Here is a timelapse video of me prepping my sketches and (highlight/shadow) sculpture models to become references for my digital painting.
Swamps, birds, and humidity to ensue shortly…
I thought that to get the light and anatomy best on a new paleo-reconstruction of the Eocene, I should start something I have been meaning to do since forever and ever…sculpting! Yes, I could get by without it, but why? Sculpting is so much fun! I will use better tools and firmer clay next time, but as a first attempt, it went fine.
This semi-aquatic creature is not even a close ancestor of hippos and stands alone in earth history as having one of the smallest brain to body ratios of any mammal: ~90 gram brain vs. a 500 kg body! It mired in swamps using its big teeth to drudge up aquatic plants…perhaps an uncomplicated task?
I used a wooden egg from a hobby store and wire and threaded inserts to reinforce it…the clay wanted to droop off the egg a bit. I also screwed it to a tripod swivel base that I bolted to my easel and could manipulate in all directions at will. I made a 3 wire neck that allows the head to be turned too. It will be such a luxury to use as a reference for my shadows and highlights…here is a photo: