The making of Zeus and Boots

Keepsake box in commission by Charlotte Keys as a gift for a good friend.
Charlotte asked if I could make a box with sculptures of her friend's dog Zeus (King Charles Spaniel) and her cat Boots on the top.
She provided a few photos of the critters and requested a sculpture of Zeus and Boots in a loving embrace. In the following photos you'll see how it all came about, enjoy! :-)

Finished piece before varnish.

Charlotte sent me a few photos of Zeus and Boots to work from.

First pencil sketches to use as a guideline for modeling Zeus and Boots in air dry clay.

Wire armatures to determine the size of the critters and act as a frame for the clay before bending them in the preferred position.

First round of modeling in air dry clay, roughly determining size and shape. Letting the clay dry out for one day before continueing.

Second round of modeling, fine-tuning details and adding volume.

Third round of modeling, more detailing and adding first version of the rug.

Fourth round of modeling, tweaking details and first round of sanding/smoothing the sculpture. Changed the rug into a comfy pillow.

Final sculpture after sanding, changed Boots' face and tail.

First layers of acryllic paint.

Painting the wooden box in Dutch folk-art 'Hindeloopen' style in a preferred color combination.

Finished result before varnish. Boots and Zeus are painted in several layers to create depth and texture. Added a Hindeloopen design on the pillow to create a visible link between the box and sculpture.

 Finished piece before varnish. 

 Finished piece before varnish.

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