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Mystique Progression by TKMillerSculpt Mystique Progression by TKMillerSculpt
With the Mystique sculpture now shipping to Sideshow customers everywhere, I thought I'd shed a little light on the sculptural process of a piece like this.

Working very close with art directors from Sideshow, as well as with the designer, Adam Hughes, the statuette progresses from a wire armature through clay and eventually to wax, being refined and tweaked along the way. The initial clayup, or rough, was sculpted in Chavant NSP Medium plasticene, and was then cast in Toxic Mom's Wax for final cleanup and detailing. As you can see from the photos, I'm not above utilizing a mixed media approach to accomplish different effects, or just to make my life a little easier. The final wax master was comprised of about a dozen different pieces, not including the skull base.

After Sideshow receives a wax master from me, they'll cast it in resin, provide a paintmaster copy, and it all gets shipped to Asia for mass production.

The gun was fabricated by Oliver Brig and the paintmaster was accomplished by Mike Najera.

[Edit] Since the question has come up, I'll explain a little about the process for making the panels of her dress.

For each of Mystique's panels, I glued a thin strip of cloth to armature wire, pressed the ends of the wire into Mystique's abdomen and shaped the wire to match the design. I brushed the fabric down with a fabric stiffener and shaped the wet fabric with a sculpting tool. After the fabric was hardened, I was able to cover the surfaces with clay, allowing me to cast the panels up in wax for further refining.

[Edit] Wow! Thanks so much for a DD on New's Year Day and thanks so much for all of the wonderful comments!
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Daily Deviation

Given 2010-01-01
Mystique Progression by *SculptorTim is not only a carefully and flawlessly crafted sculpture, but to see it from armature up to finished piece is a real treat as it gives a rare glimpse into the creative process the artist uses in construction. ( Featured by Thebuild )
:iconeye4eye77:
eye4eye77 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
what kind of wire is that? and how did you do that part?
...also, it's amazing. i think i had a partial orgasm when i first saw this.
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:iconangie-pictures:
Angie-Pictures Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014
Beautiful work! Congratulations on the DD! :iconflowerheartplz:

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:iconburgonartworks:
burgonartworks Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I cast all of my sculptures in resin only and skip the wax process.  What am I missing by skipping the wax step?  I assume you can get smoother detailing  of your piece?   I just haven't fully understood the wax process.     Love your work, beautiful pieces.
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:icontkmillersculpt:
TKMillerSculpt Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Professional Artist
Wax aids in getting a high polish on pieces, and it can help tremendously with sculpting tight detail.
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:iconburgonartworks:
burgonartworks Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the info, makes sense.
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:iconakatsukiakuma53421:
AkatsukiAkuma53421 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013  Student Digital Artist
omgg the skill!!!
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:icondavidratajczak:
DavidRatajczak Featured By Owner May 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
WoW ! I need clay-sculpting lessons... Awesome !
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:icontkmillersculpt:
TKMillerSculpt Featured By Owner May 15, 2013  Professional Artist
;)
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:icontpekelder:
tpekelder Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
WOW! beautiful piece!
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:iconartbrojohn:
ArtbroJohn Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Very impressive work!
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:iconthewiseweirdprophet:
TheWiseWeirdProphet Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh I apoligize, I see my first question is answered on your front page, I should have checked sorry :)

I have added you to my watch btw :)
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:iconthewiseweirdprophet:
TheWiseWeirdProphet Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
So now I got to hit this thing with a sledgehammer right?

Well here goes nothing...
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:iconthewiseweirdprophet:
TheWiseWeirdProphet Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I like to thank you for this insight in the sculpting progress, I was thinking to pick it up as an extra hobby.. Had not much clue how to start though. The fact that you name actual materials used is a great help, just one more question ( or two actually)

What kind of tools do you use to shape and add detail?

And a probably even more noobish question: If I wanted the clay sculpture to be preserved for years, what could I do to avoid it's detoriation? (But still be able to put it on a shelf, in other words not having to lock it up somewhere) Or is the only way to preserve sculpture to cast it in resin? (If so how do you take a mold out of it, as I figured plasticine remains adjustable??)

If you don't have time to answer these question, I'd understand perfectly :)

Anyhow, awesome job with that Mystique and progression showcase :) :+fav:
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:iconilo-ka:
ilo-ka Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
WOW!!!!!!!
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:iconcatacronic:
catacronic Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
this work is really impressive
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:iconantonia-calabrese:
Antonia-Calabrese Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
Bello!
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:iconthesadaan:
TheSadaan Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Does the finished work get dried and hardened after some time or does it stay soft and readjustable?. If it remains soft, how can you take a mold out of it?
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:iconsurrealhalo:
SurrealHalo Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Question: On your wire armature, do you add aluminum foil occasionally to build up bulk or do you prefer to layer the clay on thick?

