look more like the persistent pessimist he's meant to be. Did you notice I added a big hairy mole on his right cheek?

Next step... first coat of skin color.

Okay, I'll try this

He looks rather frightening right now (and he may still look frightening when he's done), but I'm taking a tip from Buzz James of Braylu Creations fame to slightly alter the face of one of my cast heads to create a new character. In this case, I'm changing the nose and upper lip area of a "Mr. Winkle" head to make him a grumpy black character. We'll see how well my experiment turns out in the end.

More photos to come.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

A dreamer and his dream

Note: This was emailed to me today. I thought you might enjoy the story as much as I did.

Let me tell you, Jesse hated this job. And you would too, I imagine, if you had to do it. Jesse was a chicken plucker. That's right.

He stood on a line in a chicken factory and spent his days pulling the feathers off dead chickens so the rest of us wouldn't have to. It wasn't much of a job.

But at the time, Jesse didn't think he was much of a person. His father was a brute of a man. His dad was actually thought to be mentally ill and treated Jesse rough all of his life.

Jesse's older brother wasn't much better. He was always picking on Jesse and beating him up. Yes, Jesse grew up in a very rough home in West Virginia . Life was anything but easy. And he thought life didn't hold much hope for him. That's why he was standing in this chicken line, doing a job that few people wanted.

In addition to all the rough treatment at home, it seems that Jesse was always sick. Sometimes it was real physical illness, but way too often it was all in his head. He was a small child, skinny and meek. That sure didn't help the situation any.

When he started to school, he was the object of every bully on the playground.

He was a hypochondriac of the first order. For Jesse, tomorrow was not always something to be looked forward to. But, he had dreams.

He wanted to be a ventriloquist.

He found books on ventriloquism. He practiced with sock puppets and saved his hard earned dollars until he could get a real ventriloquist dummy.

When he got old enough, he joined the military. And even though many of his hypochondriac symptoms persisted, the military did recognize his talents and put him in the entertainment corp. That was when his world changed. He gained confidence. He found that he had a talent for making people laugh, and laugh so hard they often had tears in their eyes.

Yes, little Jesse had found himself.

You know, folks, the history books are full of people who overcame a handicap to go on and make a success of themselves, but Jesse is one of the few I know of who didn't overcome it. Instead he used his paranoia to make a million dollars, and become one of the best-loved characters of all time in doing it!

Yes, that little paranoid hypochondriac, who transferred his nervousness into a successful career, still holds the record for the most Emmy's given in a single category.

The wonderful, gifted, talented, and nervous comedian who brought us Barney Fife was...

...Jesse Don Knotts.

Sunday, August 01, 2010


Theatre black

While passing along a virtue, I will be forced to admit to a fault. Mightily as I try, my eye sockets are not perfect, nor are my jaw slots. So to deemphasize imperfections, I use an age old theatre trick by painting what I don't want seen... black.

I paint the back of the head (the trap door interior) black. The black backing makes the small eye-socket imperfections blend with the eyeliner. I also paint the eye tray black. This camoflauges small gaps when viewed from above.

The heads from Braylu Creations are bright white inside and out. To lessen the effect of light passing through the jaw gaps, I paint the inside of the neck black. It's the area that is just behind the jaw.

Sorry I'm not perfect, folks. But if you aren't either, then I hope this tip will suffice until we are.

Bigger eyes

Actually, bigger irises. As some may know, I follow one of the eye-building options outlined in Michael Brose's "Figure Making Can Be Fun". I print out irises on paper with my computer printer, carefully cut them out, then glue them onto white eyeballs (wood knobs painted white). After the glue dries completely, I add a thin coat of clear glossy varnish. When that dries, I add 2 more coats of glossy varnish to get a shiny, glassy effect.

But my newest feller Henry has larger irises than I've used in the past. The look is cuter, I think. I'll probably go with larger irises on my next "Elmore" figure, too. I may need to enlarge the eye sockets on Elmore, though, to accommodate the bigger irises.