Monday, January 5, 2015

Skull Vato IV

Skull Vato!
Let me introduce you to the 4th version of my Skull Vato concept. Some pictures of versions 1 and 2 (both sculpted in the first half of 2010) are shown in this sculpting tutorial (pictures of the painted versions will be added later... an english version of the tutorial is on my to-do list). The 3rd version is shown here and here

A mix of many influences, handshaked to produce an 8cm tall toy-like mini. I've had it cast in a dozen of copies, at least 6 of which I will keep for personal projects, and the rest that are available for sale if anybody else than me ever wants one. With that little stock, I shouldn't need to sculpt a new version before at least 10 years normally. Unless I feel like, for any obscure reason.

The story behind. Warning: talkative mood inside.

At the time I started working on this concept, I had already been working for a while on my "Darth Vatos" diorama, that I will publish later. I was exploring simplified toy-like minis in a typical/caricature Californian hood with gang problems. During a random bored-to-death-at-work moment, I drew this:

This is basically the same design as the "dart vatos" mentioned above, with a skull head on top of it, keeping the same simplified approach. A couple of months passed before I could effectively start sculpting it. Around that time, I also had discovered Usugrow's work, while I was looking for inspiration stuff on the web. In particular, his Rebel ink caught my attention, a creation that came out both as a drawing and a toy.

As more than 4 years, and many things, have passed since that time, it's difficult to remember to what point I consciously wanted to revisit that concept, and to what point it was more a natural and unconscious consequence of my obsessions at that time. It doesn't matter as the word "similarity" is clearly an understatement here, and I'm pretty sure I already knew this toy by the time I started sculpting the first version of the skull vato.

So anyway, the result is I started complexifying the design of the skull to be less figurative. I liked the result so much that it brought me inspiration for potential scenes built around the vato, and a couple of months after the first version, I started sculpting the second one, which is documented in the tutorial. A little less than 2 years later (late 2011), I made the 3rd version as the "Best of Show" trophy for the 9th edition of the Painting Crusade... and the fun of sculpting it was still there (and not only because I found a way to complete that trophy-making task with some creative lazyness).

Again, 2 years later (first half of 2014), I'm back with a fourth version, motivated by the fact that I found out how to build one of the ideas of diorama that I have had 4 years earlier, on which I was stuck. I won't say much more about it now, you'll discover it in the coming months. This time, I thought I should have that mini cast in a small amount of copies, so that I could go on with some projects a bit faster, and focus on the new things instead of redoing always the same thing (not that it's something I don't like to do).

I will be working on the conversion of one of these casts pretty soon. Pictures will follow. With less words hopefully.

If you have survived the text, here's a final punition. This is not an old Cypress Hill track that you have managed to miss, although it could be. It's Funkdoobiest featuring B-real, on a beat produced by DJ Muggs around the same period as the making of Cypress's Black Sunday. Chill.

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