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Sculpting An Octopus


I know this is going to sound strange, but I don't think I had ever sculpted an octopus before. If I have, I've completely forgotten.

When this idea (the design) came into my mind, I knew I wasn't aiming at making a realistic or anatomically correct looking octopus, and this is because I knew what I was going to make of him, so it needed to be different.

I began to sculpt him right after I finished my fairy mushroom houses, so I was still under the spell of contrasting colours. The texture of his skin has more to do with the visual impact rather than with how it feels when you run your finger on it, which feels incredibly smooth because of the varnish. I painted him at the same time I was painting the houses, so I was inevitably biased by the monochromatic gradient effect.

I am still trying to understand why I am so drawn to the juxtaposition of simple colours. Black and white especially.

I think it's because there is a bigger emphasis on how a piece makes me feel rather than on how it's executed, or its beauty. Black and white photographs tend to have a deeper impact on me, because its the message that's being conveyed that captures me, which it's at the same time beauty; not beauty in itself.

For example: a black and white photograph of an old woman sitting in the street of a small Peruvian village. It's her story that captivates me, her life, her experiences that raise that sense of intrigue and "wanna know more" in me. There is a focus on who she is, now what she looks like, or how pretty she is. If the same picture were available in full colour, I know for a fact, it wouldn't have the same effect on me.

Anyway, without getting too sidetracked, is this thinking that got me to love black and white art in general, and to love making such pieces myself.

When I started painting my octopus, I loved the black and white effect so much and how it made me feel that I came very close (99%) to leave it as it was. But then I told myself, to get out of that comfort zone and, keeping the monochromatic style, to give it colour.

So I painted him using the colours of the water. And by this I mean, the colour that water can assume in underwater caves and grottos. That engaging emerald or turquoise of Caribbean waters, at which I could look forever and never grow tired of.

I turned my mini sculpture into a necklace and it's available for purchase in my Shop.

You can watch the tutorial here:

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