Trolls, Trolls, and more Trolls!

Recently I have been sculpting a lot of Trolls.  In a few posts back I sculpted Little Buddy.  And just a couple weeks ago I sculpted Troll Dynasty for my Dad’s birthday.

joshhagen_TrollDynasty1 joshhagen_TrollDynasty2


Even more recently, my wife and I decided to attend the local farmers market.  And an idea I had for some time now was to create a number of troll magnets to sell locally.  I thought this would be a perfect testing ground to see how people liked them.  So far, so good.  It was a light turn out, but in the end we still managed to sell a few of them.

joshhagen_TrollMagnets joshhagen_TrollMagnets2 joshhagen_TrollMagnets3


And originally, there were actually 10 magnets sculpted.  But as this was my first time doing them, the rather strong magnets that I used popped out of the 10th one and stayed on the filing cabinet I had stuck it to.  So I had to repair it after returning from the market.  No worries though, he’ll make his public debut next week during the next farmers market.


This was a great experiment in product testing.  And a lot of fun creating these troll characters on the fly.  I’ll have to see where this little experiment leads me…



I recently entered the Helpful Bear Production’s Creature Design Contest (info on Facebook here). Really loved this one!  Traditional sculpture done in chavant nsp medium clay over wire armature. Took a good long while to do, but I loved every step! I really wanted to have a great flow to its movement as well as distort the anatomy, but at the same time still making it believable.

We were also asked to come up with a back story for our kaiju – The idea behind mine is that it is a giant demon type of kaiju. Legend has it that if you are a devout enough follower of the ancient one Yog-Sothoth, and if you make the ultimate sacrifice of cutting off your own head, you will be granted the power of the mighty giant demon kaiju!
This fiend tramples cities and countrysides alike, destroying all in its path! The “tail” has two abilities – First, the wormy underside can spread out and gather up people/animals/whatever to be devoured similar to the tendrils of a jellyfish. And secondly, it can flex them all together into a giant whip-like weapon to slash and attack other kaiju. The stinger at the end paralyzing its foes so it can slowly eat it at its leisure. (people in the first 2 images were added in photoshop to show scale)







I’ll try to show some “making-of” images for this sculpt soon.  More to come!

Creating “Little Buddy”

I recently did a sculpture for the 2014 Pekin Days Art Show titled, “Little Buddy.”  The piece did pretty well.  I received first in the sculpting category and sold it as well.

That being said, I wanted to show the steps I took in creating the sculpture and a bit about the story behind it.

The sculpture started a few years ago.  I had a great idea for a character in an interesting pose.  Originally, the character was going to be a brutish fellow with a crow or some other type of bird on his forearm.  I created and posed the armature, covered him in a rough layer of super sculpey firm clay.  But that’s as far as I took him because that was the day my sister passed away.

So on my shelf this sculpture sat for a long long time.  Once in a while I would uncover the plastic covering it and I would look it over to see if inspiration struck.  But it never did enough for me to want to get back to it.

This year was a bit different.  Maybe it had been long enough.  Maybe it’s because I’m a new dad.  I’m not sure.  But I took out the sculpture, baked it, and sat down in front of it.

I felt that a troll would be a great direction to go in.  The figure was gorilla-like with big arms, small legs, big hands and feet, and a big head as well.  I had done a troll sculpture a few years back for the same show and it did well, so it was settled – the sculpture would now be a troll!  – and the little buddy ended up evolving into a squirrel.  I went ahead and baked the old under-sculpt and added to it:





When the troll sculpt was done and baked solid, I moved onto the painting stage.  I didn’t want anything really detailed or bright.  I wanted it to be nice and simple with a little color peppered in there and there:


joshhagen_lb3 joshhagen_lb4


After painting, I took the tail that I had previously made and inserted it into the sculpture with some super glue.  The tail was created from a bit of rope and tied up with wax covered book-binding thread:



When that was all finished, it was onto the hair and shorts.  The hair is artificial hair that you can find anywhere.  And it was simply applied with super glue to the head and then cut and “styled.”  The shorts were a bit of a challenge as I had to attach them on to the sculpture.  Which meant sewing them onto him.  Not easy!  The shorts are made of tanned sheep skin and sewed up with the wax covered book binding thread I had used on the tail:





And there you have it!  The long journey of how “Little Buddy” came to be.


Many more pieces to show in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned!


Stan Winston Kaiju Project

I finally got around to drawing up and entering a couple of Kaiju designs for the Stan Winston Kaiju Project.  If you don’t know about it, check out the info here.  Sounds really cool!  Someone could get their Kaiju design built into an actual working monster suit!

But without further ado, here are my 2 humble entries.

My idea for these 2 was to change up the silhouette of the performer in the suit to hopefully bring about a real strange and unfamiliar feel to the monsters.  And hopefully give the audience a “What in the???” moment when they see them.

Kaiju 1 – As you can see, in this design the performer is kneeling with arm and knee extensions.  That along with the eyes on the shoulders and the rest of the monstrous bits, I’m hoping this one is successful!:



Kaiju 2 – For this design, I wanted the performer to be on a platform ‘floating’ on his back.  That way I could get the massive pincers that his legs move.  And then I can have the creature’s legs be thinner and bend backwards like a bird.  I thought this was a fun idea and it was something new for me to try out.



Now that these are done, I’m onto my last competition work and storyboards, storyboards, storyboards!

More to come!

Godzilla vs. Mothra!

Time again for another challenge entry for Sketch Theatre!  Some time ago, I had done my own version of Mothra (caterpillar form) and that’s who I’m having Godzilla battle. My Mothra design is based off of a carnivorous caterpillar from Hawaii – Eupithecia. Look them up. Just imagine something like that rising to the height of a skyscraper and slamming down on Godzilla with giant claws and fangs. Then wrapping itself around Godzilla, squeezing away. Makes that silly Mothra from the movies not seem so silly!



For My Bajan Nephews

Time for an update!  And it’s a doozy!  A couple of my nephews recently gave me an assignment so I needed to deliver the goods.

One nephew wanted an illustration of Ben 10.  I tried to show off the most recent style of the character as well as show the animatrix ready to go:



My second nephew was interested in an original design that he came up with.  A creepy butterfly with skull and crossbones swords.

Here’s his sketch that I went by:


And here’s what I came up with:



The whole project was a lot of fun to work on!  When it comes to imagination, kids have got us beat!  :)

Keep drawing guys!


Eye of the Beholder

I’ve been doing my best to really knuckle down and practice my photoshop skills on my cintiq daily.  And today I thought I would do a quick illustration using the new techniques I’ve been practicing.

I drew from scratch a Dungeons & Dragon’s monster – a beholder.

I started with a real quick sketch.  Then I knocked down that layer to about 40%.  Next, I went over that sketch on a new layer with a more detailed drawing at 100%.  I deleted the sketch layer and moved on to a new layer set on multiply.  I used that layer to draw over the line work with color.  First flat colors, then lights and darks to show the light source and bring in some dimension.  After that, a quick background and the sketch is done.

All in all, it took maybe an hour and a half.  Getting better.  More practice is needed, but I’m enjoying how things are progressing.

More to come!