Rebecca Ruggles is a sculptor who paints.

Follow along as I bring whimsical and charming creatures to life. This website documents the process, thoughts, and challenges along the way.

What's on my Bench

Concrete Paper Clay with Forms

I mixed up another batch of the Concrete Paper Clay recipe I learned about on Ultimate Paper Mache to experiment

Concrete Paper Clay

Testing out another of Jonni’s recipes, which uses Portland cement. The result was even better than the Silky SMooth Paper

DIY Silky Smooth Paper Clay

After applying Magic Sculpt and Apoxie Sculpt clays to my large, I realized this medium would not work for large

Seeker Wall Sculpture: Dry Brush & Washes

I am adding acrylic paint over the bunt umber base coat with a dry brush technique. Dry brushing shades of

Seeker Wall Sculpture: Base Color Paint

Using the same concept of colored ground for canvas printing, I painted my entire Seeker sculpture with Burnt Umber. Pushing

Seeker Wall Sculpture: Fur and Arm

I use ‘Bake & Bond’ between baked and raw clay; it acts like glue and fuses in the oven. In

Seeker Wall Sculpture: Cloak & Boots

I sculpted the first layer of skin, face, eyes, ears, cloak, and boots. The cloak was so delicate I decided

Seeker Wall Sculpture: Armature

I cut a silhouette of the seeker from my drawing on cardboard for the flat back, then added aluminum foil

Summer Sniffs

On my walks, I can’t help but take a moment to close my eyes and smell the blooms. The roses


Between projects and learning new software, I have been turning to my sketchbook as an outlet for doodling ideas and

New Materials MDF

I wanted to explore some thicker materials to use in my next-layer scene diorama. With a thicker edge, I could

Rabbit Augmentation

I found this rabbit resin statue in the Easter decor section at Michaels and was charmed by its little expression

Satchel & Penny vs. the Sea Monster

“Satchel & Penny vs. Sea Monster” Acrylic paint on engraved Palboard diorama by Rebecca Ruggles. 24x24x5 inches, May 2023 Reflections and

The Value of Cohorts

I want to express my gratitude to the cohorts at the art group that have made my art possible with

First Look: Satchel & Penny Art Diorama

For the first time, I can see my art diorama fully realized. I still have some touch-ups on the edges

Assembling the Diorama

With each layer and the floating bits painted, it was time for the final assembly. Sliding each layer onto the

Floating Layers

Figuring out a hardware solution to mount the floating layers of the diorama was tricky. I did not want to

First Roses of 2023

I always stop when the first roses emerge from their buds in spring. This year the spectacle began the last

Organize & Clean Studio

It started with the garage purge and clean last weekend, and now my studio space is screaming for a clean-up

Diorama Hardware

Moment of truth… will the holes in each layer line up and work with the hardware plan? The only way

Painting Sea Monster Tentacles

I love the colors of these scary sea monster tentacles and how the burnt umber underneath affects the paint’s tone.

Water Color Diorama

At the art group in Nipomo, I decided to take a break from acrylic and do a little watercolor scene

Preview Diorama Layers

With a few layers painted, I did a test stack of the background, frame, and teacup. I’m delighted with how

Painting Background

After toning the background with a burnt umber glaze, I painted the scene. I wanted a bright, epic sunset with

Background Fabrication

The process I’m using to convert my drawings into toolpaths for the ShopBot are as follows:

Ode to Spring

The ranch received 30 inches of much-needed rain. After years of drought, the hills have been transformed, and the result

Patches Doodle

It’s wonderful to be a part of a group of ladies that meets and does art together twice a month.

