I dug out some sketches today. All of these were done around the Disneyland Resort with a soft grey art marker for the initial layout and shadows and then refined with a black Pilot pen. For any budding artists out there, those art markers are a great way to get depth and shadow if you're drawing with pen. Prior to this discovery my pen drawings got very black and messy.
This was a bellman at the Grand Californian Hotel.
Just some lady. Must have been a cold day.
A server, at the Carnation Cafe, most likely.
This was a CM I worked with in Toontown actually. Were this a color picture she'd be wearing bright blue pants and a sunshine yellow shirt under her black universal coat. Drawn while she was on a break enjoying one of those delicious bags of vending machine Fritos- golden chips of corn!
Wendell is one example of a final Animatronic figure (below) that I don't think matched the Marc Davis art very closely. The face matches, but to me, the Marc Davis art shows a stockier Wendell, while the Animatronic seem's slenderer especially around the neck, which to me changes the whole look of the face. I tried to match the art exactly, except that I gave my sculpture the mandolin of the final figure as opposed to the banjo that Davis drew him with.
I wasn't entirely happy with his face; like Henry there were some big symmetry problems. I was happy with how well I was able to match the posture of Davis' art- that arched back as Wendell hits some horrible off key note. This was the last Country Bear I sculpted. Like I mentioned on a previous post, each bear got a bit bigger each time. Wendell wasn't bigger than Trixie, but he was bigger in scale than he should have been. I figured it was time to take a break before I did another, perhaps find one from this set that I was happy with and then redo the others and new ones to match that scale. But as it happens, life gets in the way. I'd love to get back to this project some day though. And of course then there's America Sings...
This was the first one where I really relied on the Marc Davis artwork. Even though Trixie is basically a big lump, the way her arms are postitioned and the subtle tilt of her head are perfect here, and something that would go unnoticed on the actual Animatronics figure. The main thing I changed was the position of her feet, cause I liked the way the Animatronic kind of rocked back and forth on her box and kicked her feet a bit. Like I said, this is my favorite of the 4 that I did. Don't know why, there's just something about it I really like.
The second Country Bear I tried to sculpt was Henry, the host of the show. Like Big Al, I relied a bit more on photos than the Marc Davis art for this one. Specifically, I noticed that Henry has a particular posture I wanted to capture, kind of leaning forward on his seat. The animatronic figure also has a very well defined shape, as opposed to some of the others which tend to kind of be furry lumps. I got the body shape pretty well, though the face has some symmetry problems, little stuff that wasn't really noticeable until I had finally painted it. The most frustrating thing though is that his scale is out of proportion with Big Al's. In fact each subsequent Bear I did was bigger than the last. I think this was an unfortunate effect of putting more and more care into each figure- the more detail I added, the more clay it took to achieve and in my enthusiasm I wasn't paying attention to the sizes. I meant to remedy this and actually made a second Henry, but he met with an unfortunate accident before he could be painted. Oh well. Below are the pictures of the first Henry.
Ya'll come back tomorrow for that special treat out of Tampa. A little bit of ever loving cuddlesome fluff, our own Trixie! She's the one I'm most proud of. See ya'll real soon!
About 8 years ago I decided that I wanted to try sculpting the characters from the Country Bear Jamboree. How hard could that be? Mind you I had no real sculpting experience, just a class or two in high school, and when I say class, I mean there was an hour where they let me play with some clay and simple tools- instruction was really not part of the process. Anyway, I had always loved seeing pictures of small maquettes and the beautifully sculpted larger than life characters in this Disneyland attraction seemed like the perfect subject to try my hand at.
The first one I decided to tackle was Big Al. For reference I used the above piece of Marc Davis art and lots of photos of the final Audio-Animatronics figure. All I used was some simple white clay that I bought at a craft store, toothpicks to sculpt some of the smaller details and acrylic craft paint.
I was so happy with this sculpture- like all art, it's just so satisfying to take something that's just an idea in your head and see it through, in this case to a fully dimensional object. In retrospect, it's far from perfect. I sculpted the way I painted back then- I was more about the overall impression than the fine details, so things are lumpy and rough and not as refined as they could be. But the overall sculpture had the pose and personality that I liked- and keep in mind he's just under 3 inches tall. What's even better is that as I did each subsequent bear they got bigger and bigger, so Big Al ironically ended up being the smallest. Stay tuned and I'll post the 3 other Country Bears that I sculpted. See you real soon!