fey fantasy illustration

BRAMBLING 🌲| Making a Fantasy Art Doll

And finally, a brambling is full born... or is it sprouted from a little acorn? The biology of the little fae creatures aside, this fantasy art doll is completed! All told, he probably took around 16 hours to craft (including accidentally sculpting two right hands for him! Unfortunately, not the first time something like that's happened, I assure you!). In prior videos I shared the process of sculpting and painting him in-depth and in this most recent one, I sew his clothes and show-off a bit of the staged set that went into making the finished dimensional illustration.

 

Watch Brambling | Making a Fantasy Art Doll

 

I enjoy characters with fanciful clothing and while the brambling's clothes are meant to have a utilitarian, rustic look to them, I was able to add some visual interest with the fae creature's asymmetrical, tattered cloak. The clothing was distressed by wrinkling, staining with acrylic paint, sanding, and then hand-sewing the fabric directly on to the art doll's body. I usually make a point of distressing an art doll's fabric as i like the viewer to imagine the secret life that the art doll has when they're not around. A life with a bit of mystery and magic's a better one! Lastly I set-up the scene by arranging fabric, vines, butterflies, and even used some small tree stumps! I photographed this mixture of found objects and then spent a little time post-producing the image in Photoshop.

 

Here's the finished dimensional-illustration:

You can find a print of this illustration here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/601530840/brambling-fey-fantasy-fine-art-85x11?ref=listings_manager_grid

You can find a print of this illustration here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/601530840/brambling-fey-fantasy-fine-art-85x11?ref=listings_manager_grid

 

I hope you enjoyed exploring this magical fey creature as much as I have! To be the first to know when I launch new polymer clay art videos, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the bell icon (but because YouTube's wonky, you can also join the newsletter). Catch all of my videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/thedreamsyndicatearts. You can also find many of the supplies I use in crafting here: https://www.thedreamsyndarts.com/supplies-gear/. Until next time, make believe!

Painting the Brambling | Painting a Fantasy Creature Head

Now that the brambling's head is sculpted to my liking, it's time to lay down some paint! When painting a fantasy creature head, it's actually kind of important to ground yourself in realism because bramblings are elusive in the wild! I had to do the next best thing and bring a couple of tree branches into the studio. Who'd have thought realism's the best strategy when painting a fantasy creature head? By looking at this tree branch I could observe that it was largely a warm grey tone with moments of green and brown on it rather than that iconic brown Crayola crayon that we might all instantly imagine.

 

Watch the Brambling Head Be Painted with Acrylics Here

 

I used a range of earth-tones in painting the fey creature's head- siennas, umbers, ochers, and greens with touches of grey tones to dull-down the pigments. I also painted the head generally lighter than I would have naturally due to the fact that I was about to embark on trying my hand with an ink wash technique...

EXPERIMENTING WITH INK!

ACRYLIC INK

In painting this head, I tried a technique that was new to me: using an acrylic ink wash with dark toned ink. I had carved a lot of bark texture all over the brambling and I wanted a way to darken the recessed areas that didn't involve my painstakingly painting in dark tones and then carefully trying not to undo this work as I painted-in lighter tones. Before I used the technique on the actual fantasy art doll head, I tested on scrap sculpted piece I had (who'd have thought I was doing myself a favor when I accidentally sculpted two right hands for this art doll?!). Admittedly, I still feel like I can do a better job at highlighting sculpted details with this technique, but overall, I'm happy with the outcome.

 

If you would like a print of the Brambling final image, you can purchase it HERE.

 

I hope you enjoyed exploring this magical fey creature as much as I have! To be the first to know when I launch new polymer clay art videos, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the bell icon (but because YouTube's wonky, you can also join the newsletter). Catch all of my videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/thedreamsyndicatearts. You can also find many of the supplies I use in crafting here: https://www.thedreamsyndarts.com/supplies-gear/. Until next time, make believe!

Making a Brambling 🌲 | How to Sculpt a Fantasy Creature Head

Bramblings are fey creatures that wander the forest floor looking for mischief to get up to or something good to eat. They can helpful to a lost wanderer or a nightmare to those that break some esoteric woodling taboo. The brambling has been living in my sketchbook for some time and I'm glad to see it finally come to life. I see them as a species rather than any one individual creature and being somewhat wild and unpredictable.

 

Watch a brambling get crafted here:

 
BramblingCrop.jpg

 

 

This fantasy polymer clay sculpture was crafted with Sculpey Medium Blend, which is a mixture of Sculpey's regular and firm variety, and was my first test with that particular clay (Super Sculpey beige being my "go-to: polyclay). While I found it pleasant to work with, I thought it had a pretty similar consistency to my regular clay. At some point I'd like to experiment with Sculpey Firm and see how that handles. I really could have stood to use a firmer clay since the oh so thin branches are a very delicate aspect of this art doll sculpture. I could see trying Firm or trying my hand at Monster Clay, which doesn't require baking in the oven since it's a two-part epoxy.

 

I spent a lot of time during the sculpting process creating the bark-like texture of the creature, smoothing-out and trying to create the delicate lines of the branches. I also sculpted tiny clay-like hands. I typically craft art dolls with poseable paper mache hands, but in this case I didn't think I'd be able to get the jagged texture of the bark with such delicate material.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like a print of the Brambling final image, you can purchase it HERE.

A brambling in it's natural environment.

A brambling in it's natural environment.

I hope you enjoyed exploring this magical fey creature as much as I have! To be the first to know when I launch new polymer clay art videos, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the bell icon (but because YouTube's wonky, you can also join the newsletter). Catch all of my videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/thedreamsyndicatearts. You can also find many of the supplies I use in crafting here: https://www.thedreamsyndarts.com/supplies-gear/. Until next time, make believe!