Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ancient Skull

I just finished painting an ancient skull. It is a 2 part urethane skull that I pulled from a mold of an ACC Bucky skull. Painting was done with a combination of acrylics and powdered wood stain pigments.

First, I sanded the skull to to get rid of any unsightly imperfections and also to expose a bit of the texture beneath the outer skin.
Then I coated the skull with a mixture of drywall compound and Sculpt or Coat. This sealed up the foam and gave a relatively smooth outer layer.
Once sealed, I painted the entire skull with an off white acrylic paint, then sealed with sanding sealer.
When that was completely dry, I mixed powdered wood stain pigments with acrylic medium and painted the skull, then wiped off any excess.
Next, I returned to the original off white, but added in some brighter white to establish some depth and return to the bone color.

After this dried, I returned to the wood stain pigments, but added several darker colors into the mix to begin the antiquing.
Finally, a spatter coat of several more darker colors of the wood stain. I also blacked out the eye sockets and nasal cavity, darkened the gumline, and reduced the overall sheen with sealer.
As you can see, I have been given an endorsement by the local houseflies.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Ghost

I never know when he will show up. There has never been a drop in temperature, no flickering lights...none of the stereotypical signs that you hear about in the movies or on TV. He just appears and then is gone. That was the case this morning when I was visited by my ghost.

I was preparing for work, and had taken care of all the important business of showering, dressing and eating, while the rest of my family still slept. I sat in front of the tv, half asleep as the news droned on about the latest shooting, apartment fire, car wreck, or whatever minor catastrophe had occurred during the night. It is amazing how the newsmen like to peddle gloom and doom, and how eager the public is to soak it up and gossip about it during the day. Anyway, I was almost asleep when I felt a presence. I startled awake, and sensed that I was being watched. I caught movement in the corner of my eye, and turned my head in time to see a man standing in the hallway. He was very old, and very silent. I saw no legs, just a torso and head. He was facing me, and as I was attempting to comprehend this impossible apparition, he turned away and I saw him move down the hallway towards the bedroom. I quickly walked across the kitchen to follow him, my heart racing, but as it has happened before he was gone. I felt no sense of danger. He was not there to harm anyone, only to watch. An overwhelming and profound sadness swept over me, pushing in on my lungs and burning my eyes. I returned to my chair and wept. He has visited me several times since he died. He never talks. He only appears, sometimes as a ghost, sometimes as spirit in the form of an animal. Sometimes I can even smell the familiar and completely distinct odors that I associate with his house as I grew up. I don't know why my Grandpa still stops in to visit, but I am glad he does.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Ah, look at all the lonely people.
Ah, look at all the lonely people.
....Sits at the window, wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door.
The Beatles, Eleanor Rigby
I have had this idea for a character for quite some time, and recently it has resurfaced in my mind for whatever reason. Imagine if you will, poor Eleanor sitting there by her famous window, in the process of removing a wet slab of skin from an old glass mason jar. Where did she get the face? Is there something wrong with her real face? What would her motivation be for covering up her real face with a piece of rotting flesh haphazardly stored in a glass vessel? Is it vanity? Or perhaps, does Eleanor have darker motivations?
As often as I have thought about this project, I still have yet to answer all these little riddles...maybe this time something will click and I can turn a warped idea into reality.