How to paint a giant purple panda head.

Figuring out the eye position on the giant panda sculpture.

January 2024: Finishing up the giant purple panda sculpture, including a little yellow bird that will perch on the panda’s nose. Also, I started a new wall sculpture of a Nuff bird. I want it to look like it’s flying out of the wall.

I want to practice making armatures from cardboard and poster paper strips. This lightweight system reuses discarded waste material and can scale up to larger sculptures. With cardboard, I can quickly bulk out basic shapes based on my creature sketches and studies.

I will cover the paper armature with a two-part epoxy clay called Free Form Air from Smooth-on. This clay will air dry with zero shrinkage and remain very lightweight. Once the clay is cured, it can be sanded and carved to refine the figure’s shape even more. After a simple spray primer, I can paint this clay with acrylic paint. I’m trying to decide if Free Form Air would be better to use than my concrete paper clay, and the only way to know is to try it.

The blue bird on a stick was made from a scrap of leftover epoxy clay. If I mix too much material, it will harden in a few hours and be worthless, or I can quickly form a miniature creature and give the clay life.