Color Tests

Since I wasted several sheets of material perfecting the engraving with the CNC on this piece, I had the perfect

Nibbles Take Two

Not satisfied with the first painting of Nibbles, I took a second attempt, this time looking to eliminate the thick

Cutting Trials & Errors

Realizing I wanted a thinner engraved line on my diorama, I took about a week to figure out the combination

Painting Nibbles

Trying some new things while painting Nibbles. I wanted to try toning the canvas blue, so I painted my whiteboard

Nibble Cutting Result

This is how the final cut turned out. I decided to try just lightly engraving my lines so that the

Nibbles Tool Paths

After drawing Nibbles on my iPad with Procreate, I exported the line drawing as a PNG. This PNG file is

Sketch to Vector

One of the daily drawings in my sketchbook stood out to me to have a name. I started with Crumb,

Symmetry Tool

I’m always learning about new features in Procreate from artist friends and the web. The other day I heard about

Book Mouse

Quick drawing of a bibliophile mouse. Using Procreate, I imported a photo of a felted mouse and traced its basic

Daily Drawing Practice

Morning Pages have worked out so well for me that I’ve also decided to add daily drawing. To essentially warm

Seeking Nimbus

Nimbus, the Wind Whale, can not resist the joy of lifting a kite. He pushes a gentle wind for the

The Wind Whale

Nimbus, the Wind Whale, soars thru the sky, forming new clouds with each exhale of his giant lungs. His body

The Mushroom Topper

The Mushroom Topper climbs down from the tree with a basket full of germinated spores ready to be sewn into

Stardust Dipper

I’ve been dreaming of these layered drawings that create depth and tell a story about my character’s life. A diorama

Color Mixing

Started an online course on Color Mixing with Will Kemp’s Art School. I’ve has never taken the time to stop

Clay Shell

Working in sections, I’m adding the epoxy clay shell over the paper armature. This creates a very hard rigid base

Shape in Eyes

The first layer of epoxy clay over the eye armature builds the basic shape of the eyelids. This area will

Adding Clay

Today I began adding magic sculpt epoxy clay to my panda and immediately fell into techniques I used on my

Making a Study

I approached this panda with a very loose plan at the start. I wanted it to be big and round.

Building Ears

With the ear, placement marked, it was time to bulk out the basic shape of the ear. Using crumpled paper,

Foam Ball Eyes

Using 3″ styrofoam balls cut in half, I placed the eyes in a line extending from the nostril to the

Murder Muffins

The drawing was inspired by a phrase I heard today when a woman described her cat killing a bird as

Panda Paper Mache

Now for the second panda skin, brown paper bag paper mache. I discovered this technique from Joni at Ultimate Paper

Panda Masking Tape

This entire project is full of unknowns. I’m using techniques I learned from James Lake and Joni at Ultimate Paper

Panda Cardboard Armature

I completed the cardboard portion of the Panda head. It took about five boxes worth to get to this point.

Spring Bunny Statue

I bought this adorable bunny statue at Michael’s and planned to augment it into a new composition using Apoxie Sculpt

Artist Date

Took the cargo van out as a makeshift mobile studio to do watercolor by the sea.

Cardboard Panda

This is the sculpture work I’ve desired to do but have been too scared to try. Large form wall hanging

Painting Owen

Owen was a really chatty cathy when I was painting him, talking to me the whole time about how he

Owen the Turtle

Owen the Turtle started as a wooden ball armature. Using CosClay, a flexible oven bake polymer clay, I added the

Midnight Garden

Second painting on the 8″ round circles started with a watercolor pencil sketch then outlined with POSCA paint pens. This

Blue Racoon

I have a pack of these 8″ wooden circles I intended for a different project, but then I decided to

Quirky Bird Timelapse

Timelapse video of Rebecca Ruggles working on the Quirky Bird paper sculpture. Shows how handpainted papers were cut into individual

Chocolate Doughnut Dingo

Quick little critter drawing of a rare dingo. In Procreate on the iPad, I like to start with some shapes

Eyes Have It

Added more feathers and details to the eyes. All paper is painted before being placed onto the sculpture.

Venti Vulpe Critter Drawing

You see these critters everywhere, intensely studying their phones and throwing back three shots of espresso. It takes a lot

Feathers and Beak

I brushed mixed media paper with streaky blues on one side and yellow on the back. Then this painted paper

Teacup Pop-Up

Completed the Teacup Pop-Up design, and the printable template is available for download on Popupity.

