Every year in October, during the lead up to Halloween, I do my own little personal sculpting challenge. I briefly put client work to one side and make this Mummy Sculpture as part of a horror theme.
In previous years I’ve made cute monsters, ghosts, cybernetic skulls and dismembered limbs, this year I thought I’d sculpt a bust but I had no idea what it would be.
To start, I made a basic human shaped head and thought I’d see what would come out.
My main sculpting materials are Super Sculpey (pink) and Sculpey firm (grey). These are polymer clays which don’t go hard until you put it in the oven and bake them. This makes it its great for working on something for a long time without the worry it will become unworkable.
After ramming a pair of wooden spheres into the head for eyes, I stuck more blobs of sculpey over the shape and kept shaping. My first thoughts was some kind of skull. I was just dropping super sculpey firm into place and getting an idea of what was working and what wasn’t.
As I started to refine the shape I was seeing skin over the top of the skull so thought it looked like mummifed flesh. Taking that idea I started to lay some rough bandage shapes over the top to see how it looked.
I was feeling something was coming out here. I was making the bandages by running sculpey firm through my pasta machine and ripping strips roughly, then placing them over the head.
I added some shoulders and once I was happy with them, I added some more creases and put him in the oven.
Priming with black paint I then then hit with some white from above to give zenithal priming. This helps with painting as its where dark areas in the folds and undercut areas remain dark and the areas where the white are become lighter when painted.
I airbrushed a few different paints over the skin and eye areas. I tried to stay away from red but put some purple around the eye sockets to make them stand out a little more. The skin was mainly washes of browns with highlights of lighter leather tones. The colours for the bandages are blocked in and then washed with several different shades of ink.
The wooden base was made from a piece of rowan I cut and sprayed black before drilling out a small hole to slot the bust into.