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.