Introduction: Clay Companion Cube
All those E3 shots and videos of Portal 2 reminded me how much I liked the game. I wanted to make something from the game and the "Weighted Companion Cube" seemed like the ideal afternoon project.
What you'll need:
- A smooth surface to work on
- Modeling clay (I used air dry)
- Brushes (medium + fine)
- Clear spray lacquer or a sealer
- x-acto blade or a scalpel
Step 1: Modeling Base
Create a cube shape any size you want (mine was approx. 8cm). This is the base so make it as square as possible as it will affect the final look.
You will get little grooves and imperfections along the surface. Don't worry, wet your finger and polish the surface gently being careful not to distort the shape.
When you're satisfied with the base use a scalpel or an x-acto knife to score V groves along the surface basically quartering each side. Remove excess clay and use a toothpick to smooth and straighten out the groves.
Step 2: Modeling Details
I suggest letting the base dry for a little as it will make it easier to attach the details without warping.
Find a smooth corner (I used the corner of the plank I was working on) and create a basic shape for the corner. Measure it against the base and cut and coarsely reshape on the corner. Apply a little water on the corner of the base and the back side of the new piece to stick them together. Apply only light pressure to avoid distorting the shape!
Once it's stuck to the base use a toothpick to add edges to the new piece. I found it helped if I dab the toothpick in water.
The procedure for the "middle-side" pieces is the same just use a sharp table edge instead of a corner.
To make the circles take a small amount off clay and form it into a ball. Press it with your fingers to squish it into the desired shape flipping it to prevent it from getting stuck. Again apply water to both sides and stick them together.
Depending on the type of clay, now is the time to bake it or, as in my case, leave it to dry overnight.
Step 3: Painting
Once the cube is dry and ready to absorb some paint prepare your work area.
First you need to prepare the base color. I used green, blue, white and black to get a sort of camo green color. Make a little more than you need because we'll use this as the base for the second color.
Use the medium brush to cover the exposed parts of the "base". Don't worry to much if it gets messy, we'll cover that up with the second color.
Once you've painted the base add a little yellow and a lot of white to the remaining color (leave some aside in case you need to retouch later!) and use it on the remaining surface. Use the fine brush on bordering areas for sharp edges.
Step 4: Finishing Details
Now that your cube is painted we only need to add a couple of details.
Mix a pinkish color (I used a little blue, red and white) and use a toothpick to paint the V groves we made earlier.
Use a graphite pen to draw a hart on each circle and use the fine brush to fill it in with pink.
If you messed anything up now is the time to fix it.
Leave the paint to dry, and make a makeshift stand out of clay and toothpicks (see picture). Take the whole setup outside and place the cube on the stand. Shake your lacquer or sealer and spray it with a couple of coats letting it dry in between.
Your cube is now ready to make you company ;-)