Introduction: How to Make a Clay Bust of Someone You Know. (bronze Finish)

          What do you buy the man who has everything?   Well, I decided to make something he couldn't or wouldn't buy for himself.  A clay likeness of himself.  
          
At first my plan was to make a clay model then cast it in silicon then concrete for his driveway but I got to such a detail level that I wasn't certain the cast would take so I have given it a bronze like finish.
           
When I have the time I will make one each for my mum and dad in concrete to put at the end of the driveway!


This is my first instructable so if you have any questions/critisims then let me know.

Step 1: Image Study

Find a front facing picture and a profile shot if possible.

The green lines are the features that need to be just right and the red lines are all the bumps that make my dads face HIS face.  :-)

Step 2:

I built a really simple frame then padded it with plastic bags and as little tape as possible.

Step 3:

I then started to mould clay onto the bags with a half inch thick layer of clay.

Step 4:

Once you've got a bulk of clay on in a vaguely human shape, start pressing in detail. 
Continue adding detail.
Remember the shapes you picked out from the photo. 

My dad was in a seious accident in his yoof which led to quite a bit of scarring. This led to it being easier for me to pick out features. However i had to get them in exactly the right place.

I stopped referring to the photo once I had everything in the right place then changed a coupla details based on memory. Ultimately, its what YOU see in that person that represents them rather than a photo.

It sorta helps that I look like him too!

Step 5:

Once the bust was dry (this took about a week) I painted it with cheap acrylic paint. I used cheap stuff because its quite plasticy which makes it dry quicker and not soak into the clay. Do not used a water based paint for this.

Stick the brush into every nook and cranny.

Step 6:

Then I used a couple of Plasti-Kote products to add the bronze. I used what I had simply because I am lazy and a little bit poor.

I used liquid enamel in brass with a soft brush to stipple all over the bust till it looked how i wanted it. The trick is to have a higher shine on protruding bits and leave black in the deeper creases. This is the effect of an old polished statue. I thought it looked too brassy so I used a spray on Antique Gold to darken it a bit. I sprayed it on then quickly polished it in with a sponge.

When dry, polish lightly with a soft cloth.

Done!

Comments

author
Nick Dolan made it! (author)2012-05-18

This is very good for a first bust. I'm just beginning with sculpting, and I hope to make a bust of my idol, Nikola Tesla. You've given me a lot of good info, thanks.

author
mikeosu made it! (author)mikeosu2015-04-19

Hey Dolan can I see a picture of your sculpture I am also creating one on Nicola Tesla..

author
Dusk Shadows made it! (author)2012-04-12

what did he say when he found out?

author
yoguy121 made it! (author)2010-11-21

were can i buy the tools th bust looks great

author
gnatquill made it! (author)gnatquill2010-11-22

Thank you!

I got mine from the UK store The Works but you can get them from HobbyCraft
(much, much more expensive there though) If you are in the US then Micheals will probably have them. Look in the kids crafts section where ever you go.

author
Horadrim made it! (author)2010-11-08

Nice present. I don`t know if it`s your first sculpture, but I noticed that the both eyes are different in size and shape. Also, the space between both eyes must be equal to the length of one eye.

author
gnatquill made it! (author)gnatquill2010-11-08

It isn't my first sculpture but it is my first bust.

I have done his eyes a different size and shape because his eyes ARE a different size and shape.
I understand you are probably trying to be constructive but if you read it again you'll see why I have sculpted this the way I have:

"My dad was in a serious accident in his yoof which led to quite a bit of scarring. This led to it being easier for me to pick out features. However i had to get them in exactly the right place.

I stopped referring to the photo once I had everything in the right place then changed a coupla details based on memory. Ultimately, its what YOU see in that person that represents them rather than a photo."

My eye is bigger than the space between them, call me ugly but you must be lucky to be blessed with a perfect face!

author
Horadrim made it! (author)Horadrim2010-11-08

Well, as you said I`m trying to be constructive in my criticism. I read about the scaring, but I didn`t know that there`s some eye dislocations also, besides the eyes on the photo seemed ok to me, that`s why I wrote the previous comment.

author
AngryRedhead made it! (author)2010-07-05

This might be a situation where time will tell. I think it still might be worth your while to try casting it, and if the cast turns out to be a bust (HAHAHAHA, pun), it's a matter of doing it again. If you're like me, the second time around turns out looking better than the first. Very impressive sculpture though and many thanks for sharing!

author
gnatquill made it! (author)gnatquill2010-07-28

thanks, I'm going to do another one and cast that because I'm not happy with the profile of this one. Thanks for your advice and nice comments, Its very incouraging because this is my first clay sculpture!

author
gnatquill made it! (author)gnatquill2010-11-08

Oops, I meant to say "my first clay portrait sculpture"!

author
farzadbayan made it! (author)2010-07-27

This instructable is look-like featured .

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