Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Butterbeer and the Monster Book of Monsters!

Is the blog overdue for an entry? I'd say so. I've desperately been trying to finish up my Stormcloak costume for a photoshoot and documentation here, but free time for cosplay work is found few and far between my real work as of late. It will come though.

But in the mean time, here's some fun I had this holiday season!

Butterbeer! So delicious! It's all foamy and yummy and cream soda-y but butterscotchy too :B And fillllliiiiing. You feel like you'll have to roll around the room after this. Here's the recipe I used:

In addition, one of the Christmas presents I worked on at the end of the year was the Monster Book of Monsters!

It was incredibly fun to make this. Not made to be an exact replica, it was created entirely from extra cosplay materials I had lying around (aside from the Canson Sketchbook bought for it specifically).

I started off by making the overall cover from craft foam sewn together, fit specifically to the sketchbook.

I used some Christmas wrapping ribbon for the tongue which is glued directly to the inside of the cover. I used Sobo glue to adhere the faux leather (from my Stormcloack costume) to the craft foam. The eyes and teeth were cast in hot glue from negative molds I carved into paper clay. Considering I didn't make a positive to start with, I'm quite happy with their outcome.

Afterwards, I adhered faux fur to the leather, plotting where the cleared areas would be for the writing, and anywhere else. I was also careful to cut the spider-leg-like parts around the edges, which are better seen in the first picture. At this point I roughed the leather up a bit (not in an interrogation room) with sandpaper.

The cover was then taken off the book so I could paint the fur the appropriate color (it was originally white). To do this, I used watered down brown fabric paint. I think I had about a 1:1 ratio. It took a while - the water was absorbed quickly by the fur and cotton binding underneath, so I kept having to mix more as I slowly spread it across. Once covered, I let it dry by fan, then used some black paint, sometimes watered down, for detailing and blending the transitions between leather and fur.

One of the most difficult parts was to properly get the fur adhered to the curved contours of the eyes, and stay that way till dry. I pressed down on the fur using a popsicle stick in between each eye to do this. In order to deepen the effect, I brushed some black paint there (not enough to blot, just enough to fade out). The eyes were painted black too, with yellow for the irises. The teeth and gums were done in acrylic paint. Both the teeth and eyes were covered in High Gloss Varnish to give them that wet look.

I didn't have any gold paint that had a nice reflectivity to it, so I mixed a goldish tone in acrylic, painted the words on, then lightly brushed white on top of that to make it appear to be reflecting higher amounts of light. This was also varnished over to exaggerate the effect.

The last stage was the belt, which was simply sewn together from the faux leather and built onto a buckle I already had. This was roughed up with sandpaper too.

The final result is a fun twist built around one of my favorite things from Harry Potter. Once the fur dried, it no longer had a nice smooth feeling to it, but rather a rough matted plushness suitable to such a hostile creature. Again, though at times I did strive for accuracy from the movie version, it was made completely out of materials I had lying around and is not meant to be a fully accurate reproduction. My main goal was the hope that this book cover would help to inspire the artist to fill the pages with exciting images!

UPDATE: This got a Daily Deviation on deviantART!

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