Thor, chariots, and helmets

Yesterday evening I started on the sketch of Thor and trying to figure out other things for my sculpt, like the not unimportant chariot. Have to make a sketch of that one too…

One of the biggest problems I have is that there are no real references as to the chariots Norsemen used and plenty of discussions if the Norse people used them or not. There is the Celtic chariot, with a single axle, the Egyptian and Roman, also with a single axle, and then I come across the “Oseberg cart” with a double axle. I know this is a cart and not a chariot but Googling images for “Viking/Norse Chariots” gives me all sort of confusing information, showing single and double axle chariots.

Thor is shown in both single and double axle chariots, while Freya is only shown in her cat-drawn single axle chariot.

So I have to make a choice here and this is what it’s going to be… the double axle chariot based on this picture that I like:

459px-Thor_by_Johannes_Gehrts

This is a drawing of Thor, made in 1901 by the German painter Johannes Gehrts and, unlike some paintings/drawings, Thor has a beard. I have mentioned it before, I’m going to stick to the Norse visualization of Thor, being red-haired, red-bearded, fiery eyed, and barrel-chested. He is, after all, the most valiant Warrior of the Norse Pantheon and an idealized image of the Viking fighter.

And he is not wearing any helmet of some sort, another reason for choosing this picture to work off. Looking for information on the Norse and their Pantheon, you will find lots of discussions. One of those discussion is if the Vikings wore helmets or not. We all know that Vikings are often shown with helmets with horns but apparently that is wrong. If the average Viking warrior wore a helmet, it would have been a non-descript conical form helmet without any adorations (I won’t go into the “wings” decoration because they have been used). Planting horns on a helmet would give your enemy the chance to grab onto those…something you wouldn’t want.

Now, to plant a non-descript conical form helmet on Thor would look silly, in my humble opinion, and very un-God like wouldn’t you think?

Off to the drawingboard for the chariot and next time I will post my sketches.

Hope you’ll have a great day!

In Memoriam: Ruby 10/15/1997 – 03/29/2011

Young RubyRubyI don’t think that today I will get a lot of work done on my sculpt or anything else for that matter, since it is “Ruby Day” for me. Can’t believe it has already been 1 year since I had to put my Sugarbaby to sleep….

 

She was the best friend anyone could ask for, never judged and always there for you

Ruby D. Doo

10/15/1997 – 03/29/2011

RubyRuby

Ruby

Today is the day to start on Thor…

Good morning!

Today is the day that I feel I have to start on my Thor!

I have about finished my other ‘stuff’ of which the drawings were the most important since people were waiting on them (or so I hope LOL) and other things, like my gourd birds, I can do in between.

This whole Thor idea even has me waking up in the middle of the night, thinking about things like how to attach him to his chariot…eventhough that is a long way away from now. But not unimportant since I have to incorporate that in the sculpt’s legs.

So today, after cutting the grass and cleaning off my workspace, I will take a piece of paper and start making the initial rough draft of what I want it to look like. I have to say that I am not a huge person on making sketches. I know that some of you always start like that, some even with a very detailed drawing, but I know myself…. If I do that, especially a detailed drawing, I have the feeling that I’ve made it already and then it will slip away.

My way of working is to try things out as I go along; guess I’m more a ‘visual’ type of person who has to see the problem if there is any. But, that said, I need to figure out how tall Thor is going to be, how to attach the legs to the chariot without him toppling over or falling out (that would be BAD for a Deity of any kind!), how big the chariot will be and what it will look like, and the size of the 2 goats.

Initially I thought to make Thor 8″ tall but with the chariot and especially the goats added into the equation I have the feeling that it will be too tall and maybe too bulky. So, I’m going to make him smaller and am thinking about 4.5-5″ tall but that can always change when I make the armature.

