Portrait Sculpture

FEBRUARY 27, 2017

In this project, we had to make a 3D portrait of someone. The only requirements being that it was 3D an a portrait—the materials and presentation were up to us.

I knew that I wanted to make the sculpture of my dog almost immediately, since I definitely wasn't going to do a self-portrait, and also because I had some ideas for materials. So, after sketching out some preliminary ideas, I got started. First I created an armature from crumbled newspaper and tape, and then I had to cover the body. I had a bunch of dogs toys made of string that I'd gone out and bought, so I unraveled those and used the strings to wrap around the body. After a lot of wrapping and accidentally hot gluing my fingers together, I had it all covered and could attach the pieces together. At this point, I had the basic image of a dog—so it was time to add some details. I started with the face, gluing some dog food on for the eyes and nose, and then I went to add some detail to the body using paint. Unfortunately, this didn't work out—it was all crusty and weird, and I knew I would have to fix it. I also knew that I needed to add some more color, since I'd been told so during the in-process critique. I also ended up having to remake the face, since my dog had apparently smelled the dog food I used on the eyes and decided that this was something she had to eat. It all worked out in the end, though, and allowed for me to make some bigger changes. I first used string from the dog toys to cover up the gross paint on the torso, and when I realized that the paint on the head had looked bad too, I took the opportunity to cover it up with some yarn that I found. I also added some pink to the ears. After this, I added some more details to the torso—some darker patches and such—and, finally, I added a bright red leash so that there would be some more color to the otherwise very blandly colored piece.

Overall, I guess I'm pretty happy with this. It was fun to make, and it was also nice that I could use information from a previous project (the armature from the bird sculpture last year) and apply it to something now. At first, I had difficulty finding motivation, since an entirely 3D project was going to be more work for me. However, I pushed through, and I'm glad that I did. I like the final outcome. I think that it has good form—you can tell it's a dog, at least—and enough contrast that it isn't entirely boring to look at. I'm also happy that I was able to incorporate things such as dog toys and dog food into it, because it's interesting to work with materials like that. If there was one thing I would change, it's how messy it is. I wish it looked a little neater, but it was difficult for me to wrap the strings around in a neat way, especially since a lot of the shapes are rounded and it's hard to cover the entire surface. Furthermore, when working with hot glue, it's a given that there are going to be lots of those strings; that, combined with the fabric of the thread, made it difficult to get all of the strings off. However, I'm pleased with the overall result, I guess.