Monkey Origin

After the cosmonaut cap I made for Deep Space, I decided to try a few more sculpts. I made 3 initial concepts (ok, maybe like 5) when I really decided to dip my toes deeper into casting. I really love animals and find them impossible to be boring… kind of like a human figure, animals just never get old as the subject of art. So, naturally, my next slew of sculpts consisted of an elephant, a monkey, an octopus and a turtle! haha. Most of them didn’t work great for various reasons (too bulky on the sides, too tall, already been done, etc) but the Monkey was one that started looking pretty cute and seemed viable!

I wish there were more to say about the actual sculpting process, but the truth is, I just go at it! I do a little rough sketching to work out basic layout and features, but the details and stuff usually come together as I make the sculpt. For the monkey, I used really simple “tools” like a bobby pin, an exacto blade (just the blade) and paintbrushes (the round end, not the brush end). It seems amateur to use things like bobby pins to sculpt with, but sometimes random tiny objects just have the right size and shaped tips that I need! After I got the basic shape of his head roughed out, I primarily used the round end of a paintbrush to push in and round out the eye areas. Bobby pins were used to sculpt out the ears and I used an exacto - the flat side of it - to smooth out features + the blade to cut out his mouth. I had no idea what to do for the actual eyeballs though…

On this little guy, I had him all sculpted except he had big empty holes for eyes. I knew I wanted something that protruded, had a pupil area, and was somewhat glassy looking as well. But I didn’t know how to go about making the eyes and having them be consistent. I definitely tried making them with clay but it just wasn’t working for me. Eventually I decided to take a trip to the craft store to brainstorm as I figured some kind of bead would be a good way to achieve my desired look.

I ended up picking up a couple different sizes and shapes of glass seed beads/bedazzling type stuff. I really didn’t need to though because the initial little seed beads I picked out worked just fine! The sizes/shapes in tiny glass beads vary quite a bit when it comes down to using them as eyes, so I dug through beads until I found 2 that matched one another, fit in the eye holes, and had a good pupil to iris ratio. And that was that! I used the beads in the master mold and now I usually do those as 1 color resin and the face as another. I like the way he smiles and the way his eyes turned out! I don’t think I’ll use beads very often as they have a bit of a "dead stare" effect, but it worked well for the monkey!

From making him, I learned I could add other elements into the sculpey which has changed the way I have gone about making newer sculpts, especially the Colonel. But I’ll save that for his origins story :)

Tags: keycaps