Oil based solvents...

Thank you most sincerely for the tips guys - I really do appreciate the input more than you possibly could know & would love to hear more ideas too. Working alone is hard - even with the web out there, its not the same & "studio days" with friends are a luxury months and months apart.

While I know people find commercial art fields inhibiting, working in the group settings in art departments is something I envy. I've gotten to work with some people/art depts at my old corporate job (although there I also was alone and it was a lonely job a lot, not just because I preferred working into the evening - but being the only person in the dept who did what I did was simply lonely work). Also I have friends who have gone into fields with group interaction environments. And as a kid hanging out with my dad at Coleco (a long defunct toy company- smurf figurines and cabbage patch kids are probably what you'd know best?)... anyhow I hung out there a great deal as a kid and got to really see how artists interact while being very focused.... Then of course classroom settings too where ideas fly around fast and furious and hands on demonstrations are constantly possible. Anyhow, reading 'how to's' on the internet just doesn't replace live human interactions sometimes but hearing first hand from friends you know comes really close. So thank you SO much guys!
These make me hungry - it doesn't look quite so much like a chocolate bar in person... gray-green and all. Flash being funny.

Tonights medallion made during "Gladiator"... I'm inspired to try and do a bunch of different breeds in different doorways. I love the narrow look. My working area will love storing smaller & more narrow clay sculptures too at this rate. ;)

(mmm nom nom man!) :D
The archway illusion was just far too fun to do, it's even deeper than it looks here. I mostly wanted to show how flat the horse was. The tail and some mane/forelock details are still just etched out. I'll be using some further positive and negative relief on them to 'build' depth later when I come back to it to fix it up... for now I'm just setting this "exercise" aside too.

Unless I decide to put this "artform" into chocolate making use... Skye??? Skye??? Maybe you want to make some River chocolates? Cranky Crystal mare chocolates?? mmmm!
Lol - no no, I'm not crashing... I'm just coming to a point where I either need to learn how to smooth these better in oil based clay (I've tried a # of things I know of but maybe I'm not doing them right).. orrrr I need to give up and when (I'll probably do one or more of these from the past few days as gifts at least for the family), then I can get things smooth... I'm sleepy early (for me!) so I'll let the pictures explain.. I can get rid of the burrs & torn areas, it's areas like over the bridge of the nose, jowl muscles, throat area - these I can't seem to get smooth with tools at hand (like I did the neck with my fingers...)...

Yes some of that darkness over the nose for example is burn-stained clay from my heated tools being too hot... oops!

After looking at the first pic there in reverse I'm tempted to look into the craft store types of casting materials... there must be some interesting stuff out there I bet! Clay is so creamy - just love that! Want to make mermaids and kelp now - YES I'm SO KITSCHY hahaha!!! So sorry! :D (tired too - g'nite!)

Added this on in the morning - DOH! Would help to know this; This is Van Aken clay & is similar to most plastalines but it's less oily than what I'm used to.. waxier too. I think that's part of it. (Oh and rubbing alcohol does very funky things). In water-based clays it's easy to smooth nice enough with brushes, this is an oil based clay I've tried the brush/mineral oil means to & it makes it gummy.


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