One piece closer
Dang! I had a lot of pictures in my last post! Some might say... too many? ...I might say that. In hindsight, I should have divided the images from the last post into 2 posts, but I was excited and proud at how this chess piece was coming along.
I've "finished" sculpting it, and I'm happy with how it turned out. Since I'm still unsure which chess piece it'll be (bishop, knight or king) I may add horns depending on what piece we decide. Until then I figure I'll just keep working on new chess pieces as I come up with them, and let relativity decide which piece he is. The finishing touches I've completed on this piece are subtle but necessary. I'll show you what I mean by comparing some before and after pictures.
Note the differences that were made on the neck. I used what're called mini ribbon tools to remove a little bit of clay and round his neck at the back if his head and under his chin leading down to his wings (that're wrapped around his body). In the image on the left, the neck is relatively smooth going into the dragons bottom jaw and wings. In the image on the right, the head now looks like it's bent over on top of the neck instead of sculpted from it. In the same sense the wings now look like they're wrapped around the neck and body; you can almost image how the neck continues down within the wings.
Here, you can see some of the detail that was added to the neck. I used a "pointy tool" and lightly scratched in the fine wrinkles. The "pointy tool" I used is an official sculpting tool that came in a set and is basically a glorified toothpick. You could use a sewing needle, paperclip, toothpick or anything pointy as a "pointy tool". Afterwards, I brushed over it with a dry paintbrush first to remove the itty-bitty bits of clay scratched out. Then, using a little water on the paintbrush, I went over it again to soften the edges of the scratch marks.
Besides using the pointy tool for making wrinkles, I went over almost the entire piece sharpening the detail. Whether I hadn't added the detail in the first place or I accidentally smooshed parts with my fingers, this step really made a big difference.
So he's finished, eh? Finished... what the hell is that supposed to mean? Honestly, I don't ever feel finished, I just say it and hope that just saying it makes it true. I realize right now that this issue of being finished is something I've never asked another artist about. This may be more a philosophical issue deeply rooted in the neuroses of my personal genetic makeup or, more likely, it's just a common quirk in most artists. I'm going to look into this further, but I'd totally dig your input, dudes!
How do you know when your projects are finished?