Winter 2021 Update and Recap

This is the latest post for the members of the Long Lost Friend Studio Patreon, but gathering the photos and talking about what we’ve done in just the last three months was so much fun, I figured I’d share it here too. If you like the projects you see here, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and consider becoming a member of our Patreon.

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“Looks like a cold, cold winter. Plenty of ice and snow. But, we’ll keep the work-lights in the studio aglow.”

 
Now that I’m done mangling the lyrics to a Bing Crosby classic, Michelle and I will be taking a short break from YouTube videos for the next couple months. We’ve been posting to YouTube for a couple years now and it seems like, starting near Thanksgiving, folks are just too busy with the holidays to tune in. But don’t worry, loyal patrons. It’s not like we ever actually take a break from making and crafting and learning. So we’ll still do our best to keep posting updates and videos for our Patreon members.

In the meantime, take a look at all the fun stuff we made in just the few months since our last break. And this first photo is just the sculpting! 

What a giant pile of fun stuff we worked on! We’re hoping you had as much fun watching those projects come together as we had making them. And maybe, like us, you learned a little along the way. Since September, this is some of the stuff Long Lost Friend Studio accomplished:


Needle Felting and Foam Carving
Michelle showed us how to breathe new life into an old design for her owl feltie, and dropped some great needle-felting tips while she was at it.  And I took the opportunity to learn how to carve foam with hot-wire tools so I could sculpt that rock base the owl sits on. Teamwork. 

(Needle Felting A Wise Old Owl : Reworking A Past Design)

Foam Clay Mask-Making
I worked with two new types of sculpting materials for the first time. I used foam clay (Foam-Mo and Model Magic) to sculpt three creepy masks. Weird and spongy, but lightweight and perfect for the job.

(Making a Witch Mask with Model Magic)

(Making a Creepy Ventriloquist’s Dummy Mask with Foam-Mo)

(Making a Mummy Mask with Foam-Mo)

Mixed-Media Scooby Doo Diorama
And I tried Apoxie Sculpt to build that Captain Cutler diorama. It air-dries in two hours, so plan ahead or you’re stuck with a lump of junk as hard as a rock. Other parts of this diorama were made with CosClay, XPS foam, and wood. I enjoyed working with Foam-Mo and Apoxie Sculpt. They have their advantages and drawbacks, but I still think basic polymer clay (like Sculpey) is my favorite. We’ll be doing some sculpts with that in the new year.

(Sculpting the Ghost of Captain Cutler Diorama with Apoxie Sculpt)

2-D Illustrations
I continued working on my inking and watercolor skills. I’m happy with my progress and look forward to experimenting more with these mediums. 

(Inking the Tar Man Zombie from the Return of the Living Dead)

(Stumbling through Watercolor with a Pumpkinhead Scarecrow)

(Stumbling through Watercolor with Frog Thor / Throg)

(Sleepy Hollow Sketch and Patreon Stuff)

(Inking a Pop-Up Ghost from the Haunted Mansion)

(Inking Cornelius from the Planet of the Apes)

(Inking the Lizard plus Ink It or Stink It)

Fall Diorama
Of course, Michelle and I used all of our burgeoning sculpting and diorama-building skills to put this fall diorama together. There were a few exciting firsts with this project — Pumpkinhead is my first art doll, those crows were the first figures I sculpted with foam clay, and those leafy vines were a successful experiment crafted with EVA foam. 

(Creating a Fall Diorama from an Illustration)

Along with all of that, we’re proud to have also done ten Patreon-exclusive blog posts and eight Patreon-exclusive videos in that timespan. And that was our ‘fall season’ in a nutshell. September through November. Looking back over these photos, it seems like a lot of stuff to learn and make and do in just three months, but I can’t remember a minute of it when we weren’t having fun. Hope you did too. And if we inspired you to try some new things yourself, that makes it even better! Now it’s back into the studio to figure out more stuff and create some exclusive Patreon content. We both thank you very much for your continued support and enthusiasm. -v

It’s the Return of the Ghost of Captain Cutler!

Last time Michelle (Run Red Run) and I encountered this classic Scooby Doo villain, we experimented with neon markers and captured him on paper.

But the ghost returned! And this time we experimented with Apoxie Sculpt Modelling Compound, sculpted an entire Rocky Point Beach diorama out of foam, Cosclay, and Apoxie Sculpt, and captured him in three ghoulish dimensions! Zoinks, right?

Apoxie Sculpt is a modelling compound where you mix parts A and B, and then have about 2 to 3 hours before the stuff hardens like a rock. It was a little dicey working on something like this with a time limit. But, by the same token, it was really nice to make it whatever size I wanted, not having to worry if it’d fit in my oven. I think Captain Cutler turned out pretty good for a first-time experiment with this modelling compound. You can follow our process in the video below. -v

Our Fall Diorama Process: From Watercolor to 3D Build

If you’ve been following our videos on YouTube, you know we’ve been low-key obsessed with this Pumpkinhead Scarecrow project as it grew from a watercolor exercise, to sculpting an art doll and some crows, and finally to this full-blown 3D diorama build.

