Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Creative Paperclay Landscape (part 2 of 3)

This is part two of a three part series.  Click here to read part one.

Creative Paperclay (CP) is a great material for creating landscapes.  If you are making a diorama, a theater set design or need a setting for your sculpture, you may want to consider creating a landscape.  The landscape surrounding a finished sculpture will add atmosphere to reflect or contrast the mood you are creating.  A well-made landscape can stand on its own as a finished sculpture.

In this series of articles, we will put together a complete landscape utilizing three basic elements by building a base, a tree and rock.  We will then look at ways of incorporating our landscape with other sculpted pieces.

creative paperclay figures in landscape

Nothing says landscape like a tree.  Most people have a lot of respect for trees.  Once you add a tree to your sculpture, the entire piece suddenly becomes very important and dramatic.

A lot of artists like making trees out of wire which allows them to place every branch exactly where they want.  The effect can be dramatic, but I don't like working with wire.  It's hard to cut and I always get cut on the sharp edges.

When I make a tree, I like to go outside and find some small branches.  I'm lucky to live near a tree whose branches grow in interesting designs (I hope my neighbor doesn't read this...).

Take three or four branches that look good together and arrange them in an interesting treelike way.  Remember, first and foremost, you are THE artist, so get artsy with it.  Once you find an arrangement you like, wrap the branches with some masking tape to hold them in place. 

If the tree looks too short or not significant enough, you can give it a boost by taping some strips of cardboard at the bottom which will form the trunk when we start adding CP to it.

Try placing your tree in different parts of the base you made in Part 1 of this article and look at it from different angles until you find a position you like.


Now the fun part!  You can use CP to bulk up the trunk and main branches to fill out your tree.  You can add texture for the bark or keep it smooth.  You can tie the tree to the land by adding roots.  To give the tree a natural look, make the trunk, branches and roots curve and twist.

Don't keep everything in straight lines, unless of course, that is the look you want.

Here is a short video showing how easy it is to craft a tree!

link to kevin whitham saatchi art online

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