This sculpture is all about the spots. The bobcat is 21″ from nose to tail, 14″ high and 12″ wide. It was made with papier mache and paper clay over a wire, paper and masking tape form.
Lately I’ve been using Dan Reeder’s method of creating the inside form. Dan’s the author of Papier-Mache Monsters, which I read last month. I’ve been intending to tell you about it ever since I first read it, but all these cats have kept me too busy.
Dan’s been building with papier mache for years, and he has a number of tips and tricks that I didn’t know about. I’ve been able to translate some of his methods to realistic animal sculptures (I’m really not into monsters all that much). The one that has helped the most has been his use of wire frames, made from heavy coat hanger wire.
I still think my method of using a pattern cut from cardboard or plywood is best if you’re building something really big, like an elephant sculpture or room-sized dinosaur. The pattern lets you know from the beginning exactly how the finished sculpture will turn out. It would work especially well if a number of people are helping with the project.
But Dan’s method allows for twists and turns that can’t be achieved with my patterns. It also allows you to be a bit more inventive and spontaneous – because the legs and back can be bent after the crumpled paper has been covered with masking tape, allowing you to put your critter in a pose that you may not have thought of before you had the pieces in front of you. I wish I could tell you exactly how he does it, but it wouldn’t be nice for me to tell Dan’s secrets on my blog – so check your local library to see if they have their copy yet.
I’ve really been having fun lately with the Glazing Liquid made by Golden. It makes it a lot easier for me to get the natural look I want. I’ve been looking for a product like it for months, but never used the right word when searching for it. My daughter Jessie, (who recently painted a pretty nice gourd), knew what to call it – why didn’t I ask her sooner?