Boer Goat Sculpture – Quick Update

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Boer Goat Sculpture

That was fast!

After I uploaded the last video this afternoon, I started adding WED clay to my new Boer goat ‘skull.’ Less than an hour later the sculpture looked like a goat, and the skull shape underneath did almost all the sculpting for me. She even seems to have a personality, which the foil armature never did.

I’m so glad I gave up on the foil armature and started over. This one is so much easier for me to connect with, and I’m very happy with the way it’s going.

Now I’ll go back and actually look at photos of my model to see where I need to make changes. Up to this point I was just using the skull to find the shapes. I was amazed by how fast it allowed me to work, and how much confidence it gave me. If I do any more large animal portraits like this, I’ll be making a skull first.

In fact, now I wish I had a whole studio filled with simple skull forms like the one I made today. You don’t need all the details, just the major shapes. It would be easier to make one, and it would certainly be more accurate, if you  have a real skull to look at instead of just photos.

As I mention in the video, In the next few weeks I’ll be making a skull-shaped form based on the resin human skull I have. I’ve used the resin model for a lot of faces, but I want a form that’s simpler, without the large holes around the jaw that always need to be filled in before I can get started on my sculpt. I’ve intended to do some character sculptures for a long time  now, and this is the year that I’m really going to do them. Be sure to remind me, if I forget!

Let me know what you think of this sculpt so far. Have you made skull forms for your animal portraits? If you have, did you like it? And if you haven’t, does it look like something you’d like to try?

27 thoughts on “Boer Goat Sculpture – Quick Update”

  1. Jonni, the WED is an air dry clay, right? Will it not crack when you put it on an armature? I have tried many air dry clays and the often crack because they shrink when the dry.

    • Hi Katie. No, the WED is not an air dry clay, as that term is normally used. It’s a modeling clay. It will shrink and crack as it dries, because it has water in it. The epoxy clays don’t crack when they cure, and I’ve never had a problem with my original paper mache clay cracking either, if it’s used in a thin coat over an armature.

  2. Hi Jonni, love the goat!! But I missed how you made your skull and what materials?? You are amazing…Thanks Kendra

  3. Wow- that WAS fast! We have all had those sculptures that we knew from the start was not going to work to our satisfaction. I have a baby deer that I actually put clay on and I hated it. It is now used to practice a painting technique!
    It is wonderful to get in the zone like you did with this goat. You keep referring to the sculpture as a she and you know what, it does look like a feminine goat. I am really curious as to what you will decide to do to finish her. It makes sense to do a mold, then you can sell the original but could make another for your wall if you find you are missing her.
    I have never used a real skull as a form for anything. It is a great idea if you really are going for realism. I have always relied on google images to find what I need….you can find pics of just about anything; raccoon feet, heron feet, crow beaks, etc.
    I really like your Boer goat and can understand how excited you are about it. Though Shelbot will be very upset with you if you throw the original away. You may need to repurpose it in order to keep her happy.

    • Do you remember how hard it was to find decent images for our drawings and sculptures before they invented the Internet? The photos printed in books were limited, by the cost of publication. I still have most of the books I used, though, way back then.

      I have a small house, and I’m running out of room for the sculpts I actually like. Shelbot will just have to live with it. 🙂 I have visions of renting an empty storefront downtown with a nice big northern window, and moving my mess out of the house – but that won’t happen until I’m rich. Which means, of course, that my ‘studio’ remains in my spare bedroom indefinitely. Do you have a nice big studio, with lots of light and plenty of space? If you do, I am so totally jealous!

      • I have a small house too and work from my kitchen table. Rather than feeling like I have a studio in my house, I feel like I live in my studio!