The armature is also going to be new to me since I want to try using copper/brass rods for the head, arms and legs. That way I can bake those seperately and if something doesn’t look right it is a smaller thing to re-do. Even the clay I’m going to use is new to me. Used to working with the standard brand polymer clays (Fimo, Sculpey, Premo) I want to try ProSculpt this time. According to the reviews it is easier to sculpt with, so let’s give it a go…

As you can see there are a bunch of ‘new’ things for me with this sculpt and did I mention I haven’t sculpted in a while? LOL Time to pull out the Anatomy books and go over what I remember while waiting for the grass to dry (it’s still too wet to cut).

Wish me luck and I hope you will accompany me on this “Journey of Trial, Error, and Victory” 🙂

Too busy, but nothing much is happening here

I know I haven’t been writing for the last couple of days. Life just seems too busy at times.

The weather has been so nice here the last days that I worked outside in the yard, cut the grass, started my vegetable garden, put my seeds in little pots and in my little greenhouse, cleaned the last gourds (until I found another box with gourds that need to be cleaned so I’m not done by a long shot!), and things like that.

I did however work more on my gourdbirds, got most of them ready to get eyes and legs and then it’s only a matter of finishing them up 🙂 3 small ones and 4 big ones and then they’re done for now and then it’s time for my Thor Adventure!!

Today it has been raining and I looked outside and saw that the grass needs to be cut again. How come it grows so fast? They expect rain for the next 3-4 days so by the time I get around to cutting the grass again it will probably be another jungle that needs to be mowed down…

Like I said, nothing much has happened here but I still have been a busy little bee.

Drawings and tutorials

I thought that today I could write about my drawings, my favorite pencil drawings artist and his free tutorials.

I have been drawing for as long as I can remember (and that is a long time LOL) and I think the only good things I inherited from my father is my love for drawing and building wooden model ships 🙂

It has only been a couple of years ago that I picked up my pencils again after I’ve found the artist Lisandro Peña and his awesome free drawing tutorials.

When you go to his website www.onlypencil.com you will see why I think he is really awesome. His drawings look like pictures and not like drawings at all! People always think I make a joke when I say that I want to be as good as he is when I grow up, but it’s true…

My RubyI do notice that the more I make drawings, the better they get. The other day I was comparing JoeJoe the Beagle that I’ve just finished to my first drawing of my Ruby from a couple of years back and there is a world of difference. You might not be able to see it, but I do and I don’t mean that my Ruby-drawing doesn’t look good. It’s just that I see that I’m using different techniques.

When I just started to draw again, I had a real problem with black areas. You could say I was afraid to make it too black? But that is what you have your eraser for 🙂

Also, Lisandro uses a needle and an empty pen to scratch in hairs, like making a negative drawing. At first I was scratching the hairs to my hearts content but along the way I started doing that  more sparingly because, to me, that is not always the right way to do it. I’ve found that a blunted needle doesn’t ‘do the job’ for me so I turned to a ball stylus.

I spent weeks looking here in the US for those things and couldn’t find them anywhere, so I had my sister in Amsterdam sent some over. When I was looking for something entirely different on eBay I came across these ball stylus tools that I’ve been looking for since forever and got me some new ones because my thinnest one was starting to show some wear and tear; it didn’t indent the paper anymore but really scratched it…not good!

If you’re looking for them too, here they are, it’s a link of one of my favorite eBay sellers, Morezmore, or click this link

Who would have thought they were Kemper tools for sculpting!

Since I am talking about favorite things and tutorials, visit the Morezmore Estate Blog where you can find a wealth of information and free tutorials on sculpting.

Off to the outside world to work some more on my gourd birds 🙂

Gourd birds and the great outdoors

Today the weather was so wonderful here that I decided to take my gourd birds outside to do the engraving of the feathers with my Dremel.

