Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


New Animal Ornaments

I’ve been busy working away on more new animal ornaments this week. As I make them, I’m thinking of what to call this new line. One suggested name is “Ornimals” because these are animal specific ornaments. What do you think? It’s kind of catchy.

The three new ornimals I’m sharing today include a cat, a dog, and a chipmunk. Some progress pictures are also included.

The Grey Tabby

It is only fair that my next cat ornament be inspired by Woody, our oldest cat. When you have two cats, it is like having two kids. Got to be fair and include both of them.


Grey Tabby Before Paint

Grey Tabby Ornimal

The Chipmunk

We have numerous chipmunks running around our neighborhood. I was inpsired to include one in this line when one dashed across the driveway as I pulled in the other day. Yes, they can be a bit of a nuisance but they are cute.

Chippy Paint Progress

Chipmunk Ornimal

Chippy Backside

The Bernese Mountain Dog

I love Bernese Mountain dogs. I love big dogs. Even though I haven’t owned a dog in many years, I wanted to challenge myself and sculpting a Bernie as my first dog ornament fit the bill. Then I immediately thought I was crazy to even try. Cats I know; dogs, not so much.

However, with my trusty iPad propped up on my work table, I found some good images of Bernies that would guide me in this challenge. First came the nose and mouth. They have rather large heads so this part wasn’t too difficult, though the SuperSculpey does give this Bernie a rather cow-like appearance.

Next came the ears. Ugh.

I don’t like ears. I don’t even put ears on my human-inspired heads. But an “earless” Bernie would be rather scary. Thankfully Bernies have rather simple ears. Longish, flatish, nothing too dramatic.

Then came the eyes. Oh boy. This will take some time. Eyes are a challenge for me on all of my sculpted heads. I often place them a little too high on the face and that changes the entire appearance of the piece.

So I first tried a cane slice, similar to what I’ve done with my cat ornaments. Placed the cane slices on the face and mock up the eyelids.

Bernie Eye Test 1

Ugh. He looks like he is wearing a bad pair of sunglasses. Scrap that idea and sleep on it.

As I lay in bed I thought about the technique I use to create eyes & sockets on my human heads. I toy around with an idea and how it might work on an ornament sculpt. The next day I end up with this result.

Bernie Eye Test 2

I like this better than the cane slices. At this point I also have to remind myself that all sculptures look rather unattractive at this stage; fleshy and ghostly (or ghastly, take your pick.) It is only when they receive an antique wash and paint that they start to come alive.

Bernie Partially Painted

And the finished piece:

Bernese Mountain Dog

I’m pretty happy with the how she turned out. Painting on the eyes was a little dicey because, unlike acrylic paint, oil remains fluid and moveable until completely dry. Next time I might try acrylics for comparison.

And if you have an iPad or other tablet device, I highly recommend using it as your online sketchbook or source of image inspiration in the studio. Yes, I could’ve printed out a couple pictures and put them in my sketchbook for reference. But I can’t enlarge the static pictures in my sketchbook like I can on the iPad. That is one of the many things I love about my iPad when it comes to creating artwork.