Thursday, 12 March 2015

Carving some foam

Here is another "how to" article based on one of my entries to the Wyrd Place terrain competition.

Today I will focus in a bit more detail with the carving. I had a vague plan that I wanted to do some form of mine. In the end I settled on the idea of an old mine that had been sealed up due to Neverborn dangers.

The vague plain was to start with a vague block shape and work it around an entrance with some interesting rock formations.

The planned area is marked off loosely in the bottom left corner.

Here you can see the first slices. I use a variety of different cuts. You can see my favourite tool too, a sharp exacto knife.

The plan for the cuts is to create irregular edges, I often aim for a "curved triangular" look and try to avoid dead straight lines.

In this example I went for some deep rocks. The left section is left open intentionally for later. I worked my way around to the right from here. On the left is a design for door area to remind me not to cut there.

I am cutting over a tray to keep the scraps for various other plans (including this piece).

Here you can see after I have worked around. I have aimed for a variety of cuts. Some where I carve in deep to shape a particularly large rock. Others where I go lightly to just add a channel. For every rock it is never a single cut. It is a process of making one cut, changing the angle and adding multiple other cuts to build up the shape. You can see this in the tray with the various cuttings.

 This is the original side again. You can see how the first cuts shaped the side of the rocks, but I still needed to come back and shape the face of the rock.

I then decided to bring the piece out a bit. I knew that even with all my carving the piece would look too square and this would break that.

I just added pieces from cuttings and blended them in. Once I was happy with the shape and that I could still access what I wanted I glued them in place.

I used the same technique to build up some pillars in the front half.

For these pieces I cave them angular slices to break up the straight edges and give them a chiselled look.

To break up the top of the piece I added rocks that I had carved from cuttings and used some small stones to blend some of the gaps and create additional texture. I repeated these stones elsewhere on the piece to tie it together.

From here it was coated with a mix of PVA and black paint and followed up with a heavy white dry brush. I wanted it quite white to pick up the washes in the next step.

Here you can see how the orange and brown washes have taken to the piece giving it various tones throughout.

The brown sand also helps to bring out the grey bits of the rock while also tying into the browns.

And then the finished pics after some light highlights and adding some grass tufts and a door:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting. I like that you went with gray tones as opposed to the ubiquitous brown tones that folks associate with the American West.
    Looking forward to more!