The dogs sure loved it, especially Kender. I spent almost 5 hours outside and got only one bird done and in the meantime throwing the tennisball for Kender. I could tell that she finally got tired after 4 hours because she was getting slower in retrieving the ball LOL That is one dog who will sleep soundly tonight! As a matter of fact, she is sleeping behind my chair as I type 🙂

Close-up Gourd Bird

I guess the reason that it took me so long for this one bird is that the gourd has an outside that looks ‘old’ in some places. Calling it ‘old’ for lack of a better word. What I mean is that the shell is hard like wood, but it shows little crackles if that makes sense? Now, using the Dremel in those spots makes the outside chip and that is something I don’t want when engraving a line within the feathers…and about 80% of this gourd is like that. At least now I know not to use this type of outside for other birds

But, I got that finished and drilled the holes for the eyes and the legs; all I have to do now is chop off it’s head LOL, get the seeds out, make the holes for the eyes a bit bigger and glue them in from the inside with epoxy, carve a beak out of wood and also use epoxy to glue that in. After all that has dried (will be fast) I can cover the head with clay in the form of feathers where I made the opening.

I have it in my head that I want the beak to look like a duck’s so I need some thicker branches to whittle or I can use 2 wooden spoons and sand those down to the right size.

Then I’ll make some legs but not sure if I’ll use clay-covered wire or copper. If I use the wire I have to paint the legs too, if copper than all I have to do is disguise the drilled leg holes with clay feathers and paint those and the feathers on the head when they’re dry. The way I have it in my head I will go with the wire, so I can make some sturdy legs with “flipper” feet.

Almost 1 bird down and then 5 more to go…. Finishing those 6 gourd birds before my big “Thor adventure” is taking a bit longer than I expected LOL

Hope you’re enjoying a nice warm day too!

Finished JoeJoe

JoeJoe

 Finished JoeJoe’s drawing last night and I think he looks good. Hopefully his ‘parents’ think so too… I always believe that a black matte  brings the drawing out more, somehow it gives it more character?

Anyway, 1 drawing down and 6 more gourd birds to go before I should start on my Thor sculpt.

I say ‘should’ because I have already started a bit on it. Printed out some skeletal anatomy for the frame and think I will stick with the 1:12th scale. That will make Thor about 4.75 – 5 inches tall, but I have to include the chariot he stands in too and then figure out how tall, or small, his goats will be.

Today I got an UGLY pink envelope from my friend Mozelle but I love the contents. She had sent me some wool straight off the sheep that I can use for my sculpt 🙂 That was really sweet! I call the envelope ugly because I detest the color pink. Not sure why, but I just do…

Yesterday I got my ProSculpt clay in that I’d ordered. Never used it before but it is praised to be one of the best sculpting polymer clays. Reckon I have to put it to the test!

I’ll make pictures of my progress with the sculpt frame and will post them at a later date. Off to the gourd birds I go…..

Hello world!

I have been wanting to start a blog for a while now, but was never sure what to write about. I mean, what is so interesting about silly ol’ me that other people would like to read this?

Then I got this idea of writing about my Arts & Crafts, my ideas, execution, problems I run into and things like that. I have too many hobbies to mention but clay in all forms, pencil drawings, gourd art, and wooden model ships are the main ones.

Right now I have the idea that I want to make the Norse, Greek, and Roman Pantheon, until my friend Fred pointed out that the Greek/Romans have about 200 Gods and Goddesses and the Norse are closing in on 100… That is way too much!

So, I will start with the ‘main’ Norse Gods and Goddesses and have this idea about making Thor. Not the way he was portrayed in the latest movie and comic books but according to the Norse Mythology where it’s said that he is barrel-chested with flaming red hair.

The Norse believed that during a thunderstorm, Thor rode through the heavens on his chariot pulled by the goats Tanngrisni and Tanngnost (“Gap-Tooth” and “Tooth Grinder”) and lightning flashed when he threw his hammer Mjollnir.

The idea that has formed in my head for this first sculpt is the Mighty Thor on his chariot with his 2 goats, yielding his hammer Mjollnir.

Before I can start on that one and post pictures and descriptions of how and what I’m doing, I have to finish a couple of things first.

First of all I have to finish a pencil drawing of a Beagle that I’ve promised to make since the beginning of the year AND I have to finish some gourd birds that I’ve started on so bear with me while I blog about that…

Hope everyone is having a great day!

JoeJoe