Wheatpaste Concept Sketches 2

Another concept sketch for the wheat paste I’m planning. This time I was testing out the composition, making sure the positions of the characters worked. Plus I was testing out the style. I wasn’t sure just how cartoony I wanted to go with it. I liked the look of the composition for the most part, but the fox and kids turned out too exaggerated.

A little more tweaking and it’s almost ready!

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Wheatpaste Concept Sketches

I’ve been tossing around ideas for a wheatpaste that I want to try out.. I’ve never done it before, so I really have no idea what I’m doing and it’ll be a total experiment. Here are some of the concept sketches I did for my first idea. (sorry about the awful scans =/)

I wanted to do something light and fun, and I’ve also had masks on the brain for a while now. The general idea is two children playing with fox masks, one distracted and the other confronting the very¬† spirit they were playing at, face to face.

I actually have the semi-final sketches for this idea just about completed, but I’ll wait to post those until I’m a little further along.

Fur Suiting (MFF Day 3)

I really wanted to talk about fur suiting for this post, but I’ve been staring at my laptop screen for a good hour now and all I have is a title. I think I’m officially burnt out from the convention. It went GREAT though. I Did more sketchbooks this con than probably any other before, met some really wonderful people and made some great new connections. I was really unexpectedly surprised by the success of my table as well, considering I had so little compared to previous years.

I promise to do a much more detailed post tomorrow, on both the convention and fur suiting… although I think I may need to split that into two posts… fur suiting is…. yah.

In the mean time, a dollar sketch I did =)

Japan Trip Day 5

Haha, weeeell it turns out internet isn’t always as easy to come by here as I thought it would be, so I missed a couple days! I’ll just have to back track a bit… so I’m already on day 8, but I’ll go back to day 5 and go from there.

Today (Day 5) was all about the shrines! We had a goal to see four of the larger shrines in Kyoto and we made it to three of them today; Fushimiinari, Kiyomizudera and Yasakajinja (the shrine at the end of Shijo Street in Gion). The first, Fushimiinari was the one I was most excited for. It’s the head shrine dedicated to Inari, a fox god of wheat, money, business and luck (among other things). It’s most famous for it’s iconic Torii gate paths, each one donated to the shrine by a business hoping to gain Inari’s good favor.

The path to the entrance to the shrine is lined with thousands of plaques covered in the names of the businesses that have donated.

Then the road opens up to reveal the enormous entrance to the shrine.

Just inside the main entrance are rows of stores selling shrine souvenirs, mostly fox inspired (I got a little bobble head Inari charm! Maybe it will give me a little luck…). There were also lots of tanuki, snakes and manekineko

A bit further in the grounds open up, until you come to the main attraction: Paths to the inner grounds lined with literally thousands of Torii gates.

Then there are the charms when you get to the inner grounds. These are always a really fun part of the shines; they are charms made by the shrines for anything from recovering from an illness to passing an important exam.

And one last photo from Fushimiinari: Inari holding harvest wheat in his mouth.

Our next stop was Kiyomizudera… but it was a little bit of a fail on our part. We didn’t realize that the Kiyomizudera that we had heard about and seen so many images of was actually the observatory and the main shrine area, which is far less interesting, is much closer to the city. So we made it to the main shrine and there was nothing there, and by that time it was too late to get all the way to the observatory! Well it wasn’t a complete waste of time; as we were leaving the grounds, we saw a few of the local monks appear from inside the off limits area and walk into the main temple. A few minutes later a couple very young (and very late I think) monks ran into the main temple building as well, and moments later the daily chants began.

We stayed to listen for a while, then headed off to visit Yasaka Shrine before it got too late. Yasakajinja is the shrine we saw the day before, but it was already all closed down for the night. During the day there are vendors that line the path into the shrine that sell all sorts of things; antiques, clothing, and lots of yummy food. There are also (of course!) more charms being sold by the men and women of the shrine complex.

So it was a very full day of shrines complexes and trains and running around. The plan for the next day was to wake up early early, book it to just ooone more shrine, run back to the hotel then board the Shinkansen for Osaka… but that will be another post!

Paper Mache

It’s early October and everyone is starting to seriously plan their Halloween costumes, so yesterday we had a little paper mache party (three of us sitting on the floor covered in flour paste). I won’t be around for Halloween this year so I wasn’t worried about making anything I’d actually wear… so the pressure was off and I went a little crazy! I’ve been planning out a big Wheat Paste project and it has to do with Kitsune masks, so I already had them on the brain with all the sketching I’ve been doing lately. I just didn’t realize the amount of work one little fox mask would be.

So far I have all of the parts (two ears, nose, mask base) wired with the paper mache base around them and dried, but the weight of the ears and nose are going to pull on the base mask so much that I realized I’m going to have to make a small frame to go inside the mask, then wired the attachments on after building up another few layers of the mask. Then there’s the molding. The nose I made is in a general fox-like shape, but if I just stuck it on the face as is it’d end up looking more like some weird growth. After the nose is wired to the face, I’ll have to use loose strips of paper to create more of a gradual slope to the nose, and that means a lot more layer building too.

Here’s a bottom view of the pieces so far.

And a top view with my cat giving you a size reference =)

The mask looks like a Luchador mask… but the opening that looks like a mouth will be covered up by the big nose once the frame is done. I’m definitely doing the shape of this mask non traditionally. Usually you see Kitsune masks with human shaped faces (just with ears), or with very small delicate noses, but the way I’m going to paint this needs a large nose piece since it’s going to have a big exaggerated grinning face.

So hopefully I won’t loose steam on this… It’s hard to keep motivated on a project when it still looks ugly haha.