A Friend In Need: Cheating Doesn't Pay

   by Ashley Maurer for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)

Inspiration Piece: A Friend In Need

Inspiration Artist: C.M. Coolidge

For this year's MysteryBuild project, I decided to break up my process into three major sections. First I needed to create a space for the room where the scene would take place. Next, I had to make all of the "furniture" and other miscellaneous items to fill the room. Lastly, I had to sculpt all of the dogs to be proportionate to everything else in the room. Step by step, this is how I went about doing all of these things, and the materials used for every single part:

The room:
The room was made using the MysteryBuild box that held all of the materials inside. I cut the box up into a couple pieces with an opening that would accommodate everything else that needed to fit inside the "room." The side walls on the left and right inside the room were sloped in an odd way, so I used the canvas board, cut it in half, and used the elmers glue to attach it to the side walls, which made them look straighter and kept the Mysterybuild box room sturdy.

The chairs, table top and base, and the clock were made using all of the wood that was supplied in the kit. All of the chairs were carefully cut from the thin balsa wood, and glued together with the elmers glue. The table top was cut from the board of wood, and glued with elmers glue to the wooden block that was supplied. The clock was made using the two other blocks of wood. I cut them and stacked one on top of the other and glued them together with the elmers glue. The edge of the table and the edges of the clock have trimmings of the frame pattern that was on the Mysterybuild pamphlet that came in the box. The picture frame hanging on the wall is also made with the balsa wood, and then covered with trimmings from the cover of the instruction pamphlet as well. The green surface on the tabletop is cut out from a page of the instruction pamphlet, as well as the face of the clock. The painting inside the picture frame on the wall was painted on a piece of the loose canvas, and then glued into the frame with elmers glue. The clock and picture frame were glued against the wall with elmers glue. The light hanging overhead in the room is made from pieces of the instruction pamphlet, glued to a piece of wire that keeps in hanging over the top of the box room. The wire is covered with a thin piece of loose canvas. The cards in the dog's hands are cut out from the instruction pamphlet. The towers and pieces of the poker chips are rolls of the white sculpey that are stuck to the table with elmers glue. There are drink glasses on the table that are mostly obstructed by everything else, but they were made by cutting pieces off of the small hot glue stick. The dog collars are pieces of loose canvas that are glued on their necks with elmers glue (except for the background dog with the gun, his collar is a piece of painted wire). The two guns in the dog's hand and foot were made using pieces of wire as a guide for the shape, and then were sculpted over with the white sculpey. The three dogs in the background are not sculpted all the way to the floor, so I cut three pieces from the green floral block, glued them to the floor behind the table, and used them as bases to stick the dogs into so they would stay in place.

The dogs:
All of the dogs were sculpted using the oil clay, and the white sculpey. I sculpted the dogs so they are rounded out on the side that faces us, but are completely flat on the opposite side, to conserve clay and make the dogs fit comfortably on their chairs. This also helps make them look nearly two dimensional after being painted, to mimic the way the original 2-D painting looks. I used a needle tool, a rounded rubber tool, and my fingers to sculpt the details on the dogs faces and bodies. The small grey dog in the foreground was sculpted with the sculpey, and the brown and white dog to the right of him has a head made from sculpey. All other parts of every other dog is oil clay, which was then painted over with acrylics. The three dogs in the background have a piece of wire sticking through their bodies down to the floor, which is stuck into the floral blocks to keep them in place. The middle and left background dogs have the backs of their chairs glued to them with elmers glue. The gun in the foreground dog's foot was glued to him using what was left of the small hot glue stick, as well as the background gun dog's chair, which was also glued to the floor with a bit of the hot glue.

Everything that needed to have color added to it was painted with acrylic paint.