Anyway, I loved making that particular piece. I wasn't going to enter the contest this month 'cause the theme was "Spooks" and I'm not really all that into the whole Halloween thing... :P Anyway, Rocke talked me into it and so I had to find something I could do with the theme. Then I realized that Harry Potter has everything to do with Halloween and I set out in search of inspiration. I found it in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." It was the illustration for the chapter titled "The Eye of the Snake" (not sure of the chapter # offhand). And the rest is history. It was so much fun to make and now I'm ready to try a few of the other pictures in the books as well.
So, here's a few notes about how this piece came to be:
So, I wanted to put a hint of something hiding back there in the trees (for those who don't know, it's a thestral) besides just the eyes (which glow in the dark, by the way) so I put some translucent liquid clay on there and then took my heat gun to it to shine it up a bit. Well, I overdid the heat a little and browned some of the leaves. Luckily, it worked out okay. I really like the results. (Of course, I had to burn some more of the leaves to make it look like it was on purpose, and then I discovered that hitting the tree trunks with the heat brought out the colors in them- smoked up the house real good. Not a technique I recommend unless you are outside and wearing a mask.)
Here's a closeup of the grass and rocks. I put several shades of green through the extruder with a really tiny hole, cut short pieces and rolled one end to a point for each blade of grass. For the rocks, I mixed three bits of translucent clay with pepper, ground oregano, and ground cloves. Then I made them into the little shapes you see here. (I burned the rocks with the heat gun a little too, although that wasn't intentional- the trans clay just really burns easily. Hmmm, I think Rocke needs to take away the heat gun...)
And here you can see the depth of the piece. I absolutely love it!
I plan on making some more similar pieces only with joshua trees and cacti. We used to live in Arizona and I love the shapes the trunks of those trees make. We'll see how that goes.
I know I promised another tutorial soon but I had a few setbacks and am still working on it. Bear with me, maybe I'll have two in a row.