New Year, New Project


Way back in the god-forsaken dark ages of torment and gnashing of teeth halcyon days of the HSC (senior year of high school for those outside Aust), I tried my hand at crafting wearable Greek helmets. I remember making 4 and 1/2 versions of the archetypal Korinthian helmet, all begun on a papier mache base which was then coated with a layer inside and out of fibreglass. The result was a sturdy final product with some interesting textures offered by the fibreglass, which gave the impression of oxidised bronze, but there were pitfalls.

Fibreglass once set can’t be remodelled, so it is important to get the base framework (in my case papier mache and cardboard) absolutely right before application. The fibreglass itself is applied much like wet plaster bandages, using the fibre sheets and a catalyst chemical in place of medical supplies. But once the fibreglass is set, sanding or cutting is not recommended as the fine powdery dust created can cause respiratory problems down the track.

So this year I began my first project in EVA foam, creating a set of Greek armour from the 5th-4th Centuries BCE. Cutting pieces out of EVA foam, then fanning them with a heat gun until they were pliable, I could shape and reshape the foam to achieve the subtle curvatures that were impossible to make out of fibreglass without using a plaster mould. The other advantage to working in foam is being able to try the helmet on and reshape it as necessary; I had to rework the eyes as the opening sat too high above my eyebrows, hence the putty fill on the right eye.

It has definitely been easier to scratch time out for working this way, as working with EVA foam only requires a bit of space and minimal tools outside of a heatgun and a few craft knives to work with, so minimal setup and cleanup.



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Blindness Bound

Dazzle-stock-2e-webDrawn from reference by Dazzle-Stock.

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Copic Sketch

Sketch from stock by Tara Brown on Getty Images.

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Copic Sketches

ariel copic sketch

la lunatique hood copic sketch

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Mech Sketch | Pen & Copic markers

So it may sound trite but in the words of a million bloggers, apologies for the scarcity of posts. An ever-energetic toddler, moving house and new job, plus extended commuting time has pushed my sketching to almost a fringe activity, mostly taking place on wobbly public transport. I have been pushing myself to practice however, and have recently started playing with some Copics a friend leant me.


Don’t let anyone say a girl can’t pilot a mech.

I must say, with decent sketching paper the Copics have a nice blending ability that works much better than previous attempts on A4 printer paper. I spoiled myself with a Winsor & Newton sketchbook, and find it absorbs and blends the Copic marks really well.

Aside from this I have been pushing to improve my figure drawing and facial sketches. In my satchel I carry an A4 folder with printouts of various stock photography so I always have a handy reference when stuck for a pose to draw, as well as some tracing paper so I can go back and revise older sketches.

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