Wow! The body anatomy looks more defined on yours here than mine! I tend to overwork the head instead. :/ I'm amazed by how fast you're able to sculpt such complex shapes- it's not long since you told me you were gonna do this. I have to take longer breaks quite often due to repetitive strain injury, so I can't keep it up for several hours a day non stop.
I dont know what you are talking about, yours is so much better than mine! I think the head on mine is too big and the feet are too small. THe head still just doesnt look right to me, I need to study the weasel shape more. Its a great improvement from my first two ermine, but I still have a lot more practice until mine look as realistic as yours! (bows to your greatness) I am only able to work for hours at a time because I procrastinate on other things lol I will be up late tonight working on a 6 page paper that is due early this week for school I also have to clean my entire apartment and clean a huge goldfish tank... Ya, I let needle felting engulf my whole life... What is repetitive strain injury?
Yours have more curves and looks like it actually has a spine. No, seriously- sleek curves is essential when shaping mustelids, and they appear characteristically ''humpbacked'' because of the flexible spine. My previous weasel had the best body with more similarity to yours, while my current stoat one has the best head so far.
Don't worry about your product not coming out the way you truly want it the first time around- I often have to make several attempts before getting a pleasant result. And don't throw something you consider crap into the trash bin; one of my first stoats has got a makeover and is to be turned into a kolonok; [link] It was supposed to be a large male in its ermine coat, so the size was a good fit for a larger species. Its head was a bit too ''boxy'' for a stoat, and I disliked how the white colour wasn't white enough.
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is usually caused by sustained tool use over longer time. At its worst, it feels like hellfire through the affected body part. Luckily, mild signals prevent pushing it further- and now I've learned to listen to them. I hear it's common, and doing exercises help greatly. You don't have to do sports or train at a studio (I don't), but my mom taught me a few ''Tibetan rites'', and they are surprisingly effective, not to mention simple to do. So that's why I'm amazed by your effectivity.XD
You are too kind! I cant wait to see how the kolonok turns out, make sure you post some photos! I look forward to each of your pieces! It would be cool if you did a step by step photo thing, not a tutorial, just work in progress shots. I plan to do a sped up video of a whole sculpture being felted soon, but I know you are unable to do that because of RSI... I have never heard of it before, sounds terrible! I can imagine not being able to work for long periods of time, I sometimes devote a whole day to needle felting!
Regarding tutorials- I really wanted to make a process documentation, but while I have taken photos during all the way, I lost the motivation when realising how much work it turned out to be in the end, thanks to my prefectionistic views. Thinking bout it now, however, I realise I only have to explain the beginning stages- the practical bit (me? Practical? When? What?!). For that, I have a handy technique. It's the 3D building part that you'll have to figure out by yourself, because it can't be explained, and it depends on the artist's skills and tastes.
What keeps me from putting the tutorial together is that I feel I suck at suggesting how to do things, explain them and so on, but I think I'll get myself to do it eventually.
Thanks for the compliments. I cant wait to see more of your work, no matter how long it takes for you to post them As for your fur technique, thats an awesome idea! I will have to try that! I normally just do my fur by blending by hand then felting it into place. Sometimes I am able to find pre mixed colors that work perfectly and save me the trouble of mixing. I like being able to make things life size, like you, and I too am planning a larger animal. I just finished a huge bulldog puppy, but I think the next one will be a skunk. I just love those smelly critters. Although it wont be until after the holidays that I will be able to begin. So for now the smaller animals will have to do, plus they are easier and cheaper to sell. I cant wait to see the fox! I did a project like that except is was a life size thylacine. It unfortunately was thrown out before photos were taken (parents complained that it took up too much space). I used newspaper and tape to form the body and faux fur with spray paint. It looks so real! But it was just setting around collecting dust... Oh well, I did it once I could do it again. I am sure you dont "suck" at suggesting how to do things or explaining them. Dont be so down on yourself lol You are so talented and you know your animal anatomy very well!
Thanks for taking your time to write equally long replies- writing text walls as well as analyses is a habit of mine, often stuffed with unecessary detail, but I try my best to organize the babbling.
I'm delighted to hear I'm not the only one to mix various materials then hoping it'll turn out fine in the end. Is the thylacine lost forever, or is there a possibility for you to take new photos? If not, I'll be looking forward to all your new creations- well, I would anyway!
The thylacine was thrown out over a year ago, but I plan to needle felt a life size fetal one. Well its on my list of things I plan to make, not sure when I will get around to it... That list just keeps getting longer...
I do enjoy long replies, it shows that thought was put into it
You are very welcome- I think it's important to tell fellow artists what's good about their work, and you have potential, which attracts my interest. The other side of constructive criticism is the criticism itself, but you've already said you want to improve the head. Way to go- and I hope you'll get ''there'' one day! Once I'm done with the kolonok, I have an entirely different animal on my wishlist- an Asian palm civet, or luwak:[link] Viverrids and related are my favourite animals besides musties, servals and birds, and their coat patterns are ideal for needlefelting. I discovered an interesting technique when figuring out how to do the colour variety on the civet's coat; *felt a flat piece (or ''pelt'') using one colour, and then stuff as much of a different colour on one side as you can. The other colour will emerge through the other side, and it creates a very neat, perfectly blended mix. Try it sometime! Dark and light is particularly striking. *And when making larger animals, it's a good tip to felt a large piece (''pelt''), and fill it like a soft mount afterwards. There's no way I'd build an entirely compact shape for such a large animal. I don't have the patience.XD
Coming up soon is a silver phase red fox that I have been fixing since 2009. She's life size and heavy, but not needlefelted. The (extremely tweaked) head mount was made out of fabrics sewn by hand and covered with glue and paint, creating a hardened layer. The rest of her is faux fur and other fabrics. It's a wonder she didn't end up in the garbage bin- the process is impossible to explain in a practical way. Because it was not practical by any means. Somewhere out there, I believe there's a way to archive a good, relistic result without having to go through so much trouble. Foam, maybe, cut into the shape you want. Anyway, she lives on, and looks surprisingly realistic.
There ae tons of animals I'd love to do in small-scale, simply because they are too large for my limits. It's a tad overwhelming, but it's like being in Heaven compared to have an art block, I must admit.
And yeah, RSI is like any type of muscle inflammation or pain in the back. You can't do anything when it's raging, and it's something I wouldn't even recommend to those wanting to suffer. Lucky you- but I'm happy I'm able to produce something within a year, even if it takes longer than it should.