Butterfly Corgi

Butterfly Corgi - student project

I'm incredibly excited for this class! I did a lot of brainstorming and sketching today, and came up with an idea for a winged corgi sculpture. I've always loved corgis, and I also want to get more practice at sculpting wings. I'm also thinking of painting it with a fun and colorful coat pattern. I've always enjoyed the idea that corgis are connected with magic and fairies and such, so I think it would be fun to give it a more magical look. My original concept was a corgi with more bird-like wings:

Butterfly Corgi - image 1 - student project

However, while thinking of different and fun color patterns, I had the idea of combining the corgi with a butterfly, and came up with this design:

Butterfly Corgi - image 2 - student project

I think the butterfly wings will be an interesting challenge to sculpt and paint, and I plan to give the corgi a neat color pattern to match. The final pose I decided on will be balancing on one paw, and hopefully look something like this:

Butterfly Corgi - image 3 - student project

I'm hoping to get some practice with complex armature and posing, and also strengthen my animal sculpting skills in general. :)

I will try to keep this post updated as I go along!

Update 8/5/15

Working on the armature today. 

Butterfly Corgi - image 4 - student project

I'm not exactly sure how to go about making the butterfly wings. I created two sets of wires since butteflies have two wing sets, I just have to figure out how to go from there.

Update 8/22/15
Progress on the sculpture has been a bit slow the past couple weeks. Had a few commissions to finish up, but now I am back on track with the "Buttergi". :)
I got the initial form blocked out about a week ago. Corgi bodies are so fun to sculpt!

Butterfly Corgi - image 5 - student project

The sculpture is a bit too heavy to stand on its own now, which is why there is a wire under the belly for the photos.
Yesterday I started defining the body a bit more, and sculpted the paws.

Butterfly Corgi - image 6 - student project

Butterfly Corgi - image 7 - student project

After that I started working on the face. I really liked the way it was turning out, until I realized that the head was waaay too big for the body. Oh no! :( I have a habit of doing this sometimes. I think I start off with a decent sized head, but then start adding to it and it quickly becomes too large. I need to work on that!

Butterfly Corgi - image 8 - student project

So I cut down on the head considerably, and will be starting fresh with the face. I also took the opportunity to reposition the head a bit to have it looking back a little more.

Butterfly Corgi - image 9 - student project

Next I plan on finishing up the head and ears, adding some fur textures(not planning on doing fully realistic fur texturing, probably just some fluff on the face, neck, and rear), and then start on the butterfly wings.
I'm really excited about how this sculpture is turning out so far!
Update 8/24/15
Lots of detail work was done today!  I think I am pretty much finished sculpting the corgi, aside from some cleaning up and such.

Butterfly Corgi - image 10 - student project

Butterfly Corgi - image 11 - student project

Butterfly Corgi - image 12 - student project

I added some antennae after these photos were taken as well. Now I just have to start on the butterfly wings!
Update 8/28/14
Got the wings sculpted and added to the piece, so now it is mostly complete other than to do some sanding and a few repairs. The wings were very tricky, and took me several attempts to get right. Emily's suggestions were so incredibly helpful though, and sculpting them out of Premo clay was definitely the way to go.

Butterfly Corgi - image 13 - student project

Butterfly Corgi - image 14 - student project

Also, here is a closeup on the face, I think it looks a lot better now!

Butterfly Corgi - image 15 - student project

My next step is to figure out what I want to do with the base. My original plan was to do something simple. A grassy field with some flowers perhaps. I enjoy using model landscaping elements to my sculptures, and I have some nice grass and flowers I could add. My other though was to do something a bit more complex, one idea I had was that he could be running through a small stream, and have some water splashing up around the paw that is touching the base. I have not done much in the way of sculpting water, so it might be an interesting challenge.  The base is a bit small, though, so I may not want to do something that is too overwhelming.
Update 9/4/14
Had a minor snag with my primer that delayed things a bit, but  now it has been fixed and I am back on track! I began painting today, I decided to start with the butterfly wings. Mostly to give me some inspiration for how to paint the corgi, as I want his colors and coat pattern to match the wings. For the butterfly type I decided to go with a Red Spotted Purple, as I really love their coloring.

Butterfly Corgi - image 16 - student project


Butterfly Corgi - image 17 - student project

Butterfly wings have so many little details and subtle colors to them, what a fun challenge they were to paint. I also added some PearlEx powder to the wings to give them a nice shimmer. I have not used PearlEx before, but that stuff is awesome!
Next up I will be painting the corgi, that should be fun!
Update 9/10/14
Finished painting the corgi yesterday!

Butterfly Corgi - image 18 - student project

Butterfly Corgi - image 19 - student project

It took me a while to decided on a design for him. I sketched out several ideas, some a lot more intricate. But in the end I decided to go a slightly more natural route. I took the marking pattern of a tricolor corgi, and adapted the colors to match the wings, with a couple extra spots on the rump and ears. ;)
I still haven't worked on the base. I'm going to do a little research on the habits of a red spotted purple butterfly before I deside what type of landscape would be best for the base.
Update 9/17
He's done!! And I have given him a name-meet Nax the Buttergi:

Butterfly Corgi - image 20 - student project

I must say I am really pleased with him. :)  For the base I decided to do something a little more neutral, some dirt and pebbles, and a few blades of grass to hopefully convey the idea that this guy is very small.
Here are a few more views of him:

Butterfly Corgi - image 21 - student project

I have had an absolute blast with this class, and feel like I have learned and grown so much as a sculptor! Thank you so much to Emily for the opportunity to take such a great class, and all your wonderful advice and support along the way. And thanks to all my other classmates for all the kind words and encouragement, I will continue to check back to see how all of your lovely projects are going. :)
Lindsey H.
Sculptor for Leilia's Clay Creations