Saturday 12 September 2020


Wonderful monkey sculpt from Big Child Creative. Enormous fun to paint and trying to learn more on texture, and narrative.

I wanted to create a story for the figure, rather than just putting it on a boring base. So here's a very excited pirate monkey with his treasure, escaping the bounty on his head by taking over a ship. But little does he know what lurks beneath decks.

There's WIP shots below and a little background for how I created it, so read through for more detail.

So that's the finished model, but there's more to tell! Here's a few WIP shots to explain my thinking.

Testing, testing, testing. After the initial colours are on the base and star of the scene, does it still make sense to the eye? Are two treasure chests too much? Should there be one? Or something else? What does the story need?

There isn't really NMM, or TMM here, but the idea of this being treasure, and a little glow underneath onto the fabric of the lid. True metallics would have overpowered it, the monkey is the star and where you need to look from the beginning, before the eye wanders.

The shape of the scene gives a lot of natural shadow below deck, so picking the right colours at the front to play against the spooky glow is important. You won't see most of the below deck unless you pick the scene up and turn it upside down - so don't worry too much about painting what isn't seen.

What does a spooky, concealed chest look like? I think it would have a glow at the edges, and leaking out the lock.

Don't judge my greenstuff bananas and coins too harshly. They were all rolled from a sausage, with the bananas cut to approximate lengths, then just rounded a little. Coins were left as a sausage to cure for a day, then cut to approximate shape. Paint was applied to sell the effect and just add more to the monkey feeling.

Adjusting colours. Trying to keep the brighter tones in the middle of the upper scene, so the edges draw you in.

Before the poster's glued, is it in the right place? Will it be obscured by the monkey's foot when in place? And should it be?

Bringing it together and final checks.

Looking at the texture is more detail. On the legs and arms I've painted it softer and thicker strokes (ooh, matron) to give a fur feel, but across the chest and stomach, it's thinner to sell the more leathery feeling.

I'm not great at taking in-progress photos, but if you enjoyed a peek at my process, do let me know and I'll try to take more in the future.