~Shinkiro
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:icontkmillersculpt:
TKMillerSculpt Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Professional Artist
I almost never bulk up an armature. Leaving it clean with just clay allows for easier changes when necessary.
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:iconsurrealhalo:
SurrealHalo Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cool to know, I've been sculpting with kiln-fired clay for a while and have purchased several pounds of super sculpey but I was never sure which way to run with the armature. THanks for your feedback :)
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:iconroystanton:
RoyStanton Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
Brilliant! Thanks for letting us in on the steps in this process; very helpful!
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:iconlunadianaraine:
LunaDianaRaine Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:o I want to own your sculpting skill!
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:iconkilasol:
kilasol Featured By Owner May 6, 2012
O MY GAWD thats...
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:iconorabich:
orabich Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
great work!
--
:gallery:[link]

NEW COMMISSION OPEN: [link]
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:iconpako0007:
pako0007 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I want to sculpt like this! your work is lovely!!
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:icontkmillersculpt:
TKMillerSculpt Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2011  Professional Artist
Thanks!
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:icondeakonlogic:
deakonlogic Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's amazing. Actually what I'm going to school for.
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:icontkmillersculpt:
TKMillerSculpt Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2011  Professional Artist
Thanks!
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:iconashleycon123:
ashleycon123 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
do you have any pictures of the steps you took instead of major jump from wire to sculpture
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:icontkmillersculpt:
TKMillerSculpt Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2011  Professional Artist
Sorry, no. I only photograph what the client needs to see.
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:iconashleycon123:
ashleycon123 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
where did u get the armature for ur piece because i find myself using wire hangers and i want something different
if u made it yourself please post me back and itd be wonderful if u could mention how u made it
thank youuuuu ^.^
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:icontkmillersculpt:
TKMillerSculpt Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Professional Artist
I made it from quarter inch aluminum armature wire wrapped with eighth inch wire. Lay your wire over a scaled picture or illustration for accuracy.
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:iconashleycon123:
ashleycon123 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
where did u get the armature for that sculpture or did u make it yourself because i find myself using wire hangers and lookin for something better
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:iconthedeviantbunny:
thedeviantbunny Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2011  Student Interface Designer
INCREDIBLE!
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:iconmlh70:
mlh70 Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2011
thank you for bringing your work to the world of comics. I would like to get one of your sculptures for reference.
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:icongomitas:
gomitas Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2011  Professional Interface Designer
Gorgeous! I have that little piece of art at home :D Love Mystique and the way you created the sculpture :)
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:icontkmillersculpt:
TKMillerSculpt Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2011  Professional Artist
Thank you so much!
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:icontjverhagen:
TJverhagen Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2011
Amazing stuff. Ive been browsing your gallery here and each piece blows my socks off. thanks for explaining how you made the cloth, I was wondering about that.

very impressive, thanks for sharing!
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:icontkmillersculpt:
TKMillerSculpt Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2011  Professional Artist
Usually I sculpt the costuming on, in this case the clothes were made from real cloth material by some very talented gentlemen at Sideshow.
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:iconbrandxternal:
Brandxternal Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2011
Awwwesome! Do you do custom work?
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:icontkmillersculpt:
TKMillerSculpt Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2011  Professional Artist
Rarely, but it does happen.
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:iconbrandxternal:
Brandxternal Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2011
Well what do you charge. Like what are your rates? Ask because I'm looking for a sculptor to do a custom job of a character I designed.
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:iconzk87:
zk87 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great work. what did you used for wrap(skirt o_O) base?
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:icontkmillersculpt:
TKMillerSculpt Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Professional Artist
I plasticized jersey fabric then sculpted over it.
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:iconzk87:
zk87 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh. sorry. i see
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:icondinobatfan:
dinobatfan Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2011
Amazing work and effort you display here! It's interesting and inspiring to see how you progress though a sculpture. Thank you so much for sharing here on DA ! :)
Reply
:iconlightning-powered:
Lightning-Powered Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2011  Professional General Artist
Wow this an incredible inside look! Interesting how similar it is to drawing a person (the wiry stuff that builds into the complete stuff)
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:iconamericanmariner:
AmericanMariner Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
very enlightening, thanks
Reply
:iconazure-corruption:
azure-corruption Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
superb
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:iconphyrhed:
phyrhed Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011
Great Sculpt!
Reply
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