Sickness and the start of that leprechaun sculpt

Well, I guess the short version of the blog is “I got sick and did nothing all week other than cough and complain.”

But that’s not quite true, of course.

I came down with flu-like symptoms on Sunday afternoon which got worse through Monday. Tuesday I woke about 30% better with less fever and no more muscle pains and it’s been slowly improving since… other than the loss of smell, which is of course infuriating at this time of the year when the roses, honeysuckles, and jasmines are in bloom.

Dunno if it was the ‘vid, because I don’t keep tests on hand and wasn’t gonna leave my house to go get one. Apparently the loss of smell is a pretty dead giveaway, but I didn’t have breathing issues.

At this point, I’m mostly back to normal other than the lack of smell and still being fatigued.

Oh, and my voice is hoarse so no Nick White episodes til that improves.

“Splendid news! Party at the yacht club while the slavedriver recouperates – no wives allowed!”

Naturally, this also means I didn’t get that silk tree yet, and since my dad caught the bug too, it might be a couple weeks til I have it. Oh well.

Anyway, so I’ve been napping a lot while waiting to get better. And staring out at the back garden from my desk. Today I got ambitious and went to fuel up my car, went through the drive-thru, and did laundry. And that was about it.

I’ve also been reading some art books. And slowly getting to work on art, with some sketching.

I got back to the Bono as king of the leprechauns statuette I started last month when I made his pot of gold, too, starting on the leprechaun himself:

First layer on the armature in aluminum wire with some aluminum foil starting to flesh out the pose.

You can see a range of reference pics on my laptop. It’s interesting to note how characteristic a person’s typical seating pose is; I’m also working on a mixed media painting of Simon Le Bon, and in looking at reference pics of him, he sits in a very different way. John Taylor would be different, still. And it seems to me Axl’s typical way of sitting is also slightly different, etc.

(But that’s a whole other tangent). In any case, even just with the wire, I felt I had already nailed how Bono seems to like to sit with the leg posing.

More “fleshed” out with aluminum foil.

And last for today was a layer of Sculpey Ultra Light.

More “fleshed” out.

Still lumpy, but the next layer will be Super Sculpey and I’ll start smoothing. I also have to fix the one shoulder that’s a bit slumped down.

I haven’t fleshed out his arms because it’ll be easiest to do his torso and legs first and then his arms, with his head and hat last. Plus, the nice thing with polymer clay is I can do multiple bakes.

He’s a lot bigger than I anticipated; I guess since the sketch was under 6 1/2″ tall I thought the sculpt would be not much more than that. Of course, his pot of gold is at least 50% taller than in the sketch.

Trying to get the proportions just so was a bit awkward because it’s hard to find photos of him sitting that show his whole body and do so from a neutral camera angle (ie, there’s pics of him meeting with the pope earlier in the spring and both are sitting, but the press photographers were standing so you get distortion and foreshortening… and, well, Bono already has enough shortening on his own, or rather, he is short enough on his own, so I ended up looking more at full-body live performance shots to try to get his proportions right.

I suppose I could have gone in a more caricature direction and ignored all that and just given him wee little leprechaun legs just barely dangling over the rim of the pot, but that wasn’t what I had in mind with the sketch…

Granted, I’m new to sculpture, but I do have a style in my drawing and painting already that’s firmed up enough and resistant to change and it’s cartoony in line quality but relatively realistic in proportions.

As an example, see Zamo the Destroyer‘s old comic strips from years back:

(I really need to give Zamo’s website some attention, lol…)

Anyway, point is… I forget the point because I just spent an hour tracking down a WordPress update corrupted plug-ins problem on Zamo’s site and rereading my old comics…

Oh yeah, style… I think the point was something about keeping Lepre-Bono as semi-realistic proportions etc. in sculpture because that would be my style in terms of drawing or cartooning or whatever. (Phew!)

We’ll see. He’s still a separate piece from the pot of gold so if he doesn’t turn out as desired, I’ll just scrap him and start over.

Basically I want him right on the fuzzy line between realistic and caricatured. That spot where he’s a little bit idealized and cute-ified but not straight-up cartoony.

I do have a new potential cartoon series/webcomic that will be very obviously cartoony, involving the Noah character I mentioned before, but that’s because the character design is based from Muppet-style puppets I haven’t gotten around to building, therefore they look radically less realistic than my previous cartooning and my usual drawing style.

However, I may well make Noah and his pals look more like my usual style if I am going to go ahead with that project in comic form… we’ll see. Some of the test panels I’ve been doodling look too one-dimensional because of the puppet-style mouths and eyes, like it’s not my work… but then I do like the basic character design, so maybe I’ll stick with it and see how it develops for that project… and it does help draw a sharp line of distinction between that Noah project and my other art stuff… but then I dunno if that matters any.

(BTW, that brain fog thing is sorta real… as evidenced by this blog, probably.)

Let’s wrap up with some garden pics:

Daisies are starting to bloom now.
Dunno what these are, but they’re nice.
My little “octopus” bellflowers never disappoint.
The first of the hollyhocks to bloom.
The snapdragons that survived from last year are doing great.
Little roses, foxgloves, gazing ball, etc.
Of all my roses, I think this Neptune remains my favorite.
Another view of the bed with the foxgloves… will need to plant a lot more foxglove seeds, but then it did take 4 summers to get this bed going with them.
The cherry tree needs pruning and shaping once it finishes fruiting, but it’s loaded with cherries in various stages of development.