Little Bug Painting

I bought a pack of these little 6×6 canvas boards on my art supply birthday shopping spree and decided to

Quirky Bird Paper Sculpture

Mimicking James Lake’s cardboard sculptures and wanting to explore using paper as a sculpting medium, I cut strips of cardstock

Hummingbird Sculpt

At art group this Wednesday, I worked on sculpting a hummingbird. Adding each teardrop in a shingle pattern to the

Pop-Up Scene Doodle

Been enjoying doodling with layers. Imagining a scene with a background, midground, and foreground. This one was inspired by the

Sculpting Buttons – Part 3

CosClay can be painted directly with acrylic paint, and the coverage is very satisfying. For the first coat of paint,

Sculpting Buttons – Part 2

The round plaque was made with a piece of cardboard cut in a circle and covered with rolled sheets of

Sculpting Buttons the Dog – Part 1

I’m sculpting my new 4-month-old Jack Russel Terrier puppy Buttons as a Christmas gift for my beloved Mr. H. I

Printable Teacup Pop-Up Card

I’ve turned by teacup pop-up card into a printable DIY project anyone can make with basic paper, scissors, and glue.

Tea Cup Pop-Up: Full-Color Draft

After drawing and coloring all the parts in procreate, today was the first time printing and assembling the parts to

Tea Cup Details

With the paper mechanics worked out today I refined the tea cup design in Procreate. Dainty tea cup with a

Tea Cup Pop-Up : Paper Engineering

Started designing a tea-cup pop-up card for Popupity. In the early stages, it’s helpful to work out the folds and

Blairsville Courthouse

Final version of the courthouse illustration.

Tucker the Duck

Progress on painting Tucker. Painted dark base color then dry brushed lighter shade next. Colors mimic a mallard duck but

Tulip the Duck

Sculpted with oven baked CosClay over a wooden peg. Tulip loves waddling thru the tulip fields. Now that it’s backed,

Blairsville Courthouse Drawing

Using a photo from my phone imported into Procreate and traced with black pen I was able to quickly capture

Flying Friends

Procreate sketch of bird walking with his flying friend the butterfly. Working on bent legs in motion and adding shadow.

Stubby Opossum

Drawing in Procreate of a opossum with stubby arms and a round belly. Tried different fur texture and eye colors.

Satchel and the Sea Monster

Satchel is a tea cup bobber of legend. Holding his spoon tight as he crosses the deep sea with giant

Peaches the Fruit Bat

I sculpted Peaches out of polymer clay over a wooden doll peg and then baked in the oven. I then

Giant Giraffe Paper Sculpture

Giant giraffe paper sculpture in progress. Using Joni’s Ultimate Paper Mache Pattern blown up to 36″ and printed by PDF

Procreate with Illustrator

Just took a quick online course with Lisa Glanz ‘Using Procreate with Illustrator to Enhance Your Vector Drawings‘. In the

Making Comics Exercise: … and then what?

Draw one scene and then draw the next as your answer to what happens next. It’s like drawing improv. Reflecting

Sketch: Far Out Roll

Working on characters holding things. Adding the thumb helped in this case.

Sketch: Seasons Changed

Fall came on in a snap, time to wear my favorite knitted hat with the ear flaps and pom-pom. Bunny

Sketch: Early Birds Totem

This is an idea for a totem pole of pigeons drinking their first cup of coffee. I see this developing

Sketch: Queen Flamingo

Working on sketches of birds and character side profiles. This flamingo is inspired by a Ukrainian artist Marli Toys (Etsy

Sketch: Slouchy Bird

Working on side profiles in this sketch.

Childhood Art Chair Restored

Restored and hand painted my childhood art chair with acrylic paint and POSCA pens.

Sketch: Noodle Pot Kitty

Always comforted by a hot steamy bowl of ramen. Working on drawing my critters holding things to help express their

Transfer Paper

Discovered that graphic paper comes in different colors! Using white transfer paper, I could apply my paper drawing to the

Bliss Station

Hung my daily doodles up on the wall so I could catch any patterns or ideas, plus I feel like

Chair Template

Made a paper template to work out the design for the art chair. Was much easier to think things out

Fresh Air

The magic of a road trip adventure; the wind in your fur and all the new aromas.

Sausage & Banana Slug

Weekend getaway to Trinidad, CA to take in the forest and cool ocean air. Saw my first bright yellow slug

Purple Cow

Making woodblock texture using paint pens and watercolor paper. So bright and opaque. U can layer over colors and block