If you haven’t followed along, I’ve posted the whole series of 4 videos down below. This was some of the most fun we’ve had in the studio since The Witchening diorama build last year. I hope you enjoy this new series as much as we did. -v

Sculpting a Ventriloquist’s Dummy Mask

Halloween is less than two weeks away! A few weeks ago, I showed you how I sculpted a Witch Mask using Crayola Model Magic Foam Clay.

This week, I followed that up by sculpting a creepy Ventriloquist’s Dummy Mask with Foam-Mo Foam Clay.

These are mostly intended for decorative use (there’s a lot of dicey chemicals that go into the sealants) but of course I’ll put one on if it means having some spooky fun on Halloween night.

Did Foam-Mo perform as well as Model Magic? Is a creepy dummy as terrifying as a scary witch? Watch the video to find out. -v

Wellity well

Zombies and Witches. Halloween is Coming.

Hey, we are back from hiatus on our YouTube channel and celebrating fall, the upcoming Halloween season, and monsters of every stripe. So here’s the latest process videos we dropped.

First, Inking The Tarman Zombie from Return of the Living Dead. A favorite zombie movie of mine, and a great opportunity to practice my inking.

But we also work in 3D at the studio. We wanted to experiment with foam clay, so I made this witch’s mask. Didn’t turn out too bad, and now I wanna make more.

Hope you enjoy the videos. We have lots more fall/Halloween/monster related projects we’re trying to squeeze in before the end of the year. If you’re into that stuff, come on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel, Long Lost Friend Studio. It’s spooky fun. -v

Inking Batman’s Scaliest Villain, Killer Croc

A few weeks ago, Run Red Run and I descended into the Gotham City sewer system to ink Batman villain, Killer Croc. And like some of the other things I’ve inked on our YouTube channel, Croc is currently (as of me typing this) available in my shop.

I used a brush for some of it, but I really relied on my tech pens for texturing his arm wraps, scaly skin, even the hatching on the slimy stones in the dank tunnel.

And for fun, Run Red Run played a round of Ink It or Stink It and inked another batman villain favorite, The Scarecrow.

How did we each do with our inking? You can watch the video and see -v

Toned Paper Drawing of the Kanamit from The Twilight Zone

I don’t work with toned paper very much (I did that Jekyll & Hyde sketch back in February)so I thought I’d get some practice in.

For my subject, I picked the Kanamit from the classic Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man” It’s always been a favorite episode and I had a Kanamit action figure on my shelf to use for reference.

I used the same tan-toned paper as last time, and a range of regular graphite pencils (4H to 6B) as well as a white charcoal pencil.

I think I made just a little progress with this one. And I had fun talking with Run Red Run about The Twilight Zone and my Kanamit action figure. All that stuff’s in the video, if you wanna watch. -v

Ghost In The Graveyard Diorama

Summer’s here and school’s out. That means endless nights of euphoric middle school kids running around in their friends’ backyards playing Ghost In The Graveyard. Or maybe they’ll just be hanging out, scrolling through Instagram. How do I know?

So, how do you play Ghost In The Graveyard? Do you remember? I honestly can’t recall. So I built a diorama instead. And, of course, I made a video of the process, so you can follow along as I turn insulation foam into a creepy headstone with the help of a foam cutting machine and a craft knife.

I also use tea leaves and moss to create the neglected grounds surrounding this abandoned grave and its forgotten occupant. Creepy, right? Well, it’s all in fun.

In fact, I had a ton of fun talking about graveyards and childhood games with my friend Run Red Run. You can see how it all turned out in the video below. -v

How To Make an 8-Page Mini-Comic from One Sheet of Paper!

That’s right! No staples, no stack of paper…just one sheet of typing paper, some creative folding and cutting, and you can make your own mini-comic! I’ll show you how in our video this week.

I mean, you’ll also have to write and draw your comic, or story, or whatever you wanna fill 8 pages with. But once you figure out what you want to say, there are a number of ways you can go about getting it on paper.

In the video, I talk about drawing and lettering it by hand directly onto a piece of paper. But I also create a mini-comic from scratch using some graphics software (Clip Studio Paint) and a printer. Either way, the process is pretty simple.

I hope you give it a try. And if you do, I hope you have fun! -v

Two Hellboys for the Price of One!

And since nobody’s charging an admission fee, that price is free. Free to watch me ink this Hellboy.

I used traditional, brushed ink on watercolor paper, something I’ve been trying to get better at.

But that’s not all — I said two Hellboys and I meant it. In an episode of Ink It or Stink It, Run Red Run also took a shot at inking a Li’l Hellboy drawing I did!

How did she do? You’ll have to watch the video to find out. Hope you like it! -v