It was the summer and my Wife's Birthday was approaching, and like everybody else who saw (the brilliant) Guardians of the Galaxy... she had COMPLETELY fallen in love the baby dancing Groot from the end of the movie. I mean... who didn't??
I knew what I had to do.... !! TO MY ART STUDIO!!!!
Step 1: Everything I Needed.
I gathered my supplies. Some I had lying around, some I bought from the local DIY/Pound shops. The most important of which was a light up dancing flower from Japan which was made around 2008.
They're very rare at the moment as they're not made any more.... but it was the one I wanted as it had the perfect dancing movement, and luckily I found one JUST in time.
Step 2: Demolition!!
It was slightly heartbreaking cutting this thing up as it was so cute, and looked great when all it's petals were lighting up and flashing bright colours.....
.....but I needed that Baby Groot!! So off came the leaves and petals!
Eventually I had all the petals and leaves off, and all the lights disconnected.
Now we were ready to rock 'n' roll!!
Step 3: Building the Inside....
The body was built up using one of the sponge hair rollers cut up into sections (I wanted to make sure I didn't restrict the dancing movement)
I got some thin green fabric that had a bit of texture and painted it to a much darker shade. This would be the base for everything else that came on top.
Step 4: The 'soil'
I found some brown felt covered paper that I'd kept for no particular reason for years. Now I FINALLY had a reason to use it!! I cut it out to shape and glued the edges together to make a cone. This was placed onto the base.
I also glued the green fabric from the last stage around the black sponge sections...
Step 5: Making the Arms.
I took one of these 'Chenille Sticks' ...basically oversized pipe cleaners with extra long fur on. I only needed the wire and some of the fur... so most of it was chopped off.
Once this was done I glued a piece of string at one end, and started winding it around tightly. This was to be the arms! When it was all done (and glued at the other end) I painted it with Umber acrylic paint. Basically a very dark brown.
Step 6: Attaching the Arms...
This piece was then wrapped tightly around the body at the correct height where I wanted the arms, glueing it to the body to make sure it didn't twist around or anything. This has to be solid. I also added a piece of hard drying epoxy putty to the top as I realised I needed the main trunk to be a little taller for when the head attached.
Step 7: Creating the Tree Trunk!
Now it was time to make it look like a tree!!
I took some thick string from a kitchen mop head, and thin string from a regular ball and started glueing them onto the sponge sections. (I first glued the ends so that they wouldn't fray) - I needed to both make it look like a tree, but also be loose enough between sections so that it could still move. This was important!
Step 8: Painting!
Once this was all done and I was happy with it I painted the whole thing with Umber paint. This would act as the base colour onto which I would paint everything else.
Then came the slow process of painting dozens of layers if varying shades of greens and browns, to both make string look like a tree, but also to make it look like Groot how we saw him on screen! This was where being an artist came in handy!
I also unwravelled a piece of string down to it's thinnest individual piece and painted this green. This would be glued on and give some variation to the look (and also the dancing groot that we see in the film has these tendrils in the same place)
Step 9: Let's Sculpt the Head!
Now it's time to sculpt the head!! I use Milliput for this.. a two part epoxy putty that dries within a few hours once mixed together, so I had to be quick.
I used two small ball joints off a spare action figure I had lying around for the eyes.
I sculpted the head to be separate from the body as I wanted it to be poseable afterwards. It simply sits on top of the main body and can be turned in any direction you wish.
Step 10: Details...
Some fake grass was added, along with some granite chips. I bought these from my local art shop. They're used by people who make model railways and such. These were glued down onto the 'soil'.
Step 11: Let's Paint the Head!
And now it's time to PAINT. A few thin coats of grey primer and we start laying down thin washes of colour, building it up. Artistic ability comes into play here, there's no real way to explain 'how' to paint it. Just keep looking at photos and go with what feels right to you. Eventually after a few days we get to......
Step 12: FINISHED!
There's dozens of different layers of browns and greens here. Also some shadows are painted in and I've enhanced the cracks and crevices. Painting can always enhance and add to a sculpt. One thing that I've seen that every custom Groot out there has wrong is that they just give him flat black eyes. This is wrong! He actually has regular looking eyes with a pupil in the middle.. its just *really* subtle. His eyes are green/brown, just really dark. I made them extra glossy too. Some extra fake moss was added along with some leaves and twigs to enhance the overall 'groot' effect. And there you have it!! One Dancing Baby Groot!!!!
Click onto the final step to see a video of him dancing!!
Step 13: WATCH HIM DANCE!
After incredible interest I have decided I will be making ONE MORE Baby Dancing Groot exactly like this one. I have the parts on their way now (including the rare dancing flower all the way from Japan), and I will be putting it up for auction when it's done. There will only be ONE.
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EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that this video doesn't work on mobile devices. This is down to YouTube and I have no control over it, sorry. It's because Groot is dancing to the Jackson 5 (just like in the film) ...and because there's a song in the video Google for some reason restrict the access to computers only. I wish I could change this.