I continue on my quest to make a handpaw pattern using Matrices' tutorial, in which a small clay model is made, a pattern is taken from the model, and the pattern is enlarged to the proper size with an overhead projector. I have fantasies of selling said pattern as a download, and maybe any actual handpaws too. Above, my fifth and final attempt to sculpt said model. Now, to take a pattern from the model and enlarge it.
Here we have the paw partially taped up, using white Duck tape over a layer of plastic wrap. I've sketched in lines where I think the seams will be, and registration marks (those little hash mark things) to help line the pattern up again once it's disassembled. I forgot to take pics before I started cutting the pattern off, so there's pieces missing between the middle toes here.
Here, the underside of the foot, again showing potential seam lines and registration marks.
The pattern cut off the foot, lots of little pieces everywhere, don't sneeze! Then laid out and taped down on a piece of construction paper, to help keep them from slipping and sliding all over the place under the projector lid.
And my very high tech projector setup in the basement, a piece of paper taped onto the washing machine for tracing out the enlarged pattern. (My daughter says the projector is the most analog thing she's ever seen in her life.) I rolled the projector back and forth on its little wheely cart until I got the pattern to what looked like a good size, comparing it other patterns such as Matrices' and Freakhound's to get it in the ballpark.
The enlarged pattern, cut out and ready to go.
And, a first paw mockup using the pattern and cheap material. It does kinda sorta look like a paw, but I'm not happy with it. Next, revisions!
I have two goals in mind here. One to make my own handpaw pattern. The second is to use this really cool technique furry how-to goddess Matrices describes in this tutorial, in which a small clay model is made, a pattern is taken from the model, and the pattern is enlarged to the proper size with an overhead projector. I have fantasies of selling said pattern as a download, and maybe any actual handpaws I make with it too. I have been told that the furry world could use another good feral handpaw pattern and that there's probably untapped market demand there. Charge!
Attempt Number One
For this first attempt I tried making a rough paw shaped chunk of clay and carving toebeans out of the bottom and knuckles and toes out of the top. This sculpt has a lot of problems but the worst in my mind is that the toebeans and palmar pad all wound up on the same plane, parallel to the wrist, making the paw look stiff and unnatural.
Attempt Number Two
For this second attempt, I tried to make the angles of the toe bottoms more natural. Closer, but not there yet. The top of the foot also leaves a lot to be desired, looking like a featureless cube of clay, especially when viewed from the top.
Attempt Number Three
Attempt number three, when viewed from the side, has a little more of that oval shape we're going for. The top of this foot also looks more shaped and natural than those in the previous two. However it also looks a little squished and disproportionate. When viewed from the top, the toes look too long and the back of the paw too short.
Attempt Number Four
Attempt number four features... an armature! What a concept! Underneath the clay the armature looks like a little wire tree, with the trunk for the wrist and palm and four branches for the toes. The armature helps to hold the parts of the foot in place, keep them from getting squished out of shape, and maintain the correct proportions. The wire also makes it easier to bend the toes into the proper position without breaking them off. I'm happier with this foot, but I can't help but think the back of the paw looks a little swollen, like it was stung by a bee.
This group of photos shows a slightly earlier version of the last paw undergoing some last minute edits. The first photo shows the foot being checked against a favorite reference pic, and the second photo shows a tracing of this earlier version being checked against a superimposed tracing of the reference pic. (I especially love this tracing as it really shows how the two outer toes on a dog's foot are different sizes, with the "pointer" toe being larger than the "pinky" toe.) The third pic shows the finished foot, after all the edits have ben made.
Above, a turnaround of this last paw, looking a little worse for wear from the pattern making process. (More on that later!) This paw is also built on an armature, similar to that in attempt number four. Perhaps more improvements can be made on this foot but at this point I was thoroughly sick of clay feet and wanted to get on with it. Charge!
And, the palmar pad moves in ways that hurt my brain.
I'm weirdly into dog feet. I love their sculpted knuckles and long elegant toes. I’ve used the free Freakhound canine paw pattern found here for my past three partials and really do like the pattern, but I think a bigger paw would look better with the size heads I’d been making. So now I have a lot of clay sketches and an excuse to try to make a canine handpaw pattern of my own! Stay tuned!
(Don't fart Sadie....)