      • I do have a studio but it is actually a spare bedroom and it is small. It does get good light though so houseplants are rather dominant as well. My problem is that you need to pass it to go just about anywhere in the house…..it means I need to do a better job at keeping it clean. It’s definitely a work room. Closing the door works in a pinch.
        For years I used a little corner of our family room to do art so this is a major improvement to have my own space. Since you issued that challenge several years ago to sculpt or do art every day, the projects have multiplied(as have the skills, I am happy to say)
        I also rely on my books but if you need something quirky like heron’s feet, the internet is great. Both my husband and I saved our college books, mine was nursing(good for anatomy) my husband was biology- good for animals and plants. Mostly I try to study the subject in real life if possible. That might be tough if you are trying to do a walrus or something!

    • Eileen, although my furbabies will be surprised to find that their daddy has become their mommy, you are correct about my feelings regarding Jonni throwing away wonderful art or armatures. She delights in my misery LOL.

      • Shelbot, I agree. Maybe we could send her empty boxes for trash and one could go to you and the next to me.

        The goat is awesome.

        • Rex, we should totally do that. But then we’d fight over who gets what. LOL

          I’m sure that your hands are full, but are you making a goat/head? I forget—

          • Well, since it is only trash, the first box can go to you and the second to me, etc.

            No, I’m not making a goat/head, although it does sound wonderful. Actually — and I probably shouldn’t say this — I’ve started patterns for two different sizes of giraffes, two different warthogs, and a rhino piggy bank.

            • One wo/man’s trash… You are very kind to let me have the first shipment. LOL
              For someone who has some significant health problems, you are amazingly prolific. And are able to produce quality work.
              Of course, I’m amazed by our Jonni too. She should be a household name for her magnifiche opere d’arte, but is too modest to promote herself. Wish she had an agent.
              Anyway, I breathlessly await your next bella cosa. (Blame Google, not me)

      • Shelbot, I am mortified! Here all this time I assumed you were a woman! You know what they say about assuming things! I guess I have never heard the name “Shelbot” and thought it was a computer name like the Kuriologist. I profusely apologize! I love reading all of your comments and I must say how incredibly supportive you are to everyone’s efforts. Sorry again.

        • Eileen, maybe it’s my phraseology (?) After all, I think that your reply is adorbs. : ) And, yes, I know first hand about making an a—well, assuming things.
          Shelbot is actually from the sitcom “Big Bang Theory” where a character named Sheldon makes a “Mobile Virtual Presence Device”. A “robot” to protect him from the dangers of life.
          No apologies necessary, of course, but I like yours very much.

          • Shelbot, thank you for accepting my apology. I don’t think it was your “phraseology” but rather my own generalizations about male vs. female. Even though I have a bunch of supportive men in my life, I generally think of supportiveness as being a female quality. My bad.
            So, why did you take on the name of a sitcom robot? I actually had heard of the Shelbot in that show but never made the connection because you are not robot like in your responses and comments….robots do NOT have your sense of humor!

            • Eileen, now would YOU please forgive ME for taking so long to respond!?
              Again, no apology was necessary, but I loved it, so please “insult” me again ; )
              I just thought Shelbot sounded funny, but considering my social phobia, perhaps it’s prophetic?
              And sadly, I suspect many would disagree with you that I even HAVE a sense of humor. LOL
              Thanks for your sweet reply.

          • Shelbot, there was no reply button after your last comment so I am commenting here, hope you can follow it!
            One of the great things about this blog is how accepting everyone is. There was no need to respond before but thank you for doing so. One would never know from your responses that you have a social phobia so I am glad this is a safe place for you. We all have baggage but we are combating it with our artwork, one of the reasons art is so great.
            You DO have a sense of humor with lots of evidence of it in your supportive comments and jests. Perhaps those that don’t see it enjoy a different sort of humor that just doesn’t jive with yours. That’s ok, no reason to judge and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
            OK, I am now off my soapbox. Stay well.

  4. Jonni, of course you may totally change her in your next video (sigh). But, be still my beating heart, she is glorious! I’d say that you have magic fingers, but that wouldn’t be giving credit where credit is due. You are an extraordinary artist, but you do the work that needs to be done before the clay goes on. Thank you again for all you do to help others and for bringing so